After two years I finally resolved my smart plugs falling off my local network

Although smart plugs and My Clouds have nothing to do with each other and neither is the solution, my only reason for positing is to remind everyone that when a device such as the My cloud that becomes in-attentive is a problem of the network despite the fact that no other device on your network is affected and it is only your My Cloud that has disappeared. It was the same with my first generation smart plugs that always seems to disappear from the network, everything else on my network is fine.

I wrote to iHome but I was greeted by silence much like WD who always insists, in silence, that it isn’t their problem.

For over two years I’ve been plagued with this problem. I bought these smart plugs and they were the only smart plugs that were available a couple of years ago that can be controlled through Apple’s Homekit and thus I could use voice commands to turn them on or off but every so often Apple cannot find them.

The smart plugs using DHCP are used to turn on and off my TP-link security cameras which are on a fixed IP. So from time to time when I say to Siri “Turn on my Cameras”, siri would say “some of your devices are not responding” and I would swear at the iHome company for building such amateurish devices and I would search the internet for smart plugs that could replace them.

I have 7 smart plugs and all of them would alternate themselves from dropping off the network.

In the course of two years I have spent countless number of hours trying to fix this problem. I even bought those china made outlets that would turn on/off the power for the smart plugs (quite ironic isn’t it that the smart plugs needed a dumb on/off switch to reset it). If I power off and back on, which is the solution provided by iHome when I phoned them last year, the smart plug would find a new IP using DHCP. I swore at the iHome Customer service (much like you would swear at WD for having to reset your My Cloud constantly) that the reason that I bought a smart plug in the first place was so I don’t have to crawl behind some furniture to power off the plug.

Why the frigerator don’t companies build their products so that we don’t have to reset it?

Well this week I found out why and I still don’t know why it is only with the ihome Smartplugs that either Apple’s Homekit has problem with and/or… my Airport Express that is overlapping my wifi signals with 3 wifi Airport routers in my home to cover 600 Square feet of apartment space.

I finally sat down to logically solve this problem. It seems that only Apple Homekit which is the voice command bit that allows me to say “Siri, turn on my lights” is having problems in finding my smart outlets some of the time but not all the time. The iHome App seems to reset my iHome Smartoutlets automatically without any problems as I can see them wink out (unaccessible) then wink back in, without any problems. I can even control the smartoutlest via the iHome app. It is just Siri who tells me that some of my devices are not responding.

Well… it turns out that I have two Apple TVs in the living room and both of them has the Homekit turned on (one use to be in the bedroom). Perhaps it is a conflict, but for some reason, my lutron lights are not affected, only the smart outlets. I turned one of the Apple TV homekit off…

I also turned on my Apple express 5ghz on of which I was surprised because I thought 5ghz was limited to my Airport Time Capsule and Airport Extreme. Thus with all three Airport now working in synch, much like the $500 mesh network, I have full coverage with even my Laser printer which sits beside the Apple Express, is now working.

I made these changes last week… and I haven’t had a problem with the smart outlets nor have I had a problem with the laser printer dropping off the network.

I have decided that I best not mention the solution back to iHome as since I’m probably the only customer that is having this type of problems.

Is it the fault of WD when your My Cloud drops off the network? Absolutely go ahead and blame WD… but do troubleshoot your network anyways as it could be a problem of your network.

After two years of swearing at my iHome Smartplugs and suddenly with everything working in my home, I need to find a new product that I could blame.

Perhaps I should play with my EX2 again as it is time that I need to backup my data.

It has been a week now and a heavy weight that has been lifted from my shoulders.

I had thought it might be IP clashing, or the router doesn’t assign more that 40 DHCP IPs or some arbitrary number of IPs, or that each smart outlet was attempting to re-use its last DHCP ip and wasn’t refreshing thus causing the IP clash. As I said above that I even bought remote 2.4hz outlet switch (not wifi) to reboot each of the smart plugs. If my fix continues to work I can finally remove those blocky switches from every outlet.

The other important device in my network is Ring (my doorbell). Ring allows me to talk to anyone at my door through my iPhone when I’m out. When I was having problems with my smart plugs dropping off the network, Ring would also balk at connecting even though my wifi router was sitting 10 feet away. My name for my Ring device is a swear word that starts with the letter “f”. I mean how could anyone manufacture a device that drops off the network?

edit: I forgot to mentioned, well I did mentioned it in the above post that my Laser Printer falls off the network too. If I reboot my laser, sometimes it re-acquires an IP and sometimes not. The whole reason that I bought a Wifi Network printer is so that I can print willy nilly when I need to. With the printer dropping off the network, I had to physically get up and walk over to the printer, tap it a few times, press a few random buttons (up, down, up, down, left, right, left, power off), blue light stops blinking, then head back to my desk to pause the printer then restart (sometimes this works). It is really frustrating. I don’t blame the printer for not working but I blame the smart plugs for causing havoc with my IPs.

However with the network fixed last week, I haven’t had any problems with any of my devices including Ring.

When I leave my home now I can say “Siri, Going Out” with my new found confidence, all my cameras would turn on and all lights would turn off; the alarm I still have to set manually by pressing a button even though I have an app for it.

When I get home I say “Siri, I’m home”, all the cameras turns off and all light turns on to greet me.

No more Siri statuses that says “some of your devices are not responding”.

Even my printer works on demand and sleeps when I don’t need it. Just now I just clicked on print and way over in my kitchen corner I hear the whine of the printer motor starting up and the click and clacking of the paper loading; no more waiting to hear if the printer is working then walking over in a foul mood with a bat :roll_eyes:

Now if only WD can add a switch to turn off scanning… the world would be perfect.

Very nice post

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