Smartthings App Device Data Lost: Best Path Forward?

Having considered all of the valuable comments/suggestions and in my particular situation, I am leaning towards Option 2, mainly due to my current use of an Android Samsung Galaxy phone (even though my entire family is on iphone) and my current preference for Samsung products including TVs, appliances etc. I also want to move towards Matter. I’m planning to proceed as follows:

  1. replace existing Smartthings V2 hub with this V3 hub.
    Amazon.com: Aeotec Smart Home Hub, Works as a SmartThings Hub, Z-Wave, Zigbee, Matter Gateway, Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, WiFi : Tools & Home Improvement

  2. Unpair all my Z-wave devices from V2 hub and pair them with the V3 hub.

  3. Follow developments in Matter and at some point add this Smartthings Station to my system:
    Amazon.com: SAMSUNG SmartThings Station with Power Adapter, 15W Super Fast Wireless Charger, Smart Home Hub, 2023, EP-P9500TBEGUS, Black : Cell Phones & Accessories
    Will I still need the V3 hub when I get the Station device?

  4. Install other Matter-related hardware as/when needed. Not sure what other devices would be needed…Is a Thread device needed? If so, any advantages in getting this now? Link?

As usual, I would appreciate any comments/suggestions/cautions regarding the above. Tx and best regards.

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I still don’t think you’ll need to replace your V2 hub unless you’ve gotten some reports you haven’t told us about. The V2 actually has more memory than the V3, so it has less trouble with the newest smartthings platform, for what that’s worth. The issue you ran into with all your devices disappearing was one that occurred in the cloud platform, not in the hub itself, as you can tell from the fact that some devices disappeared like your ecobee and your ring doorbell that were never connected to your hub.

I think I’ve already given you this link, but if not, here it is again. This explains what you need to use matter with smartthings. Please read it: it should answer most of your questions.

FAQ: What do I need to add a Matter device to the SmartThings app? Do I need a bridge router device?

Matter Devices communicate one of three ways:

Matter over WiFi
Matter over thread
matter over bridge

The v2, V3, and Station all handle matter over Wi-Fi and matter over bridge the same way.

If you want to use any matter over thread devices, then you have to have a “thread border router.” Many people already have these because they are built into some echo models and some Google nest models. They are also built into the V3 and the station. So the only time you’d have an issue is if you only had your V2, and then you would have to also get some thread border router. Which could either be one of the smart speakers, or could be a smartthings station.

But you don’t need to use thread to use matter. thread is primarily intended to be used with batterypowered matter devices, because Wi-Fi typically has too short of a battery life. But another alternative is to use zigbee batterypowered devices which are connected to a Matter bridge. so no one can say upfront whether you will ever need Thread or not. You would only need thread to communicate with a device that uses thread. It’s up to you whether you ever buy any of those or not.

If you want to stick with an all smartthings setup, that’s up to you. It’s also up to you how many ST hubs you want to have. But if you go that route, you haven’t done anything to protect yourself against the problem that caused you to start this thread in the first place. It could happen again. I’m not saying it will, but since we don’t know why it happened in the first place, we don’t know whether it can happen again. :man_shrugging:t2:

Oh, and again, the smartthings station doesn’t have zwave support. The V2 and V3 hubs do. So if you want to use zwave devices, the station by itself is not enough.

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JD is correct here. There is no way to know exactly what happened here. You may be able to factory reset your V2 hub and add all of your Zwave devices again and it may work fine. You may also think to yourself and say that I have had this hub along time and it may experience hardware problems soon, so I’m going to buy a new hub now and not take a chance that there is something wrong with the hub and have to rebuild your entire setup for a third time. Its your choice and depends on your budget. You can’t buy the V2 new but you can buy the V3 new! It also depends on how large you envision your setup getting. In my opinion the V3 will run fine with up to 150ish devices and 30ish drivers and 100ish routines without having any performance issues and that will be all you will ever need. If you want to go over that then you could add a Station later to expand your setup. Remember only the V2 and V3 support Zwave so you will need one of these regardless unless down the road you have replaced all of your Zwave devices with newer Matter or Zigbee ones.

I also wanted to point out that you can run the hubs in any combination you want. For instance, a V2 and V3 and Station or just a V2 and V3 or 2 V2’s or 3 V3’s etc. The only thing that changes when you go to this type of setup is that routines that involve devices on different hubs will run in the cloud and routines that involve devices on just one hub will run locally as long as the routine doesn’t include anything that’s not attached locally to the hub like Notifications or cloud integrated devices like Ring cameras etc.

