Homogeneous or heterogeneous systems

I’ve got Pi-hole running on a Raspberry Pi that acts as the dns server for my home network. I added a few lists of domains to block that have to do with ads, tracking and malware. I just checked, and over the last 24 hours it’s blocked 11% of all traffic on my network, or 6,000 queries.

It was pretty easy to set up, and the Pi is only $35, and you can use it for tons of other fun stuff.

I never see ads anymore, and Facebook and Google can’t do much tracking. I also use my Ubiquiti edge router for VPN, so I can use my home network and not pay for a VPN service anymore when traveling.

Just to be clear, this doesn’t stop all tracking, and it’s just one layer of security in a multi-layer approach. This blocks specific domains, not facebook.com, but a lot of subdomains they use for tracking and ads like pixel.facebook.com, graph.facebook.com, ads.facebook.com, edge-mqtt.facebook.com, etc. It actually broke Messenger on my phone for a while, and I had to remove a subdomain from the blacklist to get it to work again.

I also use 1blocker and other browser extensions for blocking.

As a net/sys/db/sw engineer for a few decades plus, I know the ins & outs.
I am particularly sensitive to this as that element of my work is extensively medical & insurance related and heavily government regulated.
Additionally my wife is an insurance business executive.

Also as an entrepreneur in a completely different industry as well, I refuse to share contacts with any app.
Contacts are not stored in google accounts, this is for my customer privacy.

I am adamant about privacy policy & 20 years of clients expectations.
My communications with customers is via my db driven mail list domain, a hassle for scripting but privacy protected.
Purposefully do not have tracking active on devices.
My friend nor I use facebook et al or social media aside from work/business (in my case approaching 8 years).

What I have found is always listening devices aren’t active but do flag keywords.
Download your device data, cross reference passive convos to ads parsed.
There are instances beyond coincidence.
I heavily filter & traffic redirect here, to log not block, so I can track what is incoming, then do monthly filter tweaking accordingly.

I am past debunk.

Now is he as crazy as me & locked down?
Hell no, so what he uses (ie maps/FmP/contact storage) is likely far more exposed.
Is what he experienced, vs what happens to me, vastly different?

In this case, we had not discussed anything non verbally, it was a spontaneous convo, we had not corresponded, searched, nada.
Is it possible he queried something long ago, of course.
But not recently.
Have we spent time recently socializing at each others homes not broaching the topics recently before this instance? Yes.

Stuff happens, it is not just anecdotal.
Likely not as frequently as people suggest, but it does happen.

Anyhow, I made this way OT, my apologies, if to go further, I suggest this convo live elsewhere than this thread :slight_smile:

I may be misunderstanding your question, but it sounds like what you’re looking for is something like HAss, but maybe a bit more user friendly and widely supported? E.g. support from Wyze?

I’m still trying to make HA work with the variety of different devices I have. I’d like my cams to record to my local server, and also serve real time info. I’d like to be able to do things like turn on specific lights based on the sunrise/sunset times for my part of the world. I’d like to add some variability to my thermostat based on times that are more complex than a couple of specific times a day. And I’d like some sort of voice automation that doesn’t send my data elsewhere to be mined by some 3rd party.

I’m a reasonably technical guy, but this stuff is harder than it should be. I’d also like to be able to do things like bounce my router and modem 1-2x a week. I have the security side mainly dialed in, but again this should all be a bit easier. And there should be standards in this industry much like there are for other parts of the electronics/computing industry (like IEEE). /rant

I also use a layered approach to my home security. I have a separate monitored alarm system that uses both wired and wireless sensors with its own battery backup that reports over both VOIP and Cellular. I have 4 IP Amcrest cameras that are recorded on a server using Blue Iris software and their own SD cards. I use Vera Plus as a hub for my smart home that manages all my lighting, occupancy sensors, fire and CO sensors (along with my home alarm), door locks and garage door openers. Plus, I have Ecobee thermostats that I can monitor either by its own app or Vera. I also use 3 Wyze Cams that I monitor the driveway, garage and the LED’s in my home electronics center that has all my control panels and “home run wiring” in one place.

The way our housing development is configured my neighbor and I both installed Wyze Cams to monitor our driveway’s but between us we can monitor some of our neighbors drives also. We share those two cameras and also share them with our neighbors.

I also have a condo in Florida and have two Wyze Cams there along with another Ecobee thermostat. Since it’s a gated community security isn’t a big issue, but the cameras are a cheap way to monitor the fire alarm.

The weakest link in this setup is my WIFI because if it goes down, I lose a lot of monitoring when I’m away. However, the home alarm and thermostats are still functional. I also installed a WIFI switch on my modem and router controlled over my neighbors WIFI so I can reboot everything if necessary when away.

By the way, I find having separate apps on my phone are better than “one app fits all”. For example, if I just want to check the temp in my home it’s easier to open the Ecobee app than open the Vera app and hunt for the thermostat, or if I want to arm or disarm my alarm system I just open the app and press the button.

