Potential new user from SmartThings

I've done a lot of reading and know I have to do a lot more. Looking to (possibly) move from SmartThings. I just found HubConnect, is that a good way to get started? My family uses the ST app and I don't want to take that away from them right away if I don't have to.

Thanks!

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I moved from SmartThings a while back, and I wanted to move stuff over to HE in a staged way. I found Hub Connect to work well. I used it even after I'd thrown my ST hub in a drawer to run a few automations that I hadn't figured out rules for yet.

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It would definitely work: as you move the "real" devices to Hubitat, you can use HubConnect to create what are effectively "virtual" (LAN/cloud, really) devices on the SmartThings side. I think at this point, most HubConnect devices have "full" ST DTHs, which allow for a typical UI presentation in the ST app. Originally, most were just "universal" drivers (Hubitat's term for DTHs) that exposed commands and attributes to ST for use in automations but didn't have much of a UI in the ST app. HubConnect also supports custom DTHs/drivers, so I guess there's no reason you couldn't make something work if it doesn't already, but the set of stock drivers/DTHs is pretty broad (and in most cases the worst you'll get is something that exposes a bit "extra" or misses an attribute or two--e.g., many motion sensor DTHs assume the device supports temperature, so you might have a blank tile on the ST side if you use one of those drivers for a sensor that doesn't--no big deal).

However, I think creating a Dashboard entirely on the Hubitat side might be a better long-term solution. HubConnect will certainly work in the meantime or for as long as you want, but with, for example, Hubitat Dashboard, you'd be able to give them an entirely local option for device monitoring and control that doesn't depend on the ST cloud or even the Internet at all (though there is also a cloud option). If you don't mind a cloud but just want to get rid of ST's, SharpTools also works. Both are comparable to ActionTiles if you've ever used (or heard about that) on SmartThings; if you haven't...well, there's a reason people like them better than the ST app for this kind of thing anyway. :slight_smile:

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I have used ActionTiles on. A couple of tablets. Do you need Sharptools with Hubitat or is it just a Nice to have

Just a nice to have, the dashboard it great for most things and is local when on your network, but sharptools has a nice UI.

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+1000 for hubconnect. I wasn't aware of it when I switched from ST, but wish I was. It works fantastic and I use it to have the ST mobile app, although I need to setup a noip address or vpn to get into my HE hub when out.
If you use hub connect I'll bet no one will even notice you switched hubs

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What do you mean by this

If you go to: https://www.noip.com/

you'll understand

Thanks. Do you just use that for your hubitat hub

First, VPN -- Virtual Private Network. It's an encrypted connection between you and your home (in this discussion).

Use a tool such as OpenVPN. You can often find that your Router will deploy an OpenVPN endpoint for you... all you need to use it is a way to find it. noip does that portion.

You create some meaningful-to-you name, and via NoIp, publish it in DNS worldwide.

You install the OpenVPN client on any phone, tablet or laptop you wish to use to connect to your home from afar, using the name you created in NoIp.

You visit Starbucks.. decide you need to check your cameras inside your house. You start the OpenVPN client and 2 seconds later it says 'connected'. NOW your have a direct, encrypted connection to inside your home. You launch your Camera app and look at your cams exactly like you would have done from your bed. That 2 second click to build the VPN is ALL that is different.

Dashboards on Hubitat, just use them locally.. no need to expose them via Hubitat's Cloud. (You still can, of course, but for 2 seconds in VPN build time, why? :slight_smile:

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Any advice on the port forwarding setup for NoIP? I don’t know what the port numbers are

Please, please, please...:pray: do NOT port forward any ports on your router to the Hubitat Hub. The Hubitat hub is not designed to be exposed directly to the internet, even if you enable its password protection feature.

It it much safer to use a VPN server on your home network that will allow you to access your entire home network safely and securely when away from home.

There are numerous threads where various methods are described in detail. In general, you should be able to use the Hubitat mobile phone app (using the Dashboards feature) to remotely control devices on you Hubitat hub while away from home. Access the Hub's web admin page should rarely be required. If needed, please do not port forward to get remote access. Use a VPN solution.

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I second the call for a VPN - it's just good to have regardless.

Also check out wireguard:

https://www.wireguard.com/

New kid on the block with some interesting features, You can integrate it into your network if you use an OPNsense or pfSense firewall (others as well). Otherwise OpenVPN works really well.

Got it. Thanks for the advice. I’ll dig into the VPN solution

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Hubitat administration is local only. Want to Create A Rule.. it's local only. Want to to use the Rule, it's available worldwide via Dashboard. So... OpenVPN is MOST useful to gain Admin access. You don't want to hand your Hub over to the internet so that anyone can 'adjust your rules' - which port forwarding allows.!!

NoIP is a DNS tool. It's used to give a name to your ISP's assigned IP address for your home. It's usually a dynamic address, meaning it changes with reboot, yours or theirs. NoIP gets updated from your home, and thus when you are not at your home. you can find it's IP address.

That is the trivially easy part. OpenVPN has two parts, your router at home AND the devices you take with you when you're not at home: phones, tablets, ect.

You can find out if your home router (modem) has OpenVPN option with the make and model.

Using the Configuration menu of your home router, you'd enable NoIP and OpenVPN. Usually simple clicks and id/pw words. Then install the OpenVPN client app on your mobile device and again, follow the prompts to complete the setup.

Once it's setup you simply turn the VPN on, and 2 seconds later, when it says Connected, you use it.

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