Something neat your smart plug might do (or have you tried turning it off and on again remotely?)

I’ve recently gotten into a lot of power automation at work. This is something I actually don’t want to do because a higher chance of yet another thing going wrong, but it’s become a necessity with some of the equipment choices we’ve made.

TL;DR version – a couple of smart plugs we’ve tested can turn off your WiFi and turn it on even without connection. This can be useful for crappy WiFi or broadband connections that require frequent reboots.

Something I had to IoT automate was simply turning off and on a WiFi router. Said WIFi router will run great for maybe a month and then go down when it’s most needed. It has a reboot schedule in it and I can remotely reboot it, but the soft reboot doesn’t work and the company that made it doesn’t seem to be putting out new firmware any time soon. Only power cycle does anything.

So over the past year I’ve probably had to walk people through unplugging it and plugging it back in again seven times, came into the office five or so, ugh.

More recently we had someone plug a bad device on our network that the temporary fix was to power cycle the switch until I could wireshark the thing and see who’s broadcasting “I am the gateway and the light!” – that’s how I spent my Saturday night.

Anyway, I’ve set some smart plugs up to turn things off and on again. Something I was worried about setting up as it ran the WiFi that controls the IoT network we’ve got (own network, no access to squat, not letting an unpatched linux firmware access a real network,) was the ability to turn off the WiFi and turn it on by schedule.

Daniel tested his Kasa Plugs with no WiFi and I tested the Gosund on a timer, and even without internet they appear to work fine as scheduled.

So if you need to turn your WiFi off and back on again on a schedule, looks like they load up the schedules in advance. I’d seen a dual WiFi rebooting timer plug in the past that did similar in the $40 range (it would turn off your broadband, turn off your WiFi, turn on your broadband, turn on your WiFi).

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Google+ | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts