Best Home Smart Hubs to Connect Your Devices

The advent of smart home devices is making home life easier and more convenient than ever. But once you amass several smart home devices, it can get a bit overwhelming: From smart thermostats to smart TVs, each one tends to have its own app to control it. That means a whole lot of switching apps! Unless, of course, you utilize a smart hub. Smart home automation hubs help you connect all your smart home devices to one another so they can work together instead of separately. Read on to learn about our picks for the best home smart hubs to connect your devices.

What is a Smart Hub?

A smart hub is a device used to connect all your smart home devices to one another. With a smart hub, you can control all your smart home devices from one place. Whether it’s a smart thermostat, smart window shades, smart TV, or smart lights, it can all be controlled via a smart hub. The best home smart hubs can control everything from turning your lights on at a particular time or closing your blinds at dusk.

A smart hub is typically operated via a mobile app where you can view all of your devices together. Group your devices however it makes sense to you, such as by type or by room. From the app’s dashboard you can control all your devices with a simple tap of a button (turn on a light) or by dragging a slider (adjust your smart speaker’s volume). This centralized control panel can save you a lot of time and app-switching.

The Best Smart Hubs to Connect Your Devices

Sengled Smart Hub

The Sengled Smart Hub is designed to control Sengled brand smart lights, window sensors, and smart plugs. Think of it as a command center for all your Sengled smart equipment. With the compact Smart Hub, you can control up to 64 Sengled Smart LED lights and accessories. This allows you to create “scenes,” put your lights on schedules and create event-based triggers. For instance, if a door sensor is triggered in the middle of the night, you can set all your home’s lights to come on. Sengled smart devices can be used with or without a hub, but if you have lots, a hub is a good idea.

All your Sengled smart lights and plugs can be controlled with the Sengled Home app. The hub can connect with Alexa and Google Assistant to use voice commands to control your system. Smart hubs can be a challenge for those who aren’t technically inclined, but setup is fairly simple: Just connected the Sengled Smart Hub to your router and follow the in-app instructions. The Sengled Smart Hub is also compatible with Apple HomeKit. Priced at just $30, it’s a good solution if you’re outfitting your home with Sengled smart bulbs. However, if you have lots of other brands of smart devices, keep looking.

ProsCons
Controls up to 64 smart devicesOnly for Sengled devices
Compatible with Apple HomeKitLearning curve for new users
Easy to InstallHighest setting is quite loud.
Best Smart Hubs Review

Samsung ET-WV525BWEGUS SmartThings Wi-Fi Mesh Router

The Samsung ET-WV525BWEGUS SmartThings Wi-Fi Mesh Router is a compact mesh disk that does double duty: It broadcasts super-fast wifi throughout your home, and it serves as a smart home automation hub. The Samsung SmartThings hub covers up to 1,500 square feet with secure wifi. If your house is more than 1,500 square feet, you’ll want multiples, which is doable at $119 each. These small, easy-to-hide hubs are compatible with more than 100 smart devices. They work with everything from security cameras and lights to smart speakers and video doorbells.

Samsung SmartThings hubs use the Plume cloud, meaning your wifi runs through the quickest path to the clearest channel. This ensures your smart devices and wifi network are always at peak performance. With the Samsung SmartThings app, you can see and control all of your smart devices at a glance. You can also set up parental controls and Internet usage schedules from the app. Overall, the Samsung SmartThings Wifi Mesh Router is a fantastic option for people who want to take ultimate control of their home network and smart devices.

ProsCons
Small & easy to installNeed multiple devices for homes over 1,500 sqft
Compatible with 100+ smart devicesNo anti-malware abilities
Improves wifi network performanceMust use Plume app to adjust settings
Best Smart Hubs Review

Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub

The Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub is a compact black square that looks like an external hard drive — but it’s so much more. This home automation hub differed from others because all your personal device data is stored locally, not in the cloud. This provides high security as well as quick responses from your devices. Local processing also means that your home automation works even when your internet is down.

The Hubitat smart hub supports more than 100 smart devices from brands like Philips, Sonos, Samsung, Aeon, First Alert and many more. You can connect it with smoke detectors, lights, speakers, locks, thermostats and other devices. It also integrates with popular platforms like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and IFTTT. If you want to move your home automation system off the cloud, Hubitat supports migration from other systems like SamSung SmartThings and the Wink hub. This smart hub comes with more than a dozen built-in apps to manage your home automations, including Rule Machine®, Simple Lighting, Mode Manager, Hubitat Safety Monitor,  and Hubitat Dashboard. Sound complicated? You’re not wrong: The Hubitat is definitely not for smart hub beginners. But if you’re an experienced user with some programming knowledge, this is an incredibly sophisticated smart hub.

ProsCons
Ability to set up sophisticated rulesNot for beginners
Good priceComplicated setup
Improves wifi network performanceMust use Plume app to adjust settings
Best Smart Hubs Review

What to Look for in a Smart Hub

Now that you’ve seen our picks for the best smart hubs, let’s talk about what to look for when buying a smart hub.

Connectivity Protocols

Smart hubs can connect devices in different ways. The most common connectivity protocols are Z-wave and Bluetooth. Z-wave hubs use radio signals to connect devices across a large area. They create a mesh network where each device serves as an additional signal. Every device boosting the signal means you can connect hundreds of smart devices to one hub. Zigbee smart hubs work similarly.

Some other home automation hubs connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. They are typically connected to your home network with an Ethernet cable. Bluetooth hubs and smart devices typically don’t have as far of a range as Z-wave hubs. When shopping for a smart hub, keep connectivity protocols in mind; some devices only work with one or the other.

Hardware or Software?

As you’ve seen in this article, most smart hubs are small hardware devices. But you can also get smart hubs that are simply software or apps, like Apple HomeKit. With HomeKit, you don’t need hardware to link your devices together. It can connect all your devices just like a physical smart hub would.

Hybrid Smart Hubs

Besides the type of smart hubs we showcased in this article, you can get hybrid options. These are smart devices that have smart hub abilities built into them. The Amazon Echo Plus, for example, serves as a smart hub, voice assistant and speaker. But if you have a lot of smart home devices to connect, you may want to get a dedicated smart hub.

Final Thoughts

If you aspire to have a smart home system that’s convenient and automated, you’ll want to invest in a smart hub. These sophisticated devices radically simplify operating multiple smart home devices. By connecting all your devices to one another, you’ll create a home that caters to your every whim. From lights, locks and plugs to thermostats and security cameras, the right smart hub can put ultimate control of your home at your fingertips.

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