A home hub or a home automation hub is software or hardware that embraces internet of things initiative to connect smart devices on the home automation network and control communications among them.
When deciding onwhat is the best home hub to buy, you need to ask yourself what protocols you would like the home hub to support. We have a number of operational protocols in smart home hubs. They include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, and Zigbee. Wi-Fi home hubs are the most common, but having a hub that is packed with all could be beneficial in the long run.
Smart home hubs are very beneficial for households as they provide a common command center for all your smart devices, including smart TVs, smart fridges, smart door locks, smart lighting systems, curtains, and plenty more besides. This review will look at how these devices work, how these devices evolve, and considerations to make before buying.
How these devices work?
Home hubs are the heart of a smart home network and give it a centralized platform. They are controlled using a smart application installed on smartphones or tablets. Using the application, you can control all major processes, and the controller can be used to divert Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and ease network jamming. With all the devices connected to one point, the application will help you control devices remotely while you are away in case you need to.
The home hub application works like a universal remote for all the devices connected to the hub. It is from this application’s interface that you are able to schedule automate and control all the tasks related to the device
Apart from controlling these devices a hub also has various sensors such as motion sensors, leak sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, security sensors, energy monitors and plenty more besides, some of these hubs even contain artificial intelligence, and you can speak commands to them instead of physically keying in commands in an interface.
As you juggle on what is the best smart home to buy, consider that some devices come with their own proprietary hubs, and more often than not, the manufacturer restricts use with other third party hubs, and this becomes a problem because the devices cannot work together.
How hubs have evolved with time
The initial home hub was introduced to the market in the year 2012; it was named SmartThings. These devices often communicated using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. However, these protocols have their limitations, such as draining batteries very fast.
This led to the introduction of the Zigbee and Z-wave protocols, which are very popular in the hub market nowadays. These two protocols bring cheap wireless connectivity to smart devices and eliminate the battery draining issues as well.
The hub market has also evolved because originally, only hardware home hubs existed. Currently, we have software-based home systems such as the ones installed on smartphones, and this reduces the device count in a home and the power expenses associated with it.
Considerations to make
When deciding on what is the best home hub to buy, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
If your intent is to be controlling your home hub using voice commands, ensure that the hub supports these commands, or rather, it can integrate with a smart speaker system.
It is no secret that some home hubs offer more integration than others, and the number of available integrations may be limited as well. By this, I mean some devices list connection of up to 10 devices; others have a lesser count than this.
Operating system compatibility
Ensure that the home hub you buy allows for multi-system compatibility. For example, it should be able to support both Android and Apple devices.
Ensure there is no limitation as to the connection mode of a home hub; for example, some home hubs require LAN cable connection to a router rather than connecting using Wi-Fi.
Smart home application
Ensure that the home hub has its own application, as this will enable you to monitor all your connected devices remotely.
To sum it all up, home hubs are very important devices in today’s world. As such, you have to make a decision on what is the best home hub to buy out there based on what you require, as discussed above.