At SmartHomePerfected our information is accurate and unbiased. If you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

It’s important to have a dedicated smart home hub to enjoy the full benefits and features of smart home technology. With the Z-Wave protocol growing in popularity, Z-Wave hubs are increasingly in demand by home automation enthusiasts.

After reviewing the best devices on the market, the Hubitat Elevation Hub is our top pick with its wide range of compatibility and attractive features, while the Aeotec Z-Wave Smart Home Hub is a close second for versatility and security.

Best Z-Wave Hubs
9.6 Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub - Compatible with Alexa, Google Home, Zigbee, Z-Wave, Lutron
Top PickA privacy-centric smart home hub
9.5 Aeotec Smart Home Hub, Works as a SmartThings Hub, Z-Wave Zigbee gateway, Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, WiFi
Runner UpAn Innovative Smart Home Hub
9.4 Vera Control VeraSecure Advanced Smart Home Security Controller Hub
A Premium Smart Home Controller
9.3 HomeSeer HomeTroller Smart Home Hub (Pi)
A resilient smart home hub
Need Help with a Smart Device?
Get a Free Estimate from a Local Expert!
Installation · Setup · Maintenance · Repairs · Replacements

Z-Wave hubs act as a bridge between smart devices, allowing you to trigger one device based on the state of another. 

You can create scenes to trigger a variety of devices to behave in a particular way. For example, the morning scene could open the blinds, put on some music, turn on your bathroom lights and heat up your coffee! You will also be able to monitor and control all your smart devices remotely from anywhere via a single device.

9.6
Top Pick
A privacy-centric smart home hub

The Hubitat Elevation Hub takes home automation to the next level. It is compatible with almost every standard protocol. Additionally, it comes with internal radios for both Zigbee (US frequencies) and Z-Wave (908.4 MHz), 5 Volts @ 1 Amp US 120V power supply, and Ethernet cable.

Top Features
  • Easy to power the device using an Ethernet cable.
  • Data from other connected devices is stored locally for easier access.
  • Create a Hubitat account and access the hub using the web browser.

Devices

Total privacy is the utmost priority for the Hubitat Elevation Hub. As it stores most of its data within the local network, you are not prone to central hacks to a cloud based system.

This tool comes with local storage and optional cloud connectivity. Compared to its cloud-only competitors, the Hubitat Elevation hub is more reliable and responsive.

Features

This smart hub will connect to any device that supports Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Lutron.

Moreover, the smart home hub is programmed to withstand data loss in case of unpredicted power outages. As such, the hub will protect your scenes and settings, saving you time and effort in the long run.

What we liked
  • Fast device response time.
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
  • Geofencing feature for automating several mundane presence tasks.
  • Supports custom device drivers.
  • A wide-scale hack is difficult due to local data storage.
What we didn't like
  • Some users have complained about the lack of documentation.
  • Some beginner users have complained about the complexity of the configuration process.

Setup

You can sign up to Hubitat Elevation Hub using your Amazon or Google account. After sign-up is complete, you can perform all management tasks using its web-based interface.

The hub needs a one-time setup. Once the setup is completed, the smart hub no longer needs to be connected to the internet. Because of this, performance should be without delays.

Backup

The Hubitat Elevation Hub gives freedom to DIYers to automate their homes just the way they want. In this regard and as far as third-party integrations go, the Hubitat Elevation hub is compatible with IFTTT, Alexa, Nest, Rachio, and Life360.

You can connect this device with other smart products from Samsung SmartThings, Philips, Aeon, Zen, and many others. In fact, the Hubitat Elevation Hub is capable of supporting a maximum of 100 unique devices, which means you can automate even the littlest things.

Tech Specs

Power SourceUS 120V power supply.
ProtocolsAlexa, Google Assistant, Zigbee,
Z-Wave, Lutron, LAN and
cloud-connected devices
BatteryNot Required
Smart Device Support100
Others IncludedEthernet cable and User Manual
9.5
Runner Up
An Innovative Smart Home Hub

An innovative smart home hub that gives you control over a ton of smart devices and supports various protocols for connection.

