Best Smart Home Hub

Are you looking to control all your smart devices from one localized point? Great, I want to help you find the best smart home hub and give you full control of your home. Sound Good? Perfect, let’s get started!

Best smart home hub

Best Smart Home Hub

SmartThings 3rd Gen

SmartThings have are one of the leading brands for smart home hubs.

SmartThings 3rd Generation

Best For iOS

Apple TV 4K

Apple TV doesn’t just let you stream 4K content, it also opens up Apple HomeKit.

Apple TV 4K

Runner Up

Wink Hub Gen 2

It’s the easiest to use option, but also the most expensive and not quite as good as SmartThings.

Wink Hub 2

Buyers Guide To The Best Smart Home Hub

Smart home hubs have been around for a while, but to find the very best home hub, you need to know what to look for. Which is why I’ve created this buyers guide, I want to give you all the information possible so that you can make an informed decision:

Connections

Depending on what home hub you go for will depend on what connection opportunities are available to you. You have three options, local, Ethernet, and Wireless, which one you choose will depend on your personal needs.

Size

Size can be necessary for a few reasons; firstly, it needs to be able to fit in the location you plan to store it. And secondly, if your smart home hub is too big, it will look out of place in your smart home.

Speaker Included

Some smart home hubs come with a built-in speaker; this allows you to stream music from the hub or get answers and updates from your voice assistant. It's not a necessary feature, but it does come in handy.

Protocols

For smart home automation to work, your smart devices need to be able to communicate with each other. And to do this, they use radio signals like Z-Wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth, IoT (Internet of Things), and many more protocols.

Voice Assistants

Unfortunately, there is nothing saying a smart home hub must support all voice assistants. This is why it's so important you check the home hub is compatible with you're choice of voice assistant.

Range

One of the biggest problems with smart home hubs is their range. Now, this isn't too much of an issue if your house is small, but if you have a large house, it's something you should really think about.

And Finally, the App:

You probably think that all home hubs come with apps, but that’s not always the case, which can mean things tricky if you’re looking to control your smart home remotely, then an app is necessary to get the job done.

The Best Smart Home Hubs

As I said earlier, I’m here to help you find the perfect home hub for your smart devices. Which is why I’ve curated a list of five of the smart home hubs, check em out!

 SmartThings Hub 3Apple TV 4KWink Hub 2Echo PlusHubitat
ConnectionZ-Wave, Zigbee,
WiFi, Bluetooth
WiFi, HomeKit,
Bluetooth
Bluetooth, Wireless,
Zigbee, Kidde, Z-wave
Z-Wave, WiFi, BluetoothZigbee, Z-Wave,
Lutron
Size (Inches)5” x 5” x 1.2”1.4” x 3.9” x 3.9”7.25″ x 7.25″ x 1.25″5.8” x 3.9” x 3.9”3” x 3” x 0.7”
Voice AssistantsYesYesYesYesYes
Speaker Included NoNoNoYesNo
Range (Meters)15-40Unknown15-3010-40Unknown
BuyFind Best PriceFind Best PriceFind Best PriceFind Best PriceFind Best Price

#1 – SmartThings 3rd Generation

SmartThings has been at the head of smart home technology for quite some time now. 

And because of this, they now have connectivity options from over 100 smart home brands. 

The Samsung SmartThings hub can be used to control voice assistants, lights, switches, security cameras, and so much more.

The new SmartThings hub can be taught your morning and afternoon routines. 

This allows you to automate your devices based on your needs. 

Which is nice being able to get the device to work for you instead of against you.

From the App, you can monitor your smart devices, as well as receiving App alerts if anything is going wrong.

The Samsung SmartThings hub is compatible with the major two voice assistants Alexa and Google Assistant, so you have a couple of options. 

The hub connects to your Wi-Fi in two ways wireless and Ethernet cable. It uses the new SmartThings App to set the hub up, which is available on Android 6.0 and iOS 11.0.

Key Features

  • Ethernet or Wireless
  • One USB port
  • Dimensions: 5” x 5” x 1.2”
  • Compatibility with Alexa and Google
  • Protocols: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee
  • 256MB DDR RAM

What Other People Say

The Smart home hub was straightforward to install; it took them around 5-20 minutes. They hooked up their hub with their Amazon Echo device for voice-controlled commands. They wanted to give a little tip for the setup, and that was, make sure the lights and the thermostats have a different name.

They brought the SmartThings home hub after a failed attempt to get Wink to work. It was smaller than Wink and had multiple orientation possibilities. Pairing all of their smart home devices were fast and straightforward; it took them 20 minutes to connect 12 bulbs.

Final Verdict

The SmartThings home hub performs exceptionally well and remains one of the most manageable home hubs to setup. Not only is it easy to install, but it can be used to control most of the smart device brands on the market. The thing is, the upgrade from the second-gen to the third-gen is almost pointless.

