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Best Z Wave Hub: Top Picks For Every User

Dustin Timberlake
  May 19, 2022 4:30 AM

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Last update on 2022-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


OVERVIEW

Along with the popularity of the smart house model in recent years, Smart Devices have also grown up. One of the most common home automation communication protocols you might be interested in when designing your Smart home is the z-wave hub.

A small hub is essential for accessing automation, whether you live by yourself or in a multi-family apartment. Because it operates as a mesh network, it helps to connect different devices together with one touch. Unlike Bluetooth, z-wave connects devices to a hub rather than connecting the devices to each other and once they’re hooked up to that hub, you can control devices through that hub or sometimes through an app on your smartphone or tablet.


BUYING GUIDES

So which is the best z-wave smart home hub to buy? It’s quite a complicated question but it's quite simple to answer as well. This article will give some recommendations that buyers may need when they consider to start using any z wave in their home.

1. Compatibility

A device can communicate via Z-Wave if it includes a certain chip that works as an interface and allows it to interact with other Z-Wave devices on the hardware side.From the software side, the Z-Wave hubs can be divided into open-source gateways and proprietary gateways. 

You can check out this link: ANKO GFCI Outlet 20 Amp, UL Listed, LED Indicator, Tamper-Resistant

2. Range

Z wave operates in the 800/900 MHz. This frequency varies depending on what country you live in, so you need to make sure you purchase the right z-wave devices for your region

If you want your mesh to work well you'll want to have repeating devices at least every 30 feet, sometimes closer if you have a lot of metal and other obstacles you need to navigate.

 A device can communicate via Z-Wave if it includes a certain chip on the hardware side. This chip is available in a variety of configurations, including as part of a USB dongle or a Raspberry Pi HAT. The hubs may be classified into two types of software: open-source gateways and proprietary gateways. When a device is joined to a network, the gateway will normally conduct an initial inclusion interview, in which it will ask the device for all of the sensor kinds and units that it supports. The method this interview is carried out differs from gateway to gateway, with some conducting lengthy and in-depth interviews and others gathering simply the most basic device data. There are several Docker images available for prominent open-source gateways.

You can check out this link: Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Dimmer Switch for Wall & Ceiling

3. Security

z-wave uses the aes 128 standard of encryption you'll find at banks. Older z-wave devices do not require this level of security but all new z-wave plus devices now use the aes 128 standard with the added s2 security framework you needn't worry about security or privacy breaches with either protocol.

Z-wave can be more difficult to use than other devices. It does offer a useful function called smart start, which allows you to add new devices by scanning a QR code with your phone. But if you're removing a z-wave device from another hub or if your device fails to properly include on the first attempt z-wave requires some extra attention. You'll need to perform an extra step called z-wave exclusion; this extra step assures that both the hub and the device are ready for another inclusion attempt; a device cannot be included in the mesh again unless this exclusion phase is completed. If the item is not correctly removed from the hub, it will stay in the mesh, potentially causing mayhem by preventing other devices from communicating with the hub.

Have a look at this link: Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 Plus, Z-Wave Plus USB to Create Your Own Z-Wave Hub

4. Smart assistant

If you use Z Wave smart technology devices, you'll want to be able to operate them with voice commands via your preferred smart assistants. In order for this to work, your Z Wave hub must support your preferred smart assistant. Fortunately, nearly all Z Wave hubs enable major smart assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. You may use voice commands to operate all of your Z Wave devices with such Z Wave hubs.

The general device handler may be used with any Z-Wave device, but some device-specific capabilities may not be recognized until you discover a third-party handler or develop your own.

You can buy this product at this link: 

UltraPro Z-Wave Smart Rocker Light Switch with QuickFit and SimpleWire


FAQS

1. Will the z-wave hub interfere with my Wi-fi network?

No, Z-Wave uses a separate wireless frequency from Wi-Fi. Even though your smart hub will connect to your Wi-Fi router, it talks with other smart devices on a separate frequency, eliminating interference.

Here is an example: Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 Z-Wave Hub

2. How many devices (nodes) can be included in a Z-Wave network?

A Z-Wave network can handle a maximum of 232 devices (nodes), including the primary controller.

3. What is the difference between a “hub”, gateway” and “controller”?

Consider a hub to be your Wi-Fi router. Within your house, your router delivers Wi-Fi. A Z-Wave smart hub/gateway/controller integrates Z-Wave into your smart home and manages the orders you want it to carry out. A smart hub can take many different shapes, including a basic alarm panel for home security, a standalone hub device, a thermostat, and more. A standalone hub is the most popular type.

4. What is the difference between z-wave and z-wave plus?

The initial generation of Z-Wave devices is Z-Wave items, while the latest generation of Z-Wave devices are Z-Wave Plus things. Z-Wave Plus devices offer a 50 percent increase in wireless range, a 250 percent increase in CPU speed, a 400 percent increase in memory, and a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency, as well as the ability to update wirelessly.

Z-Wave certified devices from both generations function together. This implies that a traditional Z-Wave controller or hub will still operate to control newer Z-Wave Plus items and vice versa. So, unless you choose to update, you may keep using your old Z-Wave devices. Check out this Z-Wave Plus blog article for additional details.

You can check out this link: Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub

5. Will my z-wave items ever need to be replaced by newer versions?

No, your devices will still work through your Z-Wave hub as long as the product is Z-Wave approved (check for the official Z-Wave emblem). Even if newer devices are available, all Z-Wave devices are backward compatible and will work as intended. You'll only need to change them if you desire newer or different features than what your present product offers.


FINAL THOUGHT

The bottom line is that z-wave can deliver fast reliable home automation. Z-wave requires a more hands-on approach and proper setup you know especially as your mesh network grows there are great devices for both protocols.

You can take a look at this link: Aeotec Smart Home HubEnbrighten Z-Wave Smart Rocker Light Dimmer.


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