Your Smart Home Without An Internet Connection


hello Automators thanks for tuning in
again I want to show you what happens when you turn off the internet in your
smart home here today show you what works and what doesn’t now let me cue
this up a little bit for you we’re going to turn off the internet first so I’m
just basically going to unplug the internet from my home and I’ll leave
Wi-Fi connected in my home just to show you what happens now
what I’ll also tell you is that if you remove Wi-Fi depending on your devices
that you have certain things will continue to work and certain other
things will can will stop working immediately but I’m going to show you
today google home amazon’s voice assistant or the echo series of products
i’m also going to show you home pod philips hue and samsung smart thing so a
number of major devices also tell you about some of the other devices I have
in my home that are both hardwired connected and Wi-Fi or another protocol
connected so let’s go through it right now now here we go I’ve turned off the
internet and what’s happened is essentially Google home has picked up on
that right away in terms of its screen that took about a minute to a minute and
a half from the time I unplugged the cable literally just from the back of my
router now if I speak to either of my voice assistants this is what I get I
can’t reach the internet right now check your modem or router connection and try
again I’m having trouble connecting I’ll keep trying so there you go you can see
both of these have become essentially completely useless the second the
internet connection is gone and the same thing happens when I turn off Wi-Fi now
I’ll show you that again later in the video but we’re going to start with some
of the other devices in my home so I’ve already tested this and the first thing
I can tell you is that Philips hue I’m still on my home Wi-Fi Philips hue
continues to operate and so I can go directly
into Philips hue right here and there’s a little light beside me and I’m not
sure if you guys can tell that you should be able to tell it yep and I’m
able to operate those lights again as much as I’d like really it seems I can
change colors I can activate scenes I can do just about anything I could do
before I’m on my Wi-Fi and so I’m on my home network so as long as your router
is still connected physically to the Philips hue and that’s a physical
connection a physical Ethernet connection as long as you’re able to get
to a device that is on your home network it will continue to operate now if I
turn off the Wi-Fi on this device or I didn’t have a device that could access
the network I wouldn’t be able to work with any of my Philips you products now
on the flip side I have tried to login to the Google home application I’ve
tried to log in to Amazon’s voice assistant application my harmony hub and
my nest my wise cams I have a yoohoo air quality sensor me Ross harmony
none of these services are working because and and sorry Samsung
smartthings both of the applications of Samsung smartthings instantly stopped
working when I’m on that home network that Wi-Fi
so you know I can’t access any of those things and the reason for that and I’ll
show you as we walk through our house some other things but the reason that
this happens is because they’re all trying to log in to cloud services or
they’re all trying to authenticate you as someone who actually owns this
product so for Samsung smartthings although internally and I’ll show you
again in a minute internally the functions are still working on my
version 2 hub and that’s very important a version 3 hug may not still work I
don’t have that one to test but a version 2 hub is going to continue to
work the automation you’ve set up will continue to work but what will not work
is the access to the services now one other thing that’s very interesting
and I will show you this one here on the screen but I can still go into apple
homekit so apple homekit is here and it has access to two things that are very
important Wi-Fi and my home network still through my cell phone so it’s able
to operate the philips hue devices that still are allowing me to control them so
that’s a very interesting little piece there I cannot get either of these voice
assistance to work but just based on having Wi-Fi in my home I can go ahead
and shut off that same light and go ahead and work with my different scenes
and things now things that have broken down in home kit my Wemo bridge it it’s
not working any longer and I can’t access my Wiimote devices now some of
your echo devices actually can continue to work so you can see a list of the
echo plus first and second generation and the echo show should all still work
now you can go in the devices tab of the Amazon voice assistant app and you can
go into those types of devices and actually look for local voice control
now I don’t have it and it is a very slow rollout but this is an option to
still allow you to do just a few things where you can control compatible smart
lights things like that so something like Philips you that is based on ZigBee
should continue to work you can ask for the time or the date you can stop or
cancel alarms reminders and timers that were already set so you can’t set new
ones but you can cancel ones that were already set so it’s allowing you to
continue to use some of those functions but not at a full capacity and then you
can control the devices volume there so that’s about what you can do but you can
also ask what can you do offline just to figure out if you don’t remember this
