Subscription Questions

I’m interested in purchasing a home security/automation system, and am undecided as to which platform I want. I have no equipment so far, so I’m completely open as to which platform to get.

I do not want ADT because it’s expensive, and you have to pay a monthly fee. Wink looks great, but the online reviews are pretty bad. Vera looks to be the most capable, but may be too technical for my family.

I like the features and simplicity of Smart Things, although I absolutely do not want to pay another monthly bill for a “subscription based” service (I opted towards a Foscam over a Dropcam for this reason alone).

I understand that in April 2015 Smart Things will begin charging a subscription fee for “Premium” features, such as text-message based alerts and “DVR” capabilities. I am not interested in either of those features, as long as push notifications with the app work.

My questions are:

  • Is the subscription fee only for the new hubs?
  • Will old hubs be affected by the conversion to a subscription-based service?
  • Will I still be able to get push notifications without a subscription?

Thank you.

good questions, i would like to know too

1 Like

No way of knowing what will or won’t be in the V2 system yet.

Meanwhile, you might find this discussion on security features helpful:

Thanks for the replies.

I see on the official blog they deny stating that there will any removal of features:

On a Reddit IAMA with the CEO “Alex Hawkingson”, he states:

"We’ve made the decision to not charge any monthly fees for all users (both Kickstarter backers and going forwards). From the very beginning charging a monthly fee felt like it would be an inhibitor to the spirit of the open platform. "

However, the terms of service (see link at bottom of page) state completely the opposite, that they may require payment for certain features:

“SmartThings reserves the right to require payment of fees for certain features of the Services. Should you elect to subscribe to such features, you shall pay all applicable fees, as described on the Services in connection with such features. SmartThings reserves the right to change its price list and to institute new charges at any time, upon ten (10) days prior notice to you, which may be sent by email or posted on the Services. Use of the Services by you following such notification constitutes your acceptance of any new or increased charges.”

Aside from having limited features without paying a subscription fee, SmartThings looks to be a good system. However, I don’t want to invest in an ecosystem that’s going to have crippled features unless I pay a monthly fee. Vera and Wink are both free, without limiting what features users can utilize.

I submitted an email request (I do not know if Smart Things reps look at the forum"), and haven’t gotten an official response yet. I’ll post it here if they respond.


You’ll see more information about this within a few short weeks, but to answer your original question:

  1. We’re not going to begin charging a fee to use the SmartThings platform.
  2. This year we’re going to launch several new sets of features, including ones that may have fees (monthly or otherwise) associated with them. One example would be a premium DVR service. These “premium” features are opt-in and are not required to use the service as it exists today.
  3. I have heard no discussion or hint of discussion around removing the push notification features, bucketing this feature into a “premium” service, or otherwise removing the option to receive push notifications unless you paid us a monthly fee.

More coming soon.


Thank you Tyler.

I may be getting a hub with some door sensors soon if the platform will remain functional without monthly fees. I have my phone with me at all times, so push notifications would be sufficient for my typical usage.

Cost-saving without reoccurring fees is my main motivation for a DIY solution vs. one that is externally monitored. If SmartThings starts charging a monthly fee, the “cost saving” benefit sort of goes away.

In response to JDRoberts’ comment, I do understand that I’ll need a UPS for my router/modem/smarthome hub if I want to reduce/eliminate power outages, and that if the Internet goes out I’m SOL. Those are rare instances, in which I’m probably not going to invest preparing for. Thanks for the insight though.

Any updates on this and which cameras will be able to be added to the optional service? I’d be happy to beta, the Foscam Cloud side is mediocre and I’d love to have it all with ST.