iHost Still in Beta Test Mode? No cloud devices visible & outdated online help

Hi folks,

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a great supporter of eWeLink & Sonoff but I sense the iHost is still only a product of ‘beta’ quality, nine months after release. Am I wrong? Should I really have paid for this device, even at a reduced rate?

I’ve made tests on two individual, long-established environments and in both cases, having installed the eWeLink Smart Home Docker plugin, I still see no devices in one account, and the other, two offline L3 LED strips. Both accounts have 50+ Sonoff plugs, switches, lamps & 433Mhz/Zigbee, sensors etc Furthermore, there is no import/sync of rooms, groups, scenes etc There’s simply no intelligence from the existing environment. The reverse however is valid, in that devices I have added to the iHost / NSPanelPro environment are appearing in Ewelink Cloud app.

Having spent many hours watching the tutorial videos (at least twice), reading online help articles or researching the forums both here, at Home Assistant and doing more Googling, I am of the opinion, the current literature does not align with the present iHost release (eWeLink CUBE Version 1.13.0) and the present iteration does not support the integration.

Because iHost is defunct in features and quality, I would like to resort to using Home Assistant (hosted by iHost) but it’s not possible to find HACS (Home Assistance Community Support), the Sonoff integration and thus import my environments to act as a temporary workaround.

Perhaps I’m missing something but aside from flashing the iHost, there seems little solution at the present time that will help resolve these fundamental issues.

Here’s a summary of other key factors that are wrong/missing…

Zigbee Map does not display a map, even of connected Zigbee devices to the iHost (e.g. TRVZB or SNZB-02D)
It’s not possible to give the iHost a fixed IP address (not all DHCP servers support MAC to fixed DHCP address).
There’s no benefit of having an ‘Advanced Plan’ i.e. iHost can’t perform email notification
With Paral-Sync, you can’t configure screens of NSPanelPro.
Cast does not allow sizing of widgets (date / weather).
Cast does not support TRVZB or provide ‘statistics’ of temperature/heating trend.
Cast does not show which security mode is active.

I recognise the need of marketing departments to build excitement and interest in a product but given the disparity between the real-world version of iHost and the capabilities they make out exist in the promotional videos, I feel Sonoff have stretched too far with this product and too soon; a concerted effort is required by development & QA to bring the product up to what is meant to be a ‘GA’ status. Please Sonoff… give us a product that works or change your materials to reflect the reality of making a working environment.

I welcome further constructive dialogue on this matter, in particular, I would like to hear from recent new users who may have got integration between iHost and existing cloud working, or have been able to install HACS/Sonoff integration on Home Assistant. In summary, I can not consider the iHost for anything more than a potentially useful piece of kit in the future and certainly wouldn’t want to use this in anything but a small scale / basic environment such as running a limited deployment of TRV’s that don’t require any user intervention.

Should anyone be looking for more detail, please do not hesitate to ask.

ps - I am aware of the large ‘caveat emptor’ notices at the bottom of the iHost sales page but this is quite out of date and now has wrong information displayed https://itead.cc/product/sonoff-ihost-smart-home-hub/


The list of marketing sins regarding iHost is indeed quite long. A parallel description was produced, a kind of manifesto of things “to be done”. However, not everything is as you wrote. This is probably because (with all due respect) you are missing the purpose of iHost in your home automation system.

What do you mean? The map in my iHost shows all Zigbee devices connected to it.

Where does this belief come from? It’s not a problem to assign a fixed IP address.

True, it can’t. What does this have to do with using an ‘Advanced plan’?

The Paral-Sync add-on does not assume functionality of this kind. The pretension is unjustified.

The behaviour of these widgets depends on Tile2CUBE-Weatherapi.

You’re right. It is indeed far from perfect. Remember that TRVZB is a very new product and this functionality is yet to come.

It does.

Dear Jam3,

I welcome the dialogue but not the critique that may suggest what I convey is inaccurate. The points I made are factual. The fact you may see a Zigbee map is not reflective of my experience with v13. In a simple network where the ISP may provide a locked down router, a customer has no way to fix an IP address - not all routers provide this functionality. Furthermore, how does the customer even find out what IP address the boat is if host.local does not resolve and they can’t differential one MAC address or IP address from another. The fact that you can’t change the IP address of the iHost is a pretty fundamental flaw in my opinion. What other core network / critical infrastructure doesn’t allow the basic function!

I was making the point that the Advanced Plan provides no benefit to iHost users in the unlikely situation that an unsuspecting user may do some detailed research prior to purchase having been misguided that it may be the answer to all useful feature to add, and a quote resonable one to ahelp justify purchase of an Advanced Plan.

I think it’s quite reasonable to consider that you could configure the screen of the NS Panel given it is possible via the EWeLink app. If the environment is disconnected, this is the most viable approach.

Widget sizing is possible with the same weather stats in the online Cast version… it should be from the iHost too!

