What does ST lose when Internet dies?

(Sean Havins) #1

First post.
Total Noob to ST.
Be gentle.

I am planning an alarm system and home automation system based on ST.
Before I buy, I need to know what core functionality is lost if someone cuts my internet and phone lines.

Can I set up ST to function as a home security system that will still work if internet and phone have been disrupted? Lets assume that I have a cellular connection module installed and functional.
Will alarms still work? Will presence sensors still arm/disarm the system? Will email & SMS still work?

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #2

Search is your friend.

No internet = no ST.

Alarm system != ST.

ST = hub v1

hub v2 = potential solutions to above problems.

If the above doesn’t make sense, then ST is not for you, you will need to understand code and write it if you want to do what can’t be done out of the box.


Smart things version one, the one currently being sold, is totally dependent on there being available power and available Internet. It does not have a cellular communication option.

Speaking just for myself, my minimum requirements for a security system are that it work when the power is off, it communicate via cellular, and it is professionally monitored. None of these three things are available through smartthings as it exists now. Yes, I could add UPS back up for both the device and the Internet, but if my Internet was out it still wouldn’t work.

So I myself contract with a completely different security company for a monitored system. I use smartthings for convenience case home automation, things like turning out the lights after I went to bed.

Version two of smartthings, which has been announced for sometime this summer, will have some local processing, which makes it less reliant on the Internet. But still not cellular communication and you would still need some kind of UPS power backup. So I won’t be switching my security system to smartthings then either.

but everybody’s priorities are different. Some people can’t stand the thought of paying a monthly fee, even one that’s relatively low, and so options like smartthings look better to them.

“Peace of mind” means different things to different people.

(Tim Slagle) #4

Not necessarily 100% true.

Does someone need to code for anything that isn’t out of box… Yes.

If you don’t know groovy don’t let that stop you. This forum is amazing and the people are even more amazing! We will help you get what you want from your ST hub.

@CraftGeek, if you are not a coder, and need anything wirtten for your home please send me a PM and I will gladly write something for you :slight_smile: Welcome to the forums my friend!

Battery backup and a router with a sim card. My STs works for 8 hours without power/internet :smile:


I doubt if your ST works if your internet goes down. You mean if the power goes down to your router, right? Not the same thing as an Internet outage.

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #6

@tslagle13, I don’t think the code part is what will stop him. It’s the fact that the internet is the requirement that I was implying. Yes, code is important to understand as well. At least boolean logic.

(Tim Slagle) #7

Power is backed up by a 8 hour battery and my internet is backed up by a 3g sim card.

So if both my power and internet(cable) are out my STs hub still works.


I’m with Tim on this one. ST can work just fine for someone who has no programming knowledge, nor is Boolean logic a requirement. If what you need is in the existing list of Smart Setup apps, you’re fine.

As with most things, it all comes down to the person’s specific requirements.

“All home automation is local.”

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #9

Assuming your 3g works. What’s the backup for that? and for that? :slight_smile: How often do you test your failover to 3g? Are you pay as you go or monthly?

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #10

Boolean logic is important because essentially it is the foundation of all SmartApp / automation.

If something happens then do something

If you can’t understand the basics of this, then it won’t be easy to set up an ST system.

Yes, you can do a lot right out of the box, and the smartapps make it pretty straightforward. Just trying to find all the neat and cool things you can do can take some time.

But using ST as an alarm system 100% reliant on the internet, isn’t a good idea right now.


Now this I agree with completely. :blush:

(Tim Slagle) #12

I pay monthly and I test weekly. I’m a melencholy so testing makes me happy :smile:

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #13

Man, your isp must really have spotty internet service to have that much need for testing. Or you have way too much time on your hands :smile:

(Tim Slagle) #14

Neither. I just tinker. It takes about 4 seconds to test lol.

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #15

Wow 4 seconds to confirm that st works over it? How’s the latency?

Are you using a prepaid or on a contract?

(Sean Havins) #16

I understand search is my friend and did before I posted. My SearchFu my not be as strong as it should be but …

Boolean I get. Coding comes a bit harder, but I can learn.

From the replies, I understand that SmartApps are required for SmartThings to function. And that SmartApps only function if there is an internet connection as all SmartApps are stored on (or run on?) the SmartThings servers. Is this correct?

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #17

Yes. All things and apps run in cloud. Hub is just a relay radio.

(Sean Havins) #18



I’ll wait for hub V2 and see what autonomy it brings. My security needs are not critical as I live in the country amongst people who leave their garage doors open all day. I can wait a few months.

Thanks for the reality check.

(Eric R) #19

I also like to write SmartApps. I believe there are several people here that would be glad to help.