hubs are often the backbone of the smarthome, and you can choose from an extensive list of hub manufacturers. But not all smarthomes are equal, and not all are worth considering. Here are a few to skip.
Smart Hubs Bind Your Devices Together
The first thing you should learn with smarthomes is that there is no single standard for communication between smarthome devices. Some smart devices use Z-Wave, others Zigbee and others use either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. If you want a Z-Wave Smart Light to work with a Wi-Fi outlet, you'll need something to close the gap. Currently, smart hubs are one way to fulfill this role.
Wink and SmartThings are well-known smart hubs, but there are many other options with different features. While some of these alternatives are okay, you should not bring others into your home. They may not be long lost, or they may not be compatible with smart devices.
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Iris By Lowe's is an Abandoned Hub
Lowe & # 39; s announced to find a buyer for the acquisition of the Iris product line, but later made a round face and opted for a complete shutdown. Iris hubs will not work after March 31, 2019. You will not find them in Lowe's stores, but if you see them for aftermarket sales you should pass them on.
Securifi is Silent on Updates
Securifi has been around for several years and has always made high promises. The Almond 3S device will include both mesh router and smart hub capabilities as well as the promised integration with Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, Philips Hue and others. The problem is that this has been the promise of a project for years.
Securifi's latest update on the product came via Twitter and promised to close shortly before April 2018. However, it does feature the Almond 3 as a router that appears as an intelligent hub of moonlights. Users in the Securifi forums have complained about missing firmware updates to fix existing problems. Your smarthome setup could break, and you can not help it. The best step you can take is to avoid a product that already has a dubious track record.
Insteon uses a protocol separate from Z-Wave and ZigBee
At $ 80, Insteon offers a budget-priced hub with an impressive number of integrations. Insteon works with your Nest Thermostat, Google Home, Amazon Echo, and your Logitech Harmony hub. If your house is big, Insteon will still work fine as Insteon devices set up a mesh network to increase their range.
If you're wondering why Insteon created this list, the note reads "Insteon Devices." over. Instead of using ZigBee or Z-Wave (or both, like most smart hubs), Insteon relies on its own proprietary protocol. While it has advantages like dual-band support, the disadvantage is that you can only use devices designed for the Insteon hub.
This list is smaller than ZigBee or Z-Wave, so you can put all your eggs in one basket and limit the eggs that you can have at the same time. The better option is to choose an intelligent hub that supports both ZigBee and Z-Wave to extend your capabilities as much as possible.
Trådfri Gateway is only for IKEA lighting
IKEA surprised the world when they announced a leap into the smarthome world. It quickly announced lights, followed by a light switch, a dimming unit and a gateway for external control. At some point IKEA added support for Smart Plug, Alexa and Siri.
In comparison, the Trådfri prices are similar or less expensive than other Smart Bulb products (especially compared to Philips Hue), but this remains the only benefit. The gateway not only supports white light bulbs but only supports IKEA's small devices and can not work well with other systems. If you want to use a Z-Wave or ZigBee latch or sensor, you will need another hub. So it's better to skip Trådfri altogether.
Unfortunately, there are already too many hubs, and sometimes it seems like this list will not stop growing. If you are considering setting up a smart home, you should carefully review your choices and weigh the pros and cons of each device. If you are sensible in your choices, there are inexpensive smarthome items. But do not go on a path that forces you to go backwards and start over.