The future has arrived and with it, a whole new frontier. The Internet of Things (IoT) has exploded over the last few years and with it, so has the market for home automation. And since it's another new year, we have new hubs that are hitting the market!
The newest Z-Wave smart hubs of 2017 are: the VeraSecure Z-Wave hub and the Wink 2 Z-Wave hub.
What Is Z-Wave?
For those of you that are new to the party, Z-Wave is a wireless communications protocol that is used primarily for home automation. And a Z-Wave smart hub is the device through which you are able to manage things such as lighting, security, and more. In other words, it's the brain of the operation
Z-Wave is one of several proprietary wireless communication protocols currently in use for home automation.
One of the benefits of using Z-Wave technology is its convenience. You can access your Z-Wave hub interface from your internet-connected device of choice and virtually every Z-Wave device integrates with a Z-Wave hub. You rarely have to worry about compatibility when it comes to Z-Wave.
What Is Home Automation?
Home automation, also known as Domotics or Domotica, is the residential version of building and office automation. Home automation involves control and automation of heating, cooling, lighting, security, and various wifi/mesh-enabled household appliances.
A home automation system is typically made up of a hub that is sometimes called a gateway and a collection of devices. The hub controls the devices and the hub is accessed by a user interface that allows the user to manage the home from a wifi or internet connected device.
The Newest Smart Hubs for 2017
VeraSecure Advanced Smart Home Security Controller
This smart hub is currently available for pre-order only, with shipments beginning in March. It is compatible with several different protocols including Z-Wave Plus, ZigBee, Bluetooth, VeraLink (which is brand new), and Wi-Fi. The VeraSecure controller is a security system and home control in a single device!
Here are some of the features:
- Z-Wave Plus Compatibility
As with all Z-Wave compatible hubs, you have the assurance that most (if not all) of your Z-Wave devices will work with the hub. And of course your new Z-Wave Plus devices will work!
- Easy to Install and Set Up
The VeraSecure Advanced Smart Home Security Controller is easy to install and set up. Once you have all of your home systems, devices, and appliances connected to it, you can begin managing them by simply logging into the browser-based user interface from wherever you are.
- The Greatest Benefit: No Monthly Fees
The greatest benefit of purchasing a VeraSecure smart hub, you own it outright. There are no monthly fees. Since you own the device, when you move, it moves with you. This makes it a practical choice for renters and people who are planning on moving.
- Brand Compatibility
The VeraSecure smart hub is compatible with brands including Nest, Schlage, Yale, Kwikset, Aeon Labs, First Alert, and others.
- Security and Reliability
This smart hub comes with a built-in siren alarm that is loud enough to alert your neighbors and scare off would-be thieves.
Reliability is ensured with battery and cellular backup systems to keep your home safe and secure even when the power or internet is out.
The VeraSecure Advanced Smart Home Security Controller controller is not only a home automation hub, but a money saver to! There are no monthly service fees, ever (unless you sign up for other services).
When you buy this hub, you actually own it and can take it with you whenever you move. The VeraSecure controller offers ease of installation and a secure, browser-based user interface. It allows you to manage every aspect of your automated home from wherever you’re at with the internet-connected device of your choosing.
- CPU: 880MHz Dual Core MIPS SoC
- Flash Memory: NAND 128mb
- RAM: 512mb DDR3
- Connectivity: Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee (HA 1.2), Bluetooth BLE 4.0+, VeraLink (Proprietary 345MHz).
- Cellular: 3G Built In
- Battery: 2400mAh/18Wh Built In
- Wifi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- USB Port: 1 (2.0)
- WAN Port: Gigabit
- Dimension: 8.86"L x 5.79"W x 1.89"H
Wink Hub 2 Smart Home Controller
Technically this hub came out at the end of 2016, but it's still new enough. 🙂
The latest iteration of the Wink Hub, has a slightly different design from its predecessor, although it is still available only in white. There are key improvements including guided setup, auto-discovery of smart devices in the home, enhanced local control, new connectivity options, and expanded memory.
This product says it only works with devices that have the seal on packaging, but based on reviews many regular Z-Wave devices work with it as well.
Here are some of the features:
- Guaranteed Compatibility
The Wink Hub 2 is guaranteed to be compatible with all products that bear the Works with Wink or Works with Wink -- Hub Required seal.
- Easy to Install and Setup
Installation has never been easier with a guided setup and auto-discovery of compatible smart home devices.
- No Monthly Fees
Just like the VeraSecure, the Wink hub 2 doesn't have any monthly fees.
- Easy to Use
The intuitive User Interface makes it easy to manage your smart home wherever you are.
- Expanded Memory
Memory capacity was increased eightfold from 64MB to 512MB, giving a hefty boost to performance. This is in line with VeraSecure.
- Control and Automate
You can manage all of your smart home devices from your smartphone or tablet. Just download and install the Wink app, login, and use.
- Monitor and Schedule
You can monitor your home from any location with internet access and/or cell phone service. In addition, you can schedule lighting, heating, cooling, and security while you’re away from home.
The Wink Hub 2 is a substantial improvement over the original Wink hub. Guided setup and auto-discovery make installing and using this hub a breeze.
Bluetooth LE, 5GHz Wi-Fi, and ethernet support provide more options for secure connectivity and improved performance. Expanded memory helps to boost performance, too.
You can control your home from wherever you’re at with automating lighting, heating, cooling, and security. You can also monitor your home and schedule changes for your various smart home devices.
Most protocols are supported, so you can purchase the devices you want from your favorite brands and use them. The Wink Hub 2 is also compatible with Apple, Android, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT platforms. Finally, zero monthly fees make the Wink Hub 2 a real money saver.
- RAM: 512mb DDR3
- Connectivity: Bluetooth LE, Kidde, Clear Connect, Z-Wave Plus, ZigBee
- Wifi: 2.4GHz and 5GHz
- WAN Port: Gigabit
- Dimension: 7.25"L x 7.25"W x 1.25"H
Best Selling Hubs on Amazon
- Your smart home needs a brain, so get started with a SmartThings Hub. It connects wirelessly with a wide range of smart devices and makes them work together.
- Add smart devices and put your home to work. Choose from a wide range of compatible devices, including lights, speakers, locks, thermostats, sensors, and more.
- Use the SmartThings app or Amazon Alexa to control your smart home. Teach your house new tricks by telling it what to do when you're asleep, awake, away, and back home.
- Wink allows your diverse collection of smart products to speak the same wireless language so you can easily control them from the free Wink app
- Auto-discovery and a revamped setup process make getting your smart home up and running easier than ever
- A more powerful Wi-Fi radio and Ethernet port connect your products smoothly, while a stronger processor and more memory make your smart home faster
- Provides simple and personalized control of your lights, shades and temperature from anywhere using the FREE Lutron app iOS and Android
- Works with Alexa and Siri for control of your lights
- Schedule lights simply to turn on or off at specific times or at sunrise / sunset; schedules automatically adjust as seasons change, so no one ever comes home to a dark house
Last update on 2017-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Future is Here
There has been an explosion of smart devices for the home with new products entering the market daily. When choosing a smart hub or home controller, make sure it will work with your existing smart home devices and devices that will become available in the future.
The trend toward home controllers without monthly subscription fees will continue to grow as consumer demand for them increases. An informed choice will result in a purchase that not only works for you today, but also in the future.
What do you think about these new hubs? Are you switching?
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