Last week I lost control over my house, for 12 hours, because something went wrong with iTead systems.
Sonoff devices device works flawlessly per se, and I'm very happy to have 13 of them around my house.
I'm beginning to think there's a glitch in their marketing model. I haven't thought for a moment that they want to spy on us, like some else implied in this forum, but every serious usage require redundancy and backup.
We cannot rely on the whole "cloud" model to be always working: too many things can go wrong on the user side, on itead side and, eventually, on the side of the many third party service providers involved (ISPs and Cloud providers above all).
Every digital and/or networking system might stop working every now and then. While we can surely afford not to remotely switch on a light, what about water heating, house heating, door opening, surveillance systems?
I did my best to build redundancy in my installations, but there are two factors that are not easily overcame.
First, some sonoff device might be (and in my case are) difficult to be physically reached: inside walls or up near the ceiling, the onboard switch is almost useless in these cases.
Second, Dual sonoff aren't capable of manually switching the connected devices on/off: if the system isn't working (i.e. they are offline), the only possible solution is to uninstall them, which is not acceptable at all.
iTead (and coolkit) seem to be trying to sell their solution to third parties (other manufacturers who are supposed to relay onto their whole solution, cloud included) which is cool. If I had to, I would guess that's why they are so "cloud-centered": to offer a easy and rapid solution, all included. It's cool.
But other than toyish usages, without redundancy their solution is unimplementable: I hope they realize this soon (if they haven't already).
The solution that comes to mind is very simple, and a few have already suggested it here: a dual control system. The cloud is great for remote control, but when the app is on the same local network the sonoff devices are, everything should switch to local. Simply put: automatic switching to LAN control.
If I'm home, I should be able to control my devices even if my Internet connection is down.
If they could do this with an open protocol, that would be top. But after all, not everyone of us wants to build his/her own system: I'm cool with their app, they can keep their protocol reserved as much as they want. To me, the only thing that matters is that I don't ever lose control over my house again.
Other than the above, thank you iTead, I'm very happy with your products!
What do you think?
Yes the LAN control by app does work, I use it on my SLAMPHERS, when connection is down, you can Enable LAN on the rightmost corner, the three dots (...). When you tap it, a yellow balloon appears and displays Successfully connecting with 0 devices over LAN.
You mix things - radio control on 433MHz is a radio technology, where you have a "remote controller" in your pocket that is made to work and control a specific device - point-to-point communication. In mobile phones, this is similar to Bluetooth on 2.4Ghz - 2400MHz.
The 2.4GHz is the same frequency, and Bluetooth / WiFi or WLAN share this band. BT is point-to-point, and has a part that is "Connectionless" - the old method of exchanging business card and addresses on infra-red can be mimicked. In WLAN it is clients that interact with a server using tcp/ip. The "Server" listen to ports and the clients "connect" to the ports. The radio link use a radio frequency 2.4GHz, 3.4GHz and even higher. The "sensor" is a client and sends packets to the server, to connect to this - establish a session. So a new session is made to every client - sensor.
The "server" they connect to can be anywhere in the world - at home, in China and in the cloud. This server assemble the packets and send information to your phone and allows you to control the devices it is the way the "server in the cloud" interface that is offered, and not the link to the sensors. Then some sensors do not use a server in the cloud or allows you to code a local gateway - on your LAN. Bluntly, it is the interface to the many sensors that is interesting for me, and let us access these as "services" on a "LAN" with a VPN. Otherwise it is the 433MHz, where a server can be made to imitate all the remote controls around. Each "client" then owns a radio or IR virtual device and control the sensors...
I am sorry, it is an attempt to clarify, there are too many threads and assumption to comment. We must improve.