A smart home hub is like the nerve center for your house, and it connects all of your important devices, accessories, and everyday items.
With the best smart home hub at your disposal, you’ll have more synchronized control over the household and a more convenient way to live your everyday life, but finding the right pick can be challenging.
So, what is the best smart home hub?
A good smart home hub should be able to integrate a range of devices and applications, be easy to use, and ultimately make your life simpler. Their purpose is to connect all of the other smart devices your home has together so they can be controlled from one point, and this should be done flawlessly and without hassle.
To bring your home into the 21st century, a smart home hub is the easiest place to start, and we can help you get there.
We’ve made it easy to navigate through all of the options with our guide to the finest on the market so you’ll be guaranteed to have only the best smart home hubs to choose from.
With more options arriving on the market every day, it can be hard to figure out which smart home hubs are worth considering.
We’ve hand-selected just five that are worthy of the best hub for smart home title, and with something unique offered by each of them, you’ll be able to find your perfect match.
Best Smart Home Hub – Reviews for 2021
Best Overall: Amazon Echo Smart Home Hub
- Connectivity: Wireless
- Size: 5.7” x 5.7” x 5.2”
The Amazon Echo has changed the game for smart home hubs and Alexa has become the most popular virtual assistant of the decade. This smart hub is the 4th generation and comes with loads of updates, privacy controls, premium speakers, voice control, and integration with Zigbee and Ring devices. You get the option of an Echo or two Echo dots as well, giving you a smaller way to keep all areas of your home smart, and the devices connect with each other to make family life easier.
The sound capabilities of this home hub make it a force to be reckoned with, and it features a 3.0″ woofer and dual front-firing tweeters. You’ll be able to sync up your music streaming service, and command a whole range of things from Alexa including locking doors, turning off the lights, and calling friends and family. This is a huge upgrade from the last generation model and turns the Echo into more of a home entertainment system than ever before.
There are loads of extras that make the Amazon Echo a standout, including the Alexa Guard function. This allows you to ask Alexa to guard your home, so you’ll get notifications if it hears the smoke alarm going off or it hears the sound of glass smashing. With this in place, you can save some money from investing in security cameras because it appears the Echo can do it all. Other classic favorites are still there like the ability to ask questions, give commands, and tell Alexa what you want to be done, and in terms of simplicity, it’s the best on the market.
However, there’s still room for improvement with the Amazon Echo, most notably the aesthetics. People don’t like the newer sphere style and aren’t fans of the white power cord, which stays this color no matter what color scheme you choose for the Echo. You might want to keep this out of the way if it clashes with the rest of your décor.
Customers weren’t thrilled to find this was lacking in terms of compatibility, especially in the fourth generation model that was released in 2020. This smart hub runs with Zigbee devices as well as Ring Smart Lighting, so it could do a little better for integrations. You’ll want to make a mental note of the devices in your home to see if they’ll work with the Echo, and if not, go with another device that has greater capabilities.
The 4th Gen Amazon Echo is available online at Amazon for the best price, and it comes with their one year limited warranty, as well as the option to upgrade to a three year extended warranty. It ticks all of the boxes for making smart home automation easy, even if it’s not the most widely compatible, and it’s easy to see why Alexa has become the most loved home hub and assistant of recent times.
Runner Up: Sengled Smart Hub
- Connectivity: Wireless
- Size: 3.6 x 3.4 x 3.1 inches
Sengled has developed an affordable entry into the smart home market with their Smart Hub, designed to connect all of their devices from one easy point. The Sengled Smart Hub can be controlled via their dedicated app or using voice control and the overall dimensions are just 3.6 x 3.4 x 3.1 inches so it’s discreet enough to hide. This is the best smart hub for home automation and lighting if you don’t want to spend a lot of cash, and is compatible with Alexa, Google Home, IFTT, and Siri.
One of the best things about this smart home hub is its range, which is ideal for people who’ve had signal issues in the past. You also get the option of a wired or wireless connection which isn’t a common choice these days and can help a lot more people get into the smart home revolution without a specific type of internet connection. From one spot, you can set lighting schedules, control individual rooms, group devices, and monitor your lighting and energy use.
Price-wise, the Sengled is one of the more attainable smart home hubs if you’re looking to step into the future without spending a fortune, so it has this going for it. Although a cheaper option, it’s still comprehensive, and you’ll be able to control up to 64 different Sengled Element devices when they’re connected to this hub, even if most of them are lights.
