Remote Cable Modem Reset Plug

Posted here for lack of a better location, feel free to adjust or recommend a better category if I have it wrong.

I have a couple remote properties I manage using Hubitat to control locks and switches. I have a VPN installed at each for remote Hubitat administration. I'm trying to find the best method to remotely reset key network components in case I have a problem and they lock up. Any single method is limited, I don't have a backup network connection. I think I have a workable solution thus far, but interested if anyone has any devices or recommendations:

1 - I have a z-wave power plug on my VPN box which I can reset that through Hubitat.
2 - I have a wifi power plug independent of Hubitat on my C7 box so I can power cycle the Hubitat if necessary.
3 - I don't have anything on my cable modem as that was the primary (only) remote communication link. I can go into local administration through the VPN, I also have the modem (which has integrated router/wifi) configured for remote administration through the public IP. I can remotely restart the modem through the web administration pages.

Interestingly it's the cable modem which has been causing me the most issues. Although the connectivity hasn't been a problem, remote administration locks up occasionally and won't allow me access through either the local or public IP. I solved this previously with a power cycle.

My intended solution:
I have a NEO power plug which I've set a simple rule machine to turn on the plug 10 seconds after I turn it off. This method seems to work in my tests at home, however I'm concerned if something happens and the plug doesn't cycle. If that were to happen I will have cut my only comms path to my remote location.

I noticed this evening my Zooz double plug has auto-ON configuration options which can be independently set for as short as 1 minute on each plug. This may be a more reliable option which is internal to the plug and doesn't rely on a z-wave order from Hubitat. Although the plugs are located near the hub, in my experience z-wave comms can be susceptible to interference or loss.

I have not set any routines to try and automate a full reset process, but rather just set up tools for me to manually reset if the need arises.

My question is does anyone have experience with the Zooz plug using the auto-on feature, or any other recommended solutions? I have a Zooz double plug and plan to start testing the auto-on for reliability.

All devices (the cable modem / VPN / and Hubitat) are plugged into an UPS battery backup so power loss isn't an immediate concern. Although I've read about independent Hubitat battery backup solutions and concerns with power cycle resets potentially causing corruption, I haven't had any issues and I'm comfortable accepting that risk.

I have no experience with the Zooz plug auto-on, but I do have a ZEN16 MultiRelay that has the same function. Yes, it works, I tested it, but decided to go a Rule Machine route because I needed more complex control. So, it would seem that Zooz auto-on would work for your cable modem power cycle, IF you can get to it from the WAN through VPN.

That said, though, there seems to be an oversight in your setup. If, as you say, the real weakness is your cable modem, which needs to be power cycled to fix it, don’t you need some sort of a deadman switch on the plug/switch for the cable modem, such that, if you don’t get an endpoint ping from the WAN for, say, 1/2 hour (or whatever), or if your hub can’t reach an internet endpoint for, say, 1/2 hour (probably the better way to set it up), then you assume that the cable modem has malfunctioned and needs to be power cycled.

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They make (or did) a device that if it lost ping to the internet, would reboot the modem. That is probably more failsafe, but more expensive than doing it the way you outline here.

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I have a ResetPlug setup on my cable modem. When the internet goes out for more than 5 minutes it reboots the modem. It actually works pretty well as I see it kick in every now and then when my provider does some kind of change that requires the modem to be rebooted while I'm sleeping.

The basic features is free but then have some extra cloud features that you subscribe to that may be worth it.

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I have a node-red sequence that restarts my cable modem (by cycling a zigbee plug) if pings to my ISP's gateway fail for 5 minutes.

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Thanks for the suggestions, and appreciate the notes on a 'reboot on loss of internet.' I checked the Reset Plug, it doesn't appear to be available. While I can pull up the website, I'm not able to select any items or click on any links. I checked Amazon and there are a couple of similar plugs (Keep Connect and WiFi Restarter) with mixed reviews.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MCRQPCS/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_2CF6NNSJPVNBDMXXB4K8

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GLTN49M/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_NHVGC45MEXQBSJ0P72VD

In my case I haven't had a problem with the modem dropping internet connectivity, only that I lose access to the admin web interface, however I see the benefit of a reset device. I'll probably consider some combination of both options. I see the paid version of the ResetPlug offers both auto and manual reset which would work. Also

I saw the comment on the ZEN16. I have a ZEN16 but haven't used it yet. When I have a chance to test the Zooz double-plug I'll provide an update.

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you could use something like this to trigger a smart plug to turn off then turn back on like 10 seconds later

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Tasmota plug + Monit.

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i have a separate att access pt at each house with its own wifi (extra 20 per month if on family plan)
and then a kasa/tplink wifi plug on it that i can remotely reboot the main cable modem/switches.

on the att access pt i have another kasa plug this time on the main cable wifi router so i can reboot that as well.

they are one of the few plugs that remember last state for a power outage.. in addition i have schedules on each that will turn on every few hours, just in case they somehow get turned off.

