Insteon the Home of Home Automation

So you want a Smart Home, you want home automation in your home and not just the movies. So what is Insteon? In a nutshell, Insteon is a robust, redundant dual mesh network. What a bunch of dense technobabble! Okay, let’s pick through it one word at a time.

Redundant is a coveted word in technology. It means that should one mode of communication fail, there is a backup. With an Insteon system, the RF and powerline back each other up.

Dualband would be a more accurate phrase to describe the use of two media for communication, namely powerline and radio frequency (RF).

Mesh refers to the type of network that Insteon uses. Each device is a “peer,” which means there is no need for network controllers. The mesh also refers to the fact that each network node repeats the signal it receives, to enhance the signal quality.

Hybrid power

Insteon developed and designed by SmartLabs, Inc. to succeed X10 as the top-selling home automation product, combines “legacy” powerline technology with radiofrequency. The result? A high-speed home automation system that’s also reliable to boot. Hybrids are all the rage these days, and Insteon is jumping on the bandwagon: like the hybrid engine of a Prius, it blends two technologies to create one superior product.

You can check out some Insteon enabled products below.

X10 and then some

Insteon is backward compatible with legacy X10 technology, so if you have an X10 system and want to upgrade, you won’t have to throw out your existing system. But what can this new upstart do, that old king of home automation can’t?

For one, it can check for errors, and re-transmit messages if it needs to. It also has multiple means to do so – meaning, if your wireless phone interferes with the radio signal, the signal can be transmitted via powerline. This is unlikely to happen because the signals are transmitted so quickly that there is little opportunity for interference to occur, but the back up is there if you need it.

Having said that, there’s no such thing as a perfect system. Insteon has its flaws, albeit, not as pronounced as in its predecessor. While it’s nowhere as cheap as X10 products, Insteon is well within the affordable price range, and given its larger range of functionality, greater speed, and reliability, it is very much a fair trade.

To read more about X10, visit are Pros and Cons article of X10 here

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