Monitoring Sense

monitor
#1

I use PeakHour4 to monitor my network at home. We have a lot of iot, devices, and I try to keep a close eye on them from one “interface” instead of having to set up notifications on every app (if available).

I tried to add the Sense Monitor to monitor it via “Specific Host / IP address” and it appears Sense does NOT respond to pings. Is this off by default?

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#2

Yes, the Sense monitor doesn’t respond to ICMP ECHO REQUEST. I don’t know what PeakHour4 is, but a while ago I was running “arping” every 5 minutes on my Odroid to determine if the Sense monitor was online.

Changing the monitor’s WiFi antenna to a directional high-gain antenna has eliminated that need …

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#3

I’ll respond here rather than to your PM since this question has come up before.

I just confirmed with one of our SW engineers and the onboard firewall does disallow pings for security and efficiency reasons. However, if you can configure it to use an ARP request instead, that should work.

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#4

@dbrianhendrix,
I use a FingBox, an inexpensive dedicated HW device, to watch over the IoT (internet of things) devices on my network. I believe it uses multiple techniques to watch over devices on the network:

  • initially pings
  • then ARP scans for devices on the subnet that did not respond to pings
  • it also scans 2.5GHz WiFi for any devices lurking that may or may not have joined the network

I get a pretty good record of when my Sense disconnects, that triggers well ahead of Sense’s alerts. Still haven’t figured out the mysterious dropouts, but I’m betting that they are due to S/N ratio issues inside my service closet. All my ethernet and cable runs in the house terminate there so the closet is chock full of electronics plus the electrical panel.

Here’s the most recent outage log:

:

Some caveats apply:

  • One FingBox per subnet needed
  • Right now, only focuses on IPv4
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#5

@kevin1 Thanks!

I’ve installed Fing on my iPhone and will evaluate it the next few days. However, FingBox might have been possible awhile ago before I bought Bitdefender BOX 2 for my home network protection of iot. I don’t want to have two systems running on same network. I’m not seeing a way, however, for Bitdefender BOX 2 to alert when a device is no longer “seen” on network. I can always start app and check on BOX if it’s online but it doesn’t alert.

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#6

I’m not much of a tinfoil hat person so I’d prefer ICMP responses originating on the same local subnet to be allowed or at least configurable.

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#7

Not sure why pings are a security issue on private network. For a lot of us, being able to monitor and know when Sense goes offline is important especially since mine, for whatever reason, will not reconnect when power is lost and returns. It will periodically drop off on it’s own but that’s rarer.

#8

If I were struggling with keeping my sense monitor online, ping would be convenient, but not necessary because I’d solve the issue somehow… There may be a wide variety of issues causing it to go offline.
I understand keeping the sense monitor secure on private networks, but if this is happens to be a small handful of people, perhaps engineers could enable ping responses remotely?

#9

Not struggling but it happens every two to three weeks. I can go months (rarely) but it comes back to failing. It will ALWAYS stay down after power outage. I keep a 2nd Mac mini running under my primary Mac mini that’s running Nagios monitoring which I’m very familiar with from IT work. I use it to monitor ALL IP / IoT in house. Since I can’t ping, I’ll write a script (KSH) that’ll check via arp.

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#10

I also think disabling ping responses for a LAN device is unwise and suggest that the Sense team revisit this.

#11

I should clarify that the main reason they’re disabled is for efficiency reasons. I assumed it was also security but I clarified with software and they told me it was primarily for efficiency. There’s a lot going on in that box and we’re pushing some of the hardware pretty hard. In any case, I’ll let them know that there are some users who want ping functionality.

@dbrianhendrix if you’re staying offline after power returns, forcing a breaker reset, you’re likely dealing with a hardware issue. It seems there’s an issue with the watchdog in some monitors. If you reach out to support@sense.com, they can diagnose and, if needed, issue a new monitor to you.

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#12

I’ve had SEVERAL tickets in for this issue. There’s one in now – 83065. No one’s ever suggested a hardware issue or offered replacement.

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#13

This was a relatively recent finding (I posted about it in this thread about a month ago: 1/10 Second Power Outage = Sense Offline).

Though I’m looking at that recent ticket and it looks like that’s not related to a power outage. Is that right? What I’m referring to is for people who deal with power outages or brownouts, and not Wi-Fi drops that require a hard reset.

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#14

Ryan,

Probably most of my drops are from power outages or “blips” in power. However, some of those times are simply just when I check Sense with app on iPhone and it won’t connect. I’m forced to power off unit (2-5 times) for it to reconnect. Those are almost always after getting home and checking.

D. Brian Hendrix
*veteran *|*mac guy *|coffee snob

615-336-4573 | mobile
dbrianhendrix@icloud.com

instagram | twitter | @dbrianhendrix

“What is to give light must endure burning.” —Victor Frankl

“If you have an important point to make,
don’t try to be subtle or clever.
Use a pile driver. Hit the point once.
Then come back and hit it again.
Then hit it a third time.”
— Churchill, 1919

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#15

I occasionally get “offline” like behavior where the Sense app just spins and spins trying to display the Now bubbles or power meter. Cure is logging out, then back in.

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#16

Same here. On Android, if that matters.

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#17

Logging out and back in never worked for me. It was one of the initial things I tried. I’ve always been forced to power cycle Sense monitor, and then reconnect to network.

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#18

If you think the issue is related to brownouts, definitely emphasize that in the Support ticket. I’ll also leave an internal comment so the agent can see this thread.

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#19

I’m using CUJO to monitor and protect my IOT and it had no problem detecting my Sense.

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#20

I’ll take a look at CUJO today!

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