Newbie Question: Kasa TP-Link Devices ... Cloud vs Local on Aeotec V3 (37.04)

Hey all… Total newbie Question here… Sorry if it’s been discussed before.

Now that TP-Link/Kasa is supported in ST, I understand that those devices can be controlled natively (Local) on the Hub?

If so, I have a handful of switches that were all setup through the linked app/account. They all show in my dashboard as ‘CLOUD’ devices. Shouldn’t one be able to have these fire ‘locally’ ?

Is it required that the previous devices are deleted and ‘re-setup’ using the native ST installer to get those to work locally? Does anyone know for sure? If not, I guess I’ll do some testing later when I get home.

TIA for any input :slight_smile:

The TP-Link Kasa integration is cloud-to-cloud. In IDE they will appear with placeholder as the device type and Cloud as Execution Location.


“Supported” doesn’t mean “local.”

It just means that there is a manufacturer-provided integration which shows up in the smartthings app. As @jkp said, these are often cloud to cloud with a “placeholder“ DTH.

Very few supported Wi-Fi devices have a local integration at this time. Most are cloud to cloud.


Thank you both ( @jkp and @JDRoberts) for your input and education! And very quickly to boot! Great forum and user community!


Just wanted to add that most Kasa stuff can work locally if you add them as a Guest to the Kasa app. They will then run local with some other home automation software.

Their cloud to cloud connection has been stellar, though. Better than the Z-Wave and Zigbee integrations in my opinion.

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What does adding them as a guest mean?

The tp-link or meross devices, which work in smartthings with linked services, have individual event scheduling functionality with their own app, which can be useful.

Meross and Tp-link, which are the ones I know, when programs turned on and off from sockets, light bulbs, are saved on the device itself and run independently of its apps, smartthings or whether you have internet at home. This can gives more security in certain simple cases.

This is not valid for scenes or automatic actions that involve more than one device. This needs the internet both in their apps and smartthings.

With Homekit and meross, you can have more local functionalities, but I don’t know them in detail, I use android.

Thanks for the info! Would “other automation software” be other platforms? Ie - Home Assistant, HomeSeer or the like?

I am trying to understand what the ST “HUB” really does… I am beginning to think that the Hub is just really a “Gateway” to the ST software for cloud based communications. I do have the IDE and WebCoRE hooks setup to my Hub, which provides more insight, but if automations are kicking off from the ST cloud, and devices are managed or accessed from the cloud, then the Hub is really nothing more than a hardware ‘gateway’ for your SmartThings Cloud account… Am I missing something?

I understand that the long term goal is to have things run locally (which I really prefer and ultimately want with my “smart home”), but currently, what is the added benefit of the hub if everything is coming from the cloud?

Sorry if I’m missing something here, I’m a ST Noob LOL!

the hub is a gateway for Zigbee and Zwave devices and will run those automations locally IF you’ve set them up to use default ST provided DTHs specially marked with local ops. No more, no less. If you’re not using Zigbee or Zwave chances are you don’t need a hub. But good luck trying to get any local ops on ST.


Thank you! This is what I am finding and suspected. Of course Zigbee and ZWave devices need another radio to connect to, which the hub provides (and then communicates with your ST account in the cloud).

Years ago, I ran a stand-alone PC (Server) with a few hardware radios connected and running HomeSeer software. I had full local control and access to every device I told HomeSeer about. I also had extremely granular control over those devices and could build pretty complex “If/Then/Else” type routines and automations right in my own HomeSeer instance (local environment). The system did not need any type of internet access except for software updates. Plus, everything was super fast and responsive (everything ran local to the devices/sensors)

I understand that a good chunk of users want to access/control their smart homes from outside the home (especially thermostat access), but what if someone doesn’t need/want that connectivity or access?

Maybe my perception of a smart home is slightly different than most, but my goal ultimately is to have devices recognize state changes or events, then perform actions with the ability to take into consideration outside variables.

Thanks again for any input y’all might throw my way LOL!

That’s mostly true, Although a little by little overtime they have been trying to move more rules processing to the hub.

At first it was just the rules created through “smartlighting“ and then only some of those.

Then they added some of the rules created through the security wizard, at that time called “smart home monitor“, but then they took those away again and moved them back to the cloud when the security wizard was changed to “smartthings home monitor.“

Most recently they been trying to move some of the “rules API“ for the newest architecture to the hub. It’s not quite clear exactly what’s eligible for this, but that’s why there is now a cloud/local icon on the automations.

They keep promising more local processing, but it’s still primarily a cloud-based system.

There are a number of competitors, including Hubitat, Homeseer, and Apple’s HomeKit, which do run everything locally except for integrations with third-party cloud-based systems like voice assistants. But with SmartThings A lot of stuff still runs in the cloud.

And ST still makes a lot of changes to the cloud platform which are neither documented nor announced in advance, which is why there are so many threads in the forum along the lines of “everything’s been running fine for months and now suddenly things have changed. What happened?”

It’s not clear to me what will happen once smartthings adds matter support. Matter on Apple will be able to run locally for many devices, but the same devices might require a cloud to run on smartthings.

We already see that with Wi-Fi devices like Meross. The same smart plug can run locally on HomeKit, no cloud required except for voice control, but requires an active Internet connection to run with smartthings. So that might continue once matter support arrives, we just don’t know. :thinking:


Thank you for the background and current state/status of the platform. This all makes sense and is understandable. As I mentioned in another reply in this topic, ultimately, I would like to have much more local operation of my “smart home” than what is currently available with ST.

This is not to say that the platform is not for me. I am mainly digesting the current state of different options in this market space… It’s wonderful that there are so many hardware options at really great prices today!

I think I will also dig into some of the other platforms to see where they operate and have strengths. Guess I’m somewhat of a geek in that regards LOL!

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Home Assistant is the one I’m familiar with. I’m in the process of moving a couple extra Kasa plugs there for testing.

I have far more WiFi devices than I should and don’t like them communicating with the outside world so much. I tend to block their WAN access when they do something suspicious, so local only is desirable.

While Kasa is a trusted brand, I’ve had other trusted brands do funny stuff calling out of my network to servers overseas. Enough that it triggered my router security software to alert me to take action.


Thanks… I, too, have a long career in IT/Security (banking/insurance) and like having control of MY stuff LOL. I also have blocked several devices from the WAN port due to suspicions of the same. Sure, I could setup a dedicated FW and rules, but I don’t want to deal with that currently.

HomeSeer has a PI box with their software license for $100-150 (depending on sale or not), and think I may pick one up to explore that as well. I have about a dozen WiFi switches and a few plug/outlets setup.

I really should look more into what drives H.A. as well. Is it mainly software, or is there a Hub/brain/hardware component to it as well? Guess I could go search that out as well LOL. Thanks again.