Lessons learned from an internet outage

My internet has been down for approaching 24 hours. Lessons learned:
Thank heavens for Edge; my locally executing drivers and routines are working great for heating, hot water, and some lighting.
I rely on Amazon Echo for too much of my control and automation.
I should have kept fresh batteries in all my buttons and dimmers; after replacing batteries in my Ikea buttons and dimmers, I always have to re-pair them; too late if I do not have internet.
Bulbs that do not remember their last state are useful; just cycle the power to switch them on (but you have to leave them off afterwards).
Bulbs that remember their state are not so useful in this case.
Ikea dimmers that ‘steal’ devices from my SmartThings hub using touch sync are sometimes useful (See @JDRoberts clarification of TouchLink below).
After finally convincing my wife that smart lighting is a good idea; I have some more convincing to do (after we get our internet back).
Cable fiber to the property is a great thing; until somebody breaks the fiber.
Just my thoughts.

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Good tips! One thing to think about is a backup. Most cell plans/phones these days provide the ability to use your phone as a hotspot. With a little experimentation you should be able to use that as your house wired internet by either plugging your phone directly into the WAN port of your router (some routers do provide that capability but not many) or, as I have to do, using a small travel router (I use this one) to plug your phone into and then plug that into the WAN port of your router. It’s a little funky and takes a few minutes to setup but if my internet is out for more than a half hour or so I switch to the backup until it comes back on. Once the hotspot is wire connected to the WAN port on the router it is really transparent to the rest of the equipment. Only caveat is to be mindful of any data plan limits.

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Interesting ideas. I was using my mobile as a hotspot for my laptop. I will investigate a USB-C erhernet adapter that could plug into the router WAN.
I am lucky to have a very old Blackberry contract, with unlimited data that migrated to a 5G account with unlimited data (while staying reasonable).

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I’ve always been concerned about network outages. I still have and use the very old Zwave AEON Minimotes for such occasions. It’s also why I don’t use the STHM since there’s no way to Arm/Disarm the STHM without internet.

‘Thought’. Now that the SmartThings Hubs support Matter with the Samsung’s ‘Thread’ feature, I’m wondering why (if it’s even possible) that they can’t make Android and iOS devices Matter controllers, or at least button remotes, for the Smart Home (again, if that’s even feasible). Probably just wishful thinking…

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Oooh, a ‘local’ SmartThings App. That would be very nice.

Not as far fetched as you think. Apple put a thread radio in the new iPhone. (it’s not currently active) Some have wondered why. :slight_smile:

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Are all routines local now, mines hit or miss as to if it’s local

Not all, there are a number of specific conditions that might still require cloud operation for a routine. @h0ckeysk8er had a list at one point, I don’t know if it’s still up-to-date.

Your routine is supposed to have a little house icon on it in the app if it is going to run locally. :thinking:

It’s technically possible, but I haven’t heard of any one that is yet. (LG originally said their app was going to be a Matter controller, but it turned out to just be a matter commissioner like all the others. You have to have an LG TV to act as the matter controller.)

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Just be aware that it might not work by just plugging into the WAN port with an adapter. There is some SW “translation” that my travel router does thru OpenWRT that needs to be configured correctly before it all works. It took me a bit to find the right instructions on how to configure it properly.

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Ah I can see one is local but it takes ages to activate, I thought it was cloud lol

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I haven’t reviewed my list to verify that all of these are still valid, but this is a list of things I have found that can cause Routines to run in the cloud:

   * Scenes
   * Lighting Groups
   * Member Location
   * Devices from cloud->cloud integrations
   * Notification actions
   * Weather triggers
   * STHM triggers and actions
   * " Any Day" time precondition
   * Cloud virtual devices
   * Devices on two different hubs
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Would add ‘Only once per day’ or
Limit in rules

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None of my Routines are Local LOL :wink:

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Hmmm,
having said above that Ikea dimmers ‘steal’ devices from SmartThings (i.e., take them out of the SmartThings mesh) I have now successfully 'TouchLink’d my Rodret dimmer with my Ikea LED driver and the latter is now controllable via Rodret and SmartThings. The AAA battery in the Rodret should mean it lasts a longer than the lithium cell Ikea dimmers (even if it is a bit big).
I never got around to writing an Edge driver for the Rodret, so it is ‘offline’ for SmartThings.
I also 'TouchLink’d an original Ikea rotating dimmer with another Ikea LED driver with the same result.

