Looking for a smart home hub needs to be done thoughtfully seeing as a hub can become your right-hand-man for the foreseeable future. If used to its potential, it can be your go-to for anything from setting routines and automations to maintaining your calendar, getting you an Uber, and giving you recipes.
So we chose these smart hubs by testing for best reliability, fast response times and load times when you open the app or make a command, user interface, how easy setup and adding devices is, among other things.
Compatibility across brands
Whether you're a fan of Apple or Alexa, compatibility across brands is certain to be something you're looking for in a hub. When you make a run to the hardware store and decide to buy a smart bulb, you don't want to worry about the fact that there's only two overpriced models compatible with your home automation system and wonder what the quality is like. This is why the best hubs are the ones that have the widest range of compatibility across brands on the market.
User application and speed
Whichever hub you choose to buy will determine what application you'll download and use on your smartphone to control your home. So while we chose the best smart home hub, which is the device itself that you use to set up your smart home and kept it separate from a home automation system, which is the platform itself where you control your smart home, the user interface is a pretty big part in our decision.
The speed with which your smart devices respond to the app on your smartphone is a big part of everyday use. There's no use having motion alerts on your security camera just to have it take a whole minute or two just to load the video feed on the app.
We chose the home hubs with the best user experience on the market.
When choosing these smart home hubs, cost was also a determining factor, both in the short and long term. Startup cost is obviously important, and most home hubs available retail for less than $150 nowadays, but you also want to consider what devices are compatible with it and what the cost of those devices are. This is why Echos are a pretty affordable option, since Amazon has low cost smart home devices like Blink, for example, with the option for higher-end ones like Ring.
Built to last, figuratively speaking
In doing home automation, we've seen the birth of smart home hubs and the death of them as well. So we decided on the smart home hubs that are still relevant, meaning many users are still active and compatible devices are still being actively manufactured for them. No one wants to invest hundreds of dollars in a technology that will be obsolete in a year's time.