Mifi for web connection?


(Matthew) #1

I’m looking to use the Smarthub and associated things as a security/monitoring solution for a shop. I’d like to use a Verizon MiFi as the internet connection, but read that the Smarthub does not have wifi built in, rather an ethernet connection is required to connect it to the network.

Is there an adapter or other solution someone’s found to use the MiFi with a Smarthub? Did I misread the specs on the hub? I haven’t yet explored with Verizon whether there’s an ethernet adapter or option for the device itself, but my guess is no.

Thanks.


(Cory S) #2

It would be messy, but you could bridge the mifi with a wireless router. I’m not sure I’d rely on a mifi connection for security though…although it would be nice for a backup.

I have my home setup with a aircard to use as a fail over in-case the cable goes out (or gets cut)


(Matthew) #3

I hear you on the connection liability. Exploring it for reasons of 1) cost - $20 to add a LTE Mifi to my existing Verizon data plan vs. $80+ for a “business internet” connection and 2) reliability when the power’s out - I live in New Orleans where the cell connections have proven more robust than cable after a storm. I’m about a mile from the nearest LTE tower and the MiFi I looked at supports an external antenna. If it proved unreliable I can have a cable connection installed.

Smarthub support suggested this solution where someone had bridged the mifi with a router: https://community.verizonwireless.com/thread/661621. They also noted future versions of the Hub may support more wireless standards (bluetooth, wifi, NFC, etc.). A quick scroll through the Verizon forums indicates there are some other products people have used to bridge the two (like this).

If I go down this path I’ll update the thread.

 


(Cory S) #4

You imply you haven’t purchased the Mifi yet, if so I would suggest instead purchasing an USB aircard and plugging it into a wireless router like the cradle point you linked, or like this one which is what I use. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006QOJ3YI/ref=wms_ohs_product

It effectively makes your own MiFi that has an Ethernet port on it. Although, this particular version isn’t battery powered, but you could always use a UPS…which you would need to keep the Smarthings HUB online anyway.

It should be more reliable then bridging a weak wireless device like a MiFi to another wireless device.


(Matthew) #5

Aha, you’re right - the cradlepoint  MBR95 looks like it will work. Thanks for the tip, I didn’t realize that’s how those routers work.


(Alexander Lash) #6

I’ve personally had a lot of success with the MWR222 (and it’s frequently available for $20)

http://www.amazon.com/ZyXEL-MWR222-Mobile-Wireless-Router/dp/B004I449KQ

I haven’t personally used it but there’s also the TL-MR3020 which is $30:

http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-Portable-802-11n-Wireless-TL-MR3020/dp/B006DEBXD0/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359952878&sr=1-1&keywords=TL-MR3020

Both have battery power and at least one ethernet port.


(Mweston) #7

I’ve seen a few routers that incorporate 3g/4g sim cards as backup connection so there seems to be quite  a few solutions for an internet connection fallback if your wired internet goes down. I’m still on the fence about using smartthings as security system though. You still have to worry about the smartthings server going down, maintenance, etc… in an ideal world you wouldn’t have server downtime but honestly, every website goes down at some point.

If you do some reading on the micasaverde forums you’ll also see that those guys have a really hard time finding good wireless, battery powered motion sensors. I’m really hoping the smartthings motion sensors actually last at least a year on battery power and do not have a delay in detecting motion. Most of the motion sensors I’ve seen are delayed in reporting motion because it has to “wake up” first. If one of the motion sensors goes off because of an intruder I dont want to have to wait 2-6 seconds for it to alert me. Doesn’t sound like much but in reality that can be the difference between life or death.

I dont think smartthings is really intended to be a security system replacement at this point but it would be really nice.


(Cory S) #8

To be honest, the cloud based nature of Smartthings really doesn’t bother me for use in a security app. It is more security than I have now, and it allows me to administer it completely. The odds of a a smartthings server going down coinciding with a break-in while not impossible…are odds I’m okay with. Besides, I don’t see why alerts couldn’t be setup to notify you if communications with the cloud has been lost. Then you can exercise your American right to huddle into the nearest corner with your Glock until the system comes back online. :slight_smile:

However, I think it would be a mistake for Smartthings to advertise it as a security appliance. It’s not, and they’re not a security company. they shouldn’t accept that kind of liability without  lot of thought first.

Besides, just because systems like micasaverse run locally doesn’t mean they are free from failure. Hubs die, just like web servers go down, or internet connections fail. You will never be able to cover all your bases with any security system. At best they simply help against a stupid criminal. Also, have you ever tried to program a system running something like the micasa? It’s a nightmare.

 


(Andrew Urman) #9

Cory, it’s those reasons exactly why we’re not marketing it as a standalone security system. Home security is personal preference. If you want a 24 hour call the police when the alarm goes off then SmartThings isn’t that solution. For someone like me, who lives in house with 2 doors and a few windows, it’s sufficient.


(Mweston) #10

Andrew,

Can you comment on the reliability of the motion/contact sensors that you guys have been seeing? Do they trigger an alert almost instantly or is there some delay when on battery power?


(Andrew Urman) #11

I think the longest I’ve ever seen it take is 1 second, and thats on the slow slow end. Usually if you raise your hand, you can see it triggered in the app before you could lower them. There’s no difference in reporting if its plugged in or not. Only difference is the ability to act as a repeater.