As long as you have added both the rodret and the target devices to your smartthings network prior to using touchlink between them, they should stay on the same network. That’s how people have been using the hue platform dimmers as a parallel means of control for a number of years.

If you use touchlink between the Rodret and the target device without having first added the rodret as a “Zigbee thing” to your smartthings network then, yes, with touchlink the rodret will possibly steal the target device. That’s just how touchlink works. :man_shrugging:t2:

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Thanks JD, I learn something new every day.

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I live in a very rural area and my only choice for internet is some type of wireless. We’re currently on T-Mobile home internet. But even with no wires we have frequent outages. Edge has been a blessing, but there is still a lot of things that needs internet. I use a client access bridge or sometimes known as a travel router to backfeed my mobile hotspot back into my router. With a 10gb limit it’s good for about a day and a half if I shut my cameras off. I keep two phones on my plan just for backup internet, it works but hopefully there will be something more stable for rural internet users in the future. I’ve looked at Starlink, I just can’t stomach the $500-$600 setup and $120/mo, but it is an option. A few people around me have it and say it’s great.

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When Verizon discontinued their LTE box for the home–which I had in our Florida condo–I got one of the T-Mobile 5G deals at $50/mo “for life,” supposedly. We found it was Plenty Good Enough for email, surfing the web, and streaming services. So, we discontinued our Xfinity Internet service at a pretty good savings.

A few years earlier after Hurricane Irma, I was glad to have the LTE box there on our security camera and the SmartThings hub, which monitored temperature and (more importantly in Florida) the interior humidity. Irma struck, power went out, and we waited. A couple of days later, power was restored & our stuff came back online. No visible damage, high temperature, marginally high humidity.

We watched and waited. We saw the temperature and humidity begin to drop, eventually settling on the target. (Our homewatch folks wouldn’t be there to inspect post-hurricane for another week, it turned out.) But, we knew the HVAC still worked & the compressor at ground level probably hadn’t been flooded.

Xfinity was out for almost two weeks.

I am impressed with the T-Moibile 5G home internet service so far. It may be limited to locations with 5G, so YMMV.

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hi jaidank, i have the same situation like you when i face CenturyLink Outage your experience with a 24-hour internet outage has offered some insightful lessons:

  1. Value of Edge Computing: Local execution of drivers and routines has been effective for controlling heating, hot water, and some lighting, showcasing the importance of local control in smart home systems.
  2. Dependency on Amazon Echo: The outage highlighted an over-reliance on Amazon Echo for home automation and control.
  3. Battery Management: The need for regular battery checks in buttons and dimmers became evident, especially since re-pairing them without internet is a challenge.
  4. Bulb Functionality: Bulbs that don’t remember their last state proved more useful, as they could be turned on by cycling power. In contrast, bulbs that remember their state were less helpful in this situation.
  5. Ikea Dimmers and SmartThings Hub: The ability of Ikea dimmers to ‘steal’ devices from the SmartThings hub using touch sync was sometimes beneficial.
  6. Advocating for Smart Lighting: Convincing family members about the advantages of smart lighting becomes more challenging after such incidents.
  7. Fiber Connectivity: The outage underlined the vulnerability of relying solely on cable fiber for internet connectivity.

These observations provide a real-world perspective on the resilience and limitations of a smart home setup during internet outages.You can also check your favorite company outage status at
https://downoutages.com/status/centurylink-outage/

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