9 Best Smart Home Hubs for 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

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Best Smart Home Hubs

“Make your Life Easier with these Best Smart Hubs for 2020”

Smart home devices, including smart lights, smart thermostats, smart coffee makers, and security cameras, have transformed the way we used to live! These gadgets have made our lives so much easier, that we can control them on the go just with some taps and clicks on our smartphone.

If you are using any of these smart devices, then you must be aware of the fact that you need to control them individually, and that is a bit challenging.

But with the best smart home hubs, you can actually control these devices from a single interface. Here in this article, we have covered the best smart home hub reviews to make sure that you get a perfect device to control all of your smart gadgets.

Let’s get started!

Best Smart Hubs Reviews

1. Wink Hub 2

Here is a compact and aesthetic smart hub or home automation system from Wink that will add sheer elegance to your abode. This easy to use smart hub comes loaded with a plethora of connectivity options, and you can connect up to 400+ smart gadgets with it.

Superior Compatibility

Wink Hub 2 has excellent compatibility as the device has Kidde, Bluetooth LE, Z-Wave, ZigBee, and Clear Connect connectivity options. You can easily connect multiple devices, including smart lights, smart thermostats, and other such devices with this intelligent hub.

All-in-one Mobile App

The mobile application is available for both Android and iOS users, and you can download it for free from the respective app store. Also, the mobile application has a dedicated option for lights, fans, cameras, thermostats, locks, and garage door. You can access every device individually with the Wink mobile app.

Easy Customizations

With Wink 2 Hub, you can effortlessly customize and automate the working of every device. As mentioned above, every device has a separate option, so you can automate them as per your requirements.

Your porch lights will turn on automatically on the set schedule, your smart speaker will play your favorite music whenever you need, and the thermostat will set the best temperature inside your home.

Multiple Device Connectivity

If your home is installed with various smart devices, then Wink 2 Hub is a perfect option for you. It can support up to 400+ smart devices, which means you can easily connect all devices. Also, you can connect smart home devices that only work with dedicated protocols like Z-Wave, and ZigBee.

Pros
  • Real-time mobile alerts
  • Easy to use
  • Decent compatibility
  • Works with Alexa

Cons
  • Unpredictable availability

Our Verdict

Wink Hub 2 will allow you to enjoy your freedom by rewarding you with easy controls on your fingertips. Moreover, you can control the hub with your verbal commands as it supports Alexa and Google Assistant (not included in the package).

Connect as many devices as you need, and access them from anywhere with Wink 2 Smart Hub.

2. Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen

Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen is the latest smart hub and speaker launched by Amazon. This intelligent hub is an affordable option in case you are not happy with buying expensive devices. It is a compact hub that merely takes space, and requires no installation at all.

Versatile

You can use this smart home hub as a smart speaker as well. This device has better audio quality than the previous versions, so you can enjoy listening to your favorite music tracks. Also, it responds quickly, and you can control it using your voice commands.

Excellent Compatibility

Echo Dot 3 lets you connect cameras, thermostats, light bulbs, smart plugs, and other devices like speakers, and garage door controllers. You can easily access these devices as the smart hub has built-in Alexa that is readily available to assist you.

Smart Alerts

Most of the best smart home hubs available in the market will send you smart alerts on your phone if you have opted for this feature. But Echo Dot 3 is a bit advanced, as it can detect the sound of smoke alarms to make sure that you are aware of what is happening inside your property. All you need to do is activate Alexa Guard with the app, and you are good to go.

Incredible Safety

Echo Dot 3 comes loaded with multiple layers of safety features that fortify your privacy. You can turn off the microphone anytime when you need it. Also, you can listen to the previous recordings and can delete them at your convenience.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Easy to set up
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Keeps you in sync with other devices

Cons
  • No ZigBee or Z-Wave protocol

Our Verdict

Amazon Echo Dot 3 is a pocket-friendly smart home hub that serves you as a smart speaker, and an interface between video doorbells, and other devices that requires voice assistants. Also, it has dual-band Wi-Fi support so you can connect it with 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz networks easily.