There is also a new Hub replace feature that allows you to transfer all of your devices and automations to a new or different hub. I tested this recently and it works fine as long as you are moving to a hub with the same or more memory. Another user in the forum has tried going from a V2 to a V3 and he was not successful because the V2 has more memory then the V3. He has a large setup so it didn’t work for him but I would imagine it would work just fine for a small to medium setup. If you want to see how it works you can see my Hub Replace Walkthrough Here . This feature is also supposed to backup your hub periodically and allow you to buy a new or use an existing hub to replace a hub that is no longer functioning and offline. No one knows yet how it actually works yet or if it works or when the backups are occurring. I’m testing that now and will be posting about it soon. If it works this would also be an option for you to keep your V2 and use this function to restore to a new hub if your V2 dies but I don’t think it has been tested yet. You would need to go from V2 to V3 because you have Zwave devices and that would be the only way to do it.

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@rbcap

I finished testing the backup feature and it works. This is another option for you in case the V2 dies at some point if you decide to keep it.

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I chose the V3 hub because it is a newer version and hopefully some improvements were made, even though it has lower memory. Also, I understood (correct me if I’m wrong) that the V2 only works with the Classic ST app and the V3 works with the newer Connect app. I realize that some people prefer the Classic app but somehow I feel it may not be around long term. Also my experience with it wasn’t great. I’m thinking that the Connect app may be more reliable/stable because it has better backing from Samsung and may have more features in the future.

That is my understanding only. I may be wrong…

There is only one ST app and all hubs work with it (v2, v3, aeotec, Samsung Connect/Home and the Station).

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You must’ve been doing some deep research. :wink: The classic app was retired in 2019 and has not been available since then.

As @jkp said, there is only one app now, the one that was previously called Samsung connect, but is now just called the SmartThings app.

As to whether the V3 was an improvement over the V2, from an engineering standpoint, not entirely. It was designed to hit a less expensive price point, and it succeeded in that, but they did that by reducing some of the capabilities, including memory. The V3 has half the RAM of the V2 (256 MiB vs 512), and half the CPU speed (500 MHz vs 1 GHz), so in that respect the V3 is a downgrade rather than an upgrade. It also no longer has a battery backup capability.

They did add a Wi-Fi radio, and it does have a better Bluetooth radio, which is what eventually enabled thread.

When it was first introduced, the v3 tended to receive software updates before the V2, but for the last year and a half or so, they’ve been pretty much in lockstep for firmware updates.

If you’re buying one now, you’ll need to buy a V3 to get a warranty because the V2 is no longer sold new. But lots of people who have V2’s are happy to hang onto them for now just because of the greater memory capability. It’s up to you.

From your most recent posts, it sounds like you’re fairly eager to buy a new smartthings compatible hub, which is fine. You could keep your V2 for your existing devices and add a station for thread. Or go ahead and buy an Aeotec (which has zwave, Thread, and zigbee) if you prefer.

V3

https://www.amazon.com/Aeotec-SmartThings-Gateway-Compatible-Assistant/dp/B08TWDNQ5Q/

When I added a hub for my 2 and location a year ago I bought a used v2 hub because of the memory issues with v3 hubs. Last week I added a SmartThings Station to the mix.

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Sorry for harping on this and thank you for your patience… What is Bluetooth used for in both hubs and what benefits would I get from “a better Bluetooth radio”? I’m just looking for anything that may help prevent the data loss I just went through and possibly be more future proof, reliable and stable. Is the Samsung support for V3 any better than for V2? Do the same Samsung (or other) sensors that work on V3 also work on V2?

It seems that Samsung is no longer interested in supporting Z-wave devices. I wonder if that means that eventually they will no longer be using V2 (or V3) and just have ST Station and related devices? Apart from Z-wave compatibility, will Station work for Zigbee (or other) switches and dimmers? What switches and dimmers do you think will be dominant in the future - Zigbee, Z-wave, WiFi, Other? I realize we can’t predict the future so we’re just speculating based on current experience and trends…

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Originally, Bluetooth was only used for commissioning the hub itself, that is, for the hub to communicate with your phone as it was being added to your account.

Now that matter is here, the Bluetooth radio is also used to commission WiFi over matter devices, because Matter also uses Bluetooth for commissioning for the same reason: so that it can communicate with your phone before it’s on the Wi-Fi network.

But honestly, you wouldn’t see any Bluetooth difference between the two hubs in practical use.

There are four big differences that end customers will see:

  1. the V3 can be connected via Wi-Fi rather than ethernet.
  2. the V3 is a thread border router, which means you can add matter over thread devices to your SmartThings account, without needing an additional thread border router device.
  3. The V2 has twice as much memory, and is twice as fast, so it can handle a higher number of custom edge drivers than the V3
  4. The V2 has a battery back up option and the V3 does not

So that’s two pluses for the V2 and two pluses for the V3. Which of those will matter most to you just depends on individual needs and preferences.

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No one knows for sure, and the situation is complicated by the fact that The V3 hub is now manufactured by Aeotec, and they are a big Z wave developer. So Aeotec might push Samsung to keep zwave in the picture for the standalone hubs that they are now responsible for, we just don’t know.

Apart from Z-wave compatibility, will Station work for Zigbee (or other) switches and dimmers?

