SmartThings WiFi Mesh Ethernet Backhaul No Longer Working

So my SmartThings WiFi Mesh (3 hubs) product has stopped working with the Ethernet backhaul a few weeks ago :frowning: I don’t know if Samsung did a firmware update or what, but both my sub hubs either say “Checking…” or “Firmware update needed” when looking at the Status in ST app, so they are just connected via WiFi for the time being as seen in Plume app. It’s been frustrating dealing with support in trying to get both sub hubs back online normally again. A factory reset on one of the hubs did not help (yet) per their instructions … the support team is looking at my case but it’s taking forever. So one of my two subhubs remains unplugged until I hear back.

To prepare for the worst, I’m thinking about getting a new mesh system (looking at the Deco X55 Pro). If I do this, I still want my ST smart home. Can I just use any one of these 3 hubs for that purpose? If so, a few questions about this:

  1. Can the hub be put into ‘bridge’ mode so that it only works via Ethernet (i.e. the WiFi will be ‘off’); or is the WiFi required still for everything to talk to each other? Just wondering if this particular hub can truly have WiFi ‘off’ so as to prevent yet another wireless network where I live (pretty congested area). And how this is accomplished with the ST and/or Plume apps?

  2. Any reason to use the other ‘extra’ hubs in my place for any stronger connectivity between IOT devices, or is that unnecessary since it’s connected via Ethernet and should be able to talk to everything? Not quite sure how this would work when using the Deco X55 Pro mesh units with devices talking to each other with the ST hub (which would be plugged into a switch that plugs into the Deco unit). I can always keep the other 2 subhubs as backup units in case one fails.

  3. Any other gotchas I may not be thinking about if I proceed down this path?

I appreciate any and all feedback! Thanks!

There has been no firmware update for those hubs in quite some time. If it were me, I would go with the new mesh setup and also replace the ST hubs with either the V3 if you have Z-Wave devices or the Station if you only have Zigbee, Matter, and Wi-Fi devices. It seems as though ST is no longer providing any firmware updates for those hub models! @JDRoberts posted the below about changing the hub to bridge mode last year.

I think @h0ckeysk8er has those Plume models and may have more insight for you.

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Thank you for the info! Looking at my Plume app, I do see the following if I go to: Adapt / Advanced Settings / Networking Mode:

I find the wording confusing. It has always been in ‘Auto (Router)’ mode with it being directly connected to my Comcast modem (which itself is in Bridge mode).

From the way it reads (if I’m reading it right), it seems like it’s smart enough to know whether it should be in Bridge mode or not and will automatically set it that way? When I get my new Deco mesh, I plan to plug the main one directly into Comcast modem (same as current setup), then plug the main ST WiFi Mesh Hub into a Switch that comes off the Deco unit.

It’s just odd there is no direct Bridge mode for the ST WiFi Mesh hub, and would it really turn off its WiFi? Thanks for any help/advice.

Strange, my options for Networking Mode are worded Auto (Bridge) and Router only, but the description for Auto (Bridge) is the same as yours.

AFAIK, there is no way to turn off the Wi-Fi in ST hub since the device is primarily a mesh router with the ST IoT hub bolted on. This is why you can enable/disable the ST hub, but I don’t think it works the other way around.

If you have Z-Wave, Zigbee, or Thread devices, the sub-hubs serve as repeaters or relays (respectively) so there is value in keeping them around if you don’t have a lot of mains powered mesh-type devices to support your home automation networks.

What version of software are your hubs running? Mine are on WV525XXU2AVD1 and the ST hub portion is on 47.12. If yours are on a different version, that could explain the differences in the networking mode wording.

As far as why your ethernet ports aren’t working, could just be that they died. You could install some network sniffer software like Wireshark on your laptop (if you have one) and then plug a sub-hub into your laptop and see if there is traffic coming from the port or not. You could also just plug your laptop into the same network hub as the sub-hub and see if there is any traffic detectable coming from/going to the device.

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I have been having similar issues where my connection stopped optimizing. Wired backhaul hubs are working but my wireless ones never optimize. I got in touch with plume support that said things look fine on their end as far as updates for the hub but even they werent able to see when the network last optimized and their manual optimization failed. Smartthings has so far replied thinking there is an issue with a expired Open Sync Integrated certificate in the hubs and said that according to plume the issue is not correctable and the units are stuck in a expired version and cannot update… seems like a load of crap but the main issue I’m seeing is Plume has no access to pods that are managed by another provider and thus put the blame in smartthings court while smartthings puts it back in plume court…And just some more background of issues I am seeing. In the plume app device activity is no longer provided for what is using up bandwith, my wireless backhaul pods report calculating (because they never finish optimizing). I also had issues with the smartthings hub side of things with my zwave network going down and reporting from the mysmartthings advanced website the zwave status was false and it showed a lower version 3.XX instead of the version 6.XX when the network functions after a reboot. I know the mesh wifi hub has been dead for a while and slow on updated but it seems like the product is basically a paper weight now.

