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Best Smart Home Hubs of 2019

There are hundreds, if not thousands of smart lights, digital locks, security cameras, thermostats, and more, but if you want to control them all from a single interface, then you're going to need a smart home hub. Based on our extensive testing, the Samsung SmartThings Hub v3 is the best smart home hub for the majority of consumers. Not only does it cost less than $70 and works with a wide range of devices, but its logic lets you set up fairly robust rules to trigger devices. Still, there areas where it can be improved.

Our favorite budget smart home hub is the third-generation Amazon Echo Dot; while not a hub in the traditional sense—you can only control devices connected to Wi-Fi— you can link lots of smart home devices in the Alexa app, and then trigger them using the Dot. Alexa's Routines also let you control multiple devices with a single command. Plus, the third-generation Dot has much improved audio over the previous model. Similarly, you can use Google Assistant to set up routines with Google Home-compatible smart home devices

Make sure you check out all of our top picks for smart speakers, lights, locks, and more on our best smart home gadgets page. 

Latest News & Updates (October 2019)

  • August announced a deeper integration of its smart locks with Samsung SmartThings. August smart lock users can now directly connect their locks to the SmartThings app, without needing to first connect the locks to a SmartThings hub. This integration will be available by January 2020.
  • The new Nvidia Shield TV ($149) and Nvidia Shield TV Pro ($199) are both faster at loading 4K content, have an AI that upscales 1080p video, and work with both Alexa and Google Assistant (the latter is built in). However, only the Shield TV Pro has a USB port, which allows you to use the Samsung SmartThings dongle. Read our full review of the Nvidia Shield TV.
  • If you have a Wink smart home hub, you may want to consider switching to something else. According to The Verge, the company's headquarters have been closed, the customer support line isn't working, and users have reported that a number of third-party integrations no longer work.

Best Smart Home Hub

Samsung SmartThings Hub v3

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung SmartThings Hub v3

Best Smart Home Hub

Size: 5 x 5 x 1.2 inches | Works With: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave | Ports: Ethernet, USB | Battery Backup: No

Wi-Fi makes installing this hub easier
Allows for more automation than other hubs
Works with Zigbee and Z-Wave devices
Still missing Nest integration
Difficult to upgrade from older hub

The third-generation Samsung SmartThings hub can connect to hundreds of devices — more than most other hubs — and lets you create a wide range of different scenarios for all of the gadgets in your home. The newest version of the hub has Wi-Fi, which means you have more flexibility in where you can place it in your house, but it's lost its battery backup, so you won't be able to control connected smart home devices if the power goes out.

Nvidia Shield owners can go a less expensive route with the SmartThings Link for Nvidia Shield ($39.99), which plugs into the streaming device and turns it into a SmartThings hub.

Best Budget Smart Home Hub

Amazon Echo Dot

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Echo Dot

Best Budget Smart Home Hub

Size: 3.9 inches (diameter) x 1.7 inches | Works With: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Ports: 3.5mm audio | Battery Backup: No

Inexpensive
Nice design
Vastly improved audio
Can't change its look

At just $49, the Echo Dot is half the price of most other hubs, making it an inexpensive investment for those just getting into smart home automation. However, it can control a wide variety of devices. The third-generation Dot has a larger and more powerful speaker than the previous model, and it has an updated design with a more attractive cloth cover. In addition to turning your lights and other devices on and off, the Dot can also read news headlines, weather reports, sports scores, and a host of other things.

Best for Power Users

Hubitat Elevation

(Image credit: Habitat)

Hubitat Elevation

Best for Power Users

Size: 2.5 x 2.5 x 0.5 inches | Works With: Zigbee, Z-Wave, IFTTT, Wi-Fi | Ports: Power, Ethernet | Battery Backup: No

Works with Zigbee and Z-Wave devices
Allows for complex interactions between smart home devices
All smart home logic stored locally
Steep learning curve
Hub has to be plugged into router

The Hubitat Elevation hub is not for smart home novices, but advanced users will appreciate the depth and complexity with which they can connect all of their smart home devices. The hub itself is small, but can connect to both Zigbee and Z-Wave devices. There's a learning curve to Hubitat's web interface, and there's no mobile app yet, but you can do far more with Hubitat than SmartThings. 

Alexa-Enabled

Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Gen)

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Gen)

Alexa-Enabled

Size: 5.9 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches | Works With: Zigbee | Ports: 3.5mm audio | Battery Backup: No

Great audio
Friendly design
Easy to set up
Temperature sensor
Limited smart-home features

The second-generation Echo Plus is larger, and delivers a much larger sound, than other Echo smart speakers. The plus also has a built-in Zigbee radio, which lets so-equipped smart home devices (such as Philips Hue lights) connect directly to your network—no bridge needed. The Plus sounds great, and connecting smart devices was a cinch, but it lacks the more complex interactions you can get with other hubs, and it doesn't support Z-Wave devices.

Best Google Home Hub

Google Home

(Image credit: Google)

Google Home

Best Google Home Hub

Size: 5.62 x 3.79 inches | Works With: Chromecast, Nest, Philips Hue, SmartThings, IFTTT, WeMo, Honeywell | Ports: None | Battery Backup: No

Integrates with your Google tools
Controls Google Cast-enabled devices
Booming bass
Limited add-ons at this point
Lacks balanced sound, especially on vocals

This Amazon Echo competitor also has a built-in speaker, can respond to voice commands, and can both control smart home devices and stream music. But where the Google Home separates itself is its integration with Google Assistant, which lets you search for everything and anything. Plus, if you also have a Chromecast, you can control it via voice through Google Home.

MORE: Amazon Alexa Guide: Tips, Tricks, and How-Tos

Best HomeKit Hub

Apple TV 4K

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple TV 4K

Best HomeKit Hub

Size: 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.9 inches | Works With: HomeKit | Ports: Ethernet, HDMI, microUSB | Battery Backup: No

Fantastic 4K HDR content
Intuitive home screen
Simple iOS and macOS integration
Expensive
Fiddly remote
No digital audio or USB ports

Hub + Mesh Router

Samsung Connect Home

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Connect Home

Hub + Mesh Router

Size: 4.7 x 4.7 x 1.6 inches | Works With: Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, SmartThings | Ports: Ethernet | Battery Backup: No

Simple setup
Home automation hub
Mesh extensions available
Not a lot to adjust or configure
Can't use an iPad for set up
Can be expensive

If you're looking for a Wi-Fi router and smart home hub in one, Samsung's Connect Home Hub mesh router has its SmartThings hub built in. We liked its ease of setup, its fairly speedy throughput, and the ability to expand its reach with extenders. Samsung offers the Connect Home (which offers speeds up up to 866 Mbps/5GHz and 400 Mbps/2.4GHz), or the Connect Home Pro (1733 Mbps/5GHz and 800 Mbps/2.4GHz).

HomeKit Speaker

Apple HomePod

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple HomePod

HomeKit Speaker

Size: 6.8 inches x 5.8 inches (diameter) | Works With: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Ports: None | Battery Backup: No

Excellent audio quality
Attractive design
Easy setup
Can stream only from Apple Music (other services require AirPlay)
Siri is very limited compared with Alexa and Google Assistant
Expensive

Apple's smart speaker sounds fantastic, thanks to its multitude of speakers and microphones, which automatically tune the HomePod to whatever room it's in. However, Siri can't do nearly as much as Alexa and Google Assistant, and HomeKit lags when it comes to smart home device integration.