Does smart home technology work in the event of an internet failure?
Many smart home systems are connected to the internet. There are two reasons for this: On the one hand, the online connection allows remote control of the building services using a smartphone app. This makes it possible to lower the roller shutters from the comfort of your sofa or to see who just rang the doorbell when you are out and about. On the other hand, the data processing of the networked smart home technology takes place in the cloud so that the user does not have to purchase and maintain their own servers. In this respect, the question is justified as to what happens if the Internet fails. Is the entire smart home system then paralysed?
No! As long as your smart home system has an offline mode, there will not be a complete system failure. Whether an offline mode is integrated varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. If you own wesmartify products that are Homematic IP compatible, you don't have to worry about an internet crash: these smart home components also work in offline mode.
In fact, without a working internet, the smart home system cannot connect to the cloud server. However, the offline mode ensures that the basic operation of the smart home installation is still maintained. This is possible because the individual components do not communicate with each other via WLAN, but bidirectionally via radio. And this wireless connection is independent of the Internet. In addition, the commands are stored directly on the respective product and are not stored in the cloud.
A specific example: The window contact sends its command "Reduce the temperature to 18 degrees" to the radiator thermostat in the same room even if the Internet is not working. The room temperature will therefore continue to be automatically reduced if one of the residents opens the window. Also stored on the components: all time programs. If you want the heating to turn down at 10 p.m., it can do it without the internet – and in the same way it is raised to the comfortable temperature again in the morning by radio command.
How do I find out if a smart home system has an offline mode?
It's best to ask the manufacturer specifically. Unfortunately, the technical data does not always contain references to this. Even with wesmartify, these instructions are missing in some places, although all of our Homematic IP-compatible products have an offline mode. We are currently working this information into the product descriptions in order to ensure transparency from the outset.
These functions of the smart home system are retained despite an internet failure if it has an offline mode:
- All wireless switches that you use at home continue to do their job. You can control your roller shutters, heating and lighting at the push of a button using a wireless switch (wall button) even without an existing internet connection.
- Radio remote controls remain just as functional.
- The alarm siren also continues to scare away burglars.
You have to do without these functions during the internet failure:
- The remote control via app does not work as long as the internet is down.
- Since the Smart Home center sends its messages to the user via the Internet, you will not receive any push notifications on your smartphone for the duration of the Internet failure, e.g. B. Warnings about a water leak (washing machine, dishwasher) or smoke in the apartment.
- Also not possible: communication with Alexa.
- Location-based services (e.g. weather-dependent control, with which the awning is automatically retracted if the wind is too strong) also necessarily require an internet connection.
- The training and configuration of new devices must also be postponed to a time when the Internet is available again.
Isn't a smart home system without an internet connection much more practical?
Of course, everyone has to decide that for themselves. If you don't want to use an Internet-based system, you can't avoid the task of acquiring your own server and becoming an administrator yourself. This means: regular import of updates plus hardware maintenance in the event of technical problems and reconfiguration when the access point is replaced. Owners of internet-based smart home systems are spared all this “nerd gimmick”.
In addition, you must not forget one thing: If the smart home system is not connected to the Internet, remote access is impossible. Simply check back from vacation whether everything is okay in the house or use your smartphone to turn up the heating while you're on your way home - these practical functions are denied to you without an internet connection.
Security concerns about the cloud solution are raised again and again: "What if my data is misused?" Here you are on the safe side if you buy a secure data system. For example, you do not need to disclose any personal data to operate the smart home system from wesmartify. In addition, the cloud data servers are located in Germany and are therefore subject to the strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).