If you are new to the Z-Wave world and looking for the best Z-Wave hub controllers? It’s certainly not an easy feat in this highly saturated market.
A quality hub or controller can be your entrance to this world. But how do you find a Hub /controller of top quality that works with Z-wave technology? The good news is, I’m here to help. I’ll tell you exactly how to find your desired hub.
For this reason, here I’m going to review the top smart hubs available in the market, and also hand out an in-depth buying guide. Without further I do, let’s get the show on the road.
10 Best Z-Wave Hub Controllers of 2020
Options are great, but too many options can make you confused. That’s why I have done the hard work for you and trimmed the list down to only five. So, here are my recommendations for the right hub/controller that fully compatible with z-wave.
A Quick look to Our Top Lists –
Editor’s Picks –
1. Samsung SmartThings 3rd Generation – Best Hub Z-Wave for beginners.
Samsung’s 3rd generation hub makes its predecessors look antique. Made of plastic, it has a simple and elegant design. As is expected from a Samsung hub, this thing supports a wide range of products from hundreds of companies. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a product that isn’t covered by this hub.
Not only this device is compatible with Z-Wave and ZigBee, but it also works with Wi-Fi, which wasn’t the case with the earlier version. This device can be controlled by the SmartThings app. You can even configure the device to alert you if any unnatural movement is detected inside the house.
Battery life is more than impressive. The included CR2 battery should easily last about two years. Though you can plug it in, this thing works wirelessly. Moreover, the new sensors work great, especially the water leak sensor. Due to having sensors on the top and bottom, it’s able to sense even drips.
The fact that this thing is compatible with Alexa and Cortana makes it more attractive. Keep in mind that, you will need at least Android 6.0 or IOS 11 to run the SmartThings app.
- Great battery life.
- Compatible with 3 home automation protocols.
- Newer sensors work better than the earlier versions.
- Works with Alexa and Cortana.
- The software can’t be run by old IOS and Android versions.
Any doubt? Check out the Reviews on Amazon!
2. Hubitat Elevation Smart Home Automation Hub – Best for Z-Wave Power Users, strong community.
If you want a life-altering experience with your smart devices, then the Hubitat Elevation Home is a prudent choice. This platform allows seamless amalgamation between cloud connectivity and your local automation procedure. You can choose from a multitude of compatible devices such as speakers, locks, lights, sensors, smoke/water indicators, and more.
Furthermore, the data privacy included in this platform is top-notch. While several hubs are vulnerable to privacy penetration, this device gives you complete control of your data. Furthermore, the product is easy to set up and use, and with Alexa by your side, daily chores become simple.
Not only does it support the Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Lutron devices; the recent update also includes a mobile app for IOS and Android along with the Iris V1 devices. Furthermore, the Hubitat Elevation does not require a constant internet connection.
If you are a novice in the world of Z Wave Controller/Hub, don’t worry, the manufacturers include a list of tutorial videos and online documents that are helpful. The email-support team is active and works with great alacrity, so any difficulties you face can be solved within a short time.
- The option to choose from a multitude of compatible devices.
- Ensures data protection.
- The ability to continue operation without cloud.
- Need to use a browser to operate from a smartphone.
3. Securifi Almond+ Smart Home Hub & Router
As the name suggests, the Securifi Almond+ boasts the easiest setup compared to the other hubs available in the market. You can set the device up using a simple touchscreen in an unbelievable time of only three minutes! This super-fast setup allows you to access and control your home automation devices quicker.
The Wi-fi range is exceptionally potent with powerful amplifiers increasing the range. It also features an instant notification system when any unfamiliar device joins the network. Moreover, you can use access the router remotely using the Almond Android or IOS apps, includes support for Amazon Echo, Phillips Hue, and Nest.
The router is multipurpose with its ability to function either as a range extender or a primary hub. You can turn your apartment into a smart home by integrating compatible sensors. The features will enable you to receive notifications if anyone is in the backyard, if the front door is open, or even set the alarm for intruders.
- Quick and easy setup and installation.
- Remote access via smartphone using the Almond app.
