Charter Home Security shuts down its service

Another cloud service is shutting down next month.  On February 5th, Charter (aka Spectrum) will be shutting down it’s Home Security service.  This smart home service allowed customers to purchase lights, cameras, thermostats and alarm equipment for their home and then connect them all to the Charter-Spectrum service for remote monitoring and control.  Since the Home Security servers will be shut down, the devices will no longer be able to connect or be managed.   This is just another example of a company killing its service and rendering purchased home equipment useless.  Wink users might be in for a similar fate if that company does not become solvent and shuts down.

Charter Spectrum which stopped marketing this service around 2016, primarily uses ZigBee for its communication protocol in the home.  With the exception of the security devices, most of the smart home devices should be able to be factory reset and paired with another ZigBee compatible hub like Hubitat.  Of course, window and door sensors will most likely become useless since they are connected back to alarm panels hardcoded to use Charter’s service.  You might be able to repurpose the wires though like I did to create your own Alarm system.

There is a tiny glimmer of hope that Charter will do the right thing and issue a firmware patch to its devices unlocking them from proprietary servers (that are being shut down) and allow the devices to be reconfigured to other services but I doubt it will happen.

Non-standard implementations like this are what makes the Google, Apple, Amazon partnership so exciting.  They are proposing a Connected Home over IP project to establish standards.  Of course, our recommendation is to leverage a system like Home Assistant to free you from vendor lock-in and allow you to mix and match ecosystems out there as they come and go.

Happy Automating!