The Smartest Hubs for Your Home
A smart home hub makes the establishment and maintenance of your smart home easy as it integrates the different components of your home.
There are many different smart home hubs with different features, and you need to find the right hub. For example, making sure that your hub can communicate with your smart tools is essential.
Home hubs are compatible with various network protocols that can be used to communicate and control the tools of a smart home. A network protocol is a communication system that can be used to link a hub to a smart device such as a Phillips Hue light or a Yale Assure door lock. Finding out what network protocols that home hubs can interpret is an important step in finding the right hub. Zigbee and Z-Wave are two of the main network protocols that are used by many brands of smart tools, and both protocols are energy efficient, wireless network protocols that create mesh networks for a large number of devices. So you need to know what makes the best home hubs stand out.
Here is what you need to know about four of the best smart home hubs in the market.
Wink Hub 2
Wink Hub 2 allows many different devices to communicate with each other. One of the main advantages of this smart home controller is that it can interpret many network protocols. For instance, it can interpret key smart home network protocols such as Zigbee, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Kidde, and Lutron ClearConnect. So as it can work with all these protocols, it can control almost all the devices that have smart home functionality. And this is an advantage when your smart home has products from different vendors that use different network protocols to communicate. This controller works with If This Then That (IFTTT) internet recipes, which enables you to create specific actions for your devices based on specific triggers and Alexa voice commands. It also has an easy setup. Another advantage about this controller is that its hardware is designed to permit only the hub’s software to be run on the device.
Samsung SmartThings Hub
The SmartThings Hub can control smart home tech that is compatible with Zigbee, Z-wave, and Wi-Fi and works with some of the biggest brands in smart homeware such as Bose, Honeywell, and Cree. The controller delivers notifications in real time if there is a household issue such as an intrusion or gas leak, and it will send you video clips of the event as well. The hub can be setup easily, and it works with Alexa and IFTTT recipes.
Harmony Home Hub
The Harmony Home Hub supports many smart home devices. You can use your smartphone as a universal remote to control your smart tools with this hub. It interprets Bluetooth and Wi-Fi network protocols, but you need to purchase an extender for Zigbee and Z-Wave compatibility. Unlike Zigbee and Z-Wave smart tools, Wi-Fi devices use a lot of power. This hub’s focus is on entertainment and you can create the ideal home theatre by using it to change lighting, temperature, volume, and programs. However, it is relatively expensive to purchase and use. And unless you buy that extender, you cannot control the numerous traditional homeware brands that are built to use Zigbee and Z-Wave network protocols.
Insteon Home Automation Hub
If you are beginning to dabble in home automation, the Insteon Hub is a suitable choice. It interprets Insteon and X10 network protocols. So you can control a limited number of smart tools using both radio frequencies and power lines with your Microsoft, iOS, and Android devices.