Yes for Zigbee. “Other” is too big a category, there are lots of dimmer devices that don’t work with SmartThings, whether it’s the station, or the V3, such as the current GE Sync line, Hubspace, etc. but the station works with everything that the V3 does, except for Z wave.

What switches and dimmers do you think will be dominant in the future - Zigbee, Z-wave, WiFi, Other? I realize we can’t predict the future so we’re just speculating based on current experience and trends…

If matter succeeds, it will be matter. But that could be a lot of different protocols: Zigbee, Wi-Fi, thread, maybe even Z wave, if Z wave eventually works with matter. So there’s just no way to answer this question beyond that.

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere in the forum, about five years ago I changed my entire philosophy on buying Home Automation devices, and started budgeting based on the assumption that I would replace any Home Automation device, even the hub, every three years. Pretty similar to my replacement cycle for my mobile phone. The reason is that the technology just keeps changing And the offerings keep changing. Maybe there would be something new, like voice assistants, which change the features I was looking for. Maybe the company would drop the line I had been using. I just decided that as long as I got my money’s worth out of the device in three years, the present day value was good enough for me, that I didn’t have to worry about futureproofing. And, of course, if any given device did last longer than three years, that just meant more money in my Home Automation budget to try out other shiny new stuff. :heart_eyes:

This approach has worked great for me. I keep my spending under control, I get the value that I want, and I got to stop worrying about where the industry would be in five years. Obviously, other people will approach this differently, this is just what has worked for me.

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I think your approach to assume replacement of home automation devices every 3 years is a good one…

After further thought, I decided to add the Samsung Station to my system (in addition to an Aeotec hub). My plan is to put my Z-wave devices on the Aeotec hub and everything else on the Samsung station. Currently, this includes apps such as doorlocks, doorbells, thermostats, Alexa etc. Now, while I’m waiting for the devices to be delivered, I need to figure out the process for getting this done properly to minimize complications.

Thanks again for your valuable input…

Quite a few community members now have more than one hub, so hopefully some of them will have suggestions for you. I’ll tag a couple at the end of this post.

From a network engineering perspective, personally in a set up with two smartthings hubs, I would put zigbee and Thread on one hub (although they are in the same frequency, they actually are on the same radio in a smartthings setup so they’re supposed to be able to handle that without interference) and Z wave and Wi-Fi on the other hub. Otherwise there’s always a risk of Wi-Fi drowning out zigbee messages and reducing your quality of service. But you can try it and see how it goes.

@Automated_House @csstup @HalD @nathancu

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As we’ve mentioned previously, today Routines that include devices on multiple hubs will run in the cloud. If you desire to have Routines run locally and have Z-Wave devices and other device types that need to be in the same Routine, you might want to be a bit more strategic about grouping devices on the same hub vs separation by radio type.

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This also raises the issue of multiple Zwave and Zigbee meshes though! Gouping all Zwave devices on one hub and all Zigbee devices on another gives you one mesh network for Zwave and one for Zigbee. I was originally going to do this with my setup but after advice from Corey I went with radio type grouping instead.

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Yes, any time you add a second hub, you have to contend with the potential that devices you want in the same Routine and aren’t on the same hub will cause the Routine to run in the cloud. Separating by radio type may be perfectly appropriate if you aren’t using devices from multiple hubs in the same Routine or if you’re fine with them running in the cloud.

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I’m fine with them running in the cloud. I know there is a big debate about this, but for me, I also have backup cellular, so unless the ST servers are down, then I won’t have an issue. I have also tested some complex, made-up routines, and they run just as fast either way. Switching my Zigbee hub to the Station has increased my routine run time by around 0.5 seconds. I’m also noticing a big difference in motion detection time, and it has also improved immensely.

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If I were to put Z-wave and Zigbee devices on the Samsung (V3) hub, does it still make sense to have a Samsung Station hub? In my case, that would mean using the Station only for apps like Doorbell, Doorlocks and Alexa app. Would that be better or worse than having everything on the V3 hub and eliminating the Samsung Station? I understand that there may be some special features in Station that work with Samsung Galaxy phones (which I use). But are there benefits beyond that?

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I assume the doorbell, door locks, and Alexa are all Wi-Fi connections? If they’re cloud to cloud, Wi-Fi connections, they don’t use the hub anyway.

If they are matter over Wi-Fi connections, then they will be local to the hub.

As far as having a station, if you already have the Aeotec, some people do, usually if they are trying to separate zwave and Zigbee, in order to reduce the number of custom edge drivers on each hub because they’ve been running into memory issues.

Or, because, as you mentioned, they have a galaxy phone, and they want to use those features and the phone charger aspects of the station.

But otherwise, it doesn’t sound like any of your Wi-Fi devices Need your hub at all. Ring, for example, is a cloud to cloud integration with smartthings, never touches the hub. :man_shrugging:t2:

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Also, just for clarity, the smartthings hub (any ST hub) doesn’t run any apps. It runs edge drivers and some routines created through the smartthings app and then downloaded to the hub. But that’s it.

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