If you’re new to the smart home space or are looking for a device to connect all of your smart devices, you’re in the right place!
In this article, we take a look at the best home hubs or the best smart home hubs.
The reason why we prefer to use the term hubs instead of routers or modems is that most of the time, the primary purpose of these WiFi devices is not transporting data but rather connecting other devices and sensors.
What are the best smart home hubs? Basically, smart home hubs connect all smart devices in your home to each other and to the internet.
To make it easy, we’ve divided this guide in two sections:
Hubs for the tech savvy: …… are best suited for people who already know their way around the smart home space and don’t mind a bit of DIY and tinkering.
Hubs for average users: …… are for people who know the basics or those who like to buy one product to rule them all.
|All-new Ring Alarm 14-piece kit||Best Overall|| |
|BroadLink RM Mini3 Black Bean Universal Remote||Budget Pick|| |
|Brilliant Smart Home Control||Upgrade Pick|| |
1. All-new Ring Alarm 14-piece kit
2. Echo Show 8
- Amazing Display Quality
- Powerful Speaker
- Good-looking Home Screen
- Great Apps
- Alexa App Works Great
- Efficient Cloud-based Controls
- Siri Integration is Limited
- Alexa Isn’t as Powerful as Google Assistant or Cortana
3. Echo Dot
- Free digital parenting tools
The Amazon Echo Kids Edition is a great solution for families with kids. The third generation of this popular smart assistant has been made more robust and has features that many parents will appreciate.
Although it does not have a camera in it, the Echo is a fantastic addition for the family room. It can control everything from your smart home devices to your television and the Amazon Fire TV devices.
Kids will also find plenty to do with the 30 educational games and activities that Amazon has built into the device. If you want a smart home assistant that is going to keep your kids occupied, then this is the perfect solution for your family room.
4. ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat
- Everything works seamlessly together
- No monthly fees
- Switch+ lets you control light switches without a hub
It’s surprising that the ecobee3 lite and Smart Switch+ didn’t make to the list of best smart home devices. Why? Because they basically do everything! (Unless you’re smart enough to see that they are really great, in which case, why are you wasting time reading this?)
I’m a big fan of smart light switches, because the most common smart home device I install for my clients is a light switch. I like that I can install a light switch without having to wire in a hub, and I can monitor it by any smart device with an Alexa Skill.
The Switch+ is a simple Smart Light Switch that works in the same way as the regular light switches I install to my clients. It turns any existing instant-on light switch into a smart switch.
5. Echo Dot
- Extremely affordable
- Good sound
- Can listen to radio stations
- Control your smart devices using Alexa
- Small speaker
- No Bluetooth
If you’re looking for a voice assistant and don’t want to pay too much for it, the Echo Dot is the way to go.
6. Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge
- Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant
- Pass-through wall switch dimmer
The Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge is the most popular smart home hub on Amazon. This pack includes the Lutron Hub, a wall-mountable wireless Smart Bridge, and a Pico remote control.
The hub is Lutron’s hub of choice for the Caseta Wireless family and doesn’t require a neutral wire for operation. This convenient hub will control up to 50 devices using wireless technology.
It can be configured using the Lutron app on either iOS or Android devices. From the app, you can select the devices and the rooms the devices should be located. You can also choose the room size which impacts the light level.
7. Echo Show 5 –
- Has a video camera
- Built-in smart home hub for easy set-up
- Reset button
- Bulky, heavy design
- Lots of screen glare
- Screen isn’t as bright as others
When Amazon announced the new Echo Show 5, it came as a surprise to many and some questioned the need for it. However, after using it every day, I can tell you that it’s a great addition to the Echo lineup.
It does everything that the Echo Show 4 does but adds a camera with should make it your first choice if video calling is your thing. Under the hood, this Echo is basically the same as every other Show with the same microphone array and other features, too.
Call quality is great; both sides of the conversation come through clearly. This thing also has Amazon’s far-field microphones so it can hear you over the din of noisy household appliances. The Show 5 will also automatically mute your microphone when it detects that you’ve gone into a video call, which is a welcome change.
8. SwitchBot Hub Plus
- Easy to understand tutorials
- Affordable price
- No skill needed to install
If you want to turn your home into a smart home, but are not yet sure which smart home hub will help you automate the most devices at the lowest price, then Link is the device for you.
The Link Smart Home Hub is the easiest to use and most affordable of all the smart home hubs on the market. You can link almost any smart device in the world with it.
This free app allows you to control your home lightings, your plugs, your fans, your humidifiers, and anything else that can be hooked with a power cord, using just your smartphone… Link has become a lot more than just a smart home hub. Link is now a platform where a community of users come together, voice their concerns, and share ideas for new products. That means, when you buy a product, not only is it backed by a 24-month warranty, and customer service, but you also get to interact with the community of users, and share your ideas with the developers.
