Vera Edge - no internet access not working

I bought Vera Edge because it was marketed as not needing internet access but that wasn’t true without significant work.
I decided to test out whether it was accessing the internet by blocking outbound messages. At first it worked ok and it seemed to work correctly, but the next day I couldn’t get to the dashboard - spinning wheel, but the scene events worked. Anyone know why?

Well-known issue. They are highly dependent on Vera’s cloud services and access to stable time services. You can decouple them, though.

I know it is an issue. But we added an NTP server to our router in order to avoid internet. And that was supposed to be enough.

Did you reconfigure the Vera for the new NTP servers, or were you relying on DHCP advertisements from the router (or whatever is serving DHCP in your LAN)?

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I’m checking but I think we used the default NTP on our router.

Setting up NTP on your router does not change the NTP servers used by the Vera. Unless you logged in to the Vera over SSH and did some incantations, your Vera is still using its configured time servers. If that process doesn’t seem familiar, let me know and I’ll post in more detail, although, that alone is not enough. The previously-linked scripts are really what’s necessary (and quickly reversible if you need to go back to the cloud for updates, etc.).

When I was discussing this with Vera support they said that our controller was using our router’s NTP server. Here is what they said: “your Vera Edge is not configured to contact our servers for the time/date settings, instead, it is contacting a local machine with IP address 192.168.0.1 through port 123.

OK, but it would be interesting to find out how it got that way, because it doesn’t do it on its own that I’ve ever seen.

If you ssh into your Vera, type uci show ntpclient and uci show system.ntp, it will show you the configured servers.

But again, NTP alone will not keep it up and running uninterrupted during an Internet outage, particularly an extended one.

image
This is the info that Vera support sent me

Is NTP the only function that uses Vera servers? It has been a while since I installed Vera and I don’t remember the entire process.

Oh no. There is a lot that goes on in the background. There are backups, log uploads, remote access tunnel connections, weather updates, etc. Some of those things will cause reloads if they don’t succeed. That’s why NTP alone won’t cut it. The decouple script I linked to earlier does all the other work necessary.

The information sent is only part. It does not show ntpclient, which would be visible in the commands I sent you. This is another Vera bugaboo – they actually have two NTP time daemons running on the box, when only one is necessary.

A couple of questions:

Why does the controller have to be linked via cable instead of WiFi in order to get it listed?

How on earth could Vera say the controller can run without internet access? when we have to run “unsupported” scripts to do this? Actually I can’t see this on the Vera site anymore. Did they realize it was wrong?

Well, I can only speculate, since I’m not a Vera engineer, but it’s based on OpenWrt, which is an open source router/firewall/access point distro, so it wants to be an AP out of the box, and therefore it’s biased in that role. It’s probably configurable to have WAN and LAN on the same interface, even WiFi, but it wouldn’t be something that’s commonly done as a router/AP (and in fact, it’s probably kind of a ropey thing to do, reliability-wise), and it’s not a configuration they’ve decided to support in their UI.

They’ve made many claims they’ve backed away from over the years. Bluetooth was advertised at one point but never really worked. Zigbee is almost the same – so little support it may as well not exist. It’s not that Vera doesn’t work without Internet access, it just doesn’t work as well as you (or I, in agreement) would have expected.

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Many thanks for the background. It seems that I may need to purchase a different controller if I do not want to have to write code in order not to be dependent on remote servers.

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