My Weekend in Smarthome Hell

Published by Samantha Wheatley August 08, 2018

I’m not sure about you but I have very little free time. Between working full time, planning a wedding, renovating our house and trying to be a good friend, sister, and daughter, my weekends are packed with activities. I’m not complaining because my life is pretty wonderful. And I know all of you parents out there have it worse with soccer games, Moana viewings, and Jonas Brothers concerts (I’m pretty sure they aren’t a thing anymore, but what do I know?)

We are all too busy and don’t have time for inconvenient surprises.

Last weekend, I faced the biggest strain on my relationship with my fiancé to date. What started it all was him buying a new router that he heard would be faster and more reliable.

He unplugged our old router, plugged in the new router and all hell broke loose. Our security cameras went offline. Our smart TVs were disconnected from the Internet. Our Amazon Echo went silent (as did the speakers I have connected to it.) My fiancé’s gaming console - gone. Our doorbell - offline. Pet food dispenser - offline. Thermostat - offline. Every other connected device - done for.

If he had waited to consult me, I could have warned him that this would happen although it wouldn’t have made much of a difference in the outcome...

The next several hours were spent reconnecting our devices to our new home Wi-Fi network. Each product has a different onboarding process, and many of the products had to be factory reset. That was an adventure in itself -- do people still use paper clips to clip paper or just to press that little button to factory reset smart home devices?

I’m all for new technology… I work at an awesome tech company, I live in Silicon Valley, I regularly wear hoodies. But this router almost tore us apart. Luckily, through hard work, perseverance and a break for a much-deserved glass of wine, we managed to reconnect every device in our house after about four and a half hours.

Had the same thing happened to my parents who are super smart but type with one finger, they would not even understand what went wrong or why. And to fix the situation, they would’ve had to call someone and pay them to fix it (and who would they call anyway?), spent hours on the phone with each product’s support team, or just stopped using the products. Well, now that I think about it, I probably would have spent my weekend visit to their house reconnecting everything!

Now that I’ve been scarred by this experience, I understand much better why ZipKey Reconnect is so valuable to product companies and end consumers.  

With ZipKey Reconnect, products automatically update with the new network name and password when a new router is installed or the network name or password changes.

If only everything in my home would have reconnected automatically!  This happens to about a quarter of homes every year -- so what are all of you product companies waiting for? If these products all used Wi-Fi, I would have been able to spend that four and a half hours talking with my fiancé about where his great aunt who is feuding with his second cousin should sit at our reception.

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