- Integrating sensors enables instant security notifications.
- Extended Wi-fi range with versatile functions.
- Manual is not comprehensive and lacks detail.
4. Wink Hub 2
The best thing about wink hub 2 is that it doesn’t lose connection like the previous generation devices. Also, unlike the first generation, the response time is much faster, almost instant. What’s also interesting is that it works with both the Alexa and google assistant enabling you to give voice commands.
You can monitor all the devices from anywhere with the Wink app. The app has an intuitive interface and some really attractive features. With this app, you can schedule things and set up robots for automatic actions. Like turning the lights off at sunrise or turning the light on if the sensor detects motion.
What makes this controller a bit special is that it supports a host of home automation protocols including ZigBee, Z-Wave, LCC, and Bluetooth LE. Also, over 400 devices from several reputed companies can be controlled by this device.
The fact that you can set the hub up with either Wi-Fi or Ethernet is really nice. Moreover, if you value aesthetics, then its slick design is bound to impress you. However, it doesn’t come with a backup battery which is a bit of a bummer.
- Steady connection.
- Quick response.
- The app allows you to schedule tasks.
- Compatible with all the major communication protocols.
- It doesn’t include a backup battery.
5. Vera Control- VeraPlus
Vera control is one of the most popular and renowned companies in this industry. Keeping with their reputation, VeraPlus is another product of excellent quality that checks all the right boxes. According to the digital trend, VeraPlus is one of the best 6 z-wave smart home hubs.
The major selling point of this controller is that all the devices run on the hub instead of the internet. That means, if there’s a problem with the internet or it goes down, all the devices will still work. And should the company go out of business overnight, it will still work perfectly well as the hub isn’t dependent on the cloud.
Nonetheless, the software fails to make a positive impression. If anything, the impression is negative. It doesn’t have a user-friendly interface and will give you a lot of error. One may feel that they haven’t even tested the software before the launch.
Though the device has some difficulty with ZigBee products, it works perfectly with the Z-Wave ones. Hundreds of Z-Wave devices can be controlled by the VeraPlus hub.
- No internet required.
- Ideal for Z-Wave devices.
- Great customer support.
- The software’s a let-down.
6. HomeSeer HomeTroller-SEL Home Controller
Compared to the other products in this list, this one may seem a tad expensive. But trust me, when you take its performance and features into the account, the price seems very reasonable. In fact, I consider it as one of the best hub/controllers on the market.
Unlike most of the devices, it stores all the information locally. Due to not storing the data on the cloud, it makes the entire system hack-proof. This alone makes the device worth the investment. On top of that, it doesn’t require the internet to keep the smart home devices running.
Giving voice commands such as, “Alexa, turn the lights off” can be fun. And with this hub, you can have all the fun you want. That’s because this device is not only compatible with Alexa, but it also works well with google Home and IFTTT.
The only major issue with this hub is that there’s a limitation on the plug-ins. No more than 5 plug-ins can be used at the same time. If you want to add a new plug-in, you must remove one first.
- Not reliant on the internet.
- Stores data locally.
- Able to work with Alexa and Google home.
- Only 5 plug-ins are allowed.
7. Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5
Disclaimer: if you are a non-technical person and don’t like to google when a problem comes up before asking help, this device isn’t probably for you. It needs elbow-grease to get the device started.
The USP (User Services Platform) of this device is that you can make your own Z-Wave gateway with this thing. Windows, Mac, and even Raspberry Pi can be used for this purpose. A piece of advice to the Raspberry users: stick to the instructions provided on the home assistant site for installation.
In terms of price, it’s the least expensive device on this list. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. On the contrary, it offers ample value for the money. So, if you are looking for a low-cost way to get an entry into this world, this can be your go-to choice.
What’s really nice is that all the Z-Wave products are supported by this device. On top of that, it works with Z-Wave plus too.
- Enables you to build your own Z-Wave gateway.
- Really inexpensive.
- Compatible with Z-Wave plus.
- It isn’t very user-friendly.
