Intro to “Amazon Frustration Free Setup”
Frustration Free Setup is a method of configuring IoT devices, presented by Amazon. Users could choose to store their WiFi SSIDs and passwords to Amazon’s Server. When a user buys a new device that supports FFS from Amazon, he/she just simply plug this new device in and this device would automatically connects to his/her main network.
FFS includes WiFi Simple Setup, Zigbee Simple Setup, Bluetooth Simple Setup, take “WiFi Simple Setup” as an example, this article will walk you through the steps of “WiFi Simple Setup”, meanwhile analyze its advantages and disadvantages.
Here are the specific steps of WiFi Simple Setup:
1.1 Assuming that a user already has an Amazon Echo or Echo Show in his/her house, when configuring the Echo, the Alexa app contains an option “store your WiFi SSID and password to Amazon cloud”, if the user checks this, Echo and Alexa would automatically upload his network’s SSID and password to Amazon’s Server.
1.2 Next time, this user gets a new IoT device which supports FFS, take HS105 FFS as an example; this HS105 has already bound to this user’s Amazon account since he/she gets it from Amazon. The original Echo would broadcast a hidden, not encrypted SSID. Then this user powers on the HS105, the HS105 would automatically finds the hidden SSID named “simple_setup”, it could directly connect to it because this network is not encrypted. Through this network, the HS105 could reach Amazon’s Server and fetch the needed SSID and password. After that, it would join the user’s main network. This whole process takes approximately up to 30 seconds, which is extremely fast, comparing to our traditional way of configuring IoT devices.
Amazon has defined these two words with its FFS: devices that broadcast the SSID simple_setup is called “provisioner device”, devices that connect to this simple_setup network is called a “provisionee device”.
2. Advantages of FFS
① Greatly improved setup process, saving lots of configuration time, simple and fast, real “plug and play”.
② If this user decides to change the SSID and password of their network, they just have to re-configure another Amazon device, and the rest which supports FFS would automatically join the new network.
3. Disadvantages of FFS
① Security risks: mainly reflected in these two aspects:
Storing passwords to Amazon’s Server;
Simple_setup network is un-encrypted, any devices could join this network.
② Low tolerance rate: requires provisioner in advance, and the devices needed to configure must support FFS.
4. Relationships between FFS and our products
Currently, our Archer A7 v5 has already supported provisioner while HS105 FFS has already supported provisionee. In Archer A7 v5’s management page, there is a switch for the “simple_setup” network:
Using this network, provisionees could access Amazon’s Server and obtain the SSIDs and passwords pre-stored in the corresponding account.
If customers don’t want this network, they just simply turn this network off.