A smart hub is hardware (or software) that connects all smart home devices in your home to its network. As a result, connected smart home devices, such as smart thermostats, smart bulbs, and window sensors, communicate with the smart hub, granting you control over every smart home device.
Smart home devices have mobile apps for controlling them. But controlling all devices in your home, especially the smart devices from different manufacturers, can be inconvenient. That’s why you need to install a smart hub to connect all smart home devices to its network for hassle-free control from a single control panel.
After installing smart bulbs, smart thermostats, smart locks, window shades, smoke and motion sensors in your home, you want to connect them to a dedicated smart home hub for unified control. But this requires the best smart home hubs. Read on to find out some incredible smart hubs for your home.
How Smart Hubs Connect to Smart Home Devices
A smart home hub uses wireless protocols to communicate with smart home devices such as smart bulbs and smart thermostats. These are some wireless protocols smart hubs use to connect to your smart home devices:
ZigBee is a wireless protocol designed to be a low-cost and low-power network. What’s incredible is that this network supports up to 65,000 compatible smart home devices. It transmits its signals at 900 MHz and 868 MHz frequencies, meaning it doesn’t affect your Wi-Fi signals.
Aside from reliability, this network is also 128-bit AES encrypted to secure data transmission. Smart hubs using this protocol don’t consume more energy and have built a reputation for battery power conservation.
Smart hubs also use this wireless protocol to connect to smart home devices compatible with Z-Wave. This low-power wireless connection allows connected devices to operate continuously for seven years on a single charge. But this is a low-latency network as it transmits a small bit of data at 100 kbit/s maximum.
Smart home devices connected to this network communicate with each other and the hub, making this the best mesh network. Also, it is a secure network, as each Z-Wave device has a unique ID assigned. It also doesn’t face interference from Wi-Fi and ZigBee signals, therefore it’s a reliable network.
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
Besides consuming less battery energy, this wireless protocol supports a mesh network, allowing up to 32,767 devices to connect and communicate with each other. However, the range isn’t great, and this network only comes in handy for local smart device control. But it is highly secure as it uses 128-Bit AES encryption to prevent BlueSmacking and BlueJacking, common Bluetooth security exploits.
Although most smart home devices connect to your Wi-Fi network directly, you still want to connect them to your smart hub to control them all at once. Also, the smart hub connects to your Wi-Fi network, granting you remote control over the smart devices connected to it.
Smart Hubs That Control Your Smart Home Devices
Here are some smart hubs you could add to your smart home to control all your home’s aspects:
Aeotec Smart Home Hub
This smart home hub uses the Smartthings platform to control various smart home devices. Since this smart hub shares the same platform and firmware as the discontinued Samsung Smartthings hub, it allows you to control it and the connected smart devices via the Smartthings app.
The mobile app already comes with Samsung smartphones (and tablets), but you might not find it on Play and App Stores for other control panels. Nonetheless, it allows you to manually add smart devices to this smart hub or by scanning a QR code.
You can create scenes in the app and automate smart home devices in a particular “room.” And you will see your devices as soon as you open the smart hub app. The hub also uses four wireless protocols: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and Z-Wave; this ensures the smart hub can support up to 5,000 devices on its network.
For hands-free control, you can pair this hub with your preferred voice control device, such as Amazon Echo; it pairs with voice assistants through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. As a result, you can command Alexa to switch particular lights on/off by the sound of your voice! The smart hub also works with Google Assistant, meaning Google Nest voice control will also work with it.
The Wink hub is another smart home hub that connects your diversified smart home devices and lets them speak the same language. The smart hub has its mobile app, the Wink app. The smart hub connects to your smart thermostat, smart bulbs, and smart speakers through these wireless protocols: Clear Connect RF, Kidde, Z-Wave, and ZigBee.
This smart hub connects to all smart home devices with diversified wireless protocols. It allows you to control your smart sensors remotely and access your security with a touch of an in-app button. Therefore, it is a versatile smart hub that works with leading smart home device brands.
The setup is also easy; the setup requires using the Wink app to prepare the hub. After adding essential smart devices to the hub, you can control them from a single control panel from anywhere. Also, this hub pairs with virtual assistants to grant you hands-free control over your lighting and security aspects.
Google Nest Hub Max
This smart hub beats Google Assistant-powered smart speakers as it features a 10-inch display. The hub also features speakers with high-quality sound. While it serves the purpose of a Google Assistant smart speaker, it allows you to view the weather forecast.
Additionally, you can watch your favorite YouTube videos from the smart display and make video calls. However, you can’t watch Amazon Prime videos. It also works efficiently to grant you hands-free control of the connected smart home devices.
The market isn’t short of smart home hubs; you want to find a smart hub that unifies your smart home products, giving you hassle-free control over them from a single control panel.
Your home needs a dedicated smart hub to control all its smart home devices. Whether you’ve installed smart cameras, sensors, thermostats, or light bulbs from your preferred brands, you can control them all with the best smart hub. Therefore, a smart hub brings the convenience of controlling smart products from different brands via one mobile app. You can consult Play Home Technology to install your smart home devices and unify them via the best smart hub for your home.