8. ISY994i ZW/IR PRO Z-Wave + INSTEON + X10 – Compatible with Alexa
The most significant feature of this product its remote monitoring of all your home automation devices, which you can do via the ISY9941 controller. With this product, managing appliances have become even more convenient with the MobiLinc App. This app also features separate units for IFTTT Make Channel and Amazon Echo.
The ISY9941i/IR PRO Controller lets you maintain up to 1024 nodes, which include buttons, devices, folders, and screens. Moreover, this product supports more than 1000 programs, and each application can perform more than hundreds of intricate actions.
The hub is fully independent and can operate without cloud connectivity. The web server you will use is fully secure from any data infringement. The routine tasks this platform can do by using Alexa include switching lights on and off, dimming the lights, altering thermostat temperature, secure the front door, and more.
Another prominent feature is that it perfectly runs on Windows 10, and you also use it in your Windows phone. The support team is super responsive, and they try to respond to all queries immediately. Additionally, the online Wiki page is full of comprehensive details making your learning process manageable.
- It provides support for more than 1000 programs.
- Can operate even without cloud connectivity.
- Compatible with Amazon Echo and Windows phone.
- Several complex schedules can be created with ease.
- The learning curve is a little challenging.
Some additional devices you may consider with your Z-Wave Controller:-
1. GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control Appliance Module(Hub Required)
The GE Z-Wave Lighting Control is known for their compact sizes. The product offers excellent space efficiency, and the side-plug design does not restrict furniture placement.
The switch enables you to command the switching on and off your lights wirelessly. You can also schedule a timer with which the lights will either turn off or on at a particular time. Moreover, you can do this from any part of the world!
You can control the lighting of your house from your smartphone via any certified Z-Wave gateways. The Z-Wave remotes also have a similar function. You can also control the lights on the go by using a manual push button.
The best compatibility is with the following hubs: SmartThings, Alexa, Pulse, Google Home, Wink, Trane, Nexia, Honeywell, and Smart Security. If you want to extend and strengthen the range of your home’s Z-Wave network, then the GE Z-Wave can also function as a range extender and signal repeater.
- Compact design allows for restriction-free furniture placement.
- A Wireless command from anywhere in the world.
- Schedule specific events using smartphones.
- Strengthen and extend the range of the home Z-Wave network.
- Not compatible with third-party devices.
2. GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Heavy Duty 40 Amp Smart Switch
The GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus is for those looking for a robust platform to use outdoors. This product can sustain through any adverse weather conditions due to its full metal case, which is also tamper-resistant. This device features sturdy construction, unlike any other available in the market.
The Z-Wave Plus can wirelessly control water heaters, spas, heaters, pool pumps, and any other heavy-duty device. The voltage capacity of control is up to 277V.
The product smoothly functions with any Z-Wave certified hubs; the best compatibility is with the following products, SmartThings, Trane, Honeywell, ADT Pulse, Vivian, Vera, and more. For voice control, a separate hub compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant is required.
The Z-Wave Plus, with a built-in signal repeater, can also function as a range extender to enhance the Z-Wave network of your home. The S2 security system eliminates the risk of hacking. Furthermore, the installation is hassle-free and simple, making this a convenient purchase.
- Top-tier weather resistance.
- Control large load devices.
- In-built signal repeater.
- Energy monitoring facility.
- Voice command hubs are not included.
A tutorial for setting up the AEOTEC Z-stick:
- 11 Best Z-Wave Thermostats You Should Consider!
- 10 Best Z-Wave Switches – Review & buying guide.
- Honeywell Z-wave Thermostat – Which one should you buy?
What Is a Z Wave Controller Hub?
A device that lets you remote control all the appliances running on your smart home automation protocol.
If I were to give an analogy, I would say that it’s like the relationship between our brain and the limbs.
Just like our body uses the brain to give commands to the limbs, you can use a hub to control the smart devices in your home.
Keep in mind that often hubs are designed to support a specific communication protocol such as ZigBee or Z-Wave.
However, controllers such as SmartThings and Wink 2 are compatible with several wireless protocols.
So, make sure you check if the hub supports the installed smart devices at home before you buy a product.
What Things Can You Do with Z-Wave?
