Homeowners looking for a smart hub system to connect the various home automation devices they have in the home will find a good option with the Wink Hub 2, the second rendition of Wink’s smart hub devices.
Clocking in at $99, Wink Hub 2 connects with 66 different smart-home products and is a simple to use and easy to set-up device for users getting started in home automation.
Though it works well at what it aims to accomplish, there are some issues with the Wink Hub 2, but first let’s explore the product specs.
Wink Hub 2: Inside the Product
The Wink Hub 2 does not stray much from the original product. The main change in the new wink smart home model is its addition of an Ethernet port, several wireless protocols, and an increase compatibility with other smart home devices. This Hub 2 is also slimmer and has a sleeker look than the earlier model. Initial memory has been added, as well as further encryption to guarantee user privacy.
Wink Hub 2 connects with Amazon Echo and other voice-controlled devices through the Wink app, and the product’s app has even been updated with a sleeker user interface, easier control, and set up actions. The device supports Bluetooth LE and has a wireless radio that is compatible with Nest’s wireless internet of things standard thread.
Other wireless system built into the Wink Hub include:
- Lutron Clear Connect
- Z-Wave Zigbee
Aside from these devices, Wink works with a number of other home automation products. The good thing about the Wink Hub is that is also supports most old smart home devices, and should support most future products.
With a 7.25 x 7.25 x 1.5 inch size, Wink Hub 2 is nearly twice the size of its main competition, Samsung SmartThings. Setup is easy. Simply plug in the device, download the app, then follow the instructions to connect the device. Once connected, all of the smart devices you’ll use with Wink will operate through the app.
Not Smart Security or SmartThings
There’s a few problems with Wink Hub 2, one of them being it is going head-to-head with Samsung’s SmartThings, a smart hub seems much better than Wink Hub 2.
One of the initial problems with Wink Hub 2 vs SmartThings is that users do not get complete control of their smart devices via the Wink app like they would with Smartthings. At least not the same control you get on each of these devices in their own apps. For example, if you create a schedule on one device’s app, this schedule will not transfer over to work with Wink. You have to recreate the same schedule. This control is more difficult to obtain in Wink than with SmartThings.
On Wink’s website they list their 66 compatible products, but this falls far short of the 175 devices compatible with Samsung SmartThings.
Unfortunately for Wink, the Samsung SmartThings app is more logical and is better suited to work around rooms and routines. If you’re going with a smart hub, SmartThings may be the better bet, due to more product integrations, more control of the devices via the app, and overall organization of its systems.
This Device is not Home Security
The biggest issue with Wink Hub 2, which is also present with SmartThings and any other home automation hub, is that these devices aren’t security systems. Sure they allow you to connect multiple devices and have a smart-home, but these devices may be all connected across different protocols, different devices, and aside from an application, they aren’t truly central to each other.
Oftentimes this form of home automation lacks many of the essentials of an all-encompassing home security system, including: flood and weather detectors, smoke and fire protection, life-alert systems for older adults, and more.
Opting for a smart hub with a plethora of separate devices can be pricey, a hassle, and you won’t be fully secure. When it comes to security, always stick with the pros.