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Are there any smart plugs out there that connect over Wi-Fi, don't require a hub, and don't use the cloud/don't require an internet connection?

The idea is that I should be able to somehow turn them on or off from another trusted machine on the same WLAN. Whether that machine is internet-connected should be irrelevant.

I'm not even sure what to search for, but everything I've found so far requires a cloud connection, a smartphone app, a hub, or the like—none of which seems fundamentally necessary.

Does such a thing exist? If so, where/how can I find it?

  • googled wifi plug local server ... found this ... benlo.com/esp8266/KankunSmartPlug.html – jsotola Dec 24 '19 at 4:31
  • @jsotola: I can't seem to find anywhere to actually buy it? It seems to be no longer available.. Perhaps I should also mention I'm looking for a US plug, so if it needs 240V then it's probably not an option either... (Edit: Hm, maybe this works if I can convert the plug... though I can't say it inspires confidence security-wise...) – user541686 Dec 24 '19 at 4:50
  • How about a dedicated router for your IoT hardware, with a computer linked to that router as a portal/gateway? – Mast Dec 24 '19 at 15:45
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Are you willing to at least connect the device to the internet for initial configuration (which will include the near-mandatory 'apply updates' phase)? Here's what should work -

Set up two wifi networks within your home. Most people have an old wifi device that they've superseded. Your primary home wifi / router device will be the internet gateway, with the second, older device just a wifi access point connected to your home network. Set up the second access point with a different SSID and password, so that none of your other devices will 'see' it. At this point, both wifi access points will have internet access. Now, set up your 'smart plug' and make sure it connects to the 'second' wifi access point. Connect your phone to this second wifi access point also. You should now be able to control the plug from the phone.

Once you see this working, disconnect the second wifi access point from the main network. This will now be a 'standalone' wifi network inside your home, and only the plug will be using it. You'll have to switch your phone between the two wifi networks if you want your phone to have wifi internet access while at home, but if you don't mind, then let the phone just use cellular to get to the internet.

I have a smart plug from Wemo (a belkin brand) that works in this manner - it does not care about internet access for daily use.

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  • I'm confused, why do I need a phone here? I want a computer on the network to be able to control the plug, not my cell phone. – user541686 Dec 24 '19 at 6:10
  • Ah - my apologies. Most typical 'smart devices' (plugs, lamps, etc) are controlled by apps on smartphones these days; either that, or, from devices such as 'Alexa' or cloud based services such as IFTTT. The phone has the advantage of being able to be on the same wifi network as the plug. If you don't want to use a phone, but rather, a computer on the network, then you'll almost definitely need a 'hub' of some sort. I believe the HomeSeer product supports local operation ... but you don't want a 'hub' either, so I'm afraid I can't help you! Good Luck! – Steerpike Dec 24 '19 at 6:58
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    @Steerpike why would the OP need a hub? Everything you describe using a phone can be done just as easily (more easily, even) using a computer. Simply change the word "phone" to "computer" in your answer and it should work just as well. Am I missing something? – terdon Dec 24 '19 at 16:12
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    @terdon - "whether a computer will be able to control the smart switches is a whole different question, granted" - agreed. If you are a programmer, you could write such a thing but otherwise I don't think the capability exists. The obvious alternative to having a PC program to do the job is to use a simple browser interface, and that's why a hub is suggested; I think hubs such as homeseer support browser access (and thus, access from a PC). But even though homeseer advertise 'locally processed automation', they advertise smartphone apps but not PC apps. Hopefully 'browser' access is included. – Steerpike Dec 24 '19 at 17:30
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    Yes, I see the issue now. I had thought you meant the problem was connecting the computer to the network which should be trivial. I hadn't considered that you'd still need a tool to configure the smart plugs and such tools would likely be mobile-only. Thanks for the clarification. – terdon Dec 24 '19 at 17:35
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Sonoff do a range of smart sockets that can be flashed with the opensource firmware (though it does look to require soldering skills).

Once flashed they can be controlled by either a local MQTT broker or HTTP request direct to the sockets.

For straight off the shelf options:

If you are happy just to ignore the cloud capabilities Belikin's WeMo devices can also be controlled by sending SOAP messages locally. They will require you to use the mobile phone app to set them up initially (connect them to the wifi), but then can be discovered and controlled over the local network and would support cloud/voice assistant integration should you later change your mind. (I managed to reverse engineer the command for the WeMo devices while writing the Node-RED support for them). I also have a NodeJS script that can control sockets as well as WeMo Lights https://gist.github.com/hardillb/1279241bb886ee28c05b

Similarly other people appear to have reverse engineered the protocol for the TP-Link devices: https://blog.georgovassilis.com/2016/05/07/controlling-the-tp-link-hs100-wi-fi-smart-plug/

Most WiFi sockets will have local control that a mobile app will use when on the same network, as well as Cloud based control which is normally required for voice assistants to work.

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  • Hmm I see. I'm hoping to avoid soldering, but I guess it's better than nothing. +1 – user541686 Dec 24 '19 at 8:56
  • @Mehrdad I can confirm the Georgo Vassilis scripts work with the TP-Link HS-100 smart plug without any need for soldering. Local network on/off without cloud. – gowenfawr Dec 24 '19 at 19:55
  • @gowenfawr: Oh wow really?! Awesome, thanks!! – user541686 Dec 24 '19 at 19:57
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Belkin WeMo devices advertise themselves using SSDP/UPnP, and expose a SOAP interface over HTTP. All you need to be able to control them is to be on the same network segment as one, and to know its name or serial number.

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  • but even 'being on the same network segment' may be a challenge if the OP wants the switch not accessible through the internet, right? If you have a PC that is connected to the internet (for normal everyday use) then it can't also be on the same segment as the switch, if that switch is not on the same segment as the internet connection. A PC with two network interfaces could achieve this but most PCs aren't dual-NIC. You could set up static routes and so on to achieve some of this but that's getting a bit involved. – Steerpike Dec 24 '19 at 17:21
  • @Steerpike "on the same WLAN" was already part of the question. We'll assume that OP knows how to use VLANs to create an internet-isolated network segment if that's a requirement. As stated, it just says that internet shouldn't be needed. – hobbs Dec 24 '19 at 17:33

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