Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update

Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update
Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update
2020-11-18 20:29:26 - last edited 2020-11-24 07:17:00

Hello everyone,


 

I created this post to raise awareness around TP-Link's recent changes affecting Home Assistant users:

https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/tplink/


 

Those who use Home Assistant consider it irreplaceable.

Arguably, Home Assistant offers the most complete feature and integration suite vs any competing power user home automation platform today.

It would be in the top right corner if there was a "Gartner Magic Quadrant for Home Automation Platforms". 


 

Some of my personal use cases that were easily build-able because of Home Assistant:

  • I use Home Assistant + my Kasa devices + my continuous blood glucose monitor to wake me up in the middle of the night when my blood sugar levels go low (e.g. turn on my bedroom lamps and lights when my blood sugar is below safe levels).

  • I control all my house fans in the summer per-room with localized temperature sensors in each room of my house

  • I turn my RGB lights red or blue if my insulin is approaching an unsafe temperature (freezing damages insulin).


 

The recent firmware changes completely break the sole reason I bought my TP-Link Kasa devices.

I fell in love with the Kasa product line's quality, price-point, electrical testing certifications and the open integration with Home Assistant.

Amazon reviews, YouTube videos, podcasts and community posts gave me comfort to invest heavily into the Kasa ecosystem.

With Kasa, I felt confident I would have a rock solid device from a big brand to use with Home Assistant.


 

I was an early adopter of WeMo and have since passed them on as gifts to others - I can't ask for them back now.

The few WeMos I still have work perfect with Home Assistant.

I've never felt worried about a firmware update breaking how my WeMos integrate with Home Assistant as Belkin understands Home Assistant use cases and the values users get from Home Assistant.

Belkin was victim to typical IoT security anti-patterns (e.g. unsigned firmware updates), but over the years has subsequently hardened their WeMo offering and still allow local control.


 

Users like myself have invested hundreds into TP-Link products (and my recommendations to friends have resulted in them spending hundreds).

We also (in good faith) allowed cloud connectivity (providing TP-Link with analytics data).  I am now blocking all of that cloud connectivity.


 

Here are some community posts.  It's only a matter of time before this gets picked up by HackerNews or another big tech site.

  1. https://community.home-assistant.io/t/tp-link-hs110-smart-plug-disappears-after-latest-firmware-update/244229

  2. https://twitter.com/TPLINKUK/status/1328687659133399043

  3. https://alerts.home-assistant.io/#tplink.markdown

  4. https://community.tp-link.com/en/home/forum/topic/236268


 

I strongly encourage TP-Link to work with the Home Assistant community in good faith to resolve this problem.

Other vendors like Phillips, Belkin WeMo, IKEA, etc. all understand the value of power users pushing the home IoT space forward and have not disrupted the local control capabilities of their products.


 

Some recommendations:

  1. Publish a secure local API for Kasa devices

    1. Allow for users at their discretion to opt-in / enable legacy versions of the port 9999 based API / old local control mechanism in the meantime

  2. Create a more secure implementation of the initial configuration mechanism (e.g. that does not use port 9999)

  3. Publish firmware release notes as per industry generally accepted practices

  4. Allow for opt-in beta testing of firmware

  5. Publish CVEs for vulnerabilities discovered as per industry generally accepted practices


 

I hope this post raises some more awareness for us Home Assistant users now left with 15+ "broken" devices!


 

Thanks for reading this!

I've lost sleep over my now broken smart home and am trying to constructively work on a solution!

 

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Re:Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update
2020-11-19 01:53:40 - last edited 2020-11-25 11:05:57

@WirelessForEver 

Good day,

Sorry for the delay.

We are really sorry for the inconvenience.

Please have a check of the message box and our senior engineers have already provided a temporary solution to help us fix the firmware  issue for HS100/HS110(UK) v4.

So that the customer could continue using home assistant

And please help us get the required MAC address about the plug.

 

Please note: only HS100/HS110(UK) V4 was updated to the firmware 1.1.0 before and other models, or hardware V1/2/3  as well as US/EU/FR/RU version would not be affected!

 

Thank you very much for your time and patience.

Your understanding would be highly appreciated.

Wish you a good day.

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Re:Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update
2020-11-19 02:44:56

@Brook 

 

Brook wrote

@WirelessForEver 

Good day,

Sorry for the delay.

We are really sorry for the inconvenience.

Please have a check of the message box and our senior engineers have already provided a temporary solution to help us downgrade the firmware for HS100/HS110 v4.

So that the customer could continue using home assistant

And please help us get the required MAC address about the plug.

 

Thank you very much for your time and patience.

Your understanding would be highly appreciated.

Wish you a good day.

 

This is great news @Brook! I'm very happy to hear this news and this is exactly the type of response I could hope for!

 

Thank you for being the voice of the community and brining this problem to the attention of the engineering team!

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Re:Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update
2020-11-19 09:37:59 - last edited 2020-11-19 12:54:14

@Brook 

 

Hi Brook, Can you send me the details also as I need to downgrade five of my new HS100 units please?

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Re:Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update
2020-11-19 10:56:01

@brook

 

Hi brook,

I would like details of the fix the engineers have produces to downgrade the firmware.

 

Many thanks.

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Re:Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update
2020-11-19 12:17:06

@Brook 

hi Brook,

 

thank you so much for listening to our concerns. I too would love to receive the instructions on how to downgrade the firmware. 
 

thank you!

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Re:Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update
2020-11-19 14:36:43

I would like the instructions to downgrade also (hs100/110)

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Re:Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update
2020-11-19 19:10:50 - last edited 2020-11-19 19:11:09

@Brook Why is this answer accepted?  It's a non-answer - you don't know what you're going to do yet.  And offering customers to downgrade firmware only on request isn't much of a solution.  How often will this be needed?

AutomationManager: Secure home automation without relying on cloud servers.
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Re:Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update
2020-11-19 20:15:54

I would also like these downgrade instructions.

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Re:Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update
2020-11-19 21:32:58

@WirelessForEver thanks for the excelent post.

 

@Brook as with a number of others I would like the downgrade option to restore Home Assistant connection. I have already got a support ticket open and can provide the number. 

 

Thanks and regards

 

Adrian Game

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Re:Kasa devices and Home Assistant - Integration now broken due to firmware update
2020-11-19 23:34:53

Yes, plese share downgrade instructions for the firmware.  I don't think TP-Link realizes how many Home Assistant users purchased their hardware simply because of the long-standing integration.  Maybe they could consider an Opt-In option to enable to functionality at our own risk as someone mentioned in the HA Community Forums.  Do we need to e-mail/contact anyone else, or is TP-Link well aware of there potential sudden loss of customers?

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