3. Logitech Harmony Hub

You can access the control to various devices installed in your house or office with this budget-friendly smart hub from Logitech. This device is very compact, and you can place it anywhere inside your home, without any challenging installation process. Moreover, it works with Alexa so you can control multiple devices with voice commands.

Works as a Remote

You can use this smart home hub as a remote for eight different devices that incorporate Roku, Apple TV, Sonos, and much more. You can even connect the hub with gaming consoles, including Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PlayStation 3.

Moreover, you can change channels, adjust volume settings, and can browse between the list of movies with on-screen gestures by using your smartphone.

Customized Activities

The device allows you to customize some activities according to your needs. Like you can tap on the “Day Night” option and the smart hub will turn on the TV while launching Netflix, and dimming the smart lights for an optimal viewing experience.

Also, you can customize many more activities and connected devices.

Easy to Set Up

Setting up the device is a breeze, and you can do it with your smartphone or PC. This hub will automatically sync multiple commands with the connected devices so that you can control them without any interruptions. In short, using Logitech smart home hub is an effortless task.

Built-in IR Blaster

Logitech smart hub comes fitted with an IR blaster device that makes it easier to control multiple devices that require a remote control. You can control the TV or setup box even if it is fitted in a cabinet. IR blaster also works with gaming consoles and speakers.

Pros
  • Fairly priced
  • Compatible with voice assistant
  • Customized schedules
  • User-friendly mobile app

Cons
  • You can only connect 8 devices at a time

Our Verdict

If you are looking for the best smart hubs under $100 that works decently, then this device from Logitech is what you should get. It works as a remote and is compatible with multiple devices, including smart lights, thermostats, cameras, and much more.

4. Samsung SmartThings Hub 3rd Generation

It is a wireless smart home hub that doesn’t need an Ethernet cable connection. You can set it up anywhere inside your home to enjoy seamless automation. Also, it has Z-Wave and ZigBee protocols so that you can connect multiple devices, including Philips Hue smart lights.

Voice-Enabled

This Samsung smart home hub is compatible with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Moreover, you can download the mobile app to use your voice commands without relying on any physical voice assistant.

The hub is smart enough to learn various tricks like what to do when you are asleep, and the devices to turn on when it is the time when you get up.

Excellent Wireless Connectivity

You can connect a multitude of devices wirelessly with this home hub. It can connect to devices that are even at a distance of up to 130 feet, depending on the construction and architecture of your house. You don’t need any other smart home hub when you have Samsung SmartThings by your side.

Automated Routines

With Samsung SmartThings, you can automate your routines. The smart hub can detect the temperature and moisture level to adjust the best temperature using the thermostat. Also, it combines with other devices and makes them work in coordination, which is required to automate your smart devices.

Smart Alerts

You will get all the smart alerts on your phone, and that will help you in enhancing the security of your home. From motion detection to turning the lights on and off, you will get each and every notification with SmartThings home hub.

Pros
  • No wired connection required
  • Handy mobile app
  • Multiple protocols support
  • 24/7 alerts

Cons
  • Not compatible with Nest, D-Link, and Sonos devices

Our Verdict

Samsung SmartThings is an excellent smart home hub that can serve you with a plethora of useful features. Also, the hub comes at an affordable price, and you can set it up wirelessly without connecting Ethernet cable.

5. Universal Devices Home Automation Controller Smart Hub

Universal Devices is here with a smart home hub that lets you manage up to 1024 nodes (buttons, devices, folders, and scenes) remotely from anywhere unless you have an active internet connection. The hub is easy to use, and you can connect multiple devices on the go.

It is a high-end smart home hub, and you will experience uncompromised home automation.

Z-Wave and Insteon Compatible

This home hub is compatible with Z-Wave and Insteon, so you can easily connect multiple devices that are based in Insteon and Z-Wave protocols. It also supports ZigBee devices, and you don’t need any additional ecosystem home hub when you have this smart hub.