Top Features
  • Can be connected with over 5000 smart devices from different brands, including lights, cameras, sensors, voice assistants, and more
  • Offers control via app and voice and allows you to automate your daily tasks.
  • Works with Z-Wave Plus, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee protocols.
  • Requires installation of SmartThings app and an internet connection to wirelessly connect with your smartphone or tablet.

The Aeotec Z-Wave smart home hub supports the functionality of Samsung SmartThings and can be used as a SmartThings hub. This device is the nerve-center of your smart home, controlling all the automation and intelligence. It enables you to automate your daily routines, keep an eye on the activities at your home, and control a variety of smart devices from a distance.

Thousands of devices, ranging from lights to an air purifier, can be connected to the Aeotec Z-Wave smart home hub. Additionally, you can create automations that help you reduce your energy bill.

Compatibility

It’s quite easy to build an automation system with this device as it’s compatible with smart home products from various third-party brands as well. It works with devices that support Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee 3.0, Wi-Fi, and APIs.

Here are some popular brands that are compatible with the Aeotec Z-Wave smart home hub:

  • Audio systems from Samsung, Sonos, and Bose.
  • Smart locks from Schlage, Kwikset, and Yale.
  • Doorbell cameras from Ring, Nest, and Aeotec.
  • Thermostats from Honeywell, Ecobee, Nest, and more.

Setup

Setting up the Aeotec Z-Wave smart home hub is a simple two-step process. Just download the SmartThings app for your iOS or Android device and follow the instructions for setup.

Voice Assistants

This smart home hub is also compatible with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby. By integrating voice assistants with the hub, you will get more features and control over your smart home devices.

What we liked
  • Compatible with a huge range of devices.
  • Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby.
  • Offers multiple protocols for connection.
  • Device setup is a simple two-step process.
What we didn't like
  • Requires some technical knowledge for complex rules.
9.4
A Premium Smart Home Controller

Vera Control VeraSecure is easy to install and works with a range of smart home devices (from various brands) such as smart locks, security cameras, sensors, and more.

Top Features
  • Integrates with a motion sensor to send you notifications when it detects any movement.
  • Allows you to set the schedule to turn your lights on and off when needed.
  • Features a built-in siren loud enough to scare intruders away.
  • Cellular backup ensures you receive camera feed and notifications even if the internet connection is down.
  • Operates on its own frequency without interference from other devices.
  • Features Z-wave plus, Zigbee, Bluetooth, and WiFi protocols to connect with various devices.

With an additional set of security features, processing power, and memory, the Vera Control VeraSecure smart home controller enhances the functionality of VeraPlus and VeraEdge. This device allows you to monitor your home from anywhere, automate daily activities, check energy consumption, get notifications, and a lot more. Plus, it integrates with Alexa for extra control.

More Convenience and Security

VeraSecure is an ideal choice for those who want a comprehensive surveillance system in their home. It works with Nest, AeonLabs, Schlage, and several other brands, allowing you to take control of your cameras, lights, smart locks, and a range of smart devices.

Moreover, its pre-set modes like “Home” and “Away” enable you to automate your routine tasks, such as raising the temperature and dimming the exterior lights when it starts getting darker.

You can further extend the functionality of VeraSecure by installing an iOS or Android app. These apps allow you to use plugins to add more features to the VeraSecure.

Added Protection with VeraProtect

For more protection and professional security monitoring, you can also opt for VeraProtect. That's a subscription with a small monthly fee. It allows you to keep track of the various sensors integrated with VeraSecure and notify the emergency department with just a single press of a button if the device senses any trouble.