9. Brilliant Smart Home Control
- Smart Home Control
- Alexa Built-in
- Control Multi-room audio
- In-wall controls
- Works with 802.11g/n and on 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi
- Support for IFTTT
— WiFi, Zigbee, Z-Wave.
10. August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge. Remote access
A ge of the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge has a touchscreen and camera for checking who’s at your door. You can also use the bridge with any home automation system and the remote access. You can use the Wi-Fibridge to lock or unlock a door or program it to do so according to a specific event like the time of day.
This gadget allows you to grant access to guests or specific people. This technology enables you to let people in from anywhere, at any time, via the August app.
You have to choose between the standalone Smart Lock system or the August Connect Bridge and remote access and Alexa integration. The advantage of the standalone system is that it’s more affordable.
11. Echo Show –
- Best smart hub for the kitchen
- Perfect for the home theater
- Alexa is more fluid
- It can take Skype calls
- Works with Apple Music
- The display extends Alexa's skills
- Too expensive
- Alexa may be too cluttered
Amazon's smart display has been on the market for a few months. We've tested each of the models since they came out and this one is the best.
The Echo Show (2nd generation) has a 10.1-inch 1080p touchscreen with a premium build quality. Alexa has more skills and a more consistent user experience than Google Assistant.
The Echo Show is all about watching videos and media. It’s the most Alexa-friendly and video-centric around and it’s the closest you can get to an operating system on the market.
12. Philips Hue Smart Hub
The Hue line of LED smart home lighting is the most widely used. The Hue hub has been around for couple of years and is compatible with almost any smart home system.
Assuming you have a smartphone and wifi in your home, you should be able to get the Hue hub working fairly easily. Philips offers a useful setup app that walks you through all the steps to get your lights setup and connected to your wifi.
There are many 3rd party apps that will work with the Hue bulbs. It is a little complicated to figure out the best configuration of apps like IFTTT, but once you get it going, the options are endless.
13. Sengled Smart light Bulb Starter Kit
- Very affordable
- Easy connectivity to various platforms
- Comes with a starter kit
IFTTT and Works w Alexa & Google.
The Sengled Starter Kit is a very affordable option for people looking to upgrade their home so it is smart-ready. It comes with two smart bulbs and one hub that helps you connect your lights to wifi and helps you control them with your voice using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
The smart bulbs can be controlled individually or together. It comes with a smart hub that you connect to your wifi network and can control from anywhere. You can control your lights like normal or group them and make them do specific things at once.
14. Samsung GP-U999SJVLGDA 3rd Generation SmartThings Hub
- 5 stars on over 1000 reviews on amazon
- Works with Alexa
- Works with IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings
- Easy to install
- Supports for smart phone and PC
If you are looking for a simple way to connect all your smart home products and control them with the famous SmartThings app on your phone, the Samsung SmartThings hub is the best way to do it.
It works with most Zigbee and Z-Wave devices and is one of the most popularly used hub for Amazon echo, Google home, and Samsung smart home series of products.
The Samsung wi-fi connection allows it to connect to any 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac devices without the need of additional routers. The hub also allows for remote access and is compatible with the Amazon echo family, Google Home, and Samsung smartthings products.
15. Sengled Smart Hub
- Easy setup
- Familiar interface
- Simple setup on Amazon Echo devices
- Subscription required
- Waterproofing may be a problem
The Sengled hub is a great way to give your house one single, unified smart lighting system.
It’s compatible with a wide range of smart devices.
The Sengled hub is smart hub that you’ll need to connect to your router and a power outlet.
16. UD ISY994i ZW+ PRO: Z-Wave 500 Series/INSTEON/X10 Home Automation Controller
- Budget option with 3-year battery backup
- 3-year warranty
The ISY994i ZW is one of a kind, offering Z-Wave, INSTEON and X10 capabilities in a single device. Furthermore, it is equipped with 500 series support and a USB port for adding an extra sensor.
While the ISY994i ZW+ supports less wireless protocols, it is a great option for those looking to have an automated home without paying a huge premium. It also uses a Panasonic Compatible Battery, which ensures trouble-free operation for up to 10 years.
The fact that this controller works with such a wide range of home automation platforms makes it a great pick for novice users. Most home automation systems and hubs can’t be installed without support from an experienced professional, so the addition of such a wide range of support is a neat trick of Z-Wave.
17. Echo Plus
18. AduroSmart ERIA Home Monitoring Kit
This is a premium kit for homes, which allows you to receive notifications when something happens in the house. Your home is composed of several electric circuits, like power supplies, heating and air conditioning, lights, and others.
