Your SmartHome devices may work fine, but a forced update or modification by the manufacturer may damage your device, either temporarily or permanently. And you can not do anything about it.
Most popular smarthome devices on the market rely on cloud connectivity, meaning they need to 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 the occasional server hiccup steps
You need to set your smart thermostat from your phone and get a nice little "server is down" message of all the controls that you would normally see. This gives you a taste of what I'm talking about.
You tell yourself that you can connect to the same Wi-Fi network as your smart thermostat locally from the thermostat on your phone. Unfortunately, that does not work and it's a great example of why cloud-based smarthome products can be frustrating.
Even if you could communicate locally with your device and have the hardware and software to do it, you still need to have an external connection to the manufacturer's servers. And if this connection is broken for any reason, say goodbye to remote access.
Updates and patches could spell your devices
While some devices allow updates at their own time Other devices do this automatically, regardless of whether you agree or disagree. And it is not uncommon for a forced update to cause unexpected problems, either for a few users or for each user of the service.
This happened recently at Logitech's Harmony Hub, where Logitech automatically updates the hubs' firmware to fix security vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, API access aborted, causing all possible integrations that the users had set up with the hub to stop working.
Logitech wanted to give users the ability to re-enable API access on the local page, but it proved to be extremely problematic for Harmony Hub users.
This can happen with any cloud-based smarthome device you own. And what makes it worse is when it happens on a device that you rely heavily on, such as a video doorbell or intelligent light sources] When you buy and set up a cloud-based smarthome product With the servers of the manufacturer must be connected, you are fundamentally delivered to this company.
In other words, a business can decide that it remains one of their living products is not suitable for their business strategy. They choose to discontinue the product and stop supporting it by charging the customer with a paperweight, rather than a product for which they have paid good money.
This happens at Lighthouse and its surveillance cameras as well as Nest Revolv Hub. Most recently, Lowes has finally closed its Iris SmartHome platform, probably due to a decline in interest and low revenue. This meant that users with an iris system at home were quite screwed and the hubs did not work anymore (although the devices and sensors can still work with other hubs). Fortunately, Lowe & # 39; s offers refunds to Iris customers, but not all companies that shut down products are so friendly.
What should I do?
There is nothing you can do to prevent this. There are things you can do to at least reduce your chances.
For beginners, stay with manufacturers and brands that have been on the market for a while, at least are a bit popular and have a good reputation. Of course, this is not 100% sure, but most companies that close a device or service do so because it is not popular in the public and therefore does not generate enough revenue to make it profitable.
Smarthome brands such as Nest, Ring, Ecobee, Philips Hue, Arlo, and WeMo are all very popular brands with a huge user base. These brands have a good reputation and it is very unlikely that some of them will close in the near future.
CONNECTION: You do not need a smart thermostat
Of course, there is a statement that every dynasty will fall at some point. So it's possible that one of the brands mentioned above will drop the road somewhere. It is up to you to take this risk or not.
Second, most die-hard smarthome enthusiasts simply do not recommend buying or using products that rely on the cloud. The downside is that most of these types of products are not that easy to set up, and pretty much anyone new to this category will probably not care.
However, several companies (such as HomeSeer and Hubitat) are trying to make this easier for end users to set up a local smart home. Unfortunately, it is even more tempting to buy and set up products such as a nest thermostat, a doorbell bell, some hue lights and a Wi-Fi camera.