Internet Down, What Happens?: Echo Plus + SmartThings + ZigBee/Z-Wave Devices

Hello everyone!

This is my first post here and I am looking to set up an entirely new Home Automation system at my house. I have been doing some research lately on the various hubs, devices, protocols etc

I want my Home Automation to be as functional as possible when the internet goes down. I am trying to use as many ZigBee and Z-Wave devices as possible to achieve this.

  1. Can you please let me know what functionality SmartThings hub provides when the internet goes down. For example can I control my Hue Lights (ZigBee) and lock/unlock my Z-Wave front door

  2. The Echo Plus is my voice control device which supports ZigBee. Can I issue voice commands to Echo Plus and will SmartThings process those commands successfully for ZigBee and Z-Wave devices when the internet is down? I would assume that Echo Plus and SmartThings would need to communicate via ZigBee in order to achieve this?

Thank Yiu

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The only ST SmartApp that can run locally on the hub is the official Smart Lighting app. And, it can only run locally if the devices used are running locally (which is highly likely if using Zigbee and Z-Wave.). All other methods of Automations require the Internet to function properly.

If you try to control using the SmartThings App while the Internet is down, you will NOT be able to control anything. The SmartThings Mobile App always requires an Internet connection. This is also true for ActionTiles, SharpTools, and any other Dashboard solutions you may find.


The amazon Echo Plus can perform some basic device control when the internet is down for Zigbee devices that are directly paired to the Echo Plus. All Echo to ST communications are via the Internet.


The Zigbee profiles that smartthings uses only allow for one coordinator per network. That will be either the smartthings hub or the Echo plus, but not both. So you have to choose one or the other for each end device.

Smartthings has very little local processing, but it does have some, specifically for hub connected devices and rules created using the official smart lights feature in the app. And then it’s only for rules that you set up ahead of time, the smartthings app does not work at all when the Internet is out.

At my house, we have a few zigbee switches controlled by an echo plus so that we do have one pathway of lights that will be available by voice if the Internet is out (I am quadriparetic , so voice control is essential for me.) but having done this means those specific devices are no longer available to smartthings except by a method which uses an Alexa routine as an intermediary.

In general, if local processing is important to you, smartthings will not be a good match because it is still largely a cloud-based system.

There are a number of other alternatives which can operate locally, including Apple HomeKit, Homeseer, Hubitat, and vera. Each has pluses and minuses. And some will require that you do initial set up via the Internet but after that rules can operate locally.


I hear Yoda:
“Ooooh, functional when Internet goes down? Hubitat. You seek Hubitat.”


…or Home Assistant…


Thank you for your detailed response!

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Thank you for your response!

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