Controlling Your Home Automation System From the Internet


Accessing your system from a secure webpage is an excellent way to keep tabs on your house even when you’re at work or on vacation. Lucikly, Powerhome makes internet control of your home automation system relatively easy and secure.

Basic Setup

To configure internet control, go to Powerhome Explorer–>Setup–>Web. You will see this screen:

Web Control of X10 System
First, check the box for Enable Web Server. Next, to make sure that your webserver is secure (you don’t want just anyone being able to mess with your appliances), set up a Master username and password. Using the dropdown boxes, make sure that only the Master account can access individual pages. Reinitialize Powerhome.

Next, find out what your IP address is. I do this by going to WhatIsMyIP.com. Copy and paste your IP address into your web browser. At the beginning add http:// Then, at the end, add :8080. For example, if your IP is 72.344.555.789, you want to enterhttp://72.344.555.789:8080. This tells your browser to access your computer using port 8080, the port that Powerhome uses for its web server. Hit enter, put in your username and password, and you should have access to your web interface.

Getting Remote Access

Depending on your internet setup, accessing your page remotely (not from your home computer or network) will take some modifications. First, determine if you have broadband (cable, DSL or T1) access, or narrowband (dialup). If you have broadband, determine if you are using a router, or if your cable or DSL modem is plugged directly into your computer.

If you are using a router, you’ll need to enable port forwarding for the port 8080. You’ll need to find the documentation for your individual router. This site has documentation for common routers–just choose any program and make sure you end up forwarding 8080.

Once you have forwarding enabled, you’ll need to make sure that your external IP address remains the same. If you have broadband, your IP address should remain constant for weeks or months at a time. If you have dialup, it will change each time you sign on. To make sure you can always access your remote server by going to the same URL, sign up with a free service like DynDns (create a free account with a Static Host). This service will give you a custom url (such as http://yourcomputer.dnsalias.com) that will always point to your IP address, as determined by a little program that you download and run on your computer.

Lastly, once you have your external IP address constant and forwarding set up, you may need to keep your internal IP static. There is a good tutorial for that here.

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