Best Smart Home Hubs for 2017

One of the core pieces of your smart home is going to be your hub.  There are a lot of hub-free devices that I’ve spoken about many times, such as the Belkin WeMo line.  For other protocols such as Z-Wave, you’ll need a hub to manage it.  I’ve done my best to research and find what I believe is the best smart home hub.

Read more: Understanding Home Automation Protocols

First PlaceSamsung SmartThings

Samsung SmartThings

When it comes to ease of use, Samsung’s SmartThings hub is ahead of the game.  Setting it up is a breeze.  Even if you’re not technically inclined, it’s very easy to get it started.  Their app is well built and easy to navigate.  They’ve clearly spent a lot of time not just in the technical side of the house, but the usability side as well.

Screenshot of App

When it comes to supporting devices and protocols, they do and make it easier than ever to integrate devices.

Their hub supports many different protocols, including Z-Wave, Zigbee, and in the future, Bluetooth.  It’s the go-to smart home hub for many enthusiasts.

Samsung also has a line of their own SmartThings devices, such as the SmartThings smart outletSmartThings multi-purpose sensorSmartThings arrival sensor and more.  You can even buy a SmartThings home monitoring kit that includes a whole bunch of these sensors.

On top of their own line, they support many, many other devices.  Some notable examples are the Netgear Arloecobee3 thermostatPhilips Hue Light BulbsGE Z-Wave outletsGE Z-Wave Switches and many more.

On top of all that, as if it wasn’t enough, they also support Amazon Echo out of the box.   For 2017, I truly don’t think you can find a better hub and that’s why it gets my vote for best smart home hub.

Second PlaceWink Hub 2

Wink Hub 2

This is a very close race, but someone has to come in 2nd.  That’s not to say the results can’t change in a few months.

While Wink also supports the same Z-Wave and Zigbee protocols as Samsung, they also support Bluetooth LE, Kidde and Clear Connect.

The reason I put them at 2nd is just because of how much more popular Samsung’s hub is currently.  By being more popular, it gets more device support at start that Wink still has to work for.

That being said, they do support some notable devices.  Things such as Nest ThermostatNest Camera and Philips Hue Light Bulbs all work with Wink.

The other really cool device that I haven’t found for SmartThings yet is a Wink Relay.

Wink relay

It is awesome because it plugs into your wall and lets you control your Wink devices without needing a smart phone.

Honorable MentionAmazon Echo

I can’t write this article without mentioning the Amazon Echo.  No, it doesn’t speak Z-Wave or Zigbee.  No, it doesn’t have a cool wall relay.

What it does do, though, and really well might I add, is add an excellent interface to your hubs.  It lets you control things without having to use any controllers.  Just tell it to turn things on and off and it will reach out to those devices, through your hubs, and control them.  If your devices are wifi, such as the Belkin WeMo or TPLink line, it can control them directly.

For that, it deserves an honorable mention.


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