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I have a theory now that you say this - if yours is in Bridge mode (i.e. maybe you have yours connected directly to a switch instead of modem?), that might be why you see ‘Auto (Bridge)’, whereas mine is directly connected to modem so I see ‘Auto (Router)’ cause my hub is actually doing the routing (with Comcast modem in Bridge mode itself). I could be wrong … but that would at least make sense as to why we see different things(?).

I do have all those protocols with my devices, so that’s a good idea to use them as repeaters (didn’t think of that). Thanks.

Model ET-WV525, software version is same as yours, and I’m not sure where to see ST hub portion?

I can’t imagine that the network ports on both hubs suddenly died at the same time. I’m pretty sure they do still work but it’s just WiFi backhaul instead of direct via Ethernet (because my devices plugged into the switch continue to work). I see the white globes for both subhubs meaning it’s using WiFi backhaul.

You’re right … mine stopped optimizing on 1/27/24. Another thing I’ve noticed this past month are that ads no longer get blocked - I used to get all these stats on things being blocked (like Guard), but they all show zeroes now. That explains why I am seeing more ads in my browsing :face_with_diagonal_mouth: I have also been having issues with Philips Hue this past month - maybe that’s related to your zwave comment (I think that’s what they use).

It looks like we are getting kicked to the curb and may be time to move on :face_with_head_bandage:

Yeah, it’s been nearly 9 months since the last firmware update and in that time they’ve released some good features like locally executed Scenes/Manual Routines and Hub Replace. I also think it’s pretty clear there is no intention of adding Matter or Thread support for these ST hubs. I got Matter over Wi-Fi and Thread support from my fridge Family ST Hub so I’m good on that front. So, as long as the Wi-Fi continues to basically work and the Z-Wave keeps chugging along, I’ll be happy staying put. But, if either of those goes kaput, I’m gonna have to figure out what I want for a Wi-Fi mesh and how I’m going to support my Z-Wave until I get around to replacing all my outlets and switches with Matter devices.

BTW, how did you determine when the last optimization took place?

Philips hue I think integrated via LAN to their hub but their devices are zigbee. Depends how you have the device added I guess. However I have had issues with both zigbee and zwave on my hubs. Typically just the zwave network fails but sometimes it takes out both and then only zigbee comes back online while zwave stays off unless I reboot the hub via the advanced web browser or rebooting the master hub in general.

And yea I’m already looking at backup plans. Theoretically its something that can be fixed, I mean a simple expiration date on a certificate or something like come on. Rest of the hub works and worked fine before a specific date so its a bit ridiculous.

I wish Amazon supported Z-Wave so we’re not reliant on ST. I also use HomeKit, but no Z-Wave there either. I’m with you - I’ll keep them all plugged in until they go out for good, but will most likely replace the mesh very soon here (and get 2.5g Ethernet to boot everywhere).

Last optim. —> in Plume app, scroll down to ‘View network’ and you’ll see the ‘Network optimized date/time’

Hmm, my two Wi-Fi connected devices show “Calculating” on the Home page and when I click on “View Network”, I just get the network map show the hubs and how they are interconnected.

Ah yes - I always get that confused with Philips Hue (I should know better since it’s supported with Alexa, HomeKit, etc.). This stuff gets confusing real quick.

I agree on fixing the expiration date - I think they are just done with these things. I got a good 5 years out of them at least and they worked really well all that time for the most part. I never felt the need to replace them until now.

Yup … you’ve got the exact same problem I have, you just didn’t realize it (except yours are WiFi whereas mine are Ethernet connected):

Wow, I just checked and I’m coming up on 6 years of having these up and running. How time flies! Guess that’s pretty good lifetime for a consumer product like this.

I have both wired and wireless.

Could keep going for many more, wish most of the features were local to the hardware instead of relying on the plume cloud or whoever for optimization.

Interesting - well that gives me hope I can get my Ethernet working properly again if the support team can figure this out! Would love to get both subhubs normal again at least. I don’t know what happened.

I don’t know how you can see last optimization dates since you have 2 separate systems setup.

And it looks like you’re like me in making the ‘guest room’ the rack room … :laughing: That room is full of electronics … not sure how well guests can sleep in there anymore …

Yeah, it doubles as the office. Tiny house :slight_smile:

All these years I loved Plume and what they did … it was great that this was included ‘free’ with the product. Did such a great job in blocking things, etc. … was very impressed with it … until recently of course where it all seems broken now

Mine had a mix of wifi and ethernet and it would show the last optimization on the view network button. But that disappeared when everything else broke.