By installing the AduroSensor devices, you can monitor every single one of these circuits regardless of brand or voltage. This will allow you to receive instant notifications if anything wrong is happening so you can take care of it immediately.
Besides, the device also tracks environmental factors such as water, air, and smoke detection. You can receive a notification when it’s time to change the batteries, for example.
- Affordable price
- Voice assistant with thousands of skills
- Amazing sound quality
- Easy to use
The Echo (3rd Gen) is Amazon’s top-selling Alexa-enabled smart speaker system. It adds touchless voice control to your home stereo or speakers and is capable of playing any type of music, providing weather, news and sports updates, controlling compatible smart home devices, and getting answers to your questions.
The Echo can even order items from Amazon by voice! Echo connects to Alexa’s cloud-based voice service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more. Alexa has Skills that let you do even more including ordering a pizza from Domino’s, playing trivia, and hearing your Flash Briefing.
The smaller dimensions make it a great choice for small bedrooms, bathrooms, dorm rooms, kitchens, offices, and anywhere else you don’t want an imposing speaker system.
20. BroadLink RM Mini3 Black Bean Universal Remote
- Compatible with Alexa
- Compact design
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There’s a lot to like about the BroadLink RM Mini3. It’s a compact (4” x 2” x 1”) IR hub that can connect up to eight different devices. I’m talking about TVs, set-top boxes, receivers, air conditioners, fans, etc.
Also, it’s compatible with Alexa, so you can control any of your BroadLink-connected devices by talking to Alexa. That’s great!
- Best System for Both Home Automation and Wifi as it Works with Alexa, Google Home, Apple & Android Devices
- Easily Add Wifi to Your Ceiling Fan, Fireplace or Somfy shades
- Comes with an Activation Kit
- Includes Wifi Repeater
- Voice Controlled
The bonds works with your existing home network and gives you access to several smart hubs, which will allow you to control all of the home appliances you own at once.
In your smartphone, you can control each of your home appliances. You can turn them two or off. It’s really easy to set up and connect to your network.
The voice activated part is really nice. There is one big limitation to using this product for music. You can only use it for music stored on your phone or your non-iTunes music.
22. Vera Control VeraPlus-US Smart Home Controller Z-Wave Wireless Security
- Easy to set up and expand capabilities
- You can monitor your home when you're not there
- Get notifications and alerts when your home is in danger
- Can remotely control your smart home devices
- Works with a wide range of internet connected devices such as cameras, lights, thermostats, locks and appliances
- You don't have to worry about monthly fees or costs in general
- The touchscreen may be a bit tricky to navigate for some users
- Lacks deep integrations with other connected devices
- The remote control device may not be all that reliable
- Not a user friendly option for those that aren't tech savvy
The Vera Control VeraPlus Z-Wave Controller is a popular option for people looking for a smart hub to satisfy all their smart home needs. This hub is the second generation of its predecessor the VeraLite Home Controller, and it boasts a more powerful processor, an improved flow and navigation, and updated radio options.
This touchscreen device is great for beginners who are just starting to explore the world of connected devices. It takes you onboard on the Vera experience. It's easy to use and easy to setup. It's also very secure.
23. Samsung ET-WV525BWEGUS SmartThings Wi-Fi Mesh Router
Networks in your home can, with help from a whole-home Wi-Fi system, be securely controlled from virtually any connected device, anywhere in the world.
SmartThings supports Alexa as well as almost 30 apps including IFTTT, so you can set it to do all sorts of things with the use of just a few words.
Despite its wealth of cool features, the SmartThings WiFi Mesh system is pretty straight-forward and easy to set up. The instructions manual, warranty and customer support will help you along the way if you ever get confused or stumped.
24. abode Essentials Starter Kit
The abode Essentials Kit is one of the best smart home systems on the market. It’s a DIY wireless security system with optional professional monitoring that you can connect to your existing router or utilize a 4G cellular connection.
Equipped with a built-in siren and an impact/motion sensor, abode can detect intruders, monitor your home, and scare them off by sounding the alarm if necessary.
It also can detect if a window or door is opened as it comes with a built-in temperature sensor, which is something a professionally monitored security system won’t have and something that’s a great add-on.
25. Water Leak Detection Starter Kit by leakSMART Includes Universal Snap-On Valve Controller
- Easy to install. Setup takes 10 minutes.
- Water sensor screws onto the city water pipe.
- Snap-on transformer (phone jack) can be placed under bathroom sinks and next to refrigerator
- Smartphone app records flood events, water use, and provides leak alerts
- First sensor will detect small leaks, but a larger amount of water would need to flow before being detected by the device.
