What if burglar cut out the electricity first ? Should Smartthings still be used as security system?

Most burglar needs to cut out the electrical first just to make sure that all the lights are off even and to check if there is someone being inside the house. However, if you use Smartthings as the main hub and you are not at home during that time. Should the Smartthings still work as legitimate solution for home security ? The device still alert back to the home owner that there is some motion going on inside the house after burglar cut out the electricity ? Any idea or solution for this issue ?

If someone cuts your power, they are either bat s-hit crazy or so determined that you’ll never be able to stop them and live a normal life. Happily, they will most likely die from electrocution. Do houses where you live have big external switches? If not, cutting the power line would be insane.

I have FIOS. The fiberoptic cable would be very easy to cut. Bye, bye internet. . . . But I’m not sure why a thief would bother.

Criminals rob banks, department stores, and all manner of other places that have far higher security than your home.

So it’s a question of odds. And the odds are that your home won’t be robbed in the first place. After that, the odds are that many would-be robbers will be deterred by a security sign and look elsewhere. And the odds after that are that a truly sophisticated robber is NOT the guy coming in your back window to rob your home. Etc.

So if you really feel that insecure, spend the $$$ to get a professionally monitored system installed and pay the monthly fee for the service. I understand that many of 'em don’t even charge an installation fee…

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I guess I’m just over the top. I have a large battery backup (100Ah to be expanded) that runs my entire network environment. Cable modem, firewall, switches, PoE access points, and PoE cameras. If power gets cut, my stuff is running for a while. And I’m in the process of fixing the Internet outage issue by using an LTE hotspot to automatically failover to for all my IOT devices.

How are you setting it up to switch from main ISP to the backup when internet goes out ? I have plenty of old/unused WAPs that I have toyed with setting up for backup internet with 4G. Hadn’t decided on an easy way to have things switch from one to the other automatically.

You can use a smartphone with foxfi, then have an old WAP with DD-WRT setup as a client bridge, have it join the foxfi with a second router between it and your existing network, then set a metric’ed route on your primary firewall to forward at a higher metric out the phone/wap router.

You could set tasker to turn on the foxfi devices data service if your primary router looses connectivity to your main ISP’s gateway IP, DD-WRT would work good to script this on that end, basically a heartbeat. Even a normal PC with windows/linux could be setup to do this somehow I’m sure.

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I have an enterprise class firewall that will handle the failover. You could potentially use something like an RPi as a middleman between an IOT network and whatever upstream device there is. Monitor the connection to the Internet and if it goes down, change the default route to use the LTE hotspot. The RPi would be connected to both all the time, but would change the path the traffic uses depending on availability.

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Some routers will allow dual wan, that would be easier, just have the client bridge, wap, and phone on the second interface.

Monowall and it’s derivatives will do this. I used to have a machine running PFSense that did this with two cable modems, was excellent at failover and I also had certain services use one modem over the other. One was a commercial account with static IP’s and allowed port 80/443, the other a resi but faster speeds.

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I agree, probably easier. My reason for recommending one way over another is because of the potential for a large amount of data. You don’t want to be streaming Netflix when you’re primary ISP goes out unless you’re ready for the bill.


Yeah if you do this, definitely use a router that allows block lists/acl’s, block all but the emergency gear from going out the second path!

What is the monthly cost of such a dedicated hotspot? Is it anywhere near the monitoring costs of a real security system?

In doing a basic search I see what might be a good deal for such a system. Netzero has hotspot-enabled tablets for $200, with a zero-per-month plan. So you get a smarttiles control tablet, along with a hotspot that you never use unless your sensors tell the system there is a security breach and ONLY THEN fails over to the hotspot.

Dunno how you’d work that out, but it’s a thought.

If possible I would putt some sort of sensor on that box so an alarm goes off when it is tampered with it.

UPSs are a must. Get as big of one as you can afford, add network monitoring card. Test is every few months. The goal is runtime here so only put what is needed to keep you online on the UPS that powers the network. I am getting about 3+ hours of runtime currently. If the power is out longer than that, I have bigger problems depending on the season.

A switched network PDU is also a great thing I can hard reset things without walking to the Server Room or being home.

A few of my favorites in the US:



I’d suggest avoiding cyberpower, their power strips and ups’ are built pretty badly. APC and Eaton make much higher quality gear. Also be aware, batteries in these only last 3-5 years, and need to be replaced to be effective.

For a phone/tablet, router, ap, and maybe a switch, a 1000va unit would last many hours. I have an old amd based server on a 1000va Eaton with router, ap, poe switch, two other switches, and it lasts nearly 3 hours. Without that server, it’ll go well into 5. I have many smaller UPS’s around the house, 500va or even some a bit smaller I think. Smart outlets plugged into the battery backed up portion of some of them for ST control in a power outage as well.

I have an old 1500 rack mount APC for my primary computer/server, replace batteries occasionally, keeps that machine running for about an hour. It’s on the network, the other is usb into my NAS where I can monitor it. So you can save some cash on the network feature if you have a PC nearby that you can just plug in via USB.

I use an AT&T hotspot with a shared data plan. I think it’s about $20/mo. For my yet to be installed control tablet I got an Amazon Fire HD for cheap on Prime Day.

ST should NEVER be used as a primary security system. Just my two cents.


While it’s true that ST is far from ideal security system, even a weak security is better than no security. :slight_smile:


I want to correct you a bit. SmartThings should not be used as a reliable security system. A security system that isn’t completely reliable but is there to give you some kind of an idea of what is going on is better than a non-existent one. Will it always tell you when your house has been broken into? Probably not. Will it also be correct when someone has? Probably not. It can help in cases where you have automations to prevent someone from breaking into your house, like dogs barking when motion is sensed outside or randomly turning on lights at night while you are away. I think that kind of stuff is more effective than a passive system anyway.

As stated earlier, places with far higher security get broken into on a routine basis.

The real thing is to deter. A security sign accompanied by the sight of security devices on the windows will usually send the non-determined burglar to the next home, and a barking dog will only enhance that effect**. And even systems like ST can capture video of actual invaders for later police use.

Most home burglaries are over long before police can get anywhere near the place. So the reality is that your monitored system is not doing you much more good at deterrence/prevention… and if you have hi-res cams that store video to the cloud, you have as much chance of getting your stuff back as you would with a monitored system. And… if you have such cams and ST alerts you that you have a breach, you can look at those cams yourself and phone the police. Just like the security companies would (obviously they have a clearer path in via contract, but the process is still similar enough).

**If ST detects a breach in progress, it can of course be programmed to play barking dog sounds via Tasker or something.

I don’t disagree, but ST is not, nor should it be considered a “Primary” Security System. Secondary, self monitoring, etc. sure, that can help you in normal circumstances, just as much as it can trigger false alarms, phantom device triggers, complete failures, inability to disarm, no entry or exit delay, leaking of private data, etc.

My personal opinion based on experience with the platform for the last 3 years.

And it certainly is arguable the benefits of a system that routinely creates false alarms, alarms that can not be shut off, false or phantom motion and contact sensor trips, etc. Having an unreliable and unpredictable security system could be worse than not having a security system. Waking up the family at 3am because ST thought a sensor got tripped, or if a battery died and ST has no clue, and it still reports 1%…

Anyway, take it for what you will, using ST as a security system is asking for a headache.

Features, dude. Features. Those are system checks to make sure you’re paying attention.