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Smart home products such as automatic lights and movement sensors often require a hub to operate. These networking devices take many forms and are among the most popular smart home products on their own. Some, like Amazon Echo and Google Home, also serve as wireless speakers. Others, like Apple HomeKit or Samsung SmartThings The Coolest Smart Gadgets Compatible With a SmartThings Hub The Coolest Smart Gadgets Compatible With a SmartThings Hub The SmartThings hub connects wirelessly with hundreds of compatible smart devices, allowing you to monitor, control, and secure your home from anywhere in the world. Read More , run mostly in the background, but are essential nonetheless.

While these big names might be the ones you’re familiar with, they aren’t the only hubs available. Lowes, the big box home improvement chain has one called Iris. There’s also the Wink Connected Home Hub and Harmony Hub. And because one hub per company isn’t enough, you can also find the Samsung Connect Hub.

In this article, you’ll learn more about some of the lesser known smart hubs on the market, including their strengths and weaknesses, giving you all the information you need to pick the best hub for your home.

The All-in-One Solution

The following smart hubs can control a large number of smart devices across multiple categories. For example, these are the type of hubs you’d buy if you want to control your lights alongside a security system, or your front door bell alongside your thermostat.

1. Lowes Iris Smart Hub

Iris Smart Hub Iris Smart Hub Iris offers 24/7 Pro Monitoring for only $14.95/month Buy Now At Amazon $41.99

The Lowes Iris Smart Hub is a customizable smart home system that might remind you of a modern day Swiss Army Knife. Once you own the hub, you can add security, lighting, and automation bundles, plus individual products as your needs change. Along the way, you can control all of your Iris-connected devices through the free Iris app.

iris smart hub

To date, there are over 80 Iris-compatible devices, including cameras, sensors, switches, thermostats, and lights. Lowes has developed many of these specifically for use with the Iris system. Others, such as products from Sylvania and Honeywell, are also compatible with other smart hubs or systems.

Pros

  • A wide range of compatible products
  • Prices for each device are reasonable
  • Lowes is a big name in home improvement

Cons

  • Relatively new, a chance it won’t catch on with a wider user base
  • The features could be overkill for some folks
  • Lowes is a relative newcomer to the smart home hub game

2. Wink Connected Home Hub 2

Wink Hub 2 Wink Hub 2 Wink allows your diverse collection of smart products to speak the same wireless language so you can easily control them from the free Wink app Buy Now At Amazon $89.58

The Wink Connected Home Hub 2, like Iris, allows products that speak the same languages to communicate. In doing so, you can control all of the accessories with the Wink app. Unlike similar products, Wink supports multiple protocols including ZigBee, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth LE. It also works with IFTTT, which allows it to support additional products.

wink connected home hub

Supported products include: door locks, door/window sensors, motion sensors, light bulbs, switches and dimmers, outlets, and more. For compatibility, look for the “Wink Compatible – Wink Hub Required” seal on packaging. Partners include Amazon, Kwikset Forget Keys: 5 Smart Locks You Can Unlock With Your Phone Forget Keys: 5 Smart Locks You Can Unlock With Your Phone Here are 5 different locks that you can unlock with your phone. Read More , Canary, August, and more.

Once owned by Quirky, Wink is now part of i.am from innovator and musician Will.i.am.

Pros

  • A huge product base because of supported protocols
  • Supports a lot of inexpensive products, which is unique in the smart home industry
  • Includes support for voice control

Cons

  • The product has been through three owners in three years
  • Some Wink-supported devices have been known NOT to work with the Wink app

3. Securifi

Securifi Almond 3 (White): Complete Smart Home Wi-Fi system - Easy to Set up Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router, Built-in Security Siren, Universally Compatible with modems - Works with Alexa Securifi Almond 3 (White): Complete Smart Home Wi-Fi system - Easy to Set up Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router, Built-in Security Siren, Universally Compatible with modems - Works with Alexa EASY SETUP: Ridiculously easy to set it up in minutes using the Touchscreen Wizard; NO PC/Mac/CD needed for Setup or Management Buy Now At Amazon $119.00

Securifi offers Wi-Fi routers and extenders that also act as smart home hubs. These include the company’s newest products, the Almond 3, Almond+, and Almond2015. All three of these support the ZigBee protocol What's the Difference Between Zigbee and Z-Wave? Here's Everything You Need to Know What's the Difference Between Zigbee and Z-Wave? Here's Everything You Need to Know To ensure your smart home devices communicate well with each other, it's important to know what wireless language they speak! Here's everything you need to know about Zigbee and Z-wave. Read More , while the first two also support Z-Wave. The Almond 3 also supports Bluetooth.

Hundreds of smart devices are already compatible with these products, including Nest, Philips Hue, Amazon Echo, and others. Securifi is a great solution if you’re also in the market for a new Wi-Router or need an extender.

almond3 securifi hub

Pros

  • Offers a full range of products across multiple pricing levels
  • Includes a digital interface to view settings quickly

Cons

  • If you are happy with your Wi-Fi system, you likely have no reason to switch
  • Can get pricey, as most Wi-Fi systems do

4. Samsung Connect Home

Samsung Connect Home Pro AC2600 Smart Wi-Fi System (Single), Works as a SmartThings Hub Samsung Connect Home Pro AC2600 Smart Wi-Fi System (Single), Works as a SmartThings Hub Corner to corner WI-Fi coverage for homes up to 1,500 sq ft* and up to 1733 Mbps@5 GHz + 800 Mbps@2.4 GHz (AC2600)*Actual coverage will vary based on home construction and layout Buy Now At Amazon $179.99

The Samsung Connect Home is another all-in-one solution that also includes a Wi-Fi router. In this case, it provides mesh routing capabilities 5 Reasons to Buy a Mesh Wi-Fi Router Kit (And 3 Reasons Not To) 5 Reasons to Buy a Mesh Wi-Fi Router Kit (And 3 Reasons Not To) Is your router tucked away, battling thick walls and providing spotty coverage? A mesh Wi-Fi system wants to put an end to that horror, boosting your wireless coverage throughout the house. Read More .

