Anonymous asked in Computers & InternetComputer Networking · 1 month ago

Secret inside home security camera and smartplug?

I got a security camera and a smartplug, when the first time I initiated their connection, how could they connect to my phone with their apps and went through their connection setup? It seems that they don't have Bluetooth nor NFC. How could they do that? Thanks.

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    For the Ring cameras when you put them in setup mode they broadcast their own Wifi SSID.  The Ring app on your phone, when you put it in "add device mode" connects to this WiFi network, whereby you configure the Ring device to connect to your WiFi network.  

    Smart thermostats (Honeywell Home) work in a similar fashion.

    With a Ring camera setup it should be obvious that this is the process.  The Ring application asks to connect the Ring-xxxxx network.   The xxxxx part of the SSID is from the devices MAC address, which the application learns when you scan the QR code on the device or the box it was delivered in.

  • BigE
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Yeah, I wondered how these things configure themselves.  It is usually not as involved as you think, like using a separate SID or bluetooth.  I've worked in the wireless world and let me tell you things that started advertising when you plugged them in would cause some alarm as rogue APs. It is bad enough with cell phone hotspots running around.

    On my camera, it configure itself using a QR code.  In that QR code, it encodes the Wifi SID and password and the camera reads that when you show it to the camera.

    Google things use other Google things.  I believe the smart plug uses other Google enabled devices, they use your account to find the target unconfigured devices, they go out, discover, and pass the wifi parameters to the device (just the target device, not all devices).

    There are certain ethernet protocols that don't have to be initially connected to the WIFI, they can search by Mac and bootstrap devices, Whether google uses the known one (bootp) or they could use a proprietary one to do this.  In this way, they can configure a device that isn't really fully "connnected" in the WIFI sense, it is sort of a chicken and egg problem if it needs the wifi to work to configure wifi.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Most likely, the devices start up in AP (access point) mode, and the app connects to a Wi-fi network with the right name. The app then configures the device to act as a client instead.

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