Safety.com’s Top 3 Smart Home Hubs

Best Voice Assisted Smart Home Hub

Amazon Echo Plus

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$149.99

Why we picked it:

  • Control multiple smart home devices hands-free using Amazon Alexa voice commands
  • Built-in temperature sensor to detect and share the temperature of rooms that your connected smart home devices are in
  • 360-degree audio with seven built-in microphones for crystal clear sound

Best Connecting Smart Home Hub

Google Home Hub

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

Why we picked it:

  • Syncs seamlessly with Nest security smart home products to see who’s at your door from the display
  • Uses the Google Home mobile app to control smart home devices remotely
  • Connects with over 5,000 smart home products at once

Best Value Smart Home Hub

Samsung SmartThings Hub

Rating:

3.5

Cost:

$67.99

Why we picked it:

  • Schedule when devices automatically turn on and off using SmartThings Routines
  • Connect the smart home hub to voice assistants for hands-free control
  • Control all smart devices using the SmartThings app via smartphone

Factors to consider before buying a smart home hub

Smart home hub connectivity protocols

Home automation hubs connect devices two ways. The most common connectivity protocols are Bluetooth and Z-wave. Z-wave smart home hubs use low-power radio signals to connect devices within a wide range from a hardware hub. They use a mesh network that allows each connected smart device to act as an additional signal. With each device boosting signals, you can connect hundreds of devices. Zigbee home automation hubs work the same way. There are a few small differences between Z-wave and Zigbee such as range and compatibility for your devices, but both are highly recommended.

Z-wave smart home hubs use low-power radio signals to connect devices within a wide range from a hardware hub. They use a mesh network that allows each connected smart device to act as an additional signal. With each device boosting signals, you can connect hundreds of devices. Zigbee home automation hubs work the same way. There are a few small differences between Z-wave and Zigbee such as range and compatibility for your devices, but both are highly recommended. Other smart home hubs simply connect to your smartphone’s Bluetooth connectivity using low power radio waves. These often connect to your existing modem or router using an Ethernet cable.

Most Bluetooth hubs and devices don’t have as far of a connection range as the more popular Z-wave hubs. Some Bluetooth smart home hubs can keep devices connected up to three football fields away while others may only connect 100 meters – just a third of one football field. But, just because you purchase a Z-wave hub that connects to your Wi-Fi doesn’t mean you can only use Z-wave products. Most hubs, such as the Samsung SmartThings hub, use multiple connectivity portals including both Z-wave and Bluetooth  for you to make the most of the hub and your smart home appliances.

Hardware vs. software smart home hubs

Most home automation hubs are router-like devices placed in your home to connect your devices. But there are other smart home hubs that are simply software or mobile apps. One of the more popular mobile app  smart home hubs is the Apple HomeKit. With HomeKit connected smart home devices, you’ll be able to control multiple devices using the Home app on Apple gadgets. You won’t need any hardware to connect your devices, because the mobile app or software can add and connect devices just as the hardware would. You’ll still have the power to use the device’s application without the software, but you’ll have both options without the added cost of a hardware hub.

Hybrid vs. dedicated smart home hubs

There are many smart home gadgets that have built-in smart home hubs for your convenience. The Amazon Echo Plus is a popular option. It serves as a voice assistant, smart home hub and speaker. However, these hybrid smart home hub options may not have the power to support all of your smart home appliances. Think about how many appliances you’ll be connecting to your hybrid home automation hub, and you may find that you’ll need a dedicated smart home hub.

A dedicated smart home hub takes on the sole responsibility of connecting all of your smart home devices. These often support more smart home products and brands than hybrid hubs. They often run off of Z-wave signals to connect your gadgets, but they’re often controlled using your smart home hub’s mobile app for centralization and control.


The best smart home hub features

Enabling voice assistants

Popular smart home hubs connect to voice assistants for hands-free control of your devices. With the Amazon Echo, it’s as simple as enabling the Alexa skill on the Echo Plus using the Alexa app. Using your built-in voice assistant to set a time, tell the weather or play a song. Enabling voice commands for your smart home hub.

Number of connected devices

Think about how many home devices or sensors you’ll want to connect to your home automation hub. You’ll want to check the number of connections available for the smart home hub before buying to get the best value without needing to buy an additional hub. For example, the Google Home Hub connects up to 5,000 devices at once – eliminating any concern about overloading your hub.

Smart home hub compatibility

Every smart home device is not going to connect to every home automation hub. You’ll want to check your smart home hub’s list of compatible smart home products before buying a hub.  Before buying any smart home device, look on your gadget’s label for a list of which types of hubs are compatible. Most hubs easily connect to popular brands including Nest, Philips and Schlage.


10 Best Smart Home Hubs

Amazon Echo Plus

Best Voice Assisted Smart Home Hub

1. Amazon Echo Plus

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$149.99

Description:

The Amazon Echo is an all-in-one smart home hub. It has the power to play music, act on voice commands with Amazon Alexa and connect you to other rooms like an intercom using the ‘Drop-In’ feature. The Amazon Echo Plus’ smart home hub has the power to connect and control your home’s devices including light bulbs, smart locks and security cameras for your convenience.

Key Features

  • Includes a low-power Zigbee smart home hub to connect each product to one another for a better connection
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa manages all smart home devices using voice commands
  • Use the Alexa mobile app and your smartphone to quickly connect smart home gadgets
Learn More
Google Home Hub

Best Connecting Smart Home Hub

2. Google Home Hub

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

Description:

The Google Home Hub also connects to the Nest Cam Outdoor and Nest Hello to see who’s outside your home directly from the smart home hub display. The small home automation hub and connected devices can be controlled using Google Assistant voice commands.

