Editor choice

Best Home Automation Hubs

Thanks to technology life just seems getting easier, but, there is always something out there that makes it better still. In today’s day and age, a good deal of time is consumed in getting everything started or shut off in a home, take for instance the lights, locks and appliances.

Home automation hubs have come to the rescue! These handy devices can take charge of a wide range of household essentials; you are looking at a single control panel for pretty much everything from thermostat levels to monitoring your home’s security system. Want to keep the lawn well watered? No problem! All you have to do is command the home automation hub and voila! It’s done within seconds. There are plenty of options, depending on your utility and need there is a hub for everyone.

Top 10 Home Automation Hubs  Comparison

PRODUCT BRAND MODEL WEIGHT
Wink Hub 2 Wink WNKHUB-2US 2.2 pounds
SmartThings Samsung F-HUB-US-2 1.6 pounds
Echo Dot Amazon RS03QR 163 grams
Harmony Elite Logitech 915-000256 2.4 pounds
VeraPlus Vera Control VeraPlus-US 1.4 pounds
Echo Plus Amazon Pending Pending
Hook Smart Hub Hook Pending 6.4 ounces
Harmony Logitech 915-000238 15.2 ounces
Philips Hue Philips Lighting Company 458471 12.8 ounces
Almond 3 Securifi AL3-WHT-US 1.5 pounds

The Wink Hub 2

The Wink Hub 2Price on Amazon: $$

What makes the “Wink Hub 2” feature at the top of this list is its seamless compatibility with a diverse range of smart protocols. The Wink hub even syncs well with obscure brands, (a problem for other automation hubs) like “Kidde” or “Lutron”.

The setup is simple and the design lightweight and elegant. Considering the price range, this upgrade is definitely better than the first version. While there has been a few kinks in the operation once connecting, but, once the setup is completed this hub has had some of the best reviews in the market.

While the hub is not cheap, it is a good buy for medium to larger homes.

PROS:
  • Great compatibility
  • Décor friendly
  • Offers connectivity without an Ethernet connection
  • Offers the opportunity to plan for complex functionality based on situational commands like switching on the porch lights when the door is opened after sundown.

CONS:
  • The application performance is not seamless
  • First time connection can take some time
  • Precision control system needs improvement, especially on dimmer feature

Samsung SmartThings

Samsung SmartThingsPrice on Amazon: $

The Samsung Smartthings hub is a flagship model when it comes to automated home hubs and definitely the first to come up with the innovation of digitizing the home control systems. If you are into tinkering the Smartthings model is a perfect choice.

Once of the best features of the model has always been its range of compatibility; it was one of the first few hubs that offered such a diverse range. The current model allows the user to share code to install new devices on to a singular network! This hub is an excellent overall purchase in a decent price and offers great value for money.

PROS:
  • Offers flawless compatibility with Alexa and different Z-Wave Plus devices.
  • The application offers quite a few options to custumize the hub according to your needs
  • The number of peripherals that can be utilized by the SmartThings hub is more than 200 devices
  • Works and integrates well with IOS and Android systems.

CONS:
  • The hub cannot function properly without a Ethernet cable.
  • System tends to crash without a stable internet connection.

Amazon Echo DOT

Amazon Echo DOTPrice on Amazon: $34.99

The EchoDot is a budget purchase and it offers great features for a hub within a very affordable price range. The Echo Dot is second generation hub with better voice recognition than the original version. The current model comes with built in speakers as well and has better compatibility with Alexa.

The motto of the product is that “all you have to do is ask” and to a great degree this hub delivers on that. The connectivity and functionality when it comes to sound, providing info from the internet to performance in noisy spaces, is all, top notch.

PROS:
  • Nifty little device that comes with ESP or Echo Spatial Perception.
  • Affordable
  • In-built speakers
  • Improved voice recognition

CONS:
  • Limited compatibility
  • Alexa doesn’t know everything
  • Sound system not as good as the Echo model

Logitech Harmony Elite

Price on Amazon: $

The good news with a purchase like Harmony Elite is that, that it is definitely different from your regular home hubs. Apart from being highly compatible with around 270,000 devices the smart hub is excellent as a home theatre system too.  This device offers better more customized options as opposed the older version. The best of the setup is that by creating a universal remote, they have put an end to the never-ending search for the “other remote”.

The claim to fame for this particular smart hub is that it can connect with eight devices, at a time, from your TV, cable box to gaming consoles; everything can be tinkered with from the same system.

PROS:
  • Good voice control
  • Closed cabinet control that does not require line of sight, for functionality
  • Great value for money

CONS:
  • Not great as a “stand-alone” hub, needs a broader system to work at optimal levels
  • Integration can be problematic
  • Weak compatibility with Alexa

Vera Control VeraPlus

Price on Amazon: $

While the Vera Control VeraPlus hub is not a customer favorite it has a few advantages that make it an excellent purchase. The Veraplus models are ideal for large scale systems that integrate really well and are suited for managing alarms and security systems in a home.

The VeraPlus is often preferred for the remote management of vacation homes and office security. This hub has the capacity of controlling between 75-125 devices within a single home. The Plus model is considered ideal for home security, especially for bigger properties.

