Best smart hub in 2018
So you bought Google Home and two Philips Hue lights. Well done! But you do not have smart home yet, buddy. Having one centralised hub, where you can control it all will bring you peace.
WHY DO I NEED A HUB?
We have a lot of good smart home gadgets now on the market. You can buy excellent Arlo cameras to make your house more secure, Philips Hue to control your lights or even Amazon Echo for voice control. Or just spend $250 initial set of seven products to get a feel for home automation and experiment with all the possibilities of smart homes.
The problem with those, that even if you can connect them to Amazon Echo, it is difficult to fully integrate them and have complicated automation rules. Those rules matter to unlock the true potential of the smart home. For example, you will be able to make your undercabinet lights in the kitchen only switch on if it is dark and somebody stepped in to the room. Or put on heating in your study only if you are working from home and all this without any input from your. This is where you need a hub.
WHAT IDEAL HUB NEEDS TO DO?
Cost is an important factor, but the following items are even more important.
- Automation over control – your smart hub should not rely on you to control. Ability to switch on and off lights is cool, but ideally, you want a light to turn on only when you need them
- Integration and flexibility – you should be able to have very flexible tools, so your home is very aware of the environment. This will be helped with as many integration as possible with a very granular rules engine
- Security – many recent cyber scandals highlighted the concern of handing the keys to your house to technology. Only obsession with security can ensure there will be no accidents. It also preferred that all the data stored locally, with no reliance on the cloud.
- Wife/Parent factor – linked to the first principle, but users should not be overwhelmed with control. Your smart home will only work if less experienced users can comfortably use it
Our choice: Home Assistant
You can integrate over 1,000 various platforms and programmes into single system
Very responsive development team, improving open source (!) code with bi-weekly commits
Steep learning curve
YAML is powerful, but unforgiving. Luckily Red-Node is here and it is visual
User friendly ways to create complicated routines to have maximum flexibility of rules
Data stored locally, with ability to encrypted access outside
Not off the shelf
You will need some skill to install it, but there is a solution
Why not alternatives?
What is next?
WANT MORE DETAILS?
- Big comparison of smart hub features
- Home assistant vs SmartThings
- Home assistant vs OpenHub
- Home assistant vs Vera
- Home assistant vs Domotiz
HOW DO I GET HOME ASSISTANT?
Well, this part is very easy. First you need the Raspberry Pi and then you will need to follow our guide “How to install Home assistant”
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