Best Smart Home Hub: Insteon vs SmartThings vs Wink vs WeMo & More

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Samsung SmartThings logo
Logitech Harmony Hub

You wake up to start your day and the lights automatically brighten, the window blinds open, the coffee pot starts brewing, and the thermostat is adjusted — all before you get out of bed. Thanks to smart home hubs you can automate all aspects of your life affordably and easily.

Article Overview

What Is A Smart Home Hub?

Think of a hub as the central communications center for your smart home. It connects to your internet router via WiFi or ethernet cord to electronically speak to other smart devices (like lights, switches, locks, doorbells, security cameras, thermostat, blinds and more) which you can then control from your smartphone from anywhere in the world.

Some smart devices can be controlled via Bluetooth technology however without a hub there’s not a way to control if you are out of range from the device.

With most hubs you can create “scenes” for specific events like waking up, going to sleep, hosting a dinner party, etc. or create settings for each room. So they are customizable for each family’s particular needs and to every individual home.

What Devices Can You Add To Smart Hubs?

There are countless smart gadgets you can add to your smart home hub including:

  1. Light Bulbs
  2. Security Cameras
  3. Locks
  4. Thermostats
  5. Switches
  6. Sprinkler System
  7. Vacuum
  8. Smoke Detectors

The list is growing by the day, and we’re doing our best to keep up with the latest and greatest things you can add on to your hub in our reviews (click on each item above to learn more).

Note: some hubs make their own branded devices like light bulbs or security monitoring. But, more than likely, you can use third-party brands like Phillips, GE or Nest. Also, not all devices are compatible with all hubs, so read the packaging and double check the system requirements first.

DIY vs Professional Smart Home

Gartner, Inc. forecasts that there will be 20.4 billion connected smart things by 2020, so you can be the coolest neighbor on the block to get a head start on the trend. If you’re not a gadget guru or want to bother with DIY installation (even though it’s super easy) you can have a professional service set up your smart home for you. Check out these home automation system providers who can help install your system but take note, those VIP services come with a much higher price tag.

Best Home Automation Hub Reviews

Now that you know what a hub is and what you can do with it let’s take a look at the best hubs on the market and what we like (and dislike) about each one so you can find the best fit for you and your home.

Samsung SmartThings Review

Samsung SmartThings#1

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Our pick for the best smart hub is the Samsung SmartThings. You can control your home’s security, energy usage, lighting and more from your smartphone app.

The Smart Things Hub is plugged into the wall, but if the power goes out, the 4 AA batteries can provide 10 hours of backup power (which is a nice feature if you’re super dependent upon your smart home).



  • Connect an unlimited number of devices
  • 10 hours of backup power with the 4 AA batteries
  • Works with wide-range of third-party brands including Samsung, Bose, Schlage, Yale, Cree, OSRAM LIGHTIFY, Honeywell, First Alert and more
  • More than 1/3 of Amazon reviews are 5 star
  • iOS and Android apps
  • 1/4 of reviews on Amazon are 1 star
  • Some users report it stops working at times

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Price: $89.98
  • Dimensions: 4.9″ x 4.2″ x 1.3″
  • 4 AA batteries required (as backup)
  • 1 year warranty

Coupon Code

There are not any Samsung SmartThings Coupon Codes available at this time.

Logitech Harmony Hub Review

Logitech Harmony Hub#2

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The Logitech Harmony Hub allows you to control your gadgets via your smartphone or Harmony remote. The smart hub has the ability to set up one-touch settings for up to 50 events (e.g. waking up, going to sleep, dinner parties, etc.).

It works with more than 270,000 devices including your TV, satellite or cable box, Blu-ray player, Apple TV, Roku, Sonos, game consoles, Philips Hue lights, Nest Learning Thermostat and more.



  • Connect up to 8 home entertainment devices
  • Connect an unlimited number of home automation devices
  • Works with more than 270,000 devices
  • Program up to 50 custom activities
  • Autoscan devices for easy setup
  • Control via iOS and Android apps on smartphone (or with up to 8 Harmony remotes)
  • More than 50% of Amazon reviews are 4 or 5 star
  • Almost 1/4 of Amazon reviews are 1 star, but the majority are from 2015 which may be from an earlier version
  • Inconsistent performance

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Price: $69.99
  • Dimensions: 6″ x 5.3″ x 3.1″
  • 2 AA batteries required
  • 1 year warranty

Coupon Code

There are not any Logitech Harmony Coupon Codes available at this time.

Honorable Mention: Insteon Review

InsteonView on Amazon

In addition to being a smart hub, Insteon is a communications technology. Unlike other hubs and products that rely on Z-Wave, WiFi or Bluetooth the Insteon is its own system which is faster, more reliable and more secure.

The only downside is you must use Insteon’s equipment and it won’t work with third-party products. However, you can control your Insteon hub using voice commands on Alexa or via your iPhone, Android, tablet and Apple Watch.

