Connecting Things after modem failure?

Yesterday my modem fried and a new one is being installed today. After I pair the hub to the new modem, will all the Things connected to the hub automatically update to the new modem, or am I going to have to re-pair each Thing? I have a Yale door lock that I love but pairing it to a new modem has involved taking it out of the door in the past. I have a bunch of stand-alone D-Link cameras that will need to be re-paired, one by one. It will save A BUNCH of time if all the other Things I have running through the hub (Honeywell thermostat, z-wave outlets, etc.) will follow the hub and not need to be re-paired individually. If it won’t, it would be a huge selling point for the hub make that a goal and someday be able to advertise that to the masses of non-techies out there.

Anything that is paired directly to the hub will not need to be re-paired, as those devices simply are not associated with your modem. The Z-wave and Zigbee networks will remain intact.
A hub change would be the reason you might need to re-pair everything.

As your stated though, stand-alone devices may need to be re-setup, but keep in mind that if you use the same SSID(wifi network name) and password, some of those devices may not need to be reconfigured.

That is great news. The hub and modem are in a 2nd home about 1600 miles away and I’m going to have to talk someone through getting everything reconnected.

Excellent tip regarding keeping the same SSID and password. I will definitely do that.

I have a Ring doorbell that never worked optimally through SmartThings so most of the time I just kept it running through the separate Ring app. I hope it will re-pair if I keep the same SSID and password, but if not, maybe it’s good that the hub can serve as a backup gateway? Like the lock, Ring can be a pain to re-set even if I’m right next to it.


Any tips on what I should tell the cable guy when I’m getting him to reconnect the hub? I figure I’m going to have to give him my username/password and then change the password when he’s done. Also, he’s going to have to download the app on his phone to get that to work, right?

If the tech is doing the full install and needs to pair devices, then yes, they may need your credentials and the app.
If possible, a location most centralized to you devices would be potentially beneficial, but not required, thanks to the mesh networking nature of Z-wave and Zigbee.

Why would your cable guy have to do any of this?

If you have a new internet gateway/router being installed, then your ST hub needs to be connected to it with an Ethernet cable. If the router assigns IP addresses using DHCP, like most cable modem/router combo devices do, then that’s pretty much all that’s needed. Maybe also power cycle the ST hub.

1 Like

That is great news too - thank you :grin:

I must apologize for my technical ignorance.

I had looked up the instructions for setting up the hub, and didn’t realize that once it has been activated all that is needed is connecting it to the new modem. Modems generally last quite a while and this situation hasn’t made it to the FAQs yet (that I’ve read anyway).

Are you sure my app is going to be able to access the hub without some human intervention?

While I’m not technically inclined, I am a mathematician so my logic generally works well. I’m wondering how the app is going to find my hub without someone telling it which gateway in the universe it’s passing through. I would think that’s a deliberate security feature.

I am learning a lot from you guys and appreciate the assistance.

Sure, no worries.

The app on your phone is connecting to ST servers in the cloud, which then makes a connection to your hub.

As i mentioned, all your hub generally needs is an Ethernet connection to your router (the wire that physically connects them), and an IP address on your local area network, which is usually assigned automatically when it is connected to your router.

The hub will tell the ST servers that it is back online, and the next time you open the ST app on your phone, you’re all set.

1 Like

Bless you and Happy New Year!!!

Having said all that, I cannot be 100% sure that it will work as I described. If for some reason you have devices assigned to static IP addresses on your LAN, for example, then that would have to be reconfigured when a new router is installed. But that would be done in the router’s admin interface, and has nothing to do with the ST hub or app per se.

But if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it seems unlikely your LAN is configured this way.

I can live without the wi-fi printer for a while and will manually get someone (well, 2 people) to get my D-link cameras back up and running.

I was upset by a CNET article that said hubs are redundant and need to be eliminated, and after I got over being angry, I have some appreciation for the perspective, especially after having purchased an expander gateway because I ran out of slots on my modem. Since then I have been unable to pick a side. There are pros and cons to both.

Having a separate gateway for my MyQ garage door opener that doesn’t run anything else seems a little silly. It should be able to connect just like the doorbells (I have a Ring in one home and Skybell in another) or my Honeywell thermostat. At the same time, while I can bring those Things into my hub, the hub doesn’t replace the functionality of the individual apps, which makes the hub seem redundant. However, the hub is necessary if I want to integrate the functionality between devices. The Philips Hue app is horrible and I’m probably going to have the hardest time getting my lights back online, as I have to have the app connected to the same Wi-fi as the Philips hub to do almost anything with it.

I learn a bit more with each challenge, and the incentive for me is to learn as much as possible before the big guys (Apple, Google, etc.) make it difficult to add home automation without an additional monthly fee for each Thing.

So again, thanks for the education today.

One other thing maybe worth noting:

You mentioned that the modem is being replaced. Is this a modem/router combo or just a standalone modem being replaced and the separate router will remain untouched?

