Tech

Smart home offline: What still works if the internet and cloud fail

The internet has given the connected home a huge boost. Many manufacturers use a cloud infrastructure as a substructure for their radio systems. This makes it easier to interact with devices from other brands via web interfaces. In addition, the home can be remotely controlled via smartphone while on the move.

However, it is not only problematic with regard to privacy and data sovereignty when manufacturers channel all signals through the cloud. This also does not benefit the failure protection. If the connection to the web breaks, there is a break in transmission. In this case, controlling the light again using a wall switch instead of a smartphone app and voice, may be bearable. But if the smart radiator thermostat no longer follows the specified schedules, things quickly become uncomfortable in the offline smart home. And if the alarm siren remains silent because the emergency call from a sensor is not received, in the worst case there is even serious danger.

It is therefore an advantage if the system used or at least its most important functions can also be accessed offline. In a sweeping round through the smart home market, we shed light on what is still possible when the internet connection or the manufacturer cloud fails. The test candidates include common system providers such as AVM, Bosch, Devolo, Gigaset, Homematic IP, Ikea Tradfri, Innogy, Luminea, Telekom Magenta and Xiaomi, but also providers who focus on certain areas. These include smart lock specialist Nuki, Philips Hue and heating thermostat supplier Tado.

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