Setting up WeMo switches – forget everything you know about WiFi

Setting up WeMo switches – forget everything you know about WiFi

2014-06-13 blog 0

WeMo-FeatureWeMo switches are great – not only can you turn things on and off to schedules, and over the internet. You can even script control of them via IFTTT (e.g. turn on the heater when the temperature drops to 17C, or turn the heater on for half an hour in the mornings, with your clothes draped over it 😉

However setting them up can be a bit of a trial. In my case I found my techie enhanced expectations of how setup would work, actually worked against me. I assumed that like other WiFi enabled devices, I’d connect them to my WPA2 WiFi using WPS, they’d call home to Belkin, etc.

But no – they want to use WiFi to connect to your phone (with the WeMo app) first! They then ask your phone for the password for the WiFi they should connect to. Very counterintuitive for a techie – though in retrospect, not a bad system. They use your phone as their keyboard, to get the WiFi password. I assume they talk to Belkin servers using port 80/443 to avoid firewall/dumb router troubles.

UPDATE: Another complication arises when you have multiple wifi access points… but that’s a tale for another day.