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ResetPlug: The IoT of everything in your home

A simple $60 device that plugs into your power strip can reset your broadband Wi-Fi router in the event of connectivity loss.

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Image: Jason Perlow

If you've got Internet-connected devices in your home -- smart appliances that communicate with cloud services, such as the NEST thermostat or an alarm system -- chances are that you've encountered a situation where your broadband infrastructure may require human intervention.

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We all know how this goes -- your Internet just stops working. If you have a setup of even the simplest complexity, that means at the very least, you need to reset a residential gateway by cycling the power.

Some of us also have a broadband modem, plus a router, and maybe even an additional wireless access point in the mix.

We can't always be home when we need to reset power. We also might not notice it immediately, either. Enter the ResetPlug, a new Wi-Fi enabled device that we've been clamoring about for years, and is finally here.

The ResetPlug does exactly what you think it does -- if a prolonged Internet outage is detected, the device cycles the power to your broadband devices. It checks for IP connectivity using a list of test sites -- if these fail to ping/respond, then the device continues to cycle the power every five minutes until connectivity is restored.

Setup is simple -- you plug the device into the power strip/surge protector that your broadband components are plugged into, and in turn, plug the device into a power receptacle itself, as shown above.

Initial configuration is accomplished by connecting to the ResetPlug's default Wi-Fi broadcast network (2.4Ghz 802.11n) and accessing a setup webpage with your smartphone/tablet or computer, and providing it with the SSID/password credentials of your home 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi network.

At that point the device resets, and if you see a steady blue and red light, everything is a go.

I was able to test this device by simply pulling power to the Wi-Fi access point -- sure enough, within five minutes, the device started cycling power to the strip with all my broadband components on it.

When I plugged the access point back in and connectivity was restored, it stopped cycling.

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Once the device is set up, it's pretty much set it and forget it. There's no way to access any kind of administrative page and monitor connectivity or any kind of logging -- this is by design as the ResetPlug runs on a fairly simple low-power microcontroller with minimal memory/compute and adding more features to it might potentially make it unstable.

The company does plan to provide a cloud-based reporting/alerting service via a firmware update in the near future so that when your broadband does go down, an email to the account administrator can be sent.

The ResetPlug costs $60 and can be ordered through the company's web site.

Do you need a ResetPlug or know someone who does? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

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