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Home / Tips and Tricks / Your Smarthome Setup can break, and there is nothing you can do about it

Your Smarthome Setup can break, and there is nothing you can do about it



  Smarthome hubs

Your smarthome device can work smoothly now, but at any time a compulsory update or a change to the manufacturer may break the device, either temporarily or permanently. And there's nothing you can do about it.

Most common smarthome devices on the market rely on cloud connectivity, which means they must be connected to the Internet and maintain contact with the manufacturer's servers for updates and support. This is both a blessing and a curse, but mostly a curse.

It starts with Occasional Server Hiccups

You go to adjust your smart thermostat from your phone and display a good little "server down" message in place for all the controls you would normally see. This gives you a little taste in what I'm talking about.

 Server down message

You tell yourself that you are connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your smart thermostat, so you should be able to communicate locally with the thermostat from your phone. Unfortunately, it's not how it works, and it's a good example of why cloud-based smarthome products can be frustrating.

Although you can communicate locally with your device and the hardware and software are there for you, you still need to have an external connection to the manufacturer's servers.

Updates and patches can chip your devices

 Smart thermostat does not respond

While some devices let you download updates on your own, other devices do it automatically if you are okay with it or not. And it is not uncommon for a forced update to cause unexpected problems, either for a few or for all users of the service.

This happened recently with Logitech's Harmony Hub, where Logitech automatically updated the hubs for firmware to address security issues. Unfortunately, it broke API access, which meant that any kind of integration that people had set up with the hub no longer worked.

Logitech made sense to create a way for users to reactivate API access at the local end, but it all became a huge headache for Harmony Hub users.

This can happen to any cloud-based smarthome device you own. And what makes it worse is when it happens on a device that you strongly trust, like a video doorbell or smart lights.

Companies can turn off and leave their products useless

<img class = "alignnone wp-image-404228 size-full" data-pagespeed-lazy-src = "https://www.howtogeek.com/wp -content / uploads / 2019/02 / xiris.jpg.pagespeed.gp + jp + jw + pj + ws + js + rj + rp + rw + ri + cp + md.ic.UEzYhPbhgQ.jpg "alt =" Iris smarthome by Lowes [19659002] When you buy and set up a smarthome product that builds on the cloud and needs to be connected to the manufacturer's servers, you are basically this company.

In other words, a company can decide to keep one of their living Products are not viable for their business strategy, they decide to cancel and no longer support the product by scraping the customer by leaving them a paper weight instead of a product for which they paid good money.

It happened to the lighthouse and their security cameras, as well as the noble owned Revolv hubs, recently Lowes officially closed its Iris smarthome platform for good, san odd due to weak interest and low sales. This meant that users with an Iris system at home were quite sharp and left with hubs that no longer worked (although the drives and sensors still work with other hubs). Luckily, Lowe offers repayments to Iris customers, but not all companies that shut down products are equally gracious.

So what should I do?

There is nothing you can do to prevent this from happening, there are things you can do to at least mitigate the chances of it happening.

To begin with, stick to manufacturers and brands that have been around for a while, are at least somewhat popular and have a good reputation. This is not 100% foolproof, but most companies that shut down a smarthome device or service do so because it is not popular with the public, generating enough revenue to keep it viable.

 Nest Hello video doorbell

Smarthome brands such as Nest, Ring, Ecobee, Philips Hue, Arlo and WeMo are all popular brands with a large user base.

RELATED: You do not need a smart thermostat

Of course, it is a saying that each dynasty will eventually fall, so it is possible for any of the above brands to close somewhere down the road. It is up to you to take that risk or not.

Second, the most bold smarthome enthusiasts recommend simply not buying or using any smarthome cloud-based product. The disadvantage is that most of these types of products are not as easy to install, and pretty much everyone who is a beginner in this category is unlikely to interfere.

But several companies (like HomeSeer and Hubitat) are trying their best to make it easier for end users to create a locally based smart home. Unfortunately, it is still more tempting to buy and set up products like a Nest Thermostat, a Ring Doorbell, some Hue lamps and a Wi-Fi camera.


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