Fully Standalone

This hub is not based on any cloud, and all the actions and activities are stored in the device itself. It also ensures better safety and there are no chances of any hacking issues as it is not connected to the cloud.

Customized Schedules and Expandable Connectivity

You can easily customize multiple schedules as per your needs with a few clicks on your phone using the smartphone app. The interface of this home hub is easy to understand, and the admin has full authority to set and delete schedules remotely.

With this smart home hub, you will get the option to expand the connectivity by using a PLM (2413S) device. You can connect some other smart home devices, voice assistants, and much more.

IR Enabled

The hub comes loaded with an IR device that is required to communicate with Insteon devices. You can also use this smart device to pair with televisions and other devices that require a remote to operate.

Pros
  • Advanced level automation
  • Dedicated slot to connect ZigBee
  • Expandable connectivity
  • Robust network

Cons
  • A bit pricey
  • PLM (2413S) not included

Our Verdict

With this smart home hub from Universal Devices you can connect up to 256 devices. It has Z-Wave and Insteon protocol, and that is an added benefit. Using this hub is a bit complex as it has so many features to offer.

6. Securifi Smart Home Hub

Well, you don’t need any additional PC or MAC to set up this smart home hub as it has a built-in touch screen. Also, it has got great coverage area and is compatible with devices of most smart hub brands, including Nest, Philips Hue, Yale, and Amazon Echo.

Responsive Touch Screen

The touch screen has a decent size, and you can set up the home hub on the go without any hassles. The smart screen displays everything right from the list of connected devices to range extender option and wireless settings.

There is no need to get your hands on your smartphone as everything is controllable with the display itself.

Extensive Coverage

If you have a big mansion or house that is more than 1,300 sq ft. Then you can connect multiple Almond 3 units together to form a robust wireless network. Moreover, you will get the option to connect more smart home devices simply by using more units of this smart home hub.

Monitor and Block Devices

It is a smart hub cum smart Wi-Fi so you can monitor all the active connections working with the primary internet connection. The hub will send you push-notifications on the connected smartphone regarding new device connectivity.

As the admin, you can delete or block any device as per your wish. Moreover, you can set Wi-Fi curfews and parental controls to stop your children from accessing internet content you don’t want.

Excellent Compatibility

Securifi smart home hub can communicate with various smart devices installed in your home by setting up wireless connections. It has built-in ZigBee, and you can even pair devices that are only compatible with Z-Wave and ZigBee. Moreover, if you need the best smart home hub under $150, then this fits right in your budget.

Pros
  • Uncompromised security
  • Works with multiple brands
  • Alexa compatible
  • Supports guest network
  • Built-in siren and alarm

Cons
  • You need various units for big homes

Our Verdict

With this Wi-Fi and smart home hub, you can manage everything in one place. It has built-in alarm and siren so that you will get aware if something is not right. Installing this hub merely requires a couple of minutes, all thanks to the built-in display.

7. Google Nest Hub

Google Nest Hub

Google Nest is a multipurpose device that works as a smart home hub as well as a smart speaker and voice assistant. The device has a 7-inch touch screen display, and you can access everything in one place even without your smartphone.

Built-in Assistant and Chromecast

This smart home hub has built-in Chromecast and Google Assistant. You can easily stream online content without any additional device. Also, the device will allow you to control connected devices with voice commands for your ease.

Multi-Room Audio

Google Nest is also a smart speaker, and you can connect multiple speakers with it to access all of them in sync. Whether you want to make dinner announcements, or you want your kids to get asleep, you can use this hub as an intercom with multiple speakers.

Ambient Light Sensor

Adjust the best brightness settings according to the darkness inside your house with this smart hub. You can adjust the brightness of the smart lights by using the ambient sensor. Moreover, all the connected devices are displayed on the screen, so you can access them just with a tap.

