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Business

How to Find the Best Smart Home Hub for Alexa

Best Smart Home Hub for Alexa

A smart home hub acts as the brain that tells all of your connected devices — from your lights and plugs to your thermostat and door locks — what to do, when and how. The best hubs come in a range of sizes and prices, from the cheap Amazon Echo Dot and Nest Mini smart speakers up to the more complex smart home systems like Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Google Assistant and others. smart home hub also use a range of connectivity options and protocols, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee, Thread and more. The protocol you choose determines how your smart home ecosystem will work and which devices will be compatible.

For example, if you’re using a device that supports the Apple HomeKit platform, it will only work with other Apple products. Similarly, if you’re using a SmartThings-compatible product, it will only work with other SmartThings devices. And if you want your connected devices to interact with each other, even if they’re from different manufacturers, you’ll need to use a third-party platform such as Yonomi or If This Then That (IFTTT) to get them to talk.

The good news is that the top-rated smart home hubs — and most of the smart speakers on this list — support most of the major smart home ecosystems and communication protocols. That means you can find a hub that will work with all of your current smart home equipment and most of the other gear on your wishlist. Just remember that the connectivity and compatibility features you select will play a bigger role in your smart home than the brand name or price tag.

How to Find the Best Smart Home Hub for Alexa

When selecting a smart home hub, look for one that supports the devices you own or plan to add. Check its website for a complete list of compatible devices and read reviews to make sure that the hub you’re considering will work with your existing products. You’ll also want a mobile app that’s easy to navigate while controlling the hub and its connected devices.

If you’re looking for a smart home hub that will allow you to run Routines, an important feature that lets you automate specific actions that take place at certain times of day, be sure to consider an Alexa-compatible model. The Alexa-compatible SmartHome Hub M2, for example, works with the Nest thermostat, August door lock and Philips Hue smart lights to create a comprehensive home automation system. You can also run Routines with a Google Assistant-compatible device, such as the Nest Hub Max or the new Google Home Hub Plus.

And if you prefer to use an iPhone or iPad, the iOS-compatible SmartThings Link+ can act as a hub for your smart home, supporting the company’s extensive portfolio of smart sensors and other devices. It doesn’t offer as many voice capabilities, though, so you may prefer a Google Assistant-compatible hub, such as the Google Home Hub Max or the original Google Echo Show, instead.

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