list that I’ve just given you so now let’s go throughout the house and I will
show you some of the automation and what it’s still doing throughout my home I’ll
show you a couple of different things that are attached to Samsung smartthings
because like I said you can still have the autumn
work it’s just the fact that you cannot log into the device and make adjustments
so you can’t physically interact with those devices through your smartphone
any longer so as I walk to my laundry room here I’ve shown this on the channel
before there’s a multi-purpose Center and a set of singled element classic
ZigBee bulbs and you can see the automation still working as I close and
open my door for those lights to turn on and off so that automation stays working
no matter whether there’s internet or Wi-Fi in the home because it’s ZigBee
related this is the same for the motion sensor attached to my smartthings hub
and my philips hue bulbs they’re all working with the automation created
through my Samsung smartthings now my Wi-Fi devices have all disconnected just
like the yoohoo air quality sensor and as I asked the home pod for any sort of
command or non tape I get a very similar response from it even though apple
homekit is still working now as I go up to a device like a Lenovo smart display
which is really the same thing as the Google home hub in a lot of ways as I
interact with the device which I can a little bit but as I tap on the screen
you instantly end up with the same sort of response
again and again this is basically no matter what you do on the screen there’s
really nothing you can do because as you tap on anything they’re asking you to
use the wake word and then as soon as you do you get the same response and
even if you want to explore things you’re getting the same response it
becomes really really redundant now here’s a multi-purpose sensor that’s
attached to my security system in my home it still works but I can’t adjust
whether or not my security system is armed or disarmed so that’s one very
impactful thing for you your smart things security system would then stay
enabled if you were just coming home and Wi-Fi and or the internet was out so now
that you’ve seen a couple of those things go on the difference between you
know Internet are not being available but still having
Wi-Fi and the internet being turned off and Wi-Fi being turned off the big
difference here for you as a smart home person is not on Google home or Amazon’s
voice assistant that really doesn’t matter but suddenly homekit is dead as
well and you can no longer access Phillips hue because you have no way
into the network so essentially once that Wi-Fi turns off you’re done the
funny thing though with no Wi-Fi on is again these ZigBee networks so Samsung
smartthings ZigBee your z-wave the Philips hue capability it continues to
operate through the ZigBee protocol so they’re not dead they’re not not working
any longer they’re just not accessible from an app standpoint or from the
Internet one little tip that I want to touch on with Samsung smartthings so you
can’t log into the application and the devices continue to work now why is that
there’s an authentication reason for that and this is the way that Samsung
has decided to set this up and this is based on some of the protocols are using
in some other reasons that they have for themselves but you know they have a
security system or you can enable a security system on a Samsung smartthings
hub so you have to be able to authenticate and that unfortunately
requires a cloud connection so this is the difference and I think you know
although I don’t love the functionality this is important and I think this is
why I’m starting to talk about some of these thread enabled devices that could
switch to a cellular mode and if if Samsung included a cellular radio on
their device you could have some of this functionality as well where it just
switches over and you can stay connected through cellular modes so that’s where
thread has has I think a little bit of a leg up it’s easy for companies to
produce devices that essentially can still communicate through the end
routers to cellular networks so anyways guys I just wanted to
say that about Samsung smartthings if you go off your Wi-Fi you can still log
in and get logged in to the application but then you’re not able to see your
home hub because you’re not on that network or your Samsung smartthings hub
because you’re not on that network really guys I was surprised by a couple
of things here I don’t know what your opinions are but I was surprised that
homekit continued to operate that I wasn’t really ready for I wasn’t really
ready for Philips you to continue to work through the app because I was on my
home network I did expect almost all of them to go dead because of the need to
login and I think this is something that we can ask these manufacturers to start
to work on because really why doesn’t a Google home product allow you to still
do certain functions well that’s because there’s no onboard storage and the
assistant is entirely stored essentially off but you should still be able to
physically interact with the device and have a physical you know so turn on
Bluetooth you should still be able to turn on devices just like home kit and
it should still stay connected to that Wi-Fi so why couldn’t I still pipe music
through my speakers if I wanted to or play local content that I had on my
network all of these things I think should be capable with these devices
they shouldn’t go totally dead and stop doing anything

