How to Choose the Best Smart Home Hub

Smart hub trends are on the rise for various reasons. Recent smart hub trends favor a spike in their use among American renters and homeowners.

A smart hub, also known as the automation hub is a centralized device that connects all your other smart devices together. Therefore, if you have numerous smart devices within your home, you need to get the best smart home hub.

When selecting the smart hub, you need to be careful. In many cases, this hub will dictate the brands of products you can use within your home. You must research and be thorough when doing it so you do not waste money buying a product that you may never use in your home.

It should be compatible with the products you have in the home and those you will bring in the future.

For a decision that could cost as little as $50 or upward of $300, it is not a choice you want to take lightly. It is exciting to be able to modernize your home with a smart hub that is convenient to use and that will save you time.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Smart Home Hub

What is the best smart home system today? Which of the many options in the market should you choose?
? Lights
? Smart speakers
? Security cameras
? Smart plugs
? Locks
? Smart thermostats
? Smoke detectors
? Garage door openers
? Universal Remotes
? Light switches
? Video doorbells
? Robot vacuums
? Smoke detectors

Connectivity

The smart hub will connect to your home, and all your other devices using your internet either via a wireless connection on through a wired Ethernet. In case you are using a wired connection, you will have to free a port on your wireless router for the Ethernet cable.

When considering connectivity, the last thing you need is to buy a product that will only connect to a few of your devices. You also do not want to risk the thought that it may not connect to any of your appliances. So test and make sure that everything is working together. You need fluidity in your home and a smart hub should provide that for you.

Most manufacturers will make sure that their devices are compatible with a wide range of devices including Apple, Google, Amazon, Wink, Zigbee and many more. Unfortunately, there are some companies whose devices are only compatible with a few other devices. Of course, the more devices the hub is compatible with, the more expensive it is.

The Installation Process

If you are not techy, you do not want to spend hours trying to figure out how to install the hub and link it to all your other devices. No one wants devices that have lengthy setup processes. There are people who do not mind hiring professionals to help them install the product, but some want products they can install themselves.

If you do not mind hiring a professional to do the installation for you, you can buy the hard wired hubs that have complex setups. If you want to install the device yourself, choose the battery-powered hubs that will connect directly to your Wi-Fi.

Cost Saving

Whenever you are buying any device for your home, make sure you are getting value for your money without having to pay exorbitant prices. With a good brand, you are certain that the device will serve you for decades without getting damaged in any way.

It also means that you may have to spend more during their purchase. The best brands will price their products at a much higher cost than lower brands. However, their longevity is almost always worth it.

Remember that cheap isn?t always expensive with techy gadgets. There are some companies that have great quality products that are inexpensive.

So make sure you read the reviews about the company and the specific product. Chances are, other customers will offer you great insight and help you make an informed choice about which one is most suitable for your needs.

Mobile App

These smart hubs will often come with their own proprietary mobile apps. You can, therefore, use the apps to connect to the various devices you may have at your home. You can also use them to set up the schedules, create IFTTT routines, and check the performance and statuses of your devices.

In many cases, the app will send you routine notification of any unusual activities in any of the devices. A great example is that it will notify you whenever there is a person who is approaching your front door.

So you need to make sure that this mobile app is compatible with the phone you are using. The app should also be easy to use and intuitive. This is critical for Windows users because most of these hub mobile apps are already compatible with Android and iOS users.

Entertainment or Stand Alone

These hubs are often dedicated. This means that they are not just devices that help you connect all your other gadgets. These are also great entertainments hubs.

So, not only are they functional, but they are also great as an entertainment tool.

Most will come with speakers, music libraries, TVs, and a lot more fun apps that are built in. Obviously, a hub that comes with all these features is much more expensive, but it is also more useful for families. Standalone ones are great for people who do not need much entertainment.

Smart speakers and TVs are among the fastest selling smart devices in the world. They are a key component to the home and the activities therein. It is therefore worth investing in a hub that will make it easier for you to watch your favorite channels and also listen to your favorite music.

Do You Need Voice Control?