Tech Specs

Protocols:Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Bluetooth BLE
Power Source: AC/DC
Battery:Internal 2400mAh/18Wh
Operating requirements:Broadband Internet, Windows, Android or iOS
Others included:Power adapter, Ethernet cable
Certification:FCC, CE, RoHS
What we liked
  • An advanced smart home controller that features five communication protocols including Z-wave plus.
  • Can be used with Amazon Alexa for more control over your smart home devices.
  • A rechargeable battery backup ensures the device doesn’t go offline during a power outage.
What we didn't like
  • Some users have reported stability issues.
  • Not easy to use as some knowledge of the hardware is required.

Zooz Z-Wave Plus S2 USB Stick can simply be attached to a PC or a laptop and helps you build a home automation system.

Top Features
  • Equipped with the new S2 security protocol, allowing you to connect with your S2 sensors, plugs, and switches.
  • Features advanced Z-Wave protocol that works with Home Assistant, Domoticz, HomeSeer, or OpenHAB software.
  • Needs a PC, laptop, or Raspberry Pi device along with the home automation software for setup.
  • Supports OTA firmware updates and the latest Z-Wave library commands.

The Zooz Z-Wave Plus S2 USB Stick allows you to build a strong base for a smart home with a combination of software and hardware that gives you great control. It attaches to your PC or laptop and comes with Z-Wave’s most recent development.

How it Works

Featuring the latest S2 security protocol, this device employs SmartStart technology for integration. You don’t need to install any drivers on your Windows, macOS, or Linux system.

Like the other smart home controllers above, the S2 USB Stick also works with a variety of smart home devices. It incorporates a 500-series Z-Wave Plus chip that is not only fast, but also gives you an extended range of up to 130 feet indoors and 500 feet in an open space.

How to Install it

Connect the S2 USB Stick to your laptop, PC, or Raspberry Pi via the USB port and use an open-source home automation software of your own choice. Some of the popular software the device works with are Home Assistant, Domoticz, HomeSeer, or OpenHAB.

The installation process can be different for Windows, Linux, and macOS systems, so check the manual for detailed instructions. It is recommended to install an open and tested smart home solution on your S2 Stick for the best performance.

What we liked
  • Setup is easy and requires no drivers for any OS (Windows, macOS, or Linux).
  • Features an advanced and secure Z-Wave pairing method.
  • Has an extended range of up to 500 feet.
What we didn't like
  • Home automation software is not included, but it allows you to use the software of your own choice.
  • Needs dedicated PC or Raspberry Pi for setting up the device.

The HomeSeer PI Hub is a true smart hub for your home. It does not rely on a computer or the cloud to function. It will easily integrate with almost any smart home appliance. In seconds you can connect it with your garage door openers, light switches, or your alarm system.

Top Features
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa & Google Home Assistant Devices.
  • Built-In Z-Wave Radio (US edition only).
  • Includes Free MyHS Remote Access Service.

Devices

The HomeSeer PI Hub comes with locally managed automation features. Along with reliability and security, this device is also compatible with smart speakers and other smart home products.

Using the HomeSeer PI Hub you can control light switches, security cameras, water valves, energy monitors, and environment sensors. For ease of use, this device comes with a dedicated app for both iOS and Android users.

Features

The HomeSeer PI Hub comes with a built-in Z-Wave radio. It has a handful of additional Z-Wave plugins to ensure the best user experience. Moreover, you can also install a maximum of 5 Linux plugins with it.

Along with Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant devices, it is also compatible with IFTTT.

What we liked
  • You can connect up to 5 Linux plug-ins of your choice.
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa & Google Home Assistant.
  • Email and Text alerts.
  • Fully functional even with internet blackout or web-service outage.
  • Supports IFTTT.
What we didn't like
  • A little more technical than VeraEdge or Samsung SmartThings for beginner users.

Setup

The setup process takes only a few minutes and works pretty flawlessly. The Z-Wave implementation is also instantaneous, taking only seconds to form a secure connection. Moreover, if you have programming skills, you can add custom scripts to it, thus extending its core functionalities.

