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Back to: Staples Connect Home Staples Connect Glossary of Terms

Staples Connect Glossary

App

This is the software (aka application software) that you use to control and monitor your connected home. The app is compatible with a number of devices including Apple iPhone and iPad; phones or tablets that use the Android operating system; and any Web-connected browser software.

Cloud

This is a user-friendly term for the Internet. When you are away from home, you will be able to access, monitor and control your connected come through the cloud using either your wireless cellular connection or a Wi-Fi connection. In addition, all the control information for your hub will be securely backed up in our cloud storage in case your hub is lost or stolen. That means all of your custom activities are safe and sound, and can be restored immediately.

Connected Home

This term describes a home that, benefits from having certain devices or sub-systems working together to help save money, save time, and make life safer or more efficient. Other terms include "smart home," and "smart house."

Devices

These are the individual enabled components in your home. These devices include, but are not limited to, light switches and dimmers, door locks, smoke detectors, cameras, motion detectors, outlet modules (for turning off and on non-connected devices), thermostats, door sensors and a whole host of items. There are currently over 1,500 wireless devices that span a wide range of applications, from petcare to gardening and hot tubs to hobbies.

Ethernet Cable

This is the standard computer network cable that connects your broadband modem to your Wi-Fi router and/or connected home hub. You can also use an Ethernet cable to connect individual computers or peripherals that are located near your hub.

Hub

This device is the brains behind your connected home. This device is similar to a wireless Wi-Fi router; it connects to your broadband modem via Ethernet cable and then communicates wirelessly to all the enabled devices in your home. Wireless protocols supported include Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, ZigBee and Lutron.

ISP

It stands for Internet Service Provider. This is the company that delivers your broadband connection. The company could be your cable company, your phone company, or a third party that specializes in just Internet connectivity.

Mesh Networking

This describes the type of networking protocol that is typically used by connected devices commonly found in the home. When using the hub to communicate with wireless devices that use Z-Wave or ZigBee, range is less of an issue because these devices use "mesh networking," &emdash; which means devices communicate with each other, as opposed to having to communicate with just the hub. The advantage of mesh networking is that your range is greatly extended. That being said, we do suggest that the hub be placed in a central area, similar to any other Wi-Fi hub or router. It's important to note that with a mesh network, you will need to have multiple range extenders to repeat the signal if there is a long distance between the hub and an enabled device.

Protocol

Think of a protocol as a "language" that various computers and devices use to speak to each other. Protocols are often designed to be worldwide standards, but protocols can also be proprietary, or owned by one specific company/organization. Wi-Fi is a common wireless protocol for computer networks. For connected homes, there are a number of wireless protocols that are designed for devices that need to have low-power consumption, since they are not typically connected to an AC power supply. Two major protocols for connected homes are Z-Wave and ZigBee (see below.)

Router

A router is a data communications device that takes the single broadband Internet connection coming into your home and splits (or routes) that bandwidth to the various devices &emdash; both wired and wireless &emdash; in your home. Your connected home hub also serves as a router, since it has Ethernet input and X Ethernet output jacks, along with its wireless connectivity options.

Tablets

These small, flat devices are rapidly becoming the defacto "home computer" for many consumers. They typically connect to the Web via a Wi-Fi connection and/or cellular signal provided by your mobile carrier. These touch-sensitive devices have ample storage and processing power to handle most consumers' computing needs.

Wi-Fi

This is a wireless protocol that is used worldwide to connect computers and peripherals. Over the years, Wi-Fi has been added to a wide variety of consumer electronics items including mobile phones, game console, printers, and an ever-growing number of connected home devices.

Z-Wave

Z-Wave is a wireless, mesh networking protocol standard that is designed for connected home devices. Z-Wave is most often used with lighting, cameras, sensors, door locks and other consumer-oriented devices.

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