Once you look past its mesh capabilities, the Samsung Connect Home is every bit the same as the Samsung SmartThings Home, except that you don’t have to purchase separate hardware.

Pros

  • Part of an established company
  • Works with a large number of products

Cons

  • This system is pricey (models generally start around $180)
  • Could offer more functionality than you need for your home

Niche Solutions

These smart hubs primarily focus on providing solutions for one type of smart home products. For example, automated lights or entertainment devices.

5. Lutron Caséta Smart Bridge

LUTRON L-BDG2-WH Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge, HomeKit-enabled, works with Alexa, White LUTRON L-BDG2-WH Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge, HomeKit-enabled, works with Alexa, White Provides simple and personalized control of your lights, shades and temperature from anywhere using the FREE Lutron app iOS and Android Buy Now At Amazon $60.00

The Caséta Smart Bridge from Lutron allows you to control lights, shades, and temperatures in your home with the Lutron app. With the current-generation model, you can connect up to 50 smart devices with on hub. For added flexibility, the Caséta Smart Hub is also compatible with Apple HomeKit and Amazon Echo, which allows you to control lights and shades with either Siri or Alexa.

lutron caseta smart bridge

Pros

  • Established company
  • Tied to Apple HomeKit, ensuring years of compatibility

Cons

  • Can get pricey once you add multiple devices

Besides the Smart Bridge, Lutron offers a few starter kits. These kits, not surprisingly, focus on smart lighting and include dimmer switches, wall plates, remotes, pedestals, and more.

6. Insteon Hub

Insteon Central Controller Hub, Works with Alexa, 2245-222 Insteon Central Controller Hub, Works with Alexa, 2245-222 The Insteon Hub gives you control over a huge family of connected devices, all from your smartphone, tablet and voice with Amazon Alexa Buy Now At Amazon Too low to display

With the Insteon Hub, you can connect lights and appliances from your iOS or Android device. By doing so, you can integrate with some of the biggest names in the smart industry including Nest, Amazon, Logitech, and more. With the Insteon+ app, you create schedules and automate devices, build scenes to control multiple devices, and more.

insteon smart hub

Pros

  • It’s great to have an Apple HomeKit version available
  • Both Android and iOS-compatibility

Cons

  • The Apple HomeKit version is much more expensive

For those dedicated to Apple products, there’s the Insteon Hub (HomeKit-enabled) edition. Priced around $150 and available exclusively through Smart Home, this hub offers the same features as the regular version plus support for Siri.

LUTRON L-BDG2-WH Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge, HomeKit-enabled, works with Alexa, White LUTRON L-BDG2-WH Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge, HomeKit-enabled, works with Alexa, White Provides simple and personalized control of your lights, shades and temperature from anywhere using the FREE Lutron app iOS and Android Buy Now At Amazon $60.00

7. Logitech Harmony

Harmony Home Hub Harmony Home Hub Works with Alexa to easily control your home entertainment devices with your voice Buy Now At Amazon $83.79

It may look best in the living room, but make no mistake, Logitech’s Harmony is much more than a television remote. The Logitech Harmony Hub is compatible with more than 270,000 devices at last count. In just a few minutes, you can use one remote to control up to eight devices Getting the Most Out of Your Logitech Harmony Elite Getting the Most Out of Your Logitech Harmony Elite So you’ve purchased a Logitech Harmony Elite. Here are some of our favorite ways to use the universal remote controller in your home. Read More , including your TV, cable or satellite box, Blu-ray player, Apple TV, Roku, game console, and more.

Additionally, pre-programmed buttons on the Harmony app can be used to turn down your lights right before the big game or entertainment event.

logitech harmony lite smart hub

Pros

  • Arguably the best entertainment solution available right now
  • Logitech is basically the only company offering this kind of smart home solution

Cons

  • Harmony devices are never cheap
  • There’s a definite learning curve

The Harmony Hub is about $100 without a physical remote, but the two more expensive versions (The Harmony Companion and the Harmony Elite remotes) both include the hub.

Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control, Hub & App Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control, Hub & App The most powerful and intuitive Harmony remote works with Alexa for voice control. All-in-one control of up to 15 home entertainment and connected home devices Buy Now At Amazon $280.00

Is There a Right Hub to Buy?

As you can see, smart hubs come in many forms and at different price levels. The best one for you largely depends on your current and future needs Future Proofing Your Smart Home for Apple HomeKit Compatibility Future Proofing Your Smart Home for Apple HomeKit Compatibility Read More . Unfortunately, the latter isn’t always easy to determine.

Your best bet is to purchase a hub that supports more than one wireless protocol. From there, make sure it works with the smart devices you require. Finally, have some fun. A smart home can be a happy home, as long as you take the time to see what’s out there and make informed decisions.

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