This may not come into play as this is a second location and you may not have devices configured the same way as a primary (home) hub, but if you have added mobile phones to this hub and people who have swapped out their routers or moved (physically) to a new location have found their mobile presence ended up out of whack and not reporting correctly or thinking they are located elsewhere. If you don’t have mobile phones added at that location/hub, then ignore this.

With that and keeping everything in your environment as close to what it was prior to the swap out will introduce as little variance in the environment and having the SSID(s) exactly the same as before (as was stated in a post above) is something I would recommend. If this is a standalone modem, then you should have no worries and can ignore this as well, but if this is a modem/router combo, I would make sure that you inform the cable person that he/she cofigures the network (SSID for all bands) exactly the same as it is now.

I have Comcast everything (TV/phone/internet) and I believe it is a modem/router combo as there is only 1 unit. I also have the 2nd gateway because all the spaces on the modem/router had been filled and I needed a few (not a lot) more. That was added not long ago and I hope it didn’t fry my modem.

Interesting that you brought up the mobile phone…my brother lives in Europe and he had added his phone to the hub. When he is in Europe (which is most of the time) the hub just notes that his phone is unavailable. Perhaps he uses it to make internet calls, I don’t know. I will mention your comments to him and he will understand them more.

Regardless, it is not difficult to ensure that the SSID and password are duplicated, and it doesn’t sound like there would be any negative effects from doing so. Thus it will become SOP for me going forward.

You may find an article like this one from CNET helpful to get a better grasp on the terms that apply to various types of network equipment.

For example, the device you added because you ran out of Ethernet ports on your router is probably a switch, not a gateway.

Probably best to ignore what they say in that article about “hubs,” since they’re talking about something else that has nothing to do with the hubs that some IoT devices use like SmartThings (and as they note in the article, that type of networking hub isn’t really used much anymore).

Switch - you’re absolutely right. Yes, different from Gateway. All modems are also routers, but not all routers are modems. I must get this down. Thanks for the link, it is very helpful.

By the way, the 2nd home is my mother’s residence, where she is in hospice at home (18 months now, that isn’t supposed to happen). All of the technology has allowed her to continue to live independently (my father is deceased). I am able to monitor her much better than she would be if an aide was coming daily or if she was in assisted living. She lives in a small town where private nursing and reliable help are both nonexistent. The hospice staff is amazed at what my brother and I have put together. If I can do this, anyone can.

The modem going out makes me glad I kept the 3rd party security system and life alert button though.

Oh, and the house was built in 1902. Anyone thinking about having an electrician replace knob and tube wiring should automatically install smart outlets at the same time. They can’t be installed without a ground. Check-and-balance on the electrician to make sure they didn’t cut corners anywhere.

Actually, no :yum:

I have a cable modem, all by itself I could only plug one device into it, and that device could connect to the internet (but only that one device, like a laptop).

But I also have a router, a separate device that can take one internet connection and essentially split it up so that multiple devices on the local network can send and receive data over the internet.

My router, like most consumer routers, also has a switch built into it, so that I can physically connect multiple devices with Ethernet cables. And it has a WiFi access point too, so I can connect multiple devices via WiFi.

Each one of these functions can be done by single-purpose devices, and in some enterprise settings they still are. But that’s a hassle for most consumers that don’t know much about how all this stuff works, so companies like Verizon and Comcast offer devices that combine everything (internet gateway, router, WiFi access point and switch). They can also charge you to rent the equipment on a monthly basis this way.

I’m sorry to hear about your mom, I hope the hospice staff have been managing her symptoms well.

1 Like

The reason I didn’t go with an all-inclusive like Verizon and Comcast is that each one of the products in their bundle seemed mediocre. It’s a lot of money to fork over for a mediocre system (and I am thrifty).

Thanks for your sentiments, much appreciated.

Ok, the Comcast guy came and left, and keeping the same SSID/password was key. Takeaways:

  1. The ST hub was the first Thing to come back online.
  2. Ring worked through the hub after I disconnected/reconnected it.
  3. Honeywell thermostat is resisting being reconnected, but I feel like I’m going to be able to get that going soon. Cable guy said it connected, but it’s not showing on my end. There is an 800 number to call (which is rarely offered).
  4. MyQ garage door opener came on immediately.
  5. All of the z-wave and zigbee Things automatically reconnected when the hub went back online.
  6. The Yale door lock automatically reconnected when the hub went back online WHEW!
  7. My brother’s European cell phone shows “away” like usual.
  8. My DLink cameras are going to have to be physically reconnected one-by-one, and you really need 2 people - one by the modem and one by the camera - to get them to pair. The cable guy got one going but was reluctant to run around to all the others so I didn’t push it.
  9. Philips Hue is online, but the bulbs are not. I don’t believe I’m going to be able to get them connected again without being in the same room on the same WiFi (or getting staff there to temporarily hijack my account, which I’m reluctant to do). Really not any better than the D-Link cameras in that regard. Very disappointing given the ridiculously high price of the bulbs and low security risk of the products.
  10. It’s hard to project all the what-if’s when initially choosing smart products, and I’m gaining more insight with each home automation Thing added.

Thanks again for the community’s help. I wouldn’t have gotten everything back up so quickly without all the input.

1 Like