On the downside, Sengled isn’t the most straightforward device to set up, and there were quite a few frustrated reviewers who commented on this. In the future, Sengled could write a more detailed instruction guide, but it also seemed to come down to people’s home networks registering the device, so there are some technical upgrades to be done as well.
In addition to the complicated installation process, you’re somewhat limited to what you can use this smart home hub for. Since it’s mostly lightly and related accessories that Sengled makes, this will be your one-stop shop for home lighting needs and nothing else. If you’re hoping for a hub that connects a range of brands and products, you’ll want to spend up and get something better.
The Sengled Smart Hub makes it easy to create the perfect mood at home and save money, and it’s a smart investment for anyone looking to simplify their lighting. You can get the Sengled for a great price online at Amazon and it comes with a stellar 10 year limited warranty which just proves how amazing its value is. For a comprehensive smart hub that’s dedicated to your home’s lighting, the Sengled is our favorite find.
Alternative: Hubitat Elevation Home Hub
- Connectivity: Local/Wireless
- Size: 2.95 x 2.95 x 0.67 inches
If you prefer your home automation to be around even when the internet is down, the Hubitat Elevation Home Hub could be right up your alley. This hub works on both a local and wireless connection and features S2 wireless security, Z-Wave Plus V2 certification, Zigbee connectivity, and SmartStart device inclusion. The Elevation hub measures 2.95 x 2.95 x 0.67 inches and is compact enough to hide away anywhere.
There are loads of built-in apps with the Hubitat Elevation that let you manage your household from one command center. Simple Automation Rules, Motion Lighting, and Rule Machine are just a few ways you can schedule and automate the running of your home and control all of your device from one simple place, and it also comes with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant apps included.
The security benefits of Hubitat make it a top contender for those who are concerned about privacy. All of your user data is stored locally and with loads of security and privacy features, and there’s a guarantee from the manufacturer that none of your information will ever be sold to third parties. They score high with those who want a safe home hub first and foremost, and the brand is reputable in what they deliver.
However, some users found it hard when issues arose, and there wasn’t as much customer support as they’d hoped. The best way to solve a problem was through the community and relying on other customers. Some suggested that unless you’re good with troubleshooting technological issues yourself, buy another brand, as you’ll be left in the dark sometimes and have to figure problems long before help arrives.
Another negative of the Hubitat Elevation is the dashboard and how it looks and operates. The design seems a little clunky and it’s hard to get a handle of where things are and what they say. The best thing here would be to use a scaled-down design in future updates so that users can access it more easily. There’s a lot on offer with the built-in apps but being able to use them was another question, and it took away from the hub’s efficiency.
If you want a smart home hub that has loads of integrations and compatibility, as well as the option for local connectivity, the Hubitat Elevation is the way to go. The manufacturer only offers a dismal 90-day warranty, which could be better, and it’s slightly more expensive than others we’ve reviewed. However, if you want the perks that this system comes with, you’ll be happy to spend extra to get them.
Alternative: Samsung Router + SmartThings Hub
- Connectivity: WLAN
- Size: 4.72 x 4.72 x 1.16 inches
If you want one of the most trusted names and fully comprehensive smart home hubs on the market today, look no further than Samsung. This is both a SmartThings Hub and a mesh router, giving you the ability to control over 100 compatible devices from one place. Included with the two-in-one smart home solution from Samsung, you’ll get a router, adapter, LAN cable, quick start guide, and the Samsung SmartThings Hub.
The most impressive thing about this product is the app that comes with it, making it easy to control and monitor over 100 devices like speakers, lights, cameras, and doorbells. You’ll never want for another hub once you’ve got this in place, and it’s one of the most recognizable names in smart homes which means almost every new device is made to be compatible with it.
Another bonus of the SmartThings Hub is the WiFi coverage capabilities, with just one mesh router providing up to 1,500 square feet of solid connectivity. This router can use more than one access point which means you’re never dropping out or having a lacking signal from far away, and this made it especially appealing to customers with unique configurations at home. Furthermore, it offers a lot of security features for peace of mind, like malware blocking and prevention of spam, phishing, and other potential attacks.
The biggest flaw of this is the tech support that Samsung offers or fails to offer. There are countless reports of people finding out-of-date solutions to issues or not being able to contact the support team at all, and becoming frustrated with a device that no longer does its job. Be prepared to spend some time waiting and conducting your own research if you go ahead with the SmartThings hub, as others have had to do.
