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The SmartThings Hub proves that for an affordable price you can have a rocking Smart Home and Home Automation set up

Samsung SmartThings has dominated the smart home hub market for some time. There are many reasons for this but the main reason is that it works.

In the video below:

  • we’ll walk through the setup process on the SmartThings app 
  • Connect a Z-Wave bulb with you for the first time
  • Set up a basic automation for the first time

There are a lot of Z-Wave hubs out there which can, in theory, do what the SmartThings does but they often have difficult or challenging interfaces and lack the effortless usability that SmartThings offers.

The current version 3 is a simple white box with one power outlet, one USB input and one ethernet cable plug.

This model differs from its last version as it no longer has a battery and has dropped a USB port.

A great feature of this version 3 SmartThings Smart Home Hub is that you don’t have to have it tethered to your internet router; not for the setup or ongoing. You can set it up completely wirelessly.

Why is this good – being a WiFi-only smart home hub?

Let me preface this a little. When you have a smart home hub that uses Z-Wave or Zigbee it’s ideal placement in your house is somewhere central, or at least on the same level and close to a few other devices. The problem with having your smart home hub connected to your router is that your router might be in your basement, or in the garage or possibly in the roof somewhere.

This is not ideal as you need it to be close to your devices to control them with the best effect. You can get Z-Wave range extenders like the Aeotec Z-Wave Range extender which will help but it’s still not ideal to have your SmartThings hub too far from the action.

By developing the new SmartThings hub in a way that requires WiFi only to set up and run means you can place the unit anywhere you like.

Remember, this still means it has the option to plug it into your router directly. This will be a more popular option for those who want to guarantee connectivity.

What do we like about the Samsung SmartThings Hub?

  1. It’s easy to set up. We had a few issues with it failing to find our wireless networks but once it was connected it was solid.
  2. There is the option to do If THIS THEN THAT style automation. It’s about as powerful as Alexa’s Routines but not quite as powerful as the CUE automation in our Abode Security System which doubles as a smart home hub.
  3. What it does have over all the other Smart Home hubs is the number of devices it integrates with. They have made the smart move by connecting with as many devices as possible on the market. Z-Wave, Zigbee and WiFi devices.

The only negative that comes up against the SmartThings hub is it can be slower to process requests as it seems to rely on cloud connectivity to do things. Some local device processing is possible but it sounds like this is possible with existing automation and not on-demand requests like ‘Turn the light on’.

SmartThings Home Automation Hub on Table with TV in the background
Source: Make Life Click

See more here on this:

https://support.smartthings.com/hc/en-us/articles/209979766-Local-processing

Summary

Overall the Samsung SmartThings Hub is pretty great. It’s affordable, connects to a huge range of devices and the smartphone app is nice to use. While there might be a second delay on some actions it’s still a clear winner in the Smart Home hub market.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.

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