- Sensor is only 4 ft long, so might not detect everything
The kabuto Z solar panel is a great foldable USB charging solar panel that is powerful enough to charge even your cell phone and portable speakers. It is uniquely designed with a modern looking anodized rugged aluminum panel that folds flat when it is not used, but immediately springs open when pressure is applied.
Many might think that a solar panels needs to be heavy and bulky, but the Kabuto Z solar charger is a slim and lightweight product that has been designed to be packed in any bag and still be there, ready to charge your electronics at any time.
The Kabuto Z solar panel is a great choice for camping and outdoor activities. It even has a built-in flashlight that is activated when it is folded out.
26. Wink WNKHUB-2US 2 Smart home hub
- Fast enough to be noticed by Wink and act on it
- Very friendly user interface
- Requires Wink app (Android/iOS) to make it react on external events.
This hub is designed to become your home’s digital brain. It allows your smart devices from other manufacturers to work together seamlessly in an intelligent way. The Wink 2 Smart Home Hub allows all communication to be done in one app and provides a lot of flexibility.
This product is shipped from Hong Kong.
27. Wink Connected Home Hub
- * Cloud-based accessories support * Ability to add up to 15 sensors * Reasonable price * Ease of use
The Wink Connected Home Hub is a great option for all the Wink users who are fed up with the connectivity issues. The hubs are available in round and square designs. The square version of this smart home hub is a little bit bigger than the round one. All in all, the differences are negligible and have no impact on the functionality.
It can pair up to 15 Wink compatible devices that can be sensors, switches, lights, locks, thermostats and just about anything. You might wonder why a hub is necessary to connect your devices to WiFi, but you have to remember that WiFi is just a protocol. The hub has to be able to communicate with each of your devices and allow them to communicate with each other. To do this appropriately, the device needs to sit in between things and act as a communication medium.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the best hub for smart home?
Just remember that a good smart home hub is not something that you buy right away. It’s important that you select a hub that will work with most or all of your smart home devices. So select a hub that fits the needs of all your smart home devices rather than only some of it. This also means that you should stay aware of new smart home products as they’ll most likely work with only the best smart home hubs.
So, to figure out which hub is best by yourself, you’ll have to decide what you want to accomplish with your smart home setup. Do you want to be able to control all your devices with your voice? Or do you want to control them with simple taps to your phone? Maybe you want to be able to view all the cameras in your home right from a single interface?
Which smart home system is the best?
There’s no one right answer to this because the system that works best for you depends a lot on how you plan to go smart.
The biggest decision you’ll have to make is whether you want a DIY approach to smart home automation or a fully-featured professionally installed and managed system. The DIY option is generally the cheapest and involves the most shopping around.
At the other end of the spectrum, professionally installed smart home systems can be expensive and are almost always worth it because the installation is fast and painless. For this type of system, you generally have to pay a monthly fee for smart home services and subscribe to the services, but the upside is that you get all the features you need and you don’t have to worry about a thing.
Why do I need a hub for smart home?
One of the more significant improvements in smart home technology in recent years is smart home hubs. Basically, a hub is a tool or a central platform that allows various devices to communicate with each other. A smart home hub is a certain device that helps different smart devices to work together.
For instance, if you have a bunch of smart devices in your home, like a smart thermostat, a smart garage door, smart light bulbs, and other smart appliances, you can connect them to your smart home hub. It’s the hub that’ll be doing all the communicating for your smart devices. It’ll be the one that’ll be managing the flow of data between your smart devices to ensure they function properly while providing you with easy access and remote control over them.
Do I really need a smart hub?
The main strength of a smart hub is that it allows you to easily create a whole-home automation solution. Whether you just want to control your lights or you want to control every major appliance in your home, a smart hub acts as the central unit that allows all of your various smart devices to communicate with each other.
There are a lot of smart hubs on the market, but one of the most popular is the Amazon Echo Plus hub. This is one of the best smart hubs you can get. It features intuitive voice controls, it can interface with a huge number of smart devices, and it has a sleek and modern look to it. If you are looking to automate your home, look no further than this smart hub.
A lot of this depends on your home’s structure and your budget. If you have a pretty simple smart home setup but you haven’t yet invested in a hub, you should read this article to help you understand which one to purchase and why. They aren’t all created equal. You have to take several things into consideration and make sure that you go with a hub that can deliver on the value you design for your home. This article will help you do that.
|All-new Ring Alarm 14-piece kit||Best Overall|| |
|BroadLink RM Mini3 Black Bean Universal Remote||Budget Pick|| |
|Brilliant Smart Home Control||Upgrade Pick|| |