Great question, Zihna! The answer depends on the type of device it is because not all smart home devices require an internet connection to function. When the internet goes out, some smart home devices work with their desired function -- albeit without the “smart” capabilities -- and some devices will be useless. Let’s take a look at the different types of smart devices to see what happens when the internet goes out and what type of control you would have:
- Wi-Fi Cameras: Most smart security cameras rely heavily on a Wi-Fi connection to do pretty much everything; so when the internet is down, these cameras will also be down. Since video recordings are typically stored on the cloud, the camera won’t be able to record any new footage and you won't be able to view any old recordings.
- However, there are some Wi-Fi cameras that have the ability to store recordings locally. For example, you can add a USB flash drive as a back-up storage option to some devices to continue recording when the internet goes out.
- Philips Hue Lights: If the internet goes out and you're at home, you will still be able to control your lights from your phone as long as your Hue Bridge hub is connected to your router and your phone is connected to your home's Wi-Fi network. The only functionality lost during an internet outage is the ability to control your lights away from home and through your voice assistant.
- Safety devices: Good news here, most critical devices like smart thermostats, smart smoke alarms, and smart locks work perfectly fine for their desired function when the internet goes down -- the only lost functionality is the ability to control the devices from your phone. If you have a schedule set up, the device will continue to abide even if it’s not connected to the internet and you can always control the device by manually adjusting.
- Voice Assistants: Although some functions will work, like alarms and timers, controlling your smart home with your voice and asking questions about the weather or traffic will not be possible without an internet connection.