Smart Frame and Clock

After detecting some minutes of inactivity, the hub turns into a smart clock and frame by displaying your favorite pictures or clock screen. You can connect it with your Google Drive or Pictures to let the device access some of your favorite clicks.

Pros
  • Responsive touch screen
  • Built-in microphone
  • Visual cues for a better experience
  • Ambient light sensor

Cons
  • Audio quality is not that great
  • Expensive

Our Verdict

Google Nest Hub can offer some additional features like Chromecast support, which is not available in other smart hubs for home. Overall, it is a decent device that is handy and easy to set up.

8. Echo Show 5

Echo Show 5 is another smart home hub or smart home controller that has a built-in capacitive touch screen. Moreover, the device has built-in Alexa and Echo voice assistant support so that you can control connected devices without even lifting a finger.

It works well with most of the trending apps, including Amazon Prime, Spotify, and much more.

Easy to Set Up

You can set up this home hub cum smart speaker on the go without any PC and smartphone. The touch screen has crisp quality, and it responds to the touch immediately. You can add or delete connected devices anytime with some clicks.

Built-in Camera

The device comes with a built-in camera, and you can use it to make video calls as well. Not all smart home hubs allow you to make calls, but if you need a compact hub that is multifunctional, then Echo Show 5 is an excellent option.

Superior Privacy

Echo Show 5 has multiple layers of security that ensures uncompromised privacy. You can also turn off the microphone and camera with the switch available on the device. It has a dedicated shutter for the camera that covers the entire camera lens.

View Everything on the Display

When you have Amazon Echo Show 5, you can actually see what’s happening outside your door. Just say “Alexa Show Me the Front Door“, and this best smart hub for Alexa will turn on the doorbell camera if connected to it. Similarly, you can view the recordings of your home CCTV and security system without any additional display.

Pros
  • Value for money
  • Camera shutter protects your privacy
  • Excellent privacy
  • Smart frame and clock

Cons
  • Audio quality is not up to the mark
  • Screen is small

Our Verdict

You can enjoy the benefits of a smart hub, a smart speaker, and a tablet with Echo Show 5. The device is compact and lightweight so you can take it with you anywhere. This smart home hub is available in two colors, Charcoal, and Sandstone.

9. TP-Link Smart Hub

TP-Link is an integrated smart hub and Wi-Fi mesh system. With this device, you don’t need a separate router, and you can save some extra bucks if you are planning to buy a router. It is a pack of two devices that can cover a considerable sq feet area.

High-Performance Connection

After combining these two smart home hubs, you will get a high-performance connection inside your home that covers almost all corners and avoids any dead zones. As a result, you can even connect the smart devices that are located in a separate corner.

Built-in ZigBee Protocol

With the ZigBee protocol, you can connect various devices with the smart hub. The list of devices includes smart lights, smart thermostats, security cameras, and much more. For controlling the devices, you just need a TP-Link mobile app that is available for both Android and iOS users.

Self-Healing Technology

There is a possibility that one of the Wi-Fi systems disrupts or stops working due to any unforeseen circumstances. The TP-Link smart hub avoids such a situation with its self-healing technology. It sends a strong network signal to the disrupted unit to maintain a robust connection.

So you will never lose connection with your smart gadgets with TP-Link smart hub.

Fantastic Network Security

With this smart home hub, you will get the functionality to keep an eye on the Wi-Fi connection. You can add or block ay device with immediate effect. Also, you can use parental control and antivirus to keep the network protected at all times.

Pros
  • Robust network and coverage
  • Easy to configure
  • Antivirus and parental controls included
  • Tri-band Wi-Fi

Cons
  • Not compatible with all smart home devices

Our Verdict

You can connect the smart home hub with voice assistants like Alexa (not included in the package). Also, it works as a router, and you can connect the existing routers with this device. The mobile app is handy and managing or configuring the hub will be a breeze.

Buying Guide – How to choose the Best Smart Home Hub?