Another feature is the ability to set up one-touch settings for events (e.g. have lights brighten to 50% to help you wake up, set your kids’ lights to turn off automatically after they’ve left the house for the school day and more).

You also receive notifications from motion, door/window, water leak and smoke sensor while you’re away from your home. This is a little more technical of a system to install but could be worth it for the speed and security.



  • 1/3 of Amazon reviews are 5 star
  • Control via iOS and Android apps
  • Integrations with Cortona, Amazon Echo, Logitech, Sonos and more
  • More than 200 Insteon devices to choose from
  • Compatible with Logitech Harmony remote and Alexa
  • 1/3 of Amazon reviews are 1 star
  • Requires you to mostly use Insteon equipment (switches, plugs, etc.)

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Price: $79.99
  • Dimensions: 3.75″ x 3.75″ x 1.5″
  • 2 year warranty

Coupon Code

There are not any Insteon Coupon Codes available at this time.

Wink Hub Review

Wink Hub 2View on Amazon

Wink’s homepage states they are “temporarily unavailable,” and their last update was in 2017. They are still available on Amazon for the time being.

Wink supports WiFi, Bluetooth LE, Z-wave, ZigBee, Lutron ClearConnect and Kidde. One of many customers’ favorite features is its integration with Amazon Echo or Google Home so you can change the lights in your home via voice activation.

Their Hub 2 comes with even more features including auto-discovery of new devices, guided set up, 5GHz WiFi and increased memory (512 MB vs 64 in the original model). It costs slightly more but is thinner and sleeker in design (and comes with an ethernet cable), which is worth it in our opinion.



  • iOS and Android app (and can control using Apple Watch, Android and Android Wear)
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home and can program recipes with IFTTT
  • Connect about 200 devices to one Wink Hub
  • Live chat is excellent and helpful (also has phone and email support)
  • Most negative reviews state Wink doesn’t always work (which can be a common complaint about smart hubs)

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Price: Check on Amazon
  • Dimensions: 7.25″ x 7.25″ x 1.75″
  • 1 year warranty

Coupon Code

There are no Wink Coupon Codes available at this time.

Video: Wink Hub 2

Learn more about the newest model of Wink Hub and what it’s capable of in this quick minute and a half video overview.

Home Automation Hub Comparison

Here’s a quick chart that summarizes the key features so you can compare smart home hubs side by side.

 Samsung SmartThingsLogitech Harmony HubInsteonWink Hub
Google Home CompatibleCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Alexa CompatibleCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
TechnologyWiFi, Z-Wave, ZigbeeInferred, WiFi, BluetoothInstesonWiFi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee
# of Add OnsUnlimited8 Entertainment200 Devices200
Operating SystemsiOS & AndroidiOS & AndroidiOS, Android, Apple WatchiOS & Android
Battery Backup4 AA2 AANoneNone
PortsEthernet, 2 USBUSBNoneEthernet

Best Smart Home Systems (Without Hubs)

Here are a few smart home “lite” systems that do many of the same features that we thought were worth mentioning too. Actually the other companies we had here went out of business, so for now there’s just WEMO! If you have any other suggestions, please let us know in the comments.

WEMO Review

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WEMO doesn’t offer a hub. Instead, they have products that can be controlled via WiFi with their smart switch and plugs. WEMO products are made by Belkin, and their product line consists of smart switches, motion sensors, light switches, cameras and more. So, if you’re not worried about a hub, WEMO may be a good option for you.

Read our in-depth WEMO Review

Other Tips To Automate Your Life

Converting your home to be fully automated with a smart home hub can be a little overwhelming for newbies. So if you’re just wanting to dip your toes into smart hub technology, we recommend starting with a smart speaker first like Google Home or Alexa. That way you can test the waters and see if going all-in on smart home is for you.

Either way, having a connected home means a vulnerable one to digital intruders. So you should protect your WiFi with a security device that hooks up to your home router and adds an extra layer of protection from hackers.

There’s no denying that smart homes are the wave of the future. Just check out these 16 smart home statistics that show how the trend is growing over the years.

Which appliances and devices would you most like to have automated control over?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing products and services.

Kimberly has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering subjects such as home security and automation, identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems and more. In 2018, she had her first child, and that opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Security is a passion of hers, and she knows it isn’t a one size fits all category. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

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Leave a Reply

newest oldest most voted
You are recommending WINK, seriously? Maybe check into current events before doubling down with that recommendation…. WINK products are NOT available, and no idea when/if they will come back to market.
In searching for a smart home hub to replace my wink, the first feature I look for is internet dependence. My wink goes down regularly due to internet issues and forced updates. I want my next hub to avoid that issue.
Allan Rodriguez
Kind of crazy to think our entire houses could be controlled from our phones using this technology. I am slowly converting my home into a smart house, started with Nest and Protect but thinking I’m going to tackle lights and locks next. So glad I found this article – didn’t know these hubs could connect them all!