Smart Home Platforms And Hubs

Smart Home Platforms And Hubs

Arby Babaian Smart Home Security Leave a Comment

So it’s prime time for home improvements and you want to see what this smart home craze is about? You finally found it!

Let’s face it, we have become attached to staying connected with technology. Your smartphone is always less than a couple feet away from you, and you use it more than you like to admit. Now, you can add a smart home hub into your list of things you’ll love to use with your smartphone.

But what is a smart hub and how can it help you? And with all the options, what’s best for your home? We’ll take a look at different service platforms as well as the brains and central nervous system of smart systems, the smart hub.

A smart home hub is the brains of your home automation. Just like an alarm panel is the brains of your security system, a smart home hub is what makes your home a smart home. While most wireless security systems have a keypad that is also the alarm panel, these types of hub’s may, or may not, have a numeric pad.

If there is a keypad, it will be the main console to control your system, much like home security systems.Connected-and-Protected-Smart-Home-Security If your system doesn’t have a keypad, your smartphone, tablet, or computer will be the way you access your system. Even though you may rarely use it, having some type of keypad does have the added benefit of a secondary control panel.

There are lots of smart devices on the market today, and new ones come out almost daily. Many of these devices are sold in electronic stores, and home improvements stores, so you can install them yourself. One disadvantage of stand-alone devices? Often, they don’t have the ability to work with other devices in your home. 

 

Connected Devices Make Your Home Smarter

 

Even though most of these devices have an app to give you the ability to control them with your smartphone, once you add more than a few, these apps can easily take over your screen on your phone. Sometimes, they get lost in the mix.

When you have a hub for your smart home, you can control all the connected devices with one app. By having one platform that rules them all, it will greatly increase the user experience. What good is having a smart home that you won’t use?

These types of panels are designed to add convenience, savings, and safety to your daily life. Most of these platforms will have some type of monthly fee. Depending on the provider and manufacturer, the rate will be different. Even though there are some platforms that don’t have a monthly fee that can also be a disadvantage. When you have smart home services they should have the ability to be “future-proof”. Basically, when there are new advancements, which happens quite often, your provider should be able to update your system remotely.

 

DIY or Not to DIY, That is the Question!

 

With a true intelligent home, you’ll also have the option of installing it yourself with a DIY system or have a professional install the system for you. One of the complaints you hear about smart devices is the fact that many of them don’t have the support many people would like. When looking for these types of systems, I’d strongly recommend using a manufacturer, or company, that gives you the ability to do both. Nothing worse than purchasing something that you can’t use because of the installation.

Another key benefit some smart hubs have is their ability to include home security. You can do this by having door and window sensors installed to communicate with the other devices in your home. You can add motion detectors to add other functions. Not only will this will add security to your home, these sensors will also communicate with the other devices, like a smart thermostat, for additional benefits like saving energy.

 

What About Alarm Monitoring for Your Smart Hub?

While many of these hubs aren’t professionally monitored, there are some that will have alarm monitoring as an option. This can come in handy for people who may not want alarm monitoring all the time. It’s also a good option for folks who may not want a long term contract like traditional security companies often do. Most of today’s home security systems offer smart services as an option but if you’re looking for something without a long term commitment and the traditional monthly monitoring rate, a smart home hub may be a better option for your home and family.

There’s lots of equipment that should work with your smart panel. Most platforms and some of the equipment available does have the need for an internet connection. With the popular Z-Wave communication that is used by many security systems and smart home hubs, some hubs will have the ability to communicate using a cellular connection when adding in a cellular module.

If you are going to use your smart hub as your home security, it’s always recommended to have thecellular module as a part of the system. Even though an internet connection will work, and is often preferred for its speed, having a cellular connection will give you the reliability you’re looking for when it comes to protecting your home and family.

SmartHome-Technology
Smart Home Device For Your Smart Hub

Once you have a smart hub, you can start adding devices to your smart home system. Some of the most popular devices are thermostats, door locks, and lights. Having one smart device is great but the real benefits start to happen when you have at least two or three. That’s when you have a truly connected home. This is because the devices communicate with each other to have a synergistic effect.

Video cameras are also a popular add-on. While true video surveillance will need things like a DVR, or NVR, a smart camera will often work with an SD card to record clips that are programmed into your system. If you have a service-based system, often there is cloud recording as a backup as well.

One of the most popular types of cameras is the Video doorbell. This smart doorbell gives you the ability to see and speak to people at your door, even when you aren’t home. With features like High Definition streaming video, night vision, and motion detection, it’s easy to see why it is so popular.

If you decide to invest in a smart home hub, make sure you have options when it comes to purchasing other equipment. By having the ability to work with different manufacturers, you’ll have the ability to shop around for the best value and have plenty of options when it comes to adding additional smart devices.

Top 3 Smart Home Platforms We Use

Zerow-Wire-Smart-Home-PlatformAt All About Security, we have a couple of different platforms that we use with our clients. Depending on their needs, one option is normally better than the other. If someone is looking for a platform that can be combined with their security system and likes having a touchscreen panel, we use Alarm.com. By far, that has been the most popular platform so far.

However, if someone is looking for a smart home hub with security as an option, we like Interlogix. Their new Zero Wire system is great for homes that want smart devices and the ability to add video cameras without paying an extra fee. It’s also a great solution for someone who wants smart services with a self-monitored security system that works with their smartphone. Even though the system is often self-monitored, professional alarm monitoring is also an option.

The other system we use is the Helix. This system is perfect for apartments and as a professionally monitored DIY security system. It also has the ability to be customized from basic protection using an internet connection to a complete smart home security system with all the bells and whistles. Since it is completely wireless, with the right support, installation is easy and most people can have the entire system installed in less than an hour.

One feature all of these platforms have is the ability to add on devices from different manufacturers, This gives you the ability to purchase equipment in the future from local stores, other security companies, or online. This is because they all use Z-Wave as their home automation platform.

Smart home services and home automation is one type of home improvement that will remain useful as time goes on. By choosing the right smart home hub and platform, you’ll always have options and you won’t have to worry about your system being obsolete in a couple of years.

One common mistake we see when it comes to people purchasing a smart system is purchasing everything at once. If you decide to invest in a smart home, we always recommend to start with a couple of devices and add on in the future. That way, your system will be easy to use and won’t be overwhelming.


If you want to learn more about smart hubs, or smart home security systems in Indianapolis, you can always call us at 317.559.3500. We are always happy to answer your questions and help in any way we can, even if you aren’t our client, we will still do our best to help. You can also sign up for our newsletter and join our community on Facebook where we share information, tips, and advice.

If you read this article all the way to here, I want to thank you for your time. Obviously, you found it helpful if you reached the end so if you could do me a favor and share this with someone you think will find it helpful, I’d really appreciate it!

And as always……

Until next time, stay safe and informed Indianapolis!

 

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Arby Babaian

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