The 4 Best Smart Home Hubs 

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by Andrea Hannah

Given that smart home devices can be integrated in more ways than ever before, it often pays to invest in one of the best smart home hubs to streamline all of your devices. But before you invest in a hub, you'll want to consider the number of devices you're trying to connect. When it comes down to it, a high-quality smart hub is mostly an organization system, so whichever hub you pick should be able to be paired with a variety of brands, just in case you buy smart bulbs from one company and a smart doorbell from another.

Other than that, it's also important that your smart hub has an interface you love. You're way less likely to get use out of your hub if you can't stand talking to it all day. In that case, opting for a smart display hub that has a high-definition touch screen may be your best bet. Or, if you'd rather your smart hub operate behind the scenes entirely, a minimalist hub may be your perfect match.

Being comfortable in your own home is important, and streamlining your devices will only make your day-to-day easier. Here are a few wildly popular smart hubs to help you narrow down your options.

1. Best Overall: Amazon Echo Show 8

If you prefer a visual interface, this high-definition smart hub hits all the right marks. You can easily connect all of your smart devices in the Amazon Alexa app and even organize them by groups, making it incredibly simple to control an entire room. It's also really easy to set up. This hub connects directly to your pre-established Wi-Fi along with your other smart devices (once you use the app to identify all the devices you want to connect, you're set to go). On top of that, this hub features an 8-inch screen and stereo sound so you can use it for everything from video calling to playing your favorite music. It even connects to your favorite TV streaming apps, podcasts, and audiobooks. It's clear why over 40,000 Amazon reviewers have given it a perfect-five star rating.

According to one reviewer: "This Echo Show is a winner. I have a LOT of Echo Shows around my house (various models) and I like this the best. The screen is much better quality (and larger) than the Echo Show 5 and larger screen than the first generation Echo Show. The design takes up less room than the earlier models and looks better too. I like the switch on the top to turn off the camera and microphone."

2. Best Smart Home Hub & Router: Securifi AL3-WHT-US Almond 3

While this smart hub and router combo is a bit more expensive than some other options on the market, it also does twice the work of a standard hub. Not only does it organize all your devices, but it also doubles as a Wi-Fi router so you can replace your old, clunky router altogether. And it's simple to set up, too. You don't need to connect to an outside app — just use the touchscreen wizard on the side, plug in your settings and preferences, and you're good to go. The only downside to this hub is that it isn't compatible with voice command, so you'll have to control it through your third-party devices (like a paired Echo or Google Home) or directly through the touchscreen.

According to one reviewer: "Based on so many positive reviews I decided this router might be the answer for extending wifi/internet to our guest house. When I received it I ran a quick test, connecting it to a port on my Netgear cable modem/router. Amazingly, the setup was just as quick as claimed and within 3-4 minutes it was up and going using the default settings."

3. Best Screen-Free Hub: Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Generation)

If you'd prefer to talk to your hub instead of using a touch screen, this smart hub speaker is your best bet. Like the Echo Show, it doubles as a top-notch system for all of your smart devices, giving you the opportunity to organize, label, and control them within the Amazon Alexa app. It also connects to your Wi-Fi in three simple steps, and all of your smart devices can be controlled with the sound of your voice. Just tell this speaker to turn on a smart light, start your coffee maker, or read you the weather, and it's on it in a snap.

According to one reviewer: "I’ve been waiting for the next generation for some time. I got one of these for when I’m in my hot tub and is perfect to sit on the patio and have great sound. Easy setup, great response time, the sound is fantastic!"

4. Best Minimalist Hub: Samsung 3rd Generation Smartthings Hub

If you'd rather skip all the extras, this minimalist smart hub is an excellent pick. It seamlessly connects with over 40 different brands and devices, so no matter which plugs, bulbs, or doorbells you go with, this hub can handle them all. It also connects to your Wi-Fi for easy set-up and features a wide range to cover your entire home. And if you do decide you want to use voice commands in the future, this device can be paired with a home assistant of any brand. Amazon reviewers like pretty much everything about this hub, but they particularly love how easy it is to pair all of their devices.

According to one reviewer: "I got word that Iris, my previous home automation system, was shutting down at the end of March 2019, so I immediately ordered a SmartThings hub as my replacement. It didn't hurt that this was one of Lowe's recommendation and that the vast majority of my devices would transition. The setup and transition was fairly painless. I removed one by one each of my transferable devices and immediately paired it with SmartThings. An easy transition."

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