Are you considering getting a smart home controller for your home? If so, then you know that obtaining one can be an overwhelming task.
These smart controllers are also known as Smart Hubs. They allow people who have installed smart thermostats, smart cameras, and other smart devices to control them from a centralised point. You can also configure the devices to do things automatically, such as turning on the lights. They also allow remote access to your devices via your smartphone, even when you are not at home.
Before purchasing a Smart Hub, there are some things that you should consider. First, you need to consider how many devices you seek to control. You should also consider how much freedom you need for your devices in terms of customisation.
Insteon Hub by Insteon, SmartThings by Samsung, and VeraEdge by Vera are the three best Smart Hubs in the market. Choosing one over the other is a little tricky as they offer almost the same features and work in the same way.
In this article, we want to provide you with the features of each of the three Smart hubs and point out their differences so that we can assist you in making an informed purchasing decision.
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick!
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# Of Devices that Can Be Controlled
Zigbee, Z Wave, and WiFi
Z Wave, and WiFi
AC (Optional Battery)
3.74 x 3.74 x 1.5
5 x 5 x 1.2
4.6 x 3.7 x 1.7
Similarities between Insteon, SmartThings, and VeraEdge
- One similarity between the three devices is that they all support Alexa. That means that you can control them using your voice. If you are new to smart hubs, voice control will be the feature that you will love the most.
- They also support IFTTT integration.
- Each of the devices features an operating system compatible with either iOS or Android.
- The three smart hubs also come with a mobile app that you can download from either Google Play or App Store. The app allows you to control the devices by using your smartphone even when you are far away from home. You also get notifications on your phone through the app on what is happening in your house so that you can take appropriate action.
- Another similarity between the three devices is their easy setup. Users do not want devices that will give them the additional cost of hiring a technician. They want to do the installation themselves, and that is what you get with either of these smart hubs.
We can now have a look at each smart hub, its features, and specifications.
With the Insteon smart hub, you can create automatic schedules with just a few taps. When you create the automatic schedules, the smart device can then turn on or off in the morning, at night, or at any other time that you desire.
Insteon also enables you to set your thermostat so that you can adjust the temperature of your home. The best thing is that you can set the heat whether you are at home or far away or if you are heading home from work, and you want to get a warm house.
Additionally, it keeps checking all the sensors such that it will detect any motion, water leak, or smoke and sends you instant alerts on your phone or tablet. As such, you can act fast and take the necessary decision.
Insteon also comes with a mobile app that you can download on your phone or tablet. The app is available on the App Store and Google Store. With the help of the mobile app, you can control the smart device from wherever you are in the globe, and you also get notifications.
Careful integration also allows you to build scenes for your entire home. It makes it easy and fast to create scenes so that you can have control over the lighting of your entire home.
Also, a significant advantage of Insteon's hub is that it supports Alexa allowing you to control and command your devices to lock the door, turn off the lights, and so on using your voice. It is also IFTTT compatible.
Insteon hub comes at $79.99.
There are no monthly subscription plans for you to monitor and control your home. The fact that it has an easy installation process that does not require hiring a technician makes it cost-effective.
Insteon Hub measures 3.7 x 3.7 x 1.5 inches, and it weighs 2 pounds. It comes in a generic white colour that gives your home a sleek and elegant touch.
Insteon Hub is not battery powered. It can only work when you plug it into an AC power outlet.
Insteon is your smart hub of choice if you are looking for an easy to use and easy to install model. The device is not battery powered; instead, you need to plug it to an AC power outlet. After you plug it in, you can then schedule and control the hub with just a few taps.
- It has an Android and iOS mobile application
- You can create scenes for your entire home so that you can control the lights in your home
- It is compatible with Apple Homekit
- Insteon supports Alexa so that you can control it using your phone and it is compatible with IFTTT
- It is not battery powered. As such, it ceases to operate when there is a power blackout.
- It offers you cloud storage only; which requires subscriptions
SmartThings hub features multiple sensors that notify you in time in case of anything. For instance, it has motion sensors that will detect motion in your compound and send you notifications on your phone or tablet. Thus, you have enough time to take the necessary action if need be.
Smartthings also comes with a mobile app that you can download from the App Store or Google Store. The app allows you to control the smart device on your phone even when you are away from home.
With the SmartThings hub, you can program it to follow a particular routine. For example, you can schedule it so that it will automatically turn off the lights at dawn and turn them on at dusk. Additionally, it works with Amazon Alexa such that you can control it using your voice.
Also, SmartThings works with a large variety of smart devices in your home. It can work with thermostats, lights, speakers, smart cameras, smart doorbells, etc. As such, you can control the temperature of your home, see who is at your door, and so on from one central point. You can also get notifications when there is smoke or movement so that you can take the necessary action.
SmartThings is powered by an in-wall AC (100-240V) power source. Additionally, the hub comes with replaceable batteries that can last up to 2 hours, which allows you to have control over your devices even when there is no power.
It also features an Ethernet port that allows you to connect the device to Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi connection allows you to control all your devices from one spot and if required, will enable your internet connection.