PROS:
  • Everything can be operated on a single hub and nothing is reliant on “cloud services” for functionality.
  • Vera support is one of the best in the market, problems are often solved by the company’s remote “login and solve” approach
  • A broad range of devices can be operated without a hitch

CONS:
  • The hub is not considered user friendly compared to other competitive hubs in the market
  • More expensive than other comparable products
  • Lagging application and web interfaces
  • Plugins are outdated and are often cause of frustration when user has to repeatedly go through long periods of trial and error during the setup phase

Amazon Echo Plus

Amazon Echo PlusPrice on Amazon: 149.99

A public favorite and a total splurge purchase. Amazon Echo Plus is a popular name in the world of smart home hubs but home integration with this device is not ideal; it has limited compatibility at best. However, the recent upgrades that include incredible sound system feature, makes the Echo Plus worth the extra buck.

PROS:
  • The added “skills” feature has given the hub’s popularity some extra boost with enhanced features that were developed based on user feedback.
  • The inclusion of a 360, omnidirectional audio system makes for an incredible sound system and the audio experience is better than any other hub
  • Streaming is fast and reliable

CONS:
  • Expensive
  • Limited connectivity
  • Not for a broad range of devices

Hook Smart Hub

Hook Smart HubPrice on Amazon: 48.95

This smart hub by Hook is considered a budget friendly and ideal option for the remote management of sockets and remote control outlets. Not only is this a smart hub that is compatible with variety of home appliances and devices, this level of smart service is not possible in such a reduced price!

PROS:
  • Very cheap
  • The entire maintenance and running of the hook smart hub system is inexpensive
  • The hub offers great integration with Etekcity adapters, assuring seamless control over most standard appliances.
  • Compatible with nearly all varieties of devices
  • Excellent remote access and service
  • Support is great

CONS:
  • No smart control, only switches devices on and off
  • Remote control plugins need to be purchased separately
  • Not very décor friendly
  • Stable internet connectivity is required

Logitech Harmony Hub

Logitech Harmony HubPrice on Amazon: $79

Logitech products are hubs of choice, especially when it comes to setting up home theatre systems. The Harmony model is not as great as the Harmony elite but it is cheaper and is compatible with a great deal of devices and movie night won’t be the same after harmony is part of the picture.

The hub is a godsend when it comes to compatibility; it can be integrated with every software, PC, smartphone and tablet. The program is simple and straight forward and it does an excellent job of managing multiple devices at a time.

PROS:
  • Setup is quick and everything is running within minutes
  • Good value for money
  • Closed cabinet functionality

CONS:
  • Works better when integrated into a larger system
  • The connectivity standards are not great
  • Alexa integration is poor

Philips Hue Smart Hub

Philips Hue smart hubPrice on Amazon: $59.99

Nothing can solve your lighting woes like this all in one solution to all your lighting automation needs like the Philips hue hub. The hub offers a great range of functionality when it comes to lighting. If your home or property has a lot of lighting needs, this little wonder will make everything very easy to manage and remotely too if you need it to.

While there are cheaper options against this hub, it is definitely amazing when it comes to lighting management. While it does offer very limited compatibility, it can make a good part of a larger system.

PROS:
  • Offers good dimming and lighting control features
  • Works really well with compatible lighting bulbs and accessories
  • Works well with a home assistant system

CONS:
  • Compatible lighting options can be expensive
  • Limited compatibility
  • Doesn’t work with a large variety of appliances

Securifi AL3-WHT-US Almond 3Securifi AL3-WHT-US Almond 3

Price on Amazon: $129.94

Here is a security base hub that has an upgraded outlook and multiple other features that are offering a great deal of user satisfaction. This particular hub is focuses on security and it does a great job of offering enhanced and customizable features that make it an excellent buy.

The main unit offers universal compatibility with all kinds of modems; the Wifi system of security is both effective and easy to manage.

PROS:
  • The hub is very simple to set up, the process takes less than three minutes!
  • The hub comes with a siren that is built-in to the hub itself
  • The hub is compatible with Alexa
  • Offers touch screen feature

CONS:
  • The range is not good
  • Expensive
  • Temperature sensitive
  • Not a durable option due to constant crashes over time

How to Purchase the Best Home Automation Hubs

There is such a vast range of prices, choices and features available in the market, when it comes to automation hubs for homes that selecting one can be daunting task. However, there are a few things that you can have in mind to help you select what suits your needs the best.

Budget

What you are willing to spend on a home automation system is probably where you should start. Before you begin your search and get distracted by all the glitter in the home automation hub world, put a cap on your budget. If you want to spend a certain amount, stick to it and that will help in filtering quite a few options.

What Features Are Essential?

Every home is different with distinct needs. Since every hub is different and offers a different range of functions and specialties. It is important that you pinpoint the ones that you are looking for in your hub. What you need to figure out is whether you want something for lights and appliances only or are you looking for something more akin to a universal remote?

Make a list of all the features you would like to have in your hub and then take it from there.

Value for Money

Remember, just because a hub is more expensive that doesn’t mean that it is also the best. The market has limitless options in every price bracket. Make sure you are not spending a fortune on something that will have you cursing automation hubs in a couple of months.

This is why going for something that offers ore features and is not too expensive or cheap is usually a good call.

Match Your Home with a Hub

While there are plenty of guides and reviews out there, try to get a second opinion whenever you are purchasing something like home automation hubs. Since every home is unique in its needs, it’s not necessary what works for your friend also works for you. At the end of the day you must find the hub that is compatible for your home and not just the ones that are popular.

Home automation hubs can be a godsend for people that have to be away from their home and want to keep an eye on things remotely. Furthermore, hubs are increasingly becoming popular and a common feature in homes. If you are looking to purchase something that can add both value and ease to your home, this is it.

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