OpenHab Vs Other Home Automation Software

Hi Everyone,
New to forum but not tech or automation.

Due to issues with homeless, vandals, theft I have had to implement various security deterrents and alarm systems. Im looking to be able to control all from one application.

Im currently using Homeseer, Mios, Ring. All are and have been coming up short in all areas of hardware, software and performance.

I wanted to get some feedback and verify OpenHab is a better solution for my needs than these other options. Your thoughts and assurances would be appreciated.

To give a better idea of what im doing. Im getting rid of my Ring alarm system, Mios and HS app. For my alarm system im moving back to the typical wired magnetic reed switches interfaced to sonoff wireless switches. Power supplied hardwired PIR Motion Sensors intergrated with Sonoff Switches. And various other sensors that when triggered provide various other deterrents. All of which are integrated with the Sonoff wifi switches. This allows me to use one item to integrate anything that triggers a relay or switch. What I need to know in particular is making sure OpenHab will allow me to communicate with WiFi devices through typical MQTT protocol and allow me to program events, notifications, alarms, etc… through OpenHab.

Sorry to be so long winded.
Thanks
R

Depends on your definition of “better”.

The short answer is “yes”. OH has very good support for MQTT. And lots of users on this forum use Sonoff.

OH is event based. Events happen which can trigger a Rule to run where you program your response to the event (e.g. PIR triggered, turn on a light for five minutes).

OH supports notifications through it’s myopenhab.org service or through several other third party services. Telegram seems to be popular.

But openHAB is a framework with which you build your bespoke home automation. It’s going to be a lot of work. And the learning curve required is steep. If “better” means quickly getting up and running than OH may not be a better choice. But once you do get up and running, there isn’t much you can’t do with it.

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I tried Home Assistant before coming here. You may think it “better” because it was easier to get up and running but for my uses, it would not run stably. OpenHAB is flexible and stable but has a learning curve.

Choose what is important to you and choose wisely.

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One thought not really related to openHAB on your planned setup: in general it’s not a good idea to use a wireless setup for a home security system.
Every wireless system is easily disrupted by a jammer or other methods and such devices are not really hard to get…

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Z-Wave too?
Or are you referring just to Wi-Fi? I can jam 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi by using my microwave oven.

Every wireless system can be jammed, you just need an emitter on roughly the same frequency.
Having said that I have no hard data about how often jammers are used during burglaries - especially if we are not talking about high profile targets…

I don’t know on which frequency / frequencies Z-Wave is working, my guess is that systems working on more widely used frequencies are more likely to be blocked (e.g. 2.4 & 5 GHz) - but that is just my guess.

If we talk about the convenience of a smart home as primary factor and the security aspect is just a secondary factor - use whatever components you like (I use wireless window sensors myself).
If your primary concern is security and you are looking for a professional security system - then I would never use wireless components…

From http://blog.opensecurityresearch.com/2013/07/potential-attack-vectors-against-z-wave.html

An attack that is almost always possible when dealing with wireless communications of any sort is denial of service via jamming. Jamming is accomplished by transmitting a steady stream of ‘noise’ on the same frequency as the intended victim. Z-Wave operates in the 900mhz spectrum and a quick Google search reveals several 900mhz jammers commercially available for only a few hundred dollars, or you could build your own. The manufacturers claim about 30 meters effective range, but this could be increased dramatically using an amplifier. This attack would not require any knowledge of the target Z-Wave network other than its general location and could be sustained indefinitely.

Other regions use a different frequency but it’s very inexpensive to build a jammer. You have to be reasonably close to the hub to jam the whole network, but you only have to be close to the door sensors to drop them off the network.

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Wired connections, especially unshielded ones are subject to jamming AND physical disruption. No connection is perfect although a connection in a Faraday Cage is close…

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I would recommend it with 1 reservation and that is relying on myopenhab cloud for notifications for an alarm you need to consider this one carefully. It is a free community server that is run on donations and hence don’t expect 100% uptime of this service like a paid security company offering a service with support. I have had zero issues in the last 8 months or so as a guess, but every now and then you get the odd issue which is sorted pretty quickly. Consider donating and help to improve the service.
There are multiple ways to be notified some like Pushover and email wont need the same cloud to work but will probably all have similar issues at times.

You also should post why you are not happy with your current setup, is it that you have too many apps and are looking at putting the control into the one custom display? Any other reasons?

No, you can use something local or host your personal cloud server since the code is freely available. Many users here have done that and are willing to assist.
Home Assistant does not have that option. Only their subscription.

Not true, they have that option just as Openhab does, it is probably harder to find the documentation on how to go about it as Openhab has much better documentation. But for many doing that is simply not worth it if a easy to setup option fills the need. There are options, it is just something that should be considered. I use pushover and myopenhab for my security system and am very happy.

They have open sourced their cloud server?
When I was last there about 6 months ago they were using their cloud subscriptions to hire the developers.

Me too… And I´m very happy with it… Pushover has not failed a single time in… > 1½ year…
I get notifications each time my garage door open (and close). And every time our alarm system is armed/disarmed.
Thats minimum 6 notifications each day. Sometimes more.

I have a second system (not openhab) running which monitor the alarm as well and sends the same notification (armed/disarmed).

So minimum 8 notifications each day, and never has Pushover failed a single one (unless other systems have failed, like openhab/internet provider etc).

Not (yet) an OpenHab user, and wondering if it is feasible to treat jamming as a trigger for some kind of alarm action.

What is jamming?

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The question is not correct. First of all you need to solve common tasks.

  1. Who must to react if alarm is triggered. Yourself? It`s rather dangerous to you: simply you can get knife attack. Security firm\police? In this way you get list of equipment from them. Nobody will take your house to security with Sonoff and OpenHab
  2. From which dangerous do you wants to secure? From profession thiefs? All system will be rather costs and you need profession security advice.From homeless, drug addict and ets? You must to have good enters door, security rollers on windows (if lives on 1st-2nd floor). In home when you go out you need imitation of presence (turn on\off lights by algorithms). Also you need video surveillance and alarm system from peoples near you enters door.

After all - this is not full list of security. And the problem solves first of all by organization method (from which list of dangers we secure? how must react if list item triggers?), technical - is the second part.

As @rlkoshak described earlier here, jamming is a denial of service attack on a wireless network by generating noise on the network’s frequency. As you also posted here, even wired networks can be rendered inoperable.

If the network were jammed, what would the rule do as an action? Unless there is some other connection it cannot notify you or take any action to route around the issue.

Not sure what you mean by “not correct”. My question only addressed the possibility of a smart home system such as OpenHab recognizing network jamming as an indication of a potential security event.
I do agree with you that responding to security-related events is a multi-faceted challenge. Traditional security systems tended to generate too many false alarms; this created a need for monitoring services because police began to ignore and/or penalize false alarms after a few false ones from a location.
My early thinking is that a smart home system should first alert the resident(s) whether at home or away and provide appropriate details. Some form of escalation should be available if the resident does not reply in a timely manner or requests escalation.

I’m not sufficiently aware of OpenHab details yet to get beyond my basic, somewhat general, question. In thinking about security implementation, we know that one will use various sensors to detect events that could indicate a security issue such as a window being broken or motion by a person when the residence is supposed to be unoccupied. So I am asking if OpenHab provides function that can recognize failure of a sensor connecting network such as Zigbee as an event. What action should follow is not part of my question.