insteon hub and app dead

Smart Home

Smart Home Company Insteon Is Dead. What Happened?

By Kevin Castle

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The popular smart home company, Insteon, has shut down without warning, leaving its customers with devices that no longer work.

What caused Insteon from shutting down without any warning?

Right now, no one knows. Customers noticed over the last few days that their devices stopped working. When they contacted Insteon support, they never received any replies, and phone numbers are disconnected.

Apparently, according to Apple Insider’s report, Insteon had suddenly gone out of business and shut its servers down, leaving all customers in the dark. This was done without notifying anyone. Shady…

Insteon’s parent company Smart labs were contacted by several media outlets and customers but to no avail. Those contacts went cold.

Another interesting fact that has taken place is that Insteon’s upper management has removed any mention of the company from their social accounts, as reported by Review Geek.

Sadly, the company did not keep its servers online while it was closing down, which rendered the Insteon app inoperable. Due to the sudden server closure, smart home automations and schedules are also no longer functioning. Talk about a shitty thing for a company to do. This was a full-out quit and dump job. 

Some users on Reddit have found that certain devices still do work, stating that they can turn on and off lights and open garage doors by pressing the switches manually. So that is good, at least the current Insteon customers still have manual controls, something I always make sure I set up when installing new smart gear. I explain this in my article about this very thing here.

What can Insteon customers do now?

Best advice for Insteon customers now? Start replacing the most important devices now, such as switches, plugs and bulbs etc. Make sure the new gear is compatible with the Zigbee protocol. This is important as you can use most of these devices locally with any hub you want such as Alexa 4th gen, Samsung SmartThings and Home Assistant.

The biggest problem with companies like Insteon is that they used a proprietary protocol, locking other brand-name hardware and software. This is a poor decision and completely outdated nowadays. Because when a company goes under, all that gear is useless. Right now, Wyze is operating under its own proprietary protocol and could suffer the same fate. Wyze is however listed on the MATTER alliance as a participating brand. This is good as they will hopefully open up their ecosystem.

Companies need to be more open so they don’t suffer the same fate as Insteon. Smart home tech is only getting better, so the more brands that keep their product open, the better for the industry for both them and the customers.