Is connecting a network required to use any of the functions except remote control?
No not really but you may need to set the time manually (from command line) for the first time as it has no RTC battery.
With how small some RTC’s can be, is there a plan to add one?
I am not sure, but I remember somewhere that if the time is too far off(Might not be a reasonable issue to solve), even connecting to wifi can have issues?
Well, adding a (soldered) battery in the HestiaPi adds a lot of complexity in the logistics (storage, shipping, customs, tax). Having the metal connector in place for the user’s coin cell takes too much space on the other hand so we have left RTC out as it is a very rare case to have WiFi disabled and with scheduling disabled, why would you care that much about clock
The way RTC works is that once it get “any” time, any future updates from an NTP server or other sources, it corrects in small increments. Being 5min off is an easy and quick fix. Being 5 months off though can take unrealistically too long to be useful.
I know it calls out to some 3rd party service (ipinfo.io) to determine the Hestia’s public IP address.
The update feature reaches out to api.github.com
There are DHCP requests.
@HestiaPi mentioned the NTP requests going out to a 3rd party server on the internet
I’m not aware of any other network communication, but it is possible kweb attempts to do things in the background (certificate revocation lists, telemetry, etc.). I haven’t done a full audit yet.