The hubs will not just make it easier for you to access your music, it will also allow you to access any of your smart devices using your voice. Does the hub you buy have a compatible smart voice assistant?

This feature is particularly useful for the people who have learning impairments, or who are blind. It will help them control all the gadgets in the home without having to struggle too much.

Battery or Wired

Like most electronics, some of these hubs have an in-built rechargeable battery. However, there are also more that will connect to a power outlet. Battery-powered devices often mean that you can place the device in a hard to reach a given location especially as far as security cameras are connected.

In most cases, if the smart hub allows you to include some safety focused devices, it will come with a backup battery. These safety focused devices include locks, smoke detectors, and alarms. This will ensure that the device continues working even when there is a power outage.

You also need to consider the area you live in when buying a hub. For instance, if there are more than 10 power outages a year in your location, you probably should buy a hub that is battery powered. This will ensure that you are connected to some of the devices that are also battery powered.

Warranty

You also need to check how confident the company is with the products they are selling. When buying electronic products, you need to know that the manufacturer has you covered and will help you in case the product is defective or is damaged along the way.

Of course, the longer the warranty is, the more confidence the company is in their products. Also, the more expensive the product, the longer the warranty will be. Make sure you check the warranty details to make sure that it is not just put in place to lure customers.

Ensure that it will help you get needed repairs and replacements each time there is an issue.

Free or Paid Plan

When buying any smart device, you must be ready to think about the annual or monthly costs of ownership. For your smart speakers and cameras, you need to make a monthly payment to the companies for services. If you need access to cloud storage, you must pay for it.

However, you can always use the free music apps to play music. You sometimes have to unlock some key features in these ?free? apps by paying subscription money.

Pick all devices that have their standard options set at free. You can always upgrade later on if you wish to. However, when you face the money crunch, the app should still be usable even if you fail to pay the monthly fee.

Range

How far can the hub?s connectivity go? For people who live in small homes that have fewer rooms, this may not be an issue. However, if you have numerous rooms in your home, you may want to think about how far the hub?s sensor will go.

If the sensor is strong, you may not have to worry about where you place it. However, if it is weak, you have to be strategic on how you use it and where you place it.

Be smart about where the hub is placed and ensure that it is connecting well with all your smart home devices. This will ensure that everything is functioning optimally.

Things to Avoid When Buying a Smart Device

Now that you have established what to look for, you need to know the red flags. Buying smart home devices, including a smart hub requires that you take time to consider demerits. These things include some of the following.

Insecurity

You must have seen in the news how hackers have used webcams and baby monitors to patronize victims and expose their private lives. You never want something like this to happen to you.

That is why you need to ensure that the devices you bring to your home will better your life and not endanger it. If you have heard about a company being hacked, make sure you steer clear of their gadgets until they sort the issue and guarantee their customers safety.

Confirm that they won?t be recording activity in your home.

Too Futuristic

Do not be carried away by apps that claim that they to do some crazy things. They are probably not telling you the truth. They will definitely disappoint you. In fact, if they are promising too much, chances are they will not be able to deliver even the basic features of the device.

Anything that seems too good to be true should be avoided at all costs.

Exorbitant Prices

You do not have to pay an arm and a leg to get a functional device that will serve you for a long time. Avoid any that are too expensive and whose price does not seem sensible. It also means that you should avoid those that are too cheap because chances are you will be replacing them soon.

Suspicious Manufacturer

Because you are putting a lot of trust in the device you buy, it is important that you buy one that is a good brand. With a good brand, you will have a ready-to-help support team and will be sure that your privacy will be upheld.

Remember to read the reviews online to make sure that you will be buying from a good brand and that you will get a product that will serve you for years.

Choosing the Best Smart Home Hub Does Not Have to Be as Difficult as You Might Have Assumed

While you may not have gotten to the point where the kitchen can cook meals, the world of IT is almost there. You, therefore, need a way to control all these smart devices without having to keep moving around. It is convenient, will save you money, and help you learn more about the various devices in the home.

Read more on our blog?about how to automate the systems in your home, where to buy the best gadgets, and how to use the best smart home hub.

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