Early on in the design process we made a decision to have our customer’s personal web portal hosted on a web server in a Tier 1 data center. Having the thermostat communicate with a hosted web server means that the thermostat is easy to find on the internet at a known url (www.ecobee.com). Running the web server on the thermostat would require a static IP address or the use of a dynamic DNS hosting service. A static IP address is not available to most residential broadband customers and typically incurs additional fees from service providers if it is available. A static IP address also makes the device harder to find on the internet (assuming you locate it by ip address and not name). A dynamic DNS service is not straight forward to set up and also costs money. Additionally, running the web server on the thermostat itself would require our customers to make changes to their firewall settings and potentially create performance issues, limit the ability to add new features and benefits to the thermostat and restrict the data that we could use and store on the device. Simply put, we have limited memory and storage on the device, but in the cloud storage and computing power are virtually unlimited.
Web-based vs. IP-based thermostats
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