Every smart home needs to have a smart home hub, do not allow anyone to tell you otherwise. When you are blending different smart devices from a bunch of manufacturers, a home automation hub is important to help you get them all working together and controlled within one app.
Some people may say of the demise of the smart home hub, but the reality still remains clear. Smart home hubs take many forms, and you may already own a smart home hub, and you may not need to buy anything at all.
What Is a Smart Hub?
A smart hub is a centerpiece of smart homes. It helps you to channel all the signals from all of your devices so that you can control everything from a single app so that you don’t have to juggle many different apps to get the most out of the technology you have.
When I was choosing the smart hub to use in my home, the major factors I was considering were like appeal, compatibility, and accessibility so that it covered options.
There are few best smart hubs from those that have saturated the market. In this article, I get to review two of the best smart hubs I have come to use in my house and give my honest review on them.
We take a look at these two smart hubs that are not just hubs but also high-end security systems.
What’s The Google Home Hub?
The Google Home hub is nothing more than a smart display, which is similar to the Echo Show, only that the Home Hub uses Google Assistant instead of Alexa.
You have to think of it as the regular Google Home smart speaker but having a screen tacked on.
It is a hub in the sense that it can serve as a central place to do many things, like look at upcoming calendar events, set reminders, set timers, and also control of your smart home devices with your voice or the screen.
But I prefer to call it a hub in that sense in a casual way, just as someone might say the kitchen is the hub of the house.
Best Google Smart Home Hub: Google Nest Hub
Google is now catching up to Amazon Alexa’s voice assistant though there are some few features that it still lacks. These are the ability to have smart home routines trigger automatically. However, voice commands, touch, and time to have all gadgets respond are a few things that work with Google.
Google Home is the best choice to use, especially if you have Nest products like the Nest thermostat, nest hello doorbell, nest secure alarm system, and nest protect smoke alarm. This is because nest and Google are now one company.
Though Google recently killed the Works with Nest program, which allowed nest devices to work with other smart home hubs, though nest products still work with Alexa, the Google Nest Hub is the better device to use in controlling them.
Google nest hub home view is a top-down view look at the entire smart home gives great touch for quick access to any connected lights, video, locks, thermostats, and there is no need to use voice or get the phone out if you don’t want to.
It is also a great digital photo display and integrates seamlessly with the Google calendar.
Google now has its works with a program that lets you control thousands of smart home systems and devices through the Google Home app and the Google smart speakers by using the Google Assistant voice commands.
You can turn the lights off, adjust the thermostat, lock the door, or have all the things happen at once using a single command with Google routines.
I was surprised at how I found Google Nest Hub on the cheap from the listing here on Amazon.
- The small size
- Google’s home view
- Double as a photo frame when not being used
- Does not support Zigbee or Z-wave
- Works with nest is now dead
- Alexa still has more compatibility
Google Home Hub vs. Smarthome Hubs
While it is not a big problem that home hub is not considered to be a true hub, I have seen people assume that Home Hub is an actual smart home hub that you can connect directly to various devices and sensors, but that is not the case.
The Google Home Hub enables you to link devices to it so that you can control your devices. For instance, if you have some smart lights like Philips hue, you cannot connect them to the Home Hub directly, you will need Hue Bridge Hub. Then you can link the Hue Bridge to the Home Hub.
If you would like to take advantage of some Z-wave motion sensors, you will need to connect them to an as smart home hub that supports Z-Wave devices. Unfortunately, Home Hub does not support Z-Wave or Zigbee.
Samsung’s SmartThings Hub
Samsung’s SmartThings Hub bills itself as the brain for your smart home; it aims to not only connect and synchronize smart home devices but also intelligently to understand the basic information about your daily routine.
It wants to understand when you sleep, wake up, when present or absent, and then leverage the knowledge to make the everyday experience smoother.
Most smart home hub users want to have this kind of experience and convenience; having the smart lights turned on when their favorite music starts playing immediately, they get home from work.
The routines can be set to configure some detailed actions, and they can be in one of two ways; automatically through sensors or from the manual tap of a button.
The better thing is that SmartThings can send you a timely push or a text to notify you if it detects any anomalous activities.
Setting up a SmartThings Hub
The setup is pretty straightforward; all you have to do is to connect the SmartThings Hub to the home router with the included Ethernet cable.
As the hub boots up, you can download the free companion app to your smartphone. The work of this app is to check and ensure the core software is up to date and then walks you through the steps you need to complete in order to discover and connect all devices.
Although this setup is simple and smooth, power users that may be seeking to get access to more fine-tuned controls may find that the exact settings they need are buried deep within the app.
The good thing about SmartThings is that it supports a wide range of devices, and this makes it appealing to novice and also experienced smart home users.
It also allows you to group your devices by room to enable easier categorization and management and works with Alexa and Google Home devices.
You can have a look at the prices of SmartThings Hub from this listing here on Amazon and also user reviews, it is worth your time and money.
- The backup battery enables it to keep running for up to 10 hours in the event there is a power outage.
- Samsung Connect Home Pro includes a SmartThings Hub with a wifi router that is appealing if you are looking for all in one appliance.
- You may end up paying more depending on the number of sensors, plugs, and devices you will add
- Some of the configurations settings are not easy to find