26 thoughts on “Your Smart Home Without An Internet Connection

  1. Great video thanks. It's terrible that Google home & Alexa cannot do anything. You should still be able to ask "what's the time", "what's the date", "what's the weather" even without the weather. They should store some of the basic questions.

  2. There are some (few) routers that will 'fallback' to a second interface that could be cellular. That would allow most of your cloud devices work. Iris by Lowe's (RIP) did have this as an option built into their hubs (with optional cellular modem).

    You are touching on why many people like Home Assistant as it CAN work totally off the internet. Still you have to consider what else you attach and if it is cloud based or not.

    I can use Plex at home to get my owned videos and music streamed to my home devices that are Plex enabled. … Just a thought for you to consider.

    Still, a good tutoral on how 'cloud centric' many of the devices and services are.

  3. I was thinking that having a router (or hub?) that could do optional blue-tooth paring to allow a smart phone to provide an internet connection for security and home-automation purposes only would be great, even without having the phone be a full fledged 'internet' feed. … Just my blue-sky thoughts!

  4. Zigbee and Zwave 4life! I think the only device I even need internet for is my ring doorbell. Other than that I dont even need wifi (running Homeassistant).

  5. Brain can you help me please. My reminders on my tablet for my Google assistant is not working. And the reminders are not listed of my iPhone what can I do. Thank you for your help

  6. The only real surprise there IMHO is that Smart Thing's user interfaces stop working. They should do better. Vera, Open Hab, etc would be fine.

    Your Google Chromecast devices can play music from your local network if you're using something like Roon or Bubble UPnP Server W/ a DLNA server and Bubble UPnP Player (or another SMARTHOME speaker compatible app such as Linn's Kazoo). I'm pretty sure that the Google Chromecast Audio is fine in this configuration without a connection. Not so sure about the Home devices.

    Your wifi switches can be updated to connect to a local MQTT server with the right firmware update. From there you should be able to use your Hub to control those devices via MQTT (though not Samsung Smart Thing's apparently).

    Mick.

  7. As always Brian, great and informative video. I can now see why Thread was developed. I cannot wait to see how that protocol will change the way we access our smart homes when critical components like the internet are down.

  8. MQTT based local wifi devices will also have no trouble when the internet goes down. Actually, I have all of my smart products in a group with google wifi that has their internet "paused" indefinitely. Local polling and operation is the way to go.

  9. What do you mean by turning of the internet and keeping wifi on??? I have my bell router which is also a modem. If I turn off wifi is also turned off.

  10. Slight clarification. HomeKit API disallows products to require cloud access for basic functions. When the HomePod fails that’s Siri failing and not necessarily HomeKit. All voice assistants need graceful fallback to local processing and we’re just not there yet

  11. I didn't see you swipe down on the Google Home Hub to attempt to access home automation devices. Did you try that while you had no internet, but your wifi was up?

  12. Wasn't sure where to put this but this weekend Continued Conversation is working in the UK with the UK Google Assistant so don't have to switch to Google(US) if you don't want to 😁

  13. Hi, I want to know what happen if power cuts and come back again will devices turn on automatically or we have to turn it on? For example Philips hue bulb

  14. Great info and video/channel, I've subbed – maybe I missed it somewhere in your explanation, but people should know their good ol' standard light switches (assuming they still have them intact) will still work to turn most, if not all smart lights on/off, of course, even though wifi and/or internet is not working. This may be obvious to some of us, but maybe not all. Thanks again for the great info!

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