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We asked, you told us: An offline smart home is very tantalizing

Who says a smart home setup has to be connected to the web?

Published onJanuary 9, 2024

Assorted smart home products on a table
Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority

Colleague Calvin Wankhede recently waxed lyrical about his experience creating an offline smart home. This setup means you don’t need to rely on an internet connection, nor are you at the mercy of a smart home company’s servers.

We posted a poll inside this article, asking you whether you were thinking about building an offline smart home. Well, this was a super-popular poll, and here’s what you told us.

Are you considering building an offline smart home?


Over 9,900 votes were counted in this poll, making it one of the most popular polls in recent months. The top pick? Well, 41.5% of respondents said they had an online smart home but were curious about going the offline route.

There are loads of reasons to switch from an online to an offline smart home. For one, there are privacy benefits to running an offline setup, as it means your data isn’t being sent to a corporation. An offline smart home is also beneficial if you’ve got poor internet connectivity.

The second-most popular pick was “My smart home is already offline,” accounting for 22.1% of respondents. Rounding out the podium was “I don’t have / I’m still building my smart home” with 21.8% of the vote. Finally, 14.6% of surveyed readers said they had some offline elements in their smart home setup but wanted more ideas.


  • divebum62: While I support having an off-line smart home, I tried Home Assistant for 2 years and gave up in frustration. I’m back on SmartThings with a partially off-line system. HA required way too much time to maintain for any reasonable person. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when an operating system update broke a fundamental aspect of running if-then-else rules and broke about 25% of my 200+ automations. When I reported that as a problem, I was told it was planned and that since it was disclosed in the release announcement that it was my problem for not reading every word of the release announcement.
  • willyolio: the online requirements have actually been the main thing putting me off of “smart home” things. Don’t want to spend more money on a device that’ll just “break” if the company goes bankrupt or decides it’s more profitable to just turn off the servers.
  • Kent Seaton: Home Assistant is my jam. Depending on what region you live in, ZWave is definitely one to consider over Zigbee.
  • Gary Camp: I am experimenting in the walled gardens, mostly with Alexa. You brought up a good point about Tuya. I hadn’t thought about privacy much as I dont use remote control out on the street, just at home. Also, I really want to get to the home control AI that I can talk to. Bard is great at answering my questions with follow up queries for clarification. When they get it ironed out and sized for PC’s (Pi’s?), it will do my major programming of the home. I am retired engineer and can program if needed but I have experimented with Bard doing it and it surprised me. I can see AI doing tedious modules with a programmer overseeing it improving his efficiency a lot. It will surely help me.

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