The smart hub also comes with a multipurpose button that allows you to control multiple devices. You can turn all your devices off when you are retiring to bed and turn them on in the morning with just one button.
The Samsung SmartThings smart hub costs $94.94.
SmartThings smart hub does not require any subscriptions for you to enjoy its features. However, it is good to note that there are some devices that you can use with SmartThings that require subscriptions.
You can install SmartThings, which saves you further costs of having to hire a technician to set it up for you.
SmartThings comes in a sleek and elegant design that adds a touch of class to your home. It comes in a white colour that enables it to blend well with other items in the house.
The smart hub measures 4.9 x 4.2 x 1.3 inches and weighs 0.5 lb. The compact design enhances its portability and ease of setup.
Setting up the SmartThings hub is a simple and straightforward process that will take you only a few minutes to complete. The first step involves downloading the mobile app that is available for both Android and iOS devices. After downloading and installing the app on your phone, you should then create an account.
After that, you should follow the easy steps on the app that will guide you on setting up your smart hub. You should not unplug the smart hub during the installation process.
- It has Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to connect your phone with the device
- The smart hub is compatible with Wi-Fi, Z-Wave and ZigBee devices
- SmartThings hub also supports Amazon Alexa, which will enable you to control your device using your voice.
- It comes with a mobile app that is available for Android, iOS, and Windows devices
- The smart hub can control more than 200 devices
- Additionally, the smart hub comes with 4 AA batteries as a backup. As such, your smart hub can continue operating even after there is a power blackout.
- The Wi-Fi requires a router
VeraEdge smart hub is compatible with Wi-Fi and Z-Wave. As such, you can control and monitor your home from anywhere and relax, knowing that your home is secure.
VE hub is compatible with a variety of devices in your home that includes smart cameras, smart locks, thermostats, motion detectors, dimmers, among others. With the VeraEdge smart hub, you can connect and control about 50-70 devices.
You can use the smart hub with Amazon Alexa so that you can control it using your voice. You can also schedule the smart hub to follow a particular routine, such as turning off the lights when it is bedtime.
The smart hub also comes with a mobile app that is available for both iOS and Android devices. With the help of the mobile app, you can control the smart hub even when you are not at home. Additionally, you can also receive alerts through the app about what is happening at your home.
VeraEdge smart hub also features multiple sensors that help to detect movement in your compound, sense smoke, recognise when a door is opened or closed, and so on. You will then get alerts on your phone so that you can act accordingly.
VeraEdge smart home hub costs $99.95. VeraEdge offers you all the functions of a smart hub at such an affordable price, with no additional subscription costs.
VeraEdge smart hub comes in an elegant black colour that blends well with other items in your home. On the surface of the smart hub are LED lights that indicate power, Wi-Fi connection, and so on.
It has a sleek rectangular shape with rounded edges. The smart hub has a plastic construction with a Satin finish.
VeraEdge measures 4.6 x 3.7 x 1.7 inches and weighs 12.8 ounces. This compatible design enhances its portability and ease of installation.
Setting up VeraEdge is an effortless and straightforward process. This makes it a perfect choice for you if you are a newcomer in the smart hub world, or you have been there before.
You power the smart home hub by plugging it to an AC power outlet. Unlike SmartThings, VeraEdge does not come with replaceable batteries.
- You can access the smart hub remotely using the Smartphone app
- The smart hub is also compatible with Wi-Fi and Z-Wave
- VeraEdge smart home hub comes with a 128mb flash memory
- It also has Apple Homekit compatibility
- It has multiple sensors that help to keep your home secure so that you can have peace of mind wherever you are.
- The mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices. The app enables you to control your smart device from wherever you are.
- It also features a geofencing technology
- The smart hub does not come with replaceable batteries. As such, in case there is a power blackout, the smart hub ceases to operate
- It is not compatible with ZigBee
Check VeraEdge Price On Amazon
From our comparison above, it is clear that Insteon, SmartThings, and VeraEdge are all exciting smart hubs. They all have an easy setup process, and they offer you centralised control over your smart devices even when you are not at home.
However, SmartThings carries the day. First, unlike the other two smart hubs, SmartThings can connect over 200 devices while the other two connect 50-75 devices. Secondly, it comes with 4 AA replaceable batteries. As such, the smart hub can continue operating for up to 2 hours if there is a power blackout. The other two smart hubs are compatible with iOS and Android operating systems, while SmartThings is also compatible with windows. Finally, it also has a Bluetooth connection.
Our best choice for this smart home controller you can buy is the SmartThings. Unlike the rest in this review, it connects to over 200 devices better than the other two that connect to 50-75 devices.
Another essential feature is the 4 AA replaceable batteries. Unlike the other two that will stop working when there is a blackout, SmartThings will continue working for two hours after the outage due to the battery power.
The broad compatibility is also a key as the SmartThing is compatible with Windows, Android, and iOS systems. This broadens the usage of the device. It also has a Bluetooth connection so you can run it with Bluetooth enabled smart home devices.
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