Routers as Monitoring Systems
Imagine these scenarios, you are at work and your home air conditioner or refrigerator stops working, currently you wonít know until you get home several hours later when it is probably too late to get a repairman to service the appliance that same day. Fortunately with more devices connected to the Internet (typically through Wi-Fi), these devices might be able to send an alert when they are malfunctioning. However if these Wi-Fi enabled devices are completely dead (i.e. no longer turned on), these devices would not send any type of messages whatsoever.
This is where my idea comes in. Basically, computer routers could be configured to periodically ping all of the devices on their networks that should always be functioning; and if any of those devices are not working, then send an alert (e.g. to configurable email addresses and/or phone numbers for text messages or phone calls). For instance, home alarms (whether active or not), refrigerators, computer servers, and air conditioners should always be turned on. If the router cannot ping any of these devices, then the router will send an alert. However, laptops, smart phones, and desktops could be turned off or leave the network without initiating any type of alert.
Furthermore, these routers could also monitor two additional items that are not devices. If routers are on a battery backup system, such as a UPS (uninterrupted power supply), then routers could send an alert to both the owner and even the power company (the owner could also directly contact the power company too). If routers are on the Internet and they have their own internal radio or cellular service, routers could also send an alert if the Internet connection is lost too. By directly contacting the Internet service provider and the routerís owner, the Internet service can be repaired as soon as possible, even if no one is at the location.
As a result, my simple idea can and will make computer routers much more useful. Furthermore, this idea works for both wired and wireless routers and for home and business routers too.
by Phil for Humanity