Whether you're well on your way to having a fully-automated home or you've just purchased your first smart bulb, investing in a smart home hub can be well worth the money.
Smart hubs allow you to control all of your smart home gadgets using a single mobile app and can also help you save energy by allowing you to monitor, schedule and control various electronics and appliances throughout your home.
With many offering similar features, consider these tips when shopping for your new smart home hub.
1. Make sure your devices speak the same language
It's all well and good to buy the sleekest smart home hub on the market but if it can't communicate with your other smart devices, you'll be back at square one.
There's a variety of different companies manufacturing smart home products, and those products may have limited compatibility with some smart hubs. If you have a hub manufactured by one company and a smart device made by another, they may speak two different "languages", which will prevent the hub from being able to control the device.
2. Look for battery backup
If the power goes out, your smart hub's battery backup will give you peace of mind that your smart home devices won't stop working. This is especially important if your hub is connected to security sensors or a smart home security system.
3. Consider the style of your home
Since most smart hubs are wall mounted, you'll want to choose one that complements your home's interior design. Whether you prefer sleek modern lines or a more simplistic style, you should be comfortable walking past your hub every day without feeling buyer's remorse.
While there are some tabletop smart hubs on the market, avoid tucking them away to ensure they're able to easily connect to all your devices.
4. Check out the app
Another factor to consider is the smart hub app you'll use to control your gadgets. Since you'll likely be interacting with it on a daily basis, you'll want one that's simple to use, intuitive and makes its key feature easily accessible. If the app is free, consider downloading it and testing out some of its features before you buy.