How do I deal with Wireless Dead Zones when Installing a Smart Home?

Note: Ideally, you should plan ahead for wireless communication by following the instructions in these articles:

Network Planning for Wi-Fi Devices

Network Planning for Z-Wave Devices

Network Planning for Insteon Devices

Dealing with Wireless Dead Zones

Even when the range rules are followed, there might still be cases in which a wireless device is not reachable. E.g.,

  1. Wireless signal does not pass-through metal barriers and dense materials. Common metal barriers are kitchen appliances, mirrors, metal shelves, etc. Common dense materials are brick and concrete.
  2. Typical range assumes construction of typical US home environment. The range will be significantly reduced if the signal path is through multiple walls or through dense material such as concrete.

To remedy these situations:

  1. For Z-Wave and Insteon devices, place a Repeater at either side the barrier, to allow signal to be routed around the barrier. If there are more than 2 walls between the Hub/Repeater and the unreachable device, add a Repeater between them.
  2. For Wi-Fi devices, move Devicebook Hub to a location where the signal is not blocked.

If the remedies above do not resolve communication issues, it may be necessary to switch to using hard-wired or PoE devices in order to install them in the desired locations.

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