Choosing a smart home hub or a smart home controller may seem like a child’s play, but it involves some critical factors that need your attention. If you want to enjoy a seamless experience with these smart devices, then you need to make sure that you are buying something that fulfills your requirements.

What is a Smart Home Hub?

A smart home hub is an easy-to-use device that lets you connect most of the smart gadgets of your home for ease of control. It is an IoT (internet of things) device that generally has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity options, and you can pair your smartphone with it for better home automation.

Smart home hubs are also termed as smart home bridges. In short, a smart hub is the core device through which you can remotely control other smart appliances installed in your home.

Types of Smart Home Hubs

Types of Smart Home Hubs

There is a multitude of different smart home hubs available out there. For your ease, we have explained these different types of smart home hubs in detail.

1. Traditional Smart Home Hubs

Traditional smart home hubs are the general ones that come equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You can use these hubs to control lights, smart thermostats, and other such devices that don’t require their own ecosystem.

The most common examples of traditional smart home hubs are Samsung SmartThings, Hubitat, and Wink. These are easy to use, and you can connect multiple devices on the go.

2. Voice Assistant Hubs

With voice assistant smart home hubs, you can control the connected devices with verbal commands. Smart hubs like Google Home and Amazon Echo are getting popular amongst the buyers because they find it even easier to control the devices with voice commands.

Voice assistant hubs are not ideal in the case of sophisticated automation devices. But if you want to experience ultimate ease, then these devices are perfect for you.

3. Software only Hubs

Well, it is not mandatory to install a piece of hardware in your home if you need a smart home hub. Some brands offer mobile applications, and you can use the smart home hub virtually just with your phone.

There are some downsides to these virtual devices, as you cannot control them remotely from anywhere. You need to install a separate hardware device, which will cost you extra bucks.

4. Ecosystem Hubs

Some smart hubs for home devices like Philips Hue and Hive need their own ecosystem to work as these are based on Zigbee or Z-Wave protocols. So you cannot connect them to a traditional smart home hub.

Also, there are some limitations to ecosystem hubs, and you have to install a traditional hub for using other devices that are not compatible with it.

Benefits of Home Automation Hubs

Smart Home Controllers

There is a long list of benefits associated with using a smart home hub. Have a look at a few of them.

1. Ultimate Convenience

Undeniably, you have to download a separate mobile application for every smart device installed in your home or office. And using a different app will only make your life hectic. But with a smart home hub, you can access multiple devices with a single interface.

From smart lights to smart speakers and smart thermostats, you can use a plethora of different devices with ultimate convenience when you have a smart hub connected with them.

2. Automated Tasks

You can set schedules and timers with a smart hub using the mobile app. Let us take an example of a smart coffee maker. You can prepare your favorite coffee at a particular schedule using a smart hub.

Just set the dedicated timer and automate your tasks like never before.

3. Customization

Smart hubs allow you to customize the settings for every device separately. You can set a different schedule for the smart light, and a different one for the smart thermostat. Moreover, you can add or remove a particular device anytime without any hassles.

4. Energy Conservation and Monitoring

With smart home hubs, you can monitor and conserve energy. These smart devices can turn off the devices that are not in use, and thus you can save a considerable amount of money on your next energy bill.

Also, these smart hubs can maintain an ideal temperature in your home, so you get most of your tasks done without even intervening in them.

5. Ease of Use

Lastly, smart home hubs are easy to use. Even your kids can use these devices to automate their tasks. You can carry out the installation process on your own, as these devices have an effortless installation process.

Factors to Consider before Buying a Smart Home Hub

Smart Home Automation Hubs

1. Compatibility

The first and foremost thing is compatibility. If a smart home hub is not compatible with your devices, then there is no purpose of buying it. Also, it is ideal to check the range of allowed devices before purchasing the best smart home hub for home automation.

Some of these devices only allow limited devices, whereas some smart hubs allow you to connect a multitude of devices at once.