My approach wasn’t planned this way. It evolved over a number of years as different technologies presented themselves. But, in the long run, I think it works great and I don’t rely on one technology or app. Any changes in the future will only enhance the system but not group them all together.

Sounds like your security setup is better than mine, I’m still figuring out how I want to do alarms, sensors, etc. I mostly just have the Wyze cams for now. Do you have zwave/zigbee or wifi fire alarms? I was looking at getting the Nest protect, it seems like the more affordable zwave alarms still have chirping and other things carried over from standard alarms.

I’ve got my network on a UPS, so my wifi stays up, but I found out whatever Spectrum node is closest to me doesn’t have any backup, so I lose internet even with the UPS during power outages. I’m looking into getting a Jetpack or something and a cheap data plan, and using it as a failover WAN connection for my router when it loses the cable internet. I really like the Ubiquiti setup to far, it’s so much more reliable than any consumer grade router and wifi I’ve used.

I like having multiple apps for different functions too, and it’s nice if they all work with smartthings at least through ifttt or some other connection, just for automation. I like having everything work with Alexa for voice control, too.

Heterogeneous, as I started before most of the known brands were developing things.
I use Google Assistant as the main integrator, but have hubs from Wink and Philips Hue, and the Nest devices, now Google.
Cameras by Wyze and sensors from many other brands and types.
And, of course, my own Arduino and Pi-based projects.

Mixed bag here - Wyze, Hue, Ring, Echo’s, Sonoff, Esicoo and probably some I forgot. I tie most of it together using Node-Red. I tried HA for a while but found it too complex. I also try to eleminate the cloud to te extent that I can. I stream video from Wyze using their beta software that allows RTSP and use motioneye on a raspberry pi for local monitor and capture. The active switches have been modified with Tuya convert or direct reflash to use Tasmota and mqtt commands. Trying to get my zwave/zigbee controller to let me control the hue ligts directly but they are on a timer through Node-Red talking to the Hue app. Have put together an Android app that lets me control much of this from my phone. Fun stuff :slight_smile:

I generally drink non homogenized milk. Oh wait, you’re talking about something else. Nvm


My system has evolved over many years. Initially I installed
an Apex Destiny Alarm system that was bought out by Honeywell. For my foray
into home automation I got involved with X10 that was kind of a tricky system
to maintain. When I moved into my current home, I installed the Honeywell Vista
20p with both hardwired and wireless sensors. It works great and with my experience
I would not hesitate to go all wireless if I were ever to upgrade. Although
it’s older technology, what I have works just fine, so I’ll stick with it. There
are many different kinds of alarm systems out there, but I haven’t researched
any of them.

I replaced the X10 system with zwave. I use Vera as my hub
and control lighting schedules, my garage doors, Fire and CO alarms, door locks
and motion/temp sensors. The occupancy sensors back up my home alarm by
notifying me if movement is detected and provide temp and humidity along with
my Ecobee thermostat. I also have
hardwired Fire and CO alarms and use my Wyze cam to notify me if one of them sound
off. And, as I mentioned I have a WIFI switch that is on my neighbor’s WIFI so
I can hard boot my system if necessary. I even have 3 UPS units to provide power for a limited time in a power outage.

I have four Amcrest PTZ (pan, tilt and zoom) cameras in
critical areas around my home so someone will have to cross the field of view
to go anywhere in the house. They also notify me of any noise. The Wyze cameras
were the latest addition and were not available when I first bought my other
cameras. They are great cameras, especially for the price, and would be good to
build your system around. However, other cameras have additional features that
could also be useful especially if you wanted to record to a DVR without losing
functionally. In my case I have a server on full time that I can access over
the internet and runs Blue Iris software to record the Amcrest cameras. The
cameras are turned off when we are home, except for the outside cameras, but
active when we are gone.

No one setup fits all and it needs to be customized for each
situation. I guess my advice would be that since you are just starting, do your
research so you can plan and choose according to your situation. Then set a
priority as to what to get in what order. When you have some money to spend
just buy what you can afford at that time and just what you need for the
minimum system. Then finally add other components until the system meets all
your expectations. In my case that’s the way my system evolved over a number of
years. Just remember you don’t need the latest and greatest. My system is old
but functions as good as any and satisfies my needs even by today’s standards.
BTW the only reason I upgraded my alarm system to the Vista 20P (which is still
old technology) was to be able to control and monitor it via the internet when
I’m away from home.

You use plaintext too don’t ya

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Eufy cameras, Google Home, Echos, Wyze, Amazon Clound Cams.

I gotta ask those of you who have both alexa & google, Why?

  Other than alexa suck at identifying music or giving

discographies (or any list with more than 4 items) and hates my
wife inflection, I see no particular reason to have both.

Why I ask, whyyyyy?

I started this journey with an Alexa then a GH.

I only learned about Wyze after I had them. No sense tossing them they work even if not for everything we want them to do.

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Yeah raw milk. Better in every way

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