As you add more smart devices to your home, they may not always work together so smartly. To help with this issue, smart home hubs help to make all your devices work as a team. If you want a smart home, you need a hub to manage it all. Choosing the right one depends on the types of devices and your budget.
How Smart Home Hubs Help
Without a smart home hub, you’d be forced to manage your thermostat, speakers, digital locks, security cameras, and more individually. While each app is useful, it’s a bit of pain to try to manage every smart home device separately. Smart home hubs bring all the devices together in a single interface.
Now, you simply open one app to change the temperature in your home, remotely lock your doors, and change the angle of your security camera. It’s much easier and saves you time and frustration. If you only have a few devices, this might not seem like a problem, but as you add more devices, it becomes impossible to effectively manage all of them.
Another benefit is being able to automate smart tasks. For instance, you could have your thermostat automatically adjust to a certain temperature and specific smart lights turn on when you unlock your door.
Choosing Smart Home Hubs
Before you pick a smart home hub, there a few things you should consider. Simply because a device is called a hub doesn’t mean it’ll work with all smart devices. A few points to keep in mind when comparing hubs include:
- Which brands they work with (the wider the variety, the better)
- Complexity of setup
- How many devices they can manage at a time
- Whether it’s a multi-purpose hub, such as serving as a hub and smart speakers
- Voice controlled, app only, or both
Compare features carefully to make sure you’re getting the right one for your specific smart devices and needs.
The prices listed below reflect MRSP in USD.
Related Read: Smart Home Devices for DIY Security
Smart Home Hubs Under $50
You don’t need a huge budget to get an effective smart home hub. In fact, there are several options available for $50 or less, such as:
Amazon Echo Dot – $49 – Amazon’s smallest smart speaker doesn’t just sound good. It also allows you to control compatible devices from WeMo, Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue, Nest, and more with just your voice. If you buy two or more, there’s discount pricing.
- Eufy Genie – $34.99 – This smart speaker has Amazon Alexa built-in. This means it’s also able to control the same smart devices as the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. The main difference is a bigger focus on sound quality.
- Google Home Mini – $49 – The Google Home Mini is a smart speaker that allows you t control many smart home devices with your voice. Currently, it’s compatible with over 1,000 smart home devices from over 150 brands. Buying two or more nets you a $10 discount.
Smart Home Hubs From $50 To $100
If you’d like a few more features, you have multiple smart home hub options under $100. They’re still budget friendly, but have more advanced features.
- Samsung SmartThings Hub – $99.99 – You might think this hub only works with Samsung devices, but it’s compatible with numerous other brands, such as Honeywell, Leviton, and Bose. With the free app, the hub turns your smartphone into the ultimate smart remote. Plus, it even has video clip recording features.
- Amazon Echo – $99 – The Amazon Echo does everything the Dot does, but with better sound quality. It features dual speakers to fill entire rooms with sound easily.
- Wink Hub 2 – $99 – Wink focuses on ensuring the majority of smart home devices play well together. It also has built-in security features for a safer smart home. It’s designed to work with more brands and protocols than competing hubs. The app allows you to manage everything from your phone or tablet.
- Logitech Harmony Hub – $99 – The Harmony Hub works with over 270,000 smart home and entertainment devices. You’re able to control everything from your lights to your TV with just your smart phone. It’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to control everything with your voice.
- Vera VeraLite Smart Home Controller – $99 – The VeraLite controller is one of the more advanced smart home hubs, especially at this price point. It’s able to control over 750 smart products and up to 70 devices at once. It features plug and play installation and the ability to turn other devices into smart devices. Plus, you can control it from your smartphone or desktop.
Related Read: Alexa, Privacy and the Connected Home
Smart Home Hubs Over $100
When you want even more features, the pricing goes up a little more. Here, we look at smart home hubs that range anywhere from $100 to over $300.
- Amazon Echo Plus – $149.99 – This works similar to other Amazon Echo devices, but the Echo Plus has a ZigBee smart home hub built in. This allows for control of more devices and lets you go beyond voice control for controlling your smart home devices.
- Google Home – $129 – For better sound than the Google Home Mini, the Google Home helps fill larger spaces with sound. It still helps you control numerous smart devices with just your voice.
- Google Home Max – $399 – The main difference with the Google Home Max is sound quality. It features Smart Sound to auto adjust sound to the acoustics of the room. It also features better voice recognition, even at longer distances with music playing.
- Samsung Connect Home Pro Smart Wi-Fi System – $199 – The Connect Home Pro does double duty as a WiFi router and smart home hub. You can even connect multiple Connect Home units for better signal quality throughout your home. The Connect App allows you to easily manage all your devices from nearly anywhere.
- Logitech Harmony Elite – $349.99 – The Harmony Elite allows you to control most smart home devices with a universal home remote or an app. It gets even more powerful when paired with Google Home or Amazon Alexa for voice control.
- Apple HomePod – $349.99 – The HomePod is a smart speaker with superior adaptive sound. It also allows you to control numerous smart home devices with just your voice.
- Securifi Almond 3 Smart Home Wi-Fi System – starts at $149.99 – The Almond 3 serves as both router and smart home hub. Connect multiple units for better WiFi and ensure you’re able to control all your devices via the free app.
Don’t let your smart home become chaotic. Use smart home hubs to simply even the smartest home.
Related Read: The Risks Involved with Connected Home Devices
Contribution by Crystal Crowder
About the Author
Crystal lives and breathes tech. She’s spent over a decade writing tutorials, reviews, and more on tech, business, and lifestyle sites. Her idea of fun is settling down with the latest tech and gadget news.