2. Mobile App

With the mobile application, you can control the smart hub and connected devices with ease. Most of the smart home hubs available in the market have smartphone applications available for both Android and iOS users.

But it is a wise idea to check app availability before closing the deal.

3. Voice Control

With a voice control enabled smart home hub, you can turn on/off your devices without even lifting a finger. Just a voice command is enough to turn off the lights, and you can even give commands if you are in a different room.

Not all smart hubs have voice control functionality, so you need to check whether you need one or you are happy with a regular smart home hub. You need to check the list of home hubs that work with Google Home in case you already have a Google Home device, and the same goes for Alexa.

4. Connectivity

Top smart home hubs come loaded with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi options, but in some cases, you will not get optimal performance with these devices. We recommend you to buy smart hubs that work with Z-wave and Zigbee connectivity options as these works even better.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you, as smart hubs with Z-Wave and Zigbee are a bit pricey.

5. Versatility

The main purpose of a smart home automation hub is to let you control all the devices on the go, but some smart hubs are more than that! These hubs have built-in speakers so you can listen to your favorite music anytime without even buying a smart speaker.

6. Budget

The price of a smart home hub can start from a few dollars and can go up to hundreds of dollars, and if you want to avoid any confusion while buying, then it is better to make up your budget. These devices are affordable, so you can even buy a smart home hub if you have a tight budget.

Smart Home Hub FAQs

Q1: Can I use more than one Smart Home Hub in one Location?

Yes, you can use more than one smart home hub at one location, but you cannot connect one device to two hubs at a time. Like if you are using smart lights with Hub 1, then you cannot connect them to Hub 2 as well. So this is the downside of using two hubs in one location.

However, if you have a big mansion, then you can install more than one smart hub to control different devices.

Q2: Which Smart Home Hubs are compatible with Alexa?

Nowadays, a lot of smart hubs available out there are compatible with Alexa and Google Home. If you want one that is compatible with Alexa, then you can go with Amazon Echo Dot 3 or Wink Hub 2. These are compatible with Alexa, so you can use voice commands to access multiple devices with these smart home hubs.

Q3: What are the key differences between a Smart Hub and a Smart Speaker?

Most buyers get confused when it comes to smart hubs and smart speakers; some of them even feel that there is no difference in these. But smart hubs are different from smart speakers here’s how?

With a smart speaker, you can perform voice-operated operations like controlling multiple devices, turning on/off the lights, or scheduling your meetings. Also, you can listen to your favorite tracks with these devices.

But a smart home hub is different. It is a master control unit that allows you to access various devices installed in your home with optimal control. From scheduling the lights to setting the timer for your smart thermostat, you can do anything with a smart hub, which is not possible with a smart speaker.

Some manufacturers are selling smart hubs and speakers combined like Amazon Echo Dot 3. It is a hub as well as a speaker, so you can use it for both purposes.

Q4: Can I use my Smart Hub when there is no active Internet Connection?

The answer is NO! But you can do some preconfigured automation like turning on/off the devices when you are physically present inside your home. If you want to control these devices remotely, then, an active internet connection is a must.

Q5: Smart security system or Smart Hub, Which is Better?

A smart hub and a smart security system both have their own merits and demerits based on your requirements. Also, you can use an intelligent security system as a smart hub as it allows you to connect some devices together.

However, if you want to enjoy the ultimate freedom and ease of use, then we advise you to pair a smart hub with a smart security system. These devices can work in sync, and you can connect multiple devices along with them for better home automation.

Q6: How many devices can I pair with a Smart Hub?

It entirely depends on what smart hub you are buying. Some hubs have limited device connectivity while some of them allow you to connect up to 400 different devices. The choice is up to you and your requirements.

Final Thoughts

Using one of the best smart home hubs will make your life hassle-free, and you can control all connected devices remotely! Not only it will help you in cutting down the energy bills, but also your home will become safer and protected.

The best smart home hub in this list is Wink HUB 2, and if you have a tight budget, then you can go with Amazon Echo Dot 3.

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