You don’t get much of an upgrade other than a little bit extra RAM. Overall, this is the perfect smart hub for anyone starting. But, if you already have the SmartThings Hub 2, then the upgrade isn’t worth the time setting up your devices again.

What We Liked

  • Wi-Fi made it easy to install the hub
  • Works with Z-Wave and Zigbee
  • Looks sleeker than the previous model
  • The App is much better

What We Didn’t Like

  • Some accessories come with a charge
  • No more battery backup

#2 – Apple TV 4K

It’s available in two storage sizes, 32 GB or 64 GB, which means you can fill with plenty of Apps of your choice. 

It uses a 4K high dynamic range to provide you with stunning picture quality. 

It also uses Dolby Digital 7:1 surround sound technology to give you the best quality available.

To make sure the 4K Apple TV can keep up with the task, it uses the incredibly fast A10X chip; this gives you extra fast graphics when you need it. 

It’s compatible with HD and UHD TVs as long as it comes with an HDMI cable you’ll have no problems setting everything up.

You also have the option of using voice controls to navigate your way around your Apps using Siri. 

You have plenty of App options, including Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, ESPN, and much more.

The best bit about using the Apple TV device is, it opens the door to Apple HomeKit technology.

Key Features

  • Dimensions: 1.4” x 3.9” x 3.9”
  • Available in 32 or 64GB
  • Works with Siri
  • HomeKit enabled
  • HDR support
  • A10X Fusion processor

What Other People Say

It worked very well at controlling their HomeKit smart home devices, and it produced a 4K output for your TV. The only reason they purchased the Apple TV hub was due to its HomeKit ability; they need something to control all their Apple-based smart devices.

A different customer initially brought the device for its 4K technology, but it was a great addition being able to use it as a control center. They brought the 32GB option, which was more than enough space for all there apps, and much more.

Final Verdict

he Apple TV 4K does provide a stunning picture quality, and let’s be ownest; that’s the main selling point. The thing is it also doubles as a powerful HomeKit controller. As always, Apple has excelled at making the device easy to control and navigate.

This meant controlling your smart devices through the App was super easy. The large Icons were a pleasure to look at, and everything seemed to perform excellently. Overall the Siri function worked well, and the A10X chip meant your actions were completed quickly.

What We Liked

  • Stunning 4K HDR content
  • Simple iOS and macOS integration
  • HomeKit Control
  • Siri

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive
  • No digital audio ports

#3 – Wink Hub 2

The Wink hub is more than likely the second-biggest provider of the best smart home hubs. 

They work with voice control devices like Alexa and Google Assistant. 

It can also work with several smart home device providers such as Nest, Ring, ecobee, Schlage, Sonos, and more.

The whole thing is very straightforward to set up, which is one of the best parts, and this is mainly down to their App. 

It helps you control your smart devices as well as giving you control up to 400 smart home devices from anywhere in the world.

It also supports a wide range of protocols to make it easier with compatibility, these include Bluetooth, Zigbee, Kidde, and Lutron Clear Connect. 

You get a couple of connection options too; it supports a Wired or Wireless internet connection.

Key Features

  • Dimensions: 7.25 x 7.25 x 1.25
  • Ethernet or Wi-Fi connections
  • Protocols: Bluetooth, Zigbee, Kidde, and Lutron Clear connect
  • 512 MB RAM
  • Works with Alexa
  • Auto-discovery

What Other People Say

One customer had picked this home hub partially due to a review they read by a journalist. So far, they loved it, in their words, “It’s the Swiss Army knife of control centers.” It worked well with all of their existing smart home products, and they could use the App to check the status of the smart home devices.

For another customer, it was their first time using Wink; they had previously owned the Insteon hub. The Wink hub was far easier to set up. So far, they had paired their thermostat and door locks without any hassle, but they did have trouble with the GE Z-Wave switch. Luckily the Wink team was there to help.

Final Verdict

Since the original wink hub, the second generation has dramatically improved, the design is sleeker and more aesthetically pleasing. It has also seen a considerable upgrade in RAM, which results in speedier actions being performed and more capabilities.

One of the best parts of the whole system is the App; it makes it incredibly easy to use and set up, which is an excellent selling point if you haven’t got much technical knowledge of home automation systems. Overall it’s a great device but aimed at the beginners.

What We Liked

  • Wireless and wired connection
  • Great connectivity options
  • Alexa
  • Auto-discovery

What We Didn’t Like

  • No USB ports
  • Expensive

#4 – Echo Plus (2nd Gen)

You have a few buying color options with the Echo Plus device, which includes Charcoal, Heather Grey, and Sandstone. 

You also have the opportunity to add a Philips Hue bulb free of charge when you select the available option. 

Which let me tell you, is one hell of a deal.

The Echo Plus provides excellent sound quality, which can be made better by adding an extra Echo unit and the Sub. 

The Echo Plus comes with built-in a Zigbee protocol, which allows you to connect your Zigbee smart devices to the hub.

