There is no perfect program/software/firmware in the world, and all programs/software/firmware must have defects, but there are two ways to make up for them. One is to deeply hide the loopholes, the other is to remove common dangers and quickly defend when attacked. Therefore, the same is true for smart home devices. Are WiFi thermostats reliable? Maybe sometimes it’s not.
What Causes Problems With WiFi Thermostat
The faults of the WiFi thermostat can be divided into several categories, mainly including poor quality of the factory, damage during transportation, incorrect use by users, and hacker intrusion. Here, eBee Technology will explain based on years of sales and service experience of smart thermostats.
WiFi Thermostat Failure Caused by Unqualified Factory Quality Control
Usually, a factory produces a WiFi thermostat, which requires injection molding of structural parts, placement of electronic components, and then manual assembly of screens, logic control circuit boards, buttons, wiring terminals, display panels and transformer circuit boards. Any problem in any of these steps will cause the WiFi thermostat product to malfunction. Therefore, quality inspection is very important.
The quality inspection method of the WiFi thermostat is an aging test. The factory uses rated voltage(24V, 110V or 220V) to power the WiFi thermostat for 24-48 hours of aging. In addition to checking whether the thermostat display status and key operation are good, a special instrument is also needed to test whether the signal and current value corresponding to the thermostat’s output terminal are stable. For example, a thermostat used in a boiler uses a dry contact to output, while a temperature control used in a plumbing valve has an output value of 3 to 5 amperes.
The factory must strictly control the quality of the thermostat. For the assembly process, it is necessary to write a professional SOP instruction book. The test must have a clear text stipulating the test items and the qualified standard parameters of each item.
If the factory is not well managed, it will cause quality problems in the WiFi thermostat, and the corresponding loss of users and after-sales costs are also very high.
WiFi Thermostat Damage Caused by Logistics Transportation
Although the WiFi thermostat has a shock-proof design on the packaging, careless express companies still often bring some problems. Based on sales statistics, eBee Technology found that the most common problems caused by logistics are screen display failures and damaged packaging.
So, how can we improve it? eBee Technology has reinforced the screen structure, and the packaging has been designed with two layers. Basically, solve the after-sales problem caused by logistics.
the WiFi Thermostat Is Damaged Due to Improper Use
The most common user misuse is wiring problems. Some users who like DIY install the thermostat by themselves, resulting in wiring errors, and in serious cases, accidental electric shock or transformer overload. Although eBee Technology has done overvoltage protection for the product, we strongly recommend that a professional electrician perform the installation.
The advanced settings and programming modes of the WiFi thermostat are also places that often confuse users. For example, we have made a switch design between the built-in sensor and the external sensor. Some users are not clear, and think that the inaccurate temperature display is due to a malfunction of the thermostat.
In order to solve this problem, a detailed instruction manual is necessary, and eBee Technology also attaches this document to the product packaging. We recommend that users read it carefully before use and keep this document for reference at any time. If the user accidentally loses the manual, we also provide a way to browse online. On our download page.
Hackers Invade WiFi Thermostat
Here we return to the sentence we started with, “There is no perfect program in the world”.
In the early years, there was news that the WiFi thermostat was hacked (not a product of EBEE Technology). The hacker obtained the returned product after the sale, installed a malicious program on the MCU of the thermostat through the physical USB interface, and obtained the network control right of the WiFi thermostat, which caused the user to be unable to use the thermostat normally. In addition, the user data on the WiFi thermostat was also obtained by hackers.
With the development and upgrade of IoT products and smart hardware, hackers will be more and more difficult to invade, but there is also the risk of being invaded. For WiFi thermostats, there are two aspects that will be hacked at present.
the Risk of Physical Intrusion of the WiFi Thermostat
This risk item is the same as the case just mentioned. After the WiFi thermostat was intercepted offline by hackers, hackers reprogrammed the thermostat, maliciously replaced the product hardware, etc.
Physical hijacking is the most terrible. Basically, hackers will gain all control rights, and a series of terrible accidents will occur…
the Cloud Server and Upper Computer of the WiFi Thermostat Are Hijacked By Hackers
In addition to the hijacking of physical hardware, hackers can also hijack the WiFi thermostat by hacking into cloud servers and upper computers.
Cloud Server Hijacking
Cloud server is currently the mainstream service solution of the Internet of Things. If the structure of the cloud server is unreasonable and the security is too low, it will give hackers the opportunity to attack. For example, a hacker obtains the authority to issue instructions from the cloud server and continuously issues high power consumption or infinite loop instructions to the WiFi thermostat, which may cause the thermostat to overload.
eBee Technology’s cloud server partner is Tuya Smart. Its platform services are safe, stable, and efficient, and it is a trustworthy cloud server.
Upper Computer Hijacking
Common upper computers of WiFi thermostats include APP on smartphones and PC hosts. If the mobile phone is installed with a dangerous program or the PC host is attacked, it may affect the normal use of the WiFi thermostat.
Fortunately, with the improvement of mobile phone systems and hosts, this risk has been reduced to very low, or in other words, the cost for hackers has become very high.
With the popularity of the Internet of Things, home appliance upgrades have become an inevitable trend, but this is a double-edged sword that brings convenience and risks. Are the WiFi thermostats reliable? The answer is that it is not 100% safe, but we can continue to optimize and upgrade the product and improve the level of after-sales service so that users can use it with confidence.