Z-Wave makes use of the low-energy radio waves to build a mesh network, which allows devices to talk to each other and connect all of them to a hub/controller.
That way Z-Wave puts control of all the smart devices at your fingertips and allows you to give commands through the Z-Wave.
Below are the few things you can do with a Z-Wave
- Manage the lighting.
- Control Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
- Turn the fan off.
- Take security measures.
- Open/close garage door.
- Prevent water leak.
- Monitor security cameras.
Z-Wave On the Top of the Mountain
Can you really tell the devices what to do from anywhere in the world?
The answer is yes.
To prove this point, the Z-Wave alliance financed a mountaineer named Mariusz Malkowski’s Himalayas trip a couple of years back.
From the top of the mountain, Mariusz Malkowski controlled his Z-Wave product at home, which was broadcasted live via Skype.
So, yes, you can control your Z-Wave devices from literally anywhere.
What to Know Before Buying a Hub/Controller?
Knowing what features to look for while purchasing a smart hub or Controller will come in handy to make a great choice. For this reason, here we will talk about which features you need to take into account before making a decision.
Suppose you buy a hub and later find out that it isn’t compatible with your smart device. A terrible waste of money. Isn’t it?
To make sure the money doesn’t go down the toilet, you need to check if the hub works with the installed wireless protocol at your home. One more thing, the more protocols the hub supports, the better it’s for you.
That way, if you ever decide to change the protocol, you won’t need to buy a new controller/hub.
The Number of Devices It Supports
You don’t want to purchase a hub that supports only a handful of the device or doesn’t cover all the categories.
Samsung SmartThings hub really shines in this department, as it supports more than a thousand smart devices and is considered to be one of the top z wave controller hubs out there.
The option to customize a hub is a must.
It allows you to schedule commands or create specific automatic tasks for the controller hub.
Not all people are versed with programming or high-tech.
So, if the device and app interface is overly complicated, it can create problems for certain individuals.
If you are one of them, go for a turn-key smart controller.
Our Suggestion | Samsung SmartThings Hub 3rd Generation
To be honest, I was torn between SmartThings and HomeSeer controller S2.
But what eventually pushed me towards SmartThings is its extensive product range and competitive price. Though the HomeSeer controller is by no means overpriced, it’s certainly a bit expensive.
Now, the SmartThings hub comes with plenty of perks.
It works equally well with ZigBee, Z-Wave, and Wi-Fi.
Moreover, being compatible with Alexa, and Cortana makes the hub a complete package.
So, if you ask my opinion, I’d say that that’s the option you should go for.
Don’t belive us?
Checkout the user’s feedback- Reviews on Amazon
Now that you know how to find the right hub/controller for you, what are you still doing here?
Get the hub that fits your requirements and makes your beautiful home smart.
I hope my review will be of some help of you to find the best Z-Wave hub. Let me know which one you’ve decided to go with by leaving a comment in the comments section.
Will Wi-Fi interfere with Z-Wave technology?
No, it won’t. Z-Wave technology works on a different wireless frequency and won’t face any issues from your Wi-Fi router.
Does Z-Wave work in huge houses?
No matter how big or small your house is, Z-Wave will work. It uses a mesh network, in which every nod acts as a signal repeater. Hence, the size of the house should cause no problem. Read: How Z-Wave Works?
Is Z-Wave secure?
Yes, it’s secure. Not that it can’t be hacked, but its encryption system is as safe as it gets.
What frequency is Z Wave?
In North America, Z-Wave operates at 908.42 MHz. However, in Europe, it works at 868.42 MHz.
What frequency is ZigBee?
ZigBee operates at 2.4 GHz in the entire world.
What does “smart home” mean?
It means a home which has devices that can communicate with each other and that can be monitored and controlled from a remote place.
How do I reset SmartThings hub?
Press the red button located on the backside of the device for 30 seconds. Free the button once the LED has turned into dark yellow.
How many devices can Z-Wave support?
You can control upto 232 devices from one Z-wave controller in your home, z wave is very schaleable technology. More than 3000 products are available in the market.