In our ever connected world, we don’t often give much consideration to the times that we don’t have internet. Except when we don’t have it. Internet uptime is usually pretty good these days, and the main time people complain about not having internet is when they go camping, not really a concern unless you have an ill thought-out smart tent.
Back at home the internet going down is usually a minor inconvenience, it doesn’t upset most of your day to day activities, but as we come to rely more and more on connected items and products such as Alexa, a stable internet connection is becoming more important, and this isn’t always in our hands. A few weeks ago several major US websites’ service was disrupted as an organised attach on the DNS servers was undertaken. Some services were done for several hours. So how do you prepare for such an event.
Depending on your setup, this problem can range from an annoyance to a real problem. If you have lights on, and the internet goes off and now you’re unable to turn the lights off, you can still rely on your light switches to cut power. But what if you’re left in the dark and want to be able to turn lights on. You can’t. Or what if you’re locked outside your house and can’t access the server to open your front door. That’s a real problem.
Whenever purchasing a new product, make sure you know it’s capabilities. If it requires an internet connection, make sure you have a workaround. Fortunately some of the top systems do take this situation into consideration.
The Philips Hue system for instance. The Hue makes use of a hub that connects to the internet through your local network. As long as your router is still running, and you’re able to access your Wi-Fi from your phone, you will be able to control items within your house.
The well-known Wink product range has recently also come on board offering a similar backup for light-bulbs connected to a compatible hub. Their upcoming Wink Hub 2 will also allow for schedules and other home automation services to be run locally on the hub (as opposed to receiving commands from the cloud), making it independent of an internet connection.
Always make sure you have a plan of action should a worst case scenario occur (e.g. complete loss of power).