Presence with "WiFi Only" phones

Around the beginning of 2018, Smartthings began requiring mobile phones have a cellular connection in order to install/use the Smartthings presence app (thing). This was an attempt to solve some sort of issue users had with presence detection. Does anyone know if Smartthings has any intention to re-introduce the wifi-only presence ability? Or is it gone forever?

Both my “phone” and my wife’s are used as “wifi only” devices. We have mobile hotspots which are free for the first 500mb of data - it’s limited, but does all we need it to do. I wanted Smartthings to simplify routine tasks, not create new ways to spend money.

Smartthings removal of the wif-only presence option has crippled my Smarthings system. Where the system “just worked” before, perfectly I might add, it’s now always in the wrong mode (since all changes must be done manually) and doing all the wrong things. So now I have a choice of paying for cellular service (which isn’t going to happen) or using some other option which has lots of cons (like another thing dangling on our keychains, or changing my router’s firmware so I can then learn to write scripts, etc).

Would it really have been so difficult for Smartthings to add some kind of “wifi on/off” switch to the presence app, rather than remove the use of wifi entirely?

So is wifi-only presence gone forever?

I’m not sure about the new “smartthings (Samsung connect)” app, because it handles presence differently, but as far is “SmartThings things classic”, you can definitely do this, but it’s more work on your part. It doesn’t “just work.” You have to have something which recognizes that your phone has connected to your Wi-Fi and then turns on a virtual presence sensor.

Some routers like one of the Google on hub models can do this automatically, but otherwise you have to do some coding.

See the presence FAQ: there’s discussion of a couple of WiFi methods there.

I use WiFi for my son’s phone as he’s always running out of data so it makes it so unreliable.
What I do is use WebCore to do a httpGet from my routers status page (the page before you log in).
Then it searches for the Mac address and if there it sets a virtual presence sensor to present and away if not.


I use an App called Host Pinger. It searches your LAN for specified IP Adresses and sets a Virtual Switch to On/Off based on an active/inactive connection.

It needs a Sever to run on such as a small Pi3 or some other devices that is always on.

I have it to ping my LAN every 30 seconds. Works great for what I use it for but I could see how a 30 seconds delay could cause issues for a presence sensor. You can set the ping value shorter…

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Looks great that :slight_smile:
I didn’t see that when I was setting up mine.
I can see it being handy to find out if someone’s left something turned on :slight_smile:

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Thanks so much for the suggestions. I will no doubt have to adopt a way around the problem created by Smartthings - I was simply hoping it wouldn’t be necessary and Smartthings would just put the wifi presence option back the way it was.

A few of my neighbors have asked me about Smartthings, but I can’t recommend it as some of them have children with wifi-only “phones”.

Thanks again