The TRVZB is a product that has been many years on the making. The feature is already available in the EWeLink app and again this function should be transferable. It’s not asking a lot to align product features at release and to publish quality software / features from the outset, without expecting the users who have paid good money to acquire these components who are ultimately beta testers. It’s not a good business model and the users will go elsewhere!


Perhaps you are able to add an additional router something based on OpenWrt to your home network? Or a device with Pi-Hole that also has simple DHCP…

I am afraid that you are contradicting yourself. In a ‘locked router’ case, an inexperienced user will not guess a free IP address or the range of addresses that can be assigned nor will reserve a valid address for the iHost. If an incorrect value is entered, which is highly likely, the iHost will no longer be visible and a reset or opening of the iHost interface by hostname will be required. The latter will be possible assuming that the assigned iHost address is not out of whack. An experienced user with higher local network expectations will be able to cope with the ‘locked router’ problem, as one will just kick it out or come up with a workaround, as morgan suggests.

@njdt That’s actually a good idea, considering sooner or later you will need to get more control of your LAN router for other purposes, for example, some 3rd-party integration controls devices via a fixed IP or you need some advanced internet access control.

i too have found that the zigbee map no longer show up on version 13. mine just sits at the loading screen and i hear a few chirps from the iHost but can’t seem to make it past the loading screen no matter how long i wait.

Reboot your iHost.

Do you think we would go to the effort of highlighting our dissatisfaction of these features without performing basic troubleshooting tasks and having already spent hours, if not days, investigating the poor quality of iHost?

If only a reboot made a difference!

1 Like

While my default reaction is to redirect this previous comment to /dev/null, in the spirit of aiding product development, I should point out that so many other network-based products will start out their life on a prescribed IP address such as

Any user, regardless of whether iHost.local will resolve in their estate, should be capable of following an instruction to login via a browser for the first time, to that IP address, where they will then be able to change the IP address, subnet mask, default gateway and even DNS… or just tick a box for DHCP if that suits their environment. When iHost.local does not resolve, the process of explaining to the user how they identify the IP address would be complex. If they mess up, they can reset the device and attempt the change again. Basic switches, NVR’s, wireless access points, network extenders etc all follow this principle. For a real-world example, imagine a user with over 50 ESP-based devices in their network, plus all the additional IP-connected equipment, and talking them through how they find the IP address of iHost from their PC or even mobile phone. Had the MAC address have been published on the box with a serial number label, this would be a bit easier, but still challenging.

@jam3 - your bias toward not accepting valid user feedback, and issues, is not helpful to problem resolution or product improvement. Please accept that your experience may be different from that of users who received and setup their iHost in December 2023.

You indeed have a serious problem.

@Staff - your contribution to difficult posts highlighting significant problems would be welcomed please as your silence in the last ten days speaks volumes to these issues!

Hello, eWeLink team will update the cloud help document from time to time, we have noticed your questions and solved them one by one, I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Thank you for coming back to me Songal and acknowledging the issues - it is appreciated. :+1:t2:

@songal thanks for the update to the iHost today, it was a positive step forward to see some functionality is now available. Is it possible please to get a list of the outstanding ‘bugs’ and when these will be resolved?

1 Like

The need for an option to create static IP Address is a must - mine keeps changing on every reboot still.

Why don’t you set it on the router side? Setting a static IP only on the client side is not the best idea.

Just out of curiosity, how often do you perform a reboot? Every day? Twice a day?

Setting a static IP from the client side like @jam3 mentioned is kind of risky, especially if you have no idea of the IP range of your DHCP server.

And if there is a conflict, you will find it hard to change it back as you are blocked out of the WebUI.

It is just safer to use the “IP preservation” feature or set static IP out of the allocation range via your router’s DHCP server.

Let’s be realistic here, if you are setting a static IP address on the iHost, you are probably the same administrator of the network hosting the router/DHCP server and you WILL know what you are doing and why.

It’s likely you can not reserve an IP address on the router/DHCP server because that functionality does not exist. If you make a mistake and set an IP address that you subsequently forget or there is a conflict then you can either perform a hard reset of the iHost or diagnose the network devices to work it out. It’s no different than if you were configuring a wireless access point, managed switch, printer or other device that offers static IP configuration.

There is a fundamental requirement here to offer users the option to use either DHCP-assigned OR a static IP address on the iHost - this is basic functionality.

And for reference to the point about a reboot, I am familiar with one user who reboots the host’s every 24-48 hours because it fails to show data in CAST screens or the general configuration page.

Manually setting of IP configuration may be necessary when the automatic configuration is not satisfactory. This could only be done via a direct USB link from computer to Ihost and would require a specific startup procedure to configure network parameters.

For my installation, the “ihost.local” was not resolved and I made a IPscan to find the actual IP address.

My major concern is Reboot failure: since my initial installation version 6.5 to last update version 13.3, software reboot and start/stop buton have never worked! I need to unplug the power, wait a time and plug back the power.