Multiple Hubs Question

My buddy has a question about a multiple hub situation.

if his workplace purchased 3-4 hubs and are all on the same network can they be linked together if one of the hubs is linked to a different email account? Or do they have to all be on the same account?

Thanks in advance.

There is no need for the hubs to be registered to the same account. You have two popular options for "linking" hubs. Both allow you to share devices over the LAN (or Internet) from one hub to the other, though to be clear, they do not form one giant Z-Wave or Zigbee network (if those are the kinds of devices you use, as most people do) but rather all form their own--this "link" happens over the LAN (or cloud if you want) and takes some work on all hubs. They also do not centralize hub administration--each hub retains its own admin UI you must use to configure that hub (and its apps, devices, etc.).

Assuming you are talking about devices: the native/built-in option is a pair of apps called Hub Link and Link to Hub. The popular community option is called HubConnect. The latter is far more powerful (may more types of devices supported, and if needed you can use custom drivers for specific attributes and commands), but it takes more work to set up--you have to install an app or two and at least one driver (plus more for any device types you share to that hub--and there are a lot of options there) on all hubs. Setting up also requires sharing (usually copying and pasting due to the complexity) a key between the two hubs. Hub Link/Link to Hub has everything built-in but doesn't support quite as much (and has at least one longstanding bug with RGBW bulbs not being shared correctly)--for example, sharing can only go one direction. HubConnect can share from either "server" or "remote" hubs. (Since you mentioned different accounts, I'll mention that I wouldn't do either of these if you don't fully trust whoever uses the other hub, especially with HubConnect where they can, for example, select new devices [of their own, not yours] to share to your hub from their hub without any action on your part; the limitations of Link to Hub might actually be better if this is the case.)

There are lots of other threads with people commenting on the differences and the pros/cons, and there's also nothing stopping you from writing custom code to share specific things between hubs yourself if you're up to that task (or using Rule Machine; when I didn't want to set up HubConnect--which I personally use on most of my hubs--on my development hub, I just wrote a rule to listen for an HTTP endpoint from another hub, which sent something there on a specific trigger).

If you're still not sure what's best, you might want to share you goals are (I ran with the idea that you were looking to share devices; if that's not it, feel free to specify). Then someone might have a better idea of what to suggest if the above isn't quite it. Otherwise, hope this helps!

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You can also "link" hubs with a system called "Node-RED". NR does require a separate server running but once installed you can hook into a wide variety of other systems as well. It really enhances the HE experience and may reduce overhead in certain circumstances.

Checkout the NR Nodes for HE mega thread:

@fblackburn rocks!!!! :musical_note: :guitar: :musical_note:

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Thanks for the input guys. Like I said in the original post, my buddy was inquiring about the multiple account question. No idea why because I didn't ask.

I was going to have him try the built-in Hub link app first and see how that went, and I use HubConnect at home, so that too, is an option.

I will let him know and see how it goes.

If you are going the link app route would strongly recommend having him do HubConnect first. It really is that much better/more capable.

As @bertabcd1234 mentioned there are no problems with having multiple account/multiple locations etc. He will have to make sure he has a secure connection like a VPN to the remote hub to allow the hubs to properly link together.

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These hubs will be in the same building, just different floors. All on the same network. A VPN shouldn't be required for that should it?

Sorry missed that part - nope all good. no vpn needed. You don't really even need to be on the same subnet.

Good deal. Had me worried there for a sec :grin:

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HubConnect can also work over the hub's cloud connection, but if you don't need to do that, I wouldn't (and you definitely shouldn't need to when they're on the same network)--besides adding the Internet in, you're also adding in Hubitat's cloud (rare problems but not unheard of) and giving their servers unnecessary work. :slight_smile: In any case, it's worth nothing that you can connect two truly remote Hubitat hubs with HubConnect if you do need to.

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