Calling on OnHub users to share their experience!

I’ve been eyeballing the OnHub for a year now. It seems like it can unclutter my set up greatly by eliminating a lot of extenders and network complexity I currently manage to avoid channel interference and network congestion. My biggest concern is that channels cannot be manually adjusted, which may create more problems instead of solving them. Can people with complex networks share their thoughts on using OnHub?

Of high interest is the wifi presence, which if any good, could potentially simplify my current ST methods of detecting presence for people who don’t want to be tagged with a presence sensor…

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Very use case specific. What are the extenders you have now and the ‘network complexity’ you deal with? I haven’t used an OnHub so I cannot comment about that either.

I’ve mentioned this before, I am huge fan of Ubiquiti Unifi, affordable enterprise level WIFI infrastructure. But I admit that the fact it requires compute to operate a controller is going to be a non-starter for most. I think the ability to have a distributed system solves real problems most home super duper hi fideltiy wifi units claim to, but fail to.

One thing you may consider - and I only say this because how great the Unifi solution has been - is Ubiquiti’s new Amplifi solution:

I have not used it, but they do so good with the Unifi, this would be something I need to consider for other use cases - but I haven’t evaluated it yet - so caveat emptor

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Well long story long :slight_smile: , I started looking at streamlining my SmartThings set up and the most complex rules I have, are around identifying who is home. You know, not everyone in the household wants to wear an arrival sensor around their necks, so I had to come up with some crazy ways of determining presence (yes, I tried the asuswrt way and some other community based solutions, but none really worked for me) :frowning:

In my quest to find a more straight forward way to use wifi as presence, I came across OnHub, which does it rather seamlessly. And that made me (re)evaluate my existing network set up.

And here it is. I run 5 wi-fi networks. My HA hubs and devices are on a FIOS Quantum router set for specific channels, my other devices are on a Asus AC1900 bridged router (set on different channels to avoid interference) and my son’s room is on a AC1200 extender with only the the 5 GHz band enabled. It seems to me that I could have the wifi presence I need and only one wi-fi network, if I go with OnHub. But then I wonder why break it, if it’s been working well for a year…

I thought you used life360 and it was reliable?

Anyway, I know nothing about what onhub does with presence and how you may integrate that with ST. What’s the story?

Why do you need 5 wifi networks now? How does onhub help in that regard?

Most of the community members who have onHub are in the following thread, I’d ask there. :sunglasses:


I have a 2.4Gh band setup as HA only on a Mikrotik router/switch, and two 5Gh bands for my AP’s (Netgear R6300’s) and 98% of my other devices. Another 2.4Gh for the remaining other junk, all non-overlapping. I did try the DD-WRT method, and now I have a Juni SRX so I tried a script there as well, but honestly, Life360 works better for me and my family. If I’m close to home, the garage opens for me, WiFi won’t do that, too short of range. Kids keep letting their phones die, so the house would think they are gone when the mac clears vs Life360 where it just seems to keep last location and say “you’ve been lost!”

I’m curious about the OnHub and how it works? I haven’t looked into it, really dislike the idea of app only programming. I’m a CLI kinda guy…

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I do and I love it, but I don’t control the access to all of the phones in my home.

1 OnHub + 2 IFTTT recipes + 1ST Virtual switch and you’re done…:slight_smile:

To keep interference at minimum between my wi-fi devices.

Well that’s my concern. If I go with OnHub, which doesn’t have the option of setting your own channels, then I’d rather disable the wi-fi on my Quantum and just go with one network managed by OnHub. Nice and clean…I am planning on pulling a cable in my son’t room so I can cut the extender too…

You’re issue in this regard maybe that you have so many wifihubs, so am not sure I follow. You have 5 wifi networks to keep interference down but 5 networks is a recipe for interference.

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Oh crap. I didn’t think about that! My whole pseudo presence is centered around light switches, motion sensors and contacts. But is a real pain to maintain the whole logic and I always find gaps that need patching…

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Yup, that’s why I want to find a better way :slight_smile:

Figure a max of 20 devices per network to keep things within reason. Realize that 802.11 is a half duplex technology, you can only have one device send or receive at a time, not cool if you have a lot of devices just doing normal chatter. Having lots of devices that support 5Ghz makes things FAR easier since there are so many non over-lapping bands. 2.4Ghz only has three, so you have to be very careful. I only have two usable as my Zigbee is where ch12 would be.

Also, as my home automation crap is so very random and low bandwidth, having all those devices on one AP/band is not a concern, they aren’t exactly streaming Netflix…the other 2.4Ghz band I have only has maybe 8 devices on it. Total I have over 60 wireless devices I suspect though. Everything that can be cabled, is, no debates, has WiFi and Ethernet? Cool, kill the WiFi and wait for me to run another Cat6!

Edit: Excluding the concept of MIMO with the first sentence, yeah not all devices support that so I rule it out as a feature right now.

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Sure, but I still don’t know why you have 5 wifi networks today.

To mainly protect my two zigbee meshes. See @michaelahess post above, I have the same school of thought…

Yup just took inventory and I have 52 wifi devices, though some I can plug in, if I can find a way to pull cables on the second floor. I wish I didn’t say no to Cat5 when we built the house. It would have been so much better than cat none.

My house was built in '61, ran just shy of 2000 feet of Cat6, imagine for a moment how terrible that probably was. It was worse than you are thinking. Just counted, 53, 1 of which is not at the house hardly ever, Fire 7" running SmartTiles at work. That’s kinda creepy.

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So it all boils down to: is Google better at managing my network? Or am I crazy for falling for their marketing…

Yeah, and I just can’t back their marketing on this one. I’m waiting for my Portal personally, see how well their wireless tech works:

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TP-Link OnHub owner here. I’ve been very happy with it. I don’t think my network demands are quite as high as yours, but it’s been very stable and coverage is solid. We usually have ~16 devices total connected, 10 of which are wifi. No problems with things dropping off and I really don’t have it ideally placed since it’s currently on the floor in the guest room in the corner of the house. The IFTT integration is pretty cool and works very reliably, although not lightning fast. I use it for my phone, my wife’s phone, and a couple of our baby sitters phones. Ask away and i’ll try to answer what I can!


Thanks for chiming in. Do you happen to have a Hue hub along with your ST hub. Destabilizing my two zigbee meshes is my main concern here…And you answered my other big concern, IFTTT reliability. Thanks…

Ubiqiti user here also. This is no longer a requirement. Well, kind of.

Ubiquiti Unifi Cloud Key - Remote Control Device (UC-CK)

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