Key Features

  • Works with over 5,000 smart home device from over 400 brands for broad connectivity
  • Use the Google Home mobile app to control your home when you’re on the go
  • Uses both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to connect smart home devices
Learn More
Samsung SmartThings Hub

Best Value Smart Home Hub

3. Samsung SmartThings Hub

Rating:

3.5

Cost:

$67.99

Description:

The Samsung SmartThings smart home hub controls all of your home’s smart devices using one mobile app. And when you connect smart security gadgets to this smart home hub, you’ll receive mobile alerts of your home’s activity. With this smart home hub, you can schedule when devices automatically turn on and off using SmartThings Routines. You’ll worry less about your smart home failing if one device isn’t working properly.

Key Features

  • Control your connected smart home devices using the SmartThings mobile app for your convenience
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free control of home devices
  • Uses Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Bluetooth connectivity to connect smart home devices
Learn More
Securifi Smart Home Hub

4. Securifi Smart Home Hub

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$81.88

Description:

The Almond 3 acts as a home alert system, Wi-Fi connector and smart home hub in one. It’s designed to offer a fast, wide Internet network. The built-in hub allows you to create automated routines that automatically turn devices on and off using your smartphone. You’ll have the power to automatically turn off the lights and thermostat using the Almond app.

Key Features

  • Compatible with most modems and routers from internet service providers including Verizon and AT&T
  • Works with Amazon Alexa for hands-free control of home devices
  • Built-in customer support for Philips Hue, Nest and Amazon Echo users
Learn More
Apple TV 4K

5. Apple TV 4K

Rating:

5

Cost:

Description:

The Apple TV acts as a smart home hub that is controlled using the Apple HomeKit mobile app or the Siri Remote. You’ll be able to check the status of your home’s gadgets, change the temperature and unlock the door through the Apple TV and mobile app for your convenience.

Key Features

  • Uses the Apple HomeKit mobile app to connect and control your smart home gadgets using your iPhone
  • Gives multiple users access to control your home’s appliances via smartphone
  • Create automated routines to allow smart home appliances to automatically work together by one customized instruction
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Wink Hub 2

7. Wink Hub 2

Rating:

4

Cost:

$217.97

Description:

This popular smart home hub connects to over 400 smart home devices to this home automation hub from brands including Nest, Ring and Sonos. The Wink 2 easily connects to your Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable. You’ll have the power to control locks, cameras and other smart home gadgets using the Wink app when you’re away for your convenience.

Key Features

  • Control all of your connected appliances using the Wink mobile app via smartphone
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free control of home devices
  • Uses Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-wave and Kidde connectivity to connect smart home devices
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Logitech Harmony Hub

8. Logitech Harmony Hub

Rating:

3.5

Cost:

$69.99

Description:

Logitech’s smart home hub is designed to control your home’s entertainment gadgets using one app. Connect your speakers, TV, voice assistant and more to the hub to control all devices from your smartphone. This hub includes ‘Closed Cabinet’ control to easily control devices that are stored behind doors such as gaming systems. You’ll also be able to create customizable routines to control several devices at once by tapping the routine in the Harmony mobile app.

Key Features

  • Connect up to 8 Logitech smart remotes and multiple mobile apps that can all be controlled via smartphone
  • Works with Amazon Alexa for hands-free control of home devices
  • Uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to connect smart home devices for a better connection
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Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub

9. Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub

Rating:

3.5

Cost:

$99.95

Description:

This smart home hub is designed to combine multiple smart home hubs and automation systems into one smart home hub. It includes apps such as the Hubitat Simple Lighting for light automation and Hubitat Safety Monitor to alert when danger is detected.

Key Features

  • Built-in customer support for over 90 smart home gadgets
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free control of home devices
  • Uses Z-wave connectivity to connect smart home devices for a better connection
Learn More
Vera Control Smart Home Controller Hub

10. Vera Control Smart Home Controller Hub

Rating:

3

Cost:

$99.95

Description:

The Vera smart home hub connects and controls 75-125 smart home devices, and over 200 light and lock sensors. It connects to popular security brands including First Alert, Schlage and Nest for a smart and safe home. Use the Vera mobile app to control all of your home’s gadgets with ease when you’re away. It has the power to connect devices that use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-wave or Zigbee for fully automated home.

Key Features

  • Use the VERA mobile app to connect all of your smart home appliances from brands including Sonos, Nest and Philips
  • Customer and tech support free of monthly fees or contracts
  • Uses Z-wave Plus connectivity to connect smart home devices for a better connection
Learn More

Smart home hub FAQs

What is a smart home hub?

A smart home hub is device or mobile app that connects all of your smart home devices. With a hub, you’ll be able to control your smart speaker, thermostat and other home devices using one app. Most smart home hubs allow you to schedule when equipment automatically turn on or off using a mobile device.

Do I need a smart home hub for home automation?

Some smart home appliances don’t require a home automation hub to access smart features. Many smart gadgets can be set-up using your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity only. However, if you’d like to create a smart home that connects different appliances, you’ll need a smart home hub.

Should my smart home hub also be a Wi-Fi system?

Your smart home hub does not need to be a router, but most hubs require for you to connect it to one. If your home has poor Internet connection you’ll want to consider a Wi-Fi system such as the Deco M9 Plus. It extends your Wi-Fi’s range while acting as a smart home hub to connect your smart devices.


The benefits of home automation hubs

Connecting your smart home devices is easy with a smart home hub. Connectivity protocols and features are just a few factors to think about. But with many options to consider, you’ll find the perfect hub that connects all of your smart home devices without worry. Check out our top five suggestions to get started. For a full list of leading smart home hubs, check out Amazon’s best-selling home automation hubs.