Home Home Automation When your smart home goes offline...

When your smart home goes offline…

Don't render your smart home useless!

I’m pretty annoyed right now. The internet at home is down, which means I’m not able to work on my usual content. To make things worse, the estimated fix given by Virgin Media is 11th of May. That’s 3 days of the internet downtime. I’m currently writing to you, thanks to the Android tethering. I could run more devices off the portable hotspot, but I’m already at 80% of my data plan and I have 10 more days to go.

My home is offline, what’s the damage?

The entire voice control is down. Forget Alexa or Google Home, both simply refuse to take a single command in the offline state. No music streaming, no emails, social network or weather updates (unless I go mobile).

The NodeRED works! Everything that is hooked up to the NodeRED can be activated, albeit through a locally hosted web interface, rather than the voice command! I may not be able to control my home from outside of my WiFi but everything else just works fine.

The NAS-pi is at my service, I can Plex the movies on my local network and access the drives ok. No surprises there. I can’t access my files from outside of the WiFi, but this to be expected. A lot of my Tasker integrations are unaffected. Partially thanks to the data plan, but also the local fallback option in AutoRemote. I can still switch my PC on/off, toggle my lights etc as long as I’m at home. Neat!

I’m little disappointed in Google Home notification nodes. It looks like it uses Google Translate services before submitting the content to the Google Home via local IP. I was hoping this would still work for me.

piVPN is obviously down.

I think, you already see the point of this short write up. The “big” brands relying on the external servers to work, would flop miserably. Without a local fallback, none of your services would work and the smart devices would enter the “dumb” mode. For this particular reasons, I try to avoid IFTTT integrations or any 3rd party services. You will notice this in my tutorials. If I can get away without the 3rd party integration – I will!

This internet downtime gives me an opportunity to inspect my network, checking if everything has a proper local fallback option.

What next?

I will see what I can do in the offline mode but don’t expect any content until the internet is back. I’m sorry about it, go and wave the angry fists at Virgin Media by liking this tweet:

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