The best Z-wave hubs: How to choose

Have to agree with HE being in the best power user category.

Its the main reason I stick with HE. I've written all my own apps and drivers and since learning groovy you pretty much can do almost everything with. There are certain things I still run in a docker just because of limitations but my docker collection has shrunk over the years to just robovacs, hoobs, HE backups and my lan presence dockers.

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I think your observation about Hubitat is spot-on, but I'd like to add to it. Hubitat also makes it equally facile for those who would like to use Hubitat as a device controller, but use another system for automation.

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Homey looks amazing. Never heard of it before, don't even know if it's available outside of the US.

The prices are listed in euros so I assume so.

Article is definitely out of date though since ST is dead.

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It is only available outside the US (outside North America). I don't believe they have FCC certification.

This post is almost a year old and though things probably haven’t changed much, I would disagree with some of the conclusions in that post. I have practically tried and tested everything on the market so here my 2cents:

Best hub for Z-wave:

  1. Zwave.me uzb1/z-way. Need to provide your own controller platform which ranges from a raspberry Pi to practically anything you want including a windows PC. It is the most in-depth and flexible for z-wave. Makes vera looks like a child toy.

Best hub for Zigbee:

  1. Hubitat
  2. Deconz close second. Is more flexible but lacks in most other areas. Best integrated with other controllers.

Best integration/community:

  1. Home Assistant
  2. Hubitat

Best Automation:

  1. Node Red
  2. Lots of DIY here. MSR/openLuup
  3. HomeKit

Best DIY:

  1. Zwave.me uzb1... much better than the Aeotec which does not allow for firmware upgrades and is much too closed/proprietary and lacks in compatibility. The battery feature is a bit gimmicky.
  2. Home Assistant

Best all in one overall: (I am in the US and don’t have access to Homey)

  1. Hubitat
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Those are all great options but the article linked in the OP does clearly push a more consumer-friendly hub angle. Hubitat is probably the least complex hub on your list :upside_down_face:.

True but there is always a compromise between the complexity of what one wants to do and the learning curve you are willing to go through. I wouldn’t call hubitat a plug and play consumer device. Also most of these besides HA and Node-Red are commercial products. The only added difficulty is in the software installation on your own hardware which I don’t see as being very hard given how ubiquitous computers are in homes are these days. The other extreme of ease of use and implementation is HomeKit... but it has its limitations. Certainly I wouldn’t have listed ST, Vera or the Aeotec stick anywhere close to the word “best” for anything as they would be a lot closer to a landfill than to my home.

Each to their own I guess.

I'm an owner of this (purchased 4/2020), and have used it extensively the past 10 months or so. It is indeed really powerful. But if something DOESN'T work or you need support - you are 100% F'ed in my experience. Many questions never get answered at all on the forums, so you are very much "on your own".

Other issues are acknowledged by support, but are often never resolved or fixed. :man_shrugging: PoltoS does his best, but many things get promised and never finished or released (ozway wrapper, for instance?).

Anyway, if it works with your devices - it is pretty great. If you find a bug in the stack or have a new device it doesn't fully support. Well, good luck - often for a LONG time.

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That's not my experience. The forum is not that lively I agree but... at the same time I have never seen a device unsupported unlike so many others. There is always a way to workaround things because the device support is done at the lower command class level and access to it is relatively easy compared to all the other platforms. As an example all the talks on this forum about using PC controller to manipulate devices or mesh that hubitat can't do? Yep... zway does it without having to unplug, go to a PC etc...

So essentially great if you have a forum and support to help with unsupported devices.... But for me, it is even better if unsupported devices don't exist. Which is the case with z-way... Well that is unless you use a non zwave certified device.

Well... That is not 100% true, but I'm not here to get into a debate about zway. There are multiple command classes (or versions of command classes) zway does not fully support, or support correctly. The ones I knew of in the past were/are "fringe"/lesser used ones, but if you have a device that needs it... Well...

Also there are still known issues in S2 security that pop up. It mostly works, though.

zway is really powerful. Very nice. Great for many things. Is it perfect, though - no. Nothing is, of course, but there are many people that had to leave zway because of slow development preventing them from using devices, or poor software quality/bugs that prevented them from using the software.

That's simply a fact. It is also a fact that zway works great for many people too.

So caveat emptor is all I'm saying.

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Much of that is entirely a function of what the 700 series SDK exposes.

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I don't know which is the best, but I had bad experiences with aeotec bulb6 multi white.
I don't know if it's the lamp itself, or the integration with HE.
I still have an unresolved ticket with support.

You might consider starting a new thread for this..

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This article has just been updated.

I disagree with their contention that the Aeotec Smart Hub (replacing ST):
:heavy_check_mark: Very active developer and community support

I think that "advantage" has shifted (emphatically) over the last few years to Hubitat.

Two key attributes of a HA Hub which have not been stressed enough is the "completeness" and user-friendliness of the Hub.
By that I mean:
Does the Hub cover every Home Automation situation?
How easy is the Hub to use for a newcomer?

It is my opinion, that Hubitat scores very high on the first question. I personally feel (notwithstanding that many of you use Node Red for automations), that the rule automations capability of Hubitat (Basic Rules, Simple Automation Rules, Motion Rules, Notifications, Rule Machine, etc.), cover almost all HA scenarios.
On the second question, I personally feel that Hubitat has a way to go. I don't consider it out of the race on this matter, but improvements to the UI and ease of use will certainly improve this area. However, when you consider how long ST and others have been in this business, the strides that HE have made have been very impressive.

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Yes, its amazing in terms of easiness of use, compatibility, great community and features that it provides. I was runnnig Home Automation on HOmey for 2 years able to include almost everything and able to automate almost everything, without a need of technical knowledge. However there are some donwsides to be mentioned:

  1. Homey needs cloud connection to authenticate logging user into it. Whole logic and automation is runnig local, but if you want to connect to it (log in) without internet connection, you have problem.

  2. Its connected over the wifi only - there is frequent problem of Homey disconnecting from local wifi for quite a long time (Homey unreachable).

  3. No local backup possible. They do have only cloud backup - paid service for reasonable 10€/y

  4. Range issue - Homey antennas (zigbee, zwave) have range issues, so direct communication between device and hub is not so stable. antenna mod can significantly improve this (warranty void due to opening a case and soldering).

  5. Automations (flows) can do pretty everything, but only the simple way. If you want to do more complex automations, you need to use several flows (insted of one in HE). This is leading to have hundreds of flows, making it complex for rule updates etc.

Despite of those issue, I would strongly recommend Homey for regular user.

This article is missing so much, no mention of series 700, Fibaro's hubs or even HomeSeer. Abode supports z-wave and Aeotec hub is coming at some point too.

Aeotec hub is here. It’s simply a rebranded SmartThings V3 hub.

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