I understand the struggle of trying to make your home fully automated without having a solid background in tech. You’ve been doing your research, and you came across Tasmota. Perhaps you’re wondering what it is, how it functions, and how secure it is.
Tasmota is firmware that is designed to replace the firmware that comes installed on the ESP8266 Wi-Fi chip of certain smart home devices. Tasmota is designed to change your cloud based device into one that is locally controlled.
Think of this write-up as an introduction to Tasmota for beginners. Nonetheless, you’d have to pay close attention for this article to make any sense to you so let go of all distractions and read this like it’s all that matters.
What Is Tasmota Firmware Used For?
Most smart home devices are connected to the cloud. If you need to unlock your smart lock or turn on a smart bulb controlled, you typically use an app or voice assistant. With an application on your smartphone or voice command, a signal is sent from that device over the internet to the cloud, which then sends a command to your smart device to make it perform the desired function..
An example, if you say, “Hey Alexa, Turn on the smart TV in the Living room,” Alexa sends a signal through the web, to the service provider’s cloud, who then sends a command back to your smart TVto turn it on.
Did you know that as you do this, it potentially exposes information that can be used by hackers? No need to worry!. This is where Tasmota firmware comes in.
Tasmota gives you complete control of your smart devices in a more secure environment. This means you’re no longer bound by the limitations of the web/cloud. If you turn on a smart device through your voice assistant, it doesn’t have to send a signal around the world before completing this task.
Imagine if the company that produces your smart products has issues with their server or someone hacks into their server; it can render your smart device useless, and puts your privacy in jeopardy.
Think of Tasmota as a firmware that turns a closed source smart device into an open-source device that controls everything the app does. You would no longer be bound by developer restrictions that limit the extent to which the app functions. Pretty cool, right?
Is Tasmota Secure?
In the world today, security has a different meaning. The world has become a global village connected by the internet. When you use your smart devices, they send signals across the globe, which is sent back to your device to make it work. This exposes your data to the cloud. If you want to turn this around, using the Tasmota firmware is the way to go.
Tasmota is secure because it is open-source, allowing users to inspect the code. Tasmota also increases device security by keeping your data on your local network, and not transmitting it over the internet.
Asides from allowing you to convert closed source devices into open source, Tasmota also offers numerous security layers that you can customize to meet your needs. If you desire fingerprint authentication, some codes allow the Tasmota firmware to register your fingerprints and request verification. All these can be achieved with MQTT (Messaging Queuing Telemetry Transport).
How To Connect To Tasmota?
You don’t need to be a tech wizard to understand the workings of the Tasmota firmware. After reading these steps, I’ll provide a YouTube tutorial that will guide you through the entire process if you’re still uncomfortable. Before you do that, I’d be listing the processes involved in connecting the Tasmota to help you understand how it works.
- Your Smart Device Must Be Compatible With Tasmota
Your smart device must use the ESP8266 Wi-Fi chip in order to use Tasmota. The good news is that this is a very popular chip and one of the most commonly used.There’s a long list of devices that are Tasmota supported, so check online to see if your device makes it to the list.
A list of supported devices can be found here.
If you’re considering jumping on the Tasmota bandwagon and haven’t gotten any smart devices yet, you’re in luck. As you shop, take a look at this list before buying..
- Get Your Hardware Prepared For Tasmota Installation
Now that you’ve confirmed that your hardware can run with the Tasmota firmware, the next step is to carry out a tasmota flashing. This helps you neatly format the existing firmware and connect the Tasmota firmware without any complications. For this, you’d need a 3.3V USB-to-Serial Converter, programming wire, a personal computer with internet access (WiFi preferably).
- Download And Install Tasmota
This is the trickiest part of the entire process. It requires you to download and install the tasmota firmware. It is tricky because there are so many binary options for every version that has been released. You can imagine what going through the length of binary options would entail. If this part is starting to get a little hazy, you can have someone with adequate experience sort this out for you.
A more detailed set of instructions can be found on the Tasmota getting started website located here. The goal was to help you understand Tasmota firmware’s dynamics and how it can help you utilize the actual range of your smart devices.
Here is a video walkthrough of how to flash Tasmota onto your smart device.
How To Connect To Tasmota?
Once your ESP8266 has been flashed with Tasmota, power the chip. The ESP8266 will broadcast an access point. After you have connected to the Tasmota Wi-Fi AP, open http://192.168.4.1 in a web browser.
The Tasmota Wi-Fi AP will be named tasmota_XXXXXX-#### (where XXXXXX is a string derived from the device’s MAC address and #### is a number)
How Do You Use A Tasmota Template?
To connect your device to a Tasmota template, a Tasmota firmware flash must have been conducted. The Tasmota template repository offers a wide range of templates for existing devices not pre-listed under the module’s configuration.
Once you’ve found a template, copy it and paste it into the Tasmota text box. It is that straightforward. Although, there might be some difficulties along the way, which is why I recommend having someone who is experienced in setting up the Tasmota get this done for you.
All the current templates can be found here.
To read more details about this, click here.
Thanks to Tasmota firmware, you can have increased security and more control over your smart devices. You won’t have to worry about some server halfway across the world getting access to your sensitive information. And you won’t have to worry if that server crashes. Your devices will still work without a problem.