The beauty of this is, you don’t need to buy a home hub and a voice assistant; it all comes as part of the package. 

Alexa works with several smart devices; all you have to do is add the skill on the App. This opens up a whole range of automation options. 

Another great feature of this model is being able to turn the microphone off. This meant you knew no one was listening to your conversations.

Key Features

  • Zigbee protocol
  • Dolby technology
  • Dimensions: 5.8” x 3.9” x 3.9”
  • Mic off button
  • Built-in Alexa
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi

What Other People Say

They loved the performance of the speaker, especially when you combine two speakers, and it was made better again when you added the Echo Sub. The trebles were clear, and the bass wasn’t overpowering. It was great being able to ask Alexa to make changes to the system.

Others also loved the Alexa device and were very glad they went for the Plus model. The hub was set up within minutes. They added their light bulbs to the Echo Plus; it was great being able to turn the lights on and off using their voice.

Final Verdict

The speaker isn’t the best when used by itself, but when paired with multiple Echo speakers, this can be significantly improved. It’s straightforward to install and takes very little time in the scheme of things. But, the best part of this Echo model is the Zigbee protocol that comes built-in.

The Zigbee feature means you have more connection options for your smart home devices than the original. I also loved the built-in temperature sensor, which was great for controlling heating and cooling commands for different rooms.

What We Liked

  • Nice sound
  • Easy to set up
  • Built-in Temperature sensor

What We Didn’t Like

  • No Google support

#5 – Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub

Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub
amazon.com Amazon.com $140.00
2 new from $139.95
Buy Now
Last Amazon price update was: November 28, 2020 7:11 pm

They wanted to help you change how you live with smart devices; they did this by combining the advantages of local automation with cloud connectivity. 

The Hubitat Elevation comes with an extremely long list of compatible smart devices.

You can connect to smart home devices using the following protocols: Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Lutron, and now it even supports Iris V1. 

You have a newly added mobile App that can be used on iOS and Android phones. 

The App is used to help set everything up and give you control over your smart devices.

Setting up the smart home hub requires an internet connection, but after the initial setup, you can then switch to local control; this helps to avoid latency issues and delays. It can also be used with several third-party applications such as Alexa, Google, and IFTTT.

Key Features

  • Dimensions: 3” x 3” x 0.7”
  • Google and Alexa voice control
  • Local or Wi-Fi control
  • Protocols: Zigbee, Z-Wave, Lutron
  • IFTTT functions
  • Now supports Iris V1 devices

What Other People Say

There home automation system ran mainly with the Z-Wave protocol but had a couple of other protocols they wanted to use. This device helped them do just that. So far, they have had no issues develop their connection rules. The one shortcoming was, there was no local driver for tp-link Wi-Fi switches.

Another customer mentioned how powerful and well thought out the smart home hub is. They claimed it blew their old Samsung SmartThings hub out of the window with its speed and reliability. Their favorite part was, the home hub could automatically recognize their smart devices.

Final Verdict

Don’t let the small size of this hub deceive you; it’s an extremely powerful piece of kit. You really can do so much with this smart hub. The main issue is, it can take a while to get used to how everything works, but once you’ve wrapped your head around it, everything is fine.

One thing to mention is, this smart hub isn’t built for someone that has a couple of smart light bulbs and switched dotted around. But if you’ve got a complete smart home, and you’re looking for a localized control unit, then this is an excellent choice for you.

What We Liked

  • Complex automation
  • Can be used locally
  • Great App
  • A long list of compatible devices

What We Didn’t Like

  • Takes some getting used too
  • Some big device names are not on the list

But This Is The Best Smart Home Hub

When it comes down to it, Samsung SmartThings wins hands down. And here’s my reasoning behind the statement. 

SmartThings is an advanced smart home hub built for anyone. It’s easy to set up, so you won’t be spending hours trying to figure everything out.

You also get great controls, which happens quickly and efficiently with no lag. 

Another significant benefit in my eyes is the ridiculously low price. 

SmartThings 3rd Generation

With this smart home hub, you do get your money’s worth; it supports an extensive range of products, so you rarely have to worry about compatibility.

If you’re looking for more home hub options, why not check my article about the best Z wave hub, you get a couple of different options to take a look at. If you have any questions or you think I’ve missed something out, then don’t forget to comment below and I’ll get back to you!

Frequently Asked Questions

A smart home hub is used to help you control all of your smart devices from one localized point. It does this by communicating between your smartphone and your smart devices. Smart home hubs can be connected locally or via Wi-Fi.

If you’re interested in setting up smart home devices, then it’s likely you will need a smart home hub to control the devices. Smart home hubs work as the middle man between you and smart devices like lights, locks, and thermostats.

Setting up your smart home can be expensive, but in the end, it can be worth it. Smart homes can pay for themselves due to there energy saving abilities. For most people, the convenience and safety of a smart home system brings make it worth every penny.

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