HomeClub Specialty Products, why Cellular vs. Wi-Fi

Senteri’s proprietary HomeClub wireless sensor system utilizes a cellular Hub vs Wi-Fi.  This design specification was required by our first insurance carrier partner that insisted on a cellular system with a backup battery primarily to ensure that the HomeClub Hub continues to work when power is lost to the property.  It is during power-outage situations that it is often most important to keep tabs on the property and understand to the extent possible what is or has happened.

The HomeClub Hub itself, since it is plugged into a power outlet, is able to monitor power status of the property and report when power is lost and when it is restored to the property.  This is valuable knowledge for residents and property managers.  The HomeClub Hub also monitors temperature so conveniently reports on indoor and outdoor temperature along with power status of the property thus providing baseline value to the consumer.

Some other benefits of cellular vs. Wi-Fi include:

Ubiquitous Coverage

  • Cellular coverage is nearly everywhere.  Senteri is using a dual SIM that has access to all AT&T and T-Mobile GSM/GPRS cell towers.
  • Coverage is almost 98% of the US population.

Easy Deployment

  • Cellular devices are pre-provisioned so they connect to the network right out of the box.
  • No end user setup is required (e.g. setting up passwords to connect to a Wi-Fi router)
  • Cellular devices are not dependent on IT infrastructure (ie pre-existing Wi-Fi router)

Lower Support Costs

  • With cellular, the infrastructure is owned and managed by the cellular carriers, not the end-customer or product supplier.
  • Because cellular connectivity does not depend on end-user managed infrastructure such as Wi-Fi, product suppliers do not have to provide ‘helpdesk’ support services for basic connectivity issues (e.g. “My device won’t connect to the router.  The security settings are not working….”).

Better security

  • Cellular data travels over a closed network not the public Internet making the data much more secure.
  • Senteri also uses a VPN between the mobile network backend and the Senteri cloud database environment to further secure the data.

Improved Reliability

  • Reliability is critical for many IoT and smart-home applications, especially those involving security and real-time monitoring and alerts.  With cellular, Senteri leverages a robust wireless network used by nearly 1/3 of the world’s population every day.
  • Cellular network outages are rare and if they do occur they are immediately noticed and acted on.  Consider a less reliable alternative — a device is connected to a consumer-grade Wi-Fi access point.  If the wireless connection fails, it could go unnoticed for extended periods of time and require manual intervention to resolve.

Lower Hardware Costs

  • Cellular module costs have fallen significantly in recent years and are still trending down as mobile providers seek to take advantage of IoT growth.
  • These price points are enabling a whole new class of devices and applications.

Lower Data Costs

  • Data costs have fallen significantly.  For connected machines that only need to report small amounts of data, connectivity costs can be <$1/month.

HomeClub specialty products offer a reliable alternative to most other smart-home wireless sensor monitoring systems that depend upon Wi-Fi connectivity and power in order to work.