Smart Plugs are the most useful devices in our fast moving life and it helps to automate our home and quickly do the things for us, and if we forget something to switch off while leaving the home, we can quickly say to google or alexa, Hey Google, switch off the lights. But the issue comes when your wifi is not working and there is no internet.
Can Smart Plugs Work Without the Internet? to answer your question, yes most of the smart plugs work without an internet and wifi connection but you do not have the option to control your smart plug with your Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri when the internet is down. When you are away from home, you will not have an option to control your devices.
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There are multiple ways you can control the smart plug when your internet is not working. Most of smart plug users experience this issue, because when buying the smart plug there are many things to consider and take the decision.
We may not think about whether this smart plug will work or not when the internet is down. Without much discussion, lets see how to make the smart plug work without the internet.
Using Smart Home Hubs, Z-Wave and Zigbee
To make your smart plugs work without the internet, you need a smart home hub and Z-Wave or Zigbee Smart plug. Lets understand what this is.
What is Smart Home Hub?
A Smart Home Hub is a device that acts as a central system or controller that connects all your smart devices in the network creating mesh like wifi and connects to all the smart devices.
What is Z-Wave?
Z-Wave is a wireless communication protocol used mainly for Smart Home Hubs, switches and Home Automation, it acts as a mesh network using low energy radio waves to communicate between your smart devices and this doesn’t require wifi or internet.
What is Zigbee?
Zigbee is similar to Z-Wave used to create a small network and to communicate using low power digital radio. It is mainly used in Smart Home Hub, smart switches and home automation and this also doesn’t require wifi or internet.
So to make it work you need two things:
- Smart home hub
- Smart plug with Z-Wave and Zigbee feature in it.
Without having Z-Wave or Zigbee in your smart plug, your smart plug might not work without the internet.
By having these smart home hub and Z-Wave or Zigbee smart plugs, you have multiple advantages and you can completely automate your home.
Some of the advantages are:
- Zero percent chances of hacking your home systems from outside, because you are not connected to the internet.
- More advanced home automation and control, than traditional smart plug.
- You can control your home without depending on the internet.
- Make different brand smart devices to work together.
Scheduling your Smart Device:
Scheduling is the key with the smart devices, using the above recommended approach you can control how many minutes that you want the device to run. For example, if you are making a coffee, you can schedule it to heat only for 10 minutes and while you are getting ready to the office.
You can use scheduling for different things, I mainly use to switch on and off the outdoor lights, I usually schedule to switch it on at 8:00 PM and to turn off in the morning at 7:00 AM while our outdoor cameras watch the surroundings. Automation saves electricity and it pays back the money you spent for your smart plug.
What is Smart Plug without Cloud
To understand Smart Plug without cloud, you need to understand how the communication happens, when you say, Hey Alexa, switch on bedroom light, the request goes from Alexa to cloud and cloud to your switch. When the internet is down, the communication won’t happen and you are not able to switch on the light.
Smart Hub acts as your in-home cloud that doesn’t require the internet, smart hubs help you to communicate with your devices using Z-Wave or Zigbee without using the internet.
Is it worth buying Smart Home Hub:
Yes, it is worth buying a smart home hub, it helps you to control your home without internet or wifi and the internet outages are common, but this should not stop you from working things in your home.
With the traditional smart plugs you might not be able to automate as much as possible when compared to Smart Home Hub. Smart Home hub helps to control, automate things very efficiently.
Even though your smart plug doesn’t have automation features, smart hub helps you to automate the smart plug and will have control over the smart plug.
Things to Consider Before Buying Smart Plugs:
Waterproof Plugs for Outdoor Use: Consider buying smart plugs that are waterproof as this helps to use smart plugs during christmas time when you want to decorate your home with lights.
Z-Wave or Zigbee Compatibility: Ensure your plug has Z-wave or Zigbee protocol compatibility that will help you to control the smart plug when your internet is down and to connect to a smart hub.
Automation: Ensure your plug provides compatibility to automate such as turn on and off on specific, this will save a lot of electricity.
Surge Protection: ensure your smart speaker has surge protection as this will save your devices from short circuiting.
Energy monitoring: Some smart plugs are coming with a feature to monitor the electricity usage of your appliances at home and check whether they are energy efficient or not. Based on electricity usage of your home devices, you can decide whether you want to go for more energy efficient devices to save electricity and the environment.
Why Use Smart Plugs than Traditional Plugs
Some of the surveys conducted by experts have proven that smart plugs save more electricity than traditional plugs and it’s always easy to operate the smart plugs when compared with traditional plugs.
Automation saves the time, effort and electricity for your home and they also keep surveillance on your home when you are away and trigger the alerts if something is happening at home.
Keep in mind smart plugs also make people lazy when it comes to certain things, after buying smart plugs I am too lazy to get up switch off the lights when I’m in bed, it feels like comfort but it’s making you lazy 🙂
Some of the frequently asked questions:
Zigbee or Z-Wave which one I should buy?
Both are the good protocols to communicate between the devices, but the winner is z-wave due to its stability and the quality. But the Zigbee is cheaper, if the money is an issue go for Zigbee else stick to z-wave.
Does a smart hub connect to the internet to control more devices?
Yes, smart hubs work with both internet and without internet, check all the features buying a hub, some old hubs might not support this feature and you end up buying the wrong one. It’s always to use one brand for all your home automation, if you buy different brands for different things, you might face some problems. These devices keep updating, when you buy a device, ensure you buy a device that’s been released to the market recently.
Will smart hub communicate with my home lock, television and outdoor cameras without internet and wifi?
Yes, smart hubs can communicate to your home lock, television and outdoor cameras without the internet using smart hubs.
How do smart plugs and smart speakers communicate?
When you say, hey google turn on light, the request from the smart speaker goes to the cloud server of your smart device and the cloud server sends the request to the smart plug.
As you can see buying a smart plug requires many things to consider such as security, internet, wifi, electricity, automation and monitoring. Our strong advice is to buy smart things, considering all the above points and take the decision to buy smart plugs, see our recommended products link before deciding which products to buy and not to buy.
If you still have any doubts in deciding what plug and smart hubs to buy, post in the comments we will help you in deciding the things.
Sam has been a Smart Things expert for years and the author of DIY SmartThings. Recently he’s really more into Nest smart devices and has a lot of experience with all sorts of projects from converting a regular Home to completely a smart home with the background degree in Electronics.