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A smart hub is a convenient “master control” for every smart device in your home, that also comes packed with a lot of extra functionality.
Popular smart home hubs include the Wink 2 and Samsung SmartThings – and in terms of design, they tend to share the size and look of a modern internet router.
It's important to know that a smart hub isn't the same as a smart speaker such as Google Home.
One point of control
A smart hub acts as a single control point for all of your smart devices. This means you don't have to jump in and out of different apps to control different devices. Rather, a smart hub has its own app with dedicated controls for every connected device.
Generally, smart devices run on one of three different protocols – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Z -Wave. This can make it difficult for them to communicate with each other.
A smart hub acts as a translator between these protocols, which lets them speak the same protocol “language” and perform useful functions commonly known as “routines”.
You can set up routines to do almost anything, including:
A smart hub works a lot like an internet router. You simply need to connect your smart devices and you're ready to go. A lot of smart hubs will search your home for smart devices once powered on and connect them automatically.
Once everything's connected, you'll be able to control each device through its own dedicated control set in the smart hub's app.
However, the controls you get here might not be the same as what you get in the device's own app. So check out a few reviews - they'll tell you whether a smart hub has plenty of control options and a good interface.