Another negative to consider is that although lots of devices claim to be compatible with the Samsung SmartThings Hub, it seems otherwise. People have reported problems with syncing up the app to their new devices, which might not mean Samsung is to blame, but it still doesn’t help you when you’re trying to connect and control everything from the one command center.
Although there are some minor issues to iron out, it’s easy to see why the Samsung Mesh Router + SmartThings Hub is a top-rated product. This smart home hub is available through Amazon as a second-gen model, and it comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty. If you want a truly diverse hub that lets you take smart control of your home, Samsung has delivered with SmartThings.
Alternative: Aeotec Smart Home Hub
- Connectivity: Wireless
- Size: 5.79 x 5.71 x 3.11 inches
Aeotec has thrown its hat in the ring with a smart home hub that works with the SmartThings app and offers an impressive 5,000+ devices that you can integrate. This smart home hub can be controlled through either voice command or with the app, and you can use this app to connect all of your home’s devices as well. The hub measures 5.79 x 5.71 x 3.11 inches and uses the SmartThings app to run on your Android or iOS device for a user-friendly experience.
If you’re looking for the best smart home hub for Alexa or Google Assistant that offers more chances for integration, Aeotec is the way to go. Customers were thrilled to find that this hub had been certified to work with Zigbee, Z-Wave Plus, SmartThings, and other protocols, and offered thousands of products that can be connected to it. You can control all parts of your home including security, lighting, temperature, and more, just with this one simple app.
Another benefit that the Aeotec Smart Hub brings is the app itself. Aeotec uses SmartThings as their command center which serves the customer well and makes it easy to manage everything in your home. Setting up devices and controlling their actions, or creating automation and schedules is a lot easier than with other hubs we’ve reviewed, and it has this app to thank for it.
The tech support offered with this device is lacking though, and when you’re working with electronics like this, you’re bound to need help at some point. People found that it was near impossible to get in contact with anyone from Aeotec and when something went wrong, they were on their own. If you’re already feeling hesitant about switching to a smart home and not sure about your technological aptitude, you’ll probably want a brand with comprehensive customer support instead.
Another downside to the Aeotec Smart hub is that it only works in the US, which isn’t an issue for the majority of users but could impact others. You’ll also need an internet-connected WiFi router to start using the hub, whereas others supply this with theirs. Although it seems to be one of the cheaper options, having this central part missing could be a dealbreaker for some if they then have to purchase a WiFi router as well.
If you’ve got a lot of different brands and products in your home and want one central place to control them all, the Aeotec Smart Hub is a smart choice. To get your hands on one, find them online at Amazon, but make sure you have a suitable tablet or smartphone and an existing wireless connection before you do. The Aeotec Smart Hub comes with a one-year limited warranty and minimal customer support, so although it’s got a lot to offer in other areas, you’ll want to be pretty tech-sufficient to use it.
Smart Home Hub FAQs
If you need the best smart hub for home but feel lost when looking at all of the options, we’re here to help.
By answering some popular questions that other newcomers have when exploring these smart hubs and devices, we can help you get a handle on what they’re all about.
Do I Need A Hub For My Smart Home?
You don’t need a hub for your smart home if you’re happy to manage each of the devices or appliances separately, which is why they’re so popular.
A smart home centralizes all of the parts of your house so they can be managed and controlled from one point, and people find that having one makes everything run more smoothly.
Do I Need A Hub For Alexa?
Amazon’s Alexa doesn’t need a hub to work as it’s essentially a hub in itself.
With these types of smart assistants, you can connect to your other smart home device like temperature and lighting control and make requests to control and manage them. In this way, Alexa is a type of smart home hub and will work fine on its own.
Do Smart Bulbs Need A Hub?
A smart bulb doesn’t require a smart home hub to work, as it can be operated independently by apps and other platforms.
However, you might choose to control the smart bulbs of your home using a hub if you have other devices as well, and it makes it easier to manage everything from a central point.
Do Smart Bulbs Slow Wifi?
Having more than 20 bulbs accessing a single router at once could potentially slow down a WiFi connection, and this is another way that a smart home hub can help.
With a hub, you’re decreasing the number of separate devices that rely on a network so there’s less congestion and faster speeds.
The Foundation of a Smarter Home
As the central command system for all parts of a fully functioning smart home, it makes sense to get the hub right.
With a smart home hub, you’ll keep everything organized, synchronized, and easily managed, so it’s one simple accessory you can use to make modern life less complicated.