Cellular backup for network?


#1

Is there any way to set up Hubitat to use a cellular modem, specifically the Iris LTE USB stick made by Huawei? I know it would need a new SIM card to replace the one installed by Lowe's.

Specific hardware information:
Model: E3372h-510
FCC ID: QISE3372H-510

With the Iris hub, it was passive unless the broadband network became disconnected. Then cellular would be active until the broadband connection became active again. This was good because if there were an even where someone wanted to break in and cut the cable, Iris would still be able to contact me if a break-in happened. Also, we have had cable outages where the cellular backup was a good thing to have.

I realize also that a cellular connection is not much good if the system does not know how to use it. I'm not sure if there is a company that has a plan for standby use that would be available for this modem.


#2

I would guess most people that want a backup internet connection get a router that can handle a backup WAN, and do it there.

I use Untangle as my routing software, and have an at&t cellular hotspot as my backup internet connection.

I know there are other more commercial/less DIY routers that can support backup WAN connections, too, though.


#3

I added one of these to my environment today:

I just connected it between my router and cable modem and it takes care of the rest. All I had to do was configure auto-failover in the device settings. Easy setup, relatively cheap, and a monthly fee I can live with of $20/month (standard additional device on my wireless plan). Since it's on the other side of the router, there were no changes to HE required for me.


#4

Anyone have a zero usage plan that works for this? I can set up my router to auto switch if I loose internet. Just want failover, if I loose internet, so my alarms will make it out. I fear that if I loose internet while watching 4k, I'll run up a data plan.. Wonder if my tomato router can only allow certain ip's on the failover connection.


#5

Did you test your bandwidth before and after adding it? I used another brand and my bandwidth was reduced significantly from my cable WAN, it was "Gigabit" too.


#6

I did check it last night and I have the same bandwidth with the new device in place. Granted, I live in a small town, and the fastest cable speed available is 120/15. But I'm still getting that without issue right now.


#7

I think I may have found a possible solution. The Huawei cellular stick needs a SIM to operate. I just came across AlarmSIM which looks like it may be what I need to get the Huawei stick working. Now to see if my router supports fallback communication if the broadband goes out.


#8

I've been toying with setting up a USB cellular modem as a failover WAN for my router, but haven't been able to justify the expense of an add-on data plan to our family mobile plan to myself, let alone my wife!

I hadn't heard of alarmsim.com but it looks interesting, and cheaper than any other option I've found, so thanks for sharing!

If you decide to look for a new router, ASUS makes several at varying price points that can support a USB cell modem in failover mode. They also have built-in openVPN servers, which is very helpful for remotely accessing the hub's admin pages.


#9

Question, do you want the backup for what? Asking because alarmsim sounds good but just 250mb of data, are you going to use the data just for Hubitat when main internet is out? For what? Notification of intrusion?


#10

Exactly! If the broadband is out, I certainly want to receive notification of intrusion.


#11

Do you have Ring doorbell? Or Ring cameras? I have so what I did is I got the Ring Alarm system and connected it to HE using a relay with hubduino or konnected and the contact sensor from Ring, if an intrusion happens Ring will alert me even if the full network at home is down and if you don't answer Ring's call, or you answer but not at home they will dispatch the police. For $10 a month or $100 a year it's a good deal if you want to add monitored system to HE. Just an option, the failover of the network is a good one too.


#12

No Ring video doorbells or Ring cameras. I just started using Alfred which uses old smart phones as cameras and current smart phone as viewer. However, that and Hubitat are not integrated and it also relies on broadband since the camera phones do not have any cellular connection.


#13

Alarmsim is a great idea, 5 bucks a month and you're covered.
So just a note of caution, do verify your cell modem and router work together. I have an Asus as68U which supports wan failover but my Verizon modem(Novatel USB551L) is very difficult to consistently connect when installed in router. I have a GL-Inet mini travel router that connects 100% of the time but doesn't get the sppeds this 4g modem is capable of compared to the modem's performace on Window's desktop. BTW I live about 12 miles from NYC, so signal is fantastic and not part of the issue.

And if you're going to stream Alfred video you will quickly go over the 250mb, even with a short outage


#14

I saw that. I was thinking of it more for the alerts for my Hubitat system, not for video from Alfred. Unfortunately, my Linksys modem does not support cellular failover. :frowning:


#15

The netgear modem that @reachjeffs linked to above should work with pretty much any router since it installs between your broadband modem and router. It switches itself from bridge/passthrough to router mode when it is unable to ping a known IP address (like google DNS servers).

Unfortunately it’s quite a bit more expensive than many USB modems.


#16

I purchased one of these to use to access a temporary network and cameras at our new house, since we have a few weeks of slowly moving stuff in before we actually live there. Works great on a Google Fi data sim. I intended to sell it once Fios is set up, but the Ubiquiti security gateway has a built-in auto-fallover and I will keep it to serve that purpose.

Since Google Fi only charges for the data you use, I'll probably limit upload/download speeds to something pretty low to avoid accidentally streaming 4k video over LTE :slight_smile:


#17

Was there supposed to be a link to a product in your note?


#18

I was referring to the Netgear LTE modem that reachjeffs linked to. But I just realized that version is the two port version. I bought the cheaper one port version, since my router can handle the fallover.


#19

Thanks. The colon made it appear as if you meant to insert a link. I understand now. I had not thought about looking into a Google Fi data SIM. I'm using Google Fi for phone service already.


#20

I have Google Fi and you can get up to 10 SIM cards on your account. The SIMs are free and you only pay for the data gets used. The SIMs are data only. $10 per GB for data but data is measured for the account, not per SIM.