5 Best Smart Home Hubs 2020
What once seemed like science fiction is now a reality: we are building smart homes. However, the more smart devices we buy, the more apps are overloading our mobile phones and tablets – so much clutter!
The latest solution is the smart home hub. These smart home hubs are quickly becoming the brains and hearts of our smart houses, removing digital clutter from our lives.
What is a Smart Home Hub?
Smart home hubs are systems that help you control multiple wireless devices in one spot. If you have smart home features like locks, security cameras, and garage door openers, a smart home hub will put them on the same wavelength. Now, instead of opening up ten different applications for ten different smart home devices, you only need to open up one.
Common Questions About Smart Home Hubs
Unless you’ve owned a smart home hub before, this gadget is worth examining. The last thing you want is an exhaustive trial-and-error with hubs that only “sort of” work for you.
Do I Need a Smart Home Hub?
Just because you have multiple smart home devices doesn’t mean you need to invest in a hub.
If your smart devices use your home’s Wi-Fi, you can download a third-party, multi-tasking app that will bring these apps together without a hub. IFTTT and Yonomi are great examples.
If you’re using smart home devices manufactured by the same company, you may be able to use their app without having to buy a physical hub, like the Amazon Alexa and Honeywell Home apps.
However, if you are using smart devices from different manufacturers or that connect wirelessly using different methods – Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi, etc. – look into a smart home hub that connects most, if not all, of them.
Product Recommendations: The Best Smart Home Hubs
Our suggestions for the best smart home hubs balance practicality with modern wants and needs. Keep in mind that, generally speaking, smart home hubs are never “best.” Even the top choices have some major cons.
Samsung SmartThings Hub (V3) – Buy here
If I personally needed a smart home hub, this is what I would go for. SmartThings Hub’s sleek, compact design makes a great addition to the home and can handle a wide variety of technology: Ring doorbell; Ecobee; Bixby, Alexa, and Google Assistants; Samsung TV; Bose speakers, and more. It works on Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Wi-Fi protocols. It does come in a little high on price at £159, but for what you’re getting, it’s a worthy investment.
iOS, Android, and Windows compatible
Easy-to-read app user interface
App automation features allow communication between devices
Works for UK- and US-based technology only
Possibly pose some limitations for programmers and Alexa users
USB port on the back of the device is virtually useless
Amazon Echo Dot (v3) – Buy Here...