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The Zooz double-plug looks very promising. I enabled the auto-turn on and set the turn-on timer to 1 min (the minimum timer setting) and approx 1 minute later the plug turned on. Each time I turned it off, it came back on without any external polling or prompting. As an additional bonus, both sides can be set / controlled independently for auto turn on (or auto-off). Also as stated, the draw back is you need to turn it off manually, and need either auto code or internet access to Hubitat to first turn it off. Working that detail (below).

A method to ping/check internet access is required for a full backup solution. The various wifi reset plugs will do this completely independent of a network connection or any RM/HE app, I'm also intrigued by @bptworld's Web Pinger code @dadarkgtprince referenced appears very promising, I will probably try that option.

@kahn-hubitat - agree a separate access point provides the best backup, Even better if you have two separate service providers. Most of the plugs I've seen will remember last state, and most also have an auto-off feature which is normally disabled. The Zooz double-plug was one of the only ones I've seen that included auto-on. I have a monoprice single plug with USB similar to the Zooz single plug, but that does not include the auto-on feature.

I haven't settled on a wifi reset plug, but if I order and try any I'll provide results here. Appreciate all the info!

Do you have a RPi or any other always-on computer with a ping utility on your network? You can ping using that, and then MakerAPI end-point(s) to turn off/on the plugs of your choice.

any plug zooz or other on your hub does not solve the problem if your main internet is down or needs to be rebooted and your house is empty.. that is why i have wifi plugs on a separate internet connection..

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No always on computer - the main remote location I'm currently working is a rental home going through renovation. The network is just the cable modem, HE, a FireWalla VPN box, a couple of Ring cameras and the z-wave network switches/locks. This setup allows me to monitor contractor access to the property while they are doing the work, we're about 2 hrs away.

The issue I was having is the VPN box and HE kept changing IPs (even though I set reserved IPs) which required me to reset my port forwarding to get into the network. The cable modem firmware doesn't seem to be the most stable (Motorola MG7540 dual band 16x4 AC WiFi router). I just have 25MB basic internet service which is sufficient for camera streaming and monitoring the property. The modem is fine for the most part, except the DHCP reserved IP doesn't seem to be setting the same reserve IP assignment, and the web interface locks up. Hubitat's latest network static IP firmware has been a great addition! Resetting the modem allows me to get back into the admin setup.

The modem has provided reliable internet, so web pinging hasn't been a real issue. I would resort to either a wifi reset plug (which has built-in pinging to a DNS address or address of your choice) or the Web Pinger monitor app.

Not familiar with the MakerAPI end-point reference.

My other properties have RPi VPN boxes running WireGuard VPN. Cheaper than the FireWalla solution with a bit more setup. All detailed in the VPN forum.

newer firmware allows you to set static IP :slight_smile:

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I'm just jumping in because I came to the forum looking for this exact thing. Unifi makes an outlet that reboots your modem/router if it detects the internet is out (normally my cable internet is fixed by a simple power cycle) but that looks like a rabbit hole. I would rather do it with the Zigbee outlet I have sitting on my desk and Hubitat.

there's no manual control, and depending on how long it takes your modem to boot back up, the outlet could re-poll and restart again. i saw a couple stories on their forums when it first came out and i stayed clear of the device since then. not sure if they have fixed it since then, but i would not recommend it

Oh, I don't want it. There is also conflicting info on if you need a Dream Machine or just a controller. I want to do something with Hubitat.

Tracking - a great addition! my RPi VPNs are the same, I can set those at will. Firewalla VPN is designed to be too much plug and play, but pulling up the admin page on my modem, with remote access enabled I could reset the port forwarding if necessary.

I would check out the web pinger app noted above, it looks like what you are looking for. I intend to, just haven't had time yet.

I checked out the web pinger app by @bptworld . Works by linking the app to a real or virtual switch, many options to include a switch for manually checking, linking to a switch to disable the app, and may be set to switch on or switch off a device, or both may be used with separate devices. Polling periodicity and revisit time (before reporting) may be set within the app. Child apps are created for each individual website you want to poll or each device you want to control. Polling must be done through a web address, IP based local network polling did not work in my case.

I also checked out two device drivers by @jwetzel1492.
joelwetzel (Joel Wetzel) · GitHub

Joel has two device drivers, one for HTTP web requests, the 2nd is IP based and listed as a iPhone presence sensor. Both these devices are set to poll 1 time per minute. I created a fork which uses the same code and adds options to choose a desired number of polling events per hour. I haven't fully tested the app for all types of local IP devices, however it worked fine with test polling of the HE hub. It did not work for polling google's DNS IP 8.8.8.8.

Virtual devices created with these device drivers generate events each time the web or IP address is sensed as present or not present. Times can be set for a minimum number of minutes before reporting a loss of internet, or in the case of my fork, minimum number of tries.

Either of these methods will work fine for testing internet connectivity and controlling a plug or device to reset a modem / access point. I'm considering the local IP polling for more focused device checking and reset options within the local network.

Download the Hubitat app