Backup

Unlike most other smart hubs, the HomeSeer PI Hub stores and processes all your data locally. This makes this device highly reliable and less likely to suffer a security breach.

If you have used an internet-based smart-hub, you know how much time they take to respond to your commands. But the HomeSeer PI Hub brings down this lead time to almost zero.

Tech Specs

Power SourceAC Power Adapter, 100-240v
Processing UnitARM Cortex-A53 CPU (1.2 GHz, 4 core)
Storage16 GB SD
IntegrationsZ-Wave, Zigbee, GHUE, Sonos, IFTTT among others
MyHS Remote Access ServiceYes

The Nexia home bridge serves as the hub of your home automation network.

Top Features
  • Communicates wirelessly with Nexia-compatible Z-Wave devices from most of the leading brands.
  • Control all your smart home devices from anywhere through a single all-in-one app.
  • Allows to control more than 200 Z-Wave products at the same time.

The Nexia home bridge serves as the hub of your home automation network. It allows you to add 200+ Z-Wave devices throughout the home at your own pace and allows you to control them through your smartphone using Android, iOS, or Windows.

Features

Using your Nexia Bridge you can also control your small appliances to reduce energy cost. For example, you can use the Nexia Bridge to turn on your fans and lights as you enter a room and turn them off automatically when you leave.

Installation

The installation of the Nexia Home Bridge is relatively easy. The directions to set up a Nexia Bridge are included in the box. First, download the Nexia app from iTunes or Google Play store, and after installing the app enter your bridge's MAC ID. 

Then connect the bridge to your router, power it up, and wait for a connection to be established. Now, enroll the devices one by one by selecting the product type on the left side of the dashboard and clicking “Add a Device”.

Smartphone App

The Nexia Bridge can be controlled from your smartphone using the iOS or Android app. It can also be used through your PC, using the Windows app. 

Recently Nexia announced a new geofencing feature that allows subscribers to have seamless control of their smart home system when away from home. With geofencing, you can set your door locks to open as soon as you reach your door or turn on the lights and AC when you arrive.

Tech Specs

Protocols: Z-Wave
Power Source: AC
Range (Ft.): 60 to 100 Ft.
Operating requirements: Broadband Internet
Others included: 110v power adapter, 10/100 ethernet cable
What we liked
  • DIY installation & easy to use.
  • Offers a great deal of customizable controls for connected devices.
  • Uses SSL encryption for added security.
  • Monitor your home anytime from anywhere.
  • Reduce energy usage by scheduling lights, air conditioner and thermostat.
What we didn't like
  • Requires a monthly subscription fee.
  • Scenes can be created only from a PC.

Other Notable Z-Wave Hubs

Top Features
  • Corner to corner Wi-Fi coverage up to 1,500 sq ft and rises to 7500 sq ft with Z-Wave Mesh extensions.
  • Monitor and control all home devices and appliances from anywhere through the Connect App.
  • Set-up process is very easy and fast.

Samsung's Connect Home Pro is a combination of a powerful Wi-Fi router and a home automation hub that can monitor and control the smart home devices and appliances from anywhere through the SmartThing App.

Top Features
  • Touch screen for quick, easy, and computer-free setup.
  • Powerful amplifiers for long-range WiFi coverage (up to 5,000 sq.ft).
  • Multi-Purpose usage: Wireless Bridge / Router / Access Point / Range Extender.

Connecting with Wi-Fi, the Securifi Almond+ can interact with Z-Wave- and ZigBee-compatible smart home products. It offers remote access to the router and connected sensors using the Securifi Almond Android and iOS apps.

Should I Buy a Z-Wave Hub?

One Z-Wave Hub App

A smart home hub offers you a one-app solution through which you can access, monitor, and control all your home devices using your smartphone.

It removes the need for numerous manufacturer apps for specific smart devices. It also allows you to orchestrate devices together based on specific triggers, such as the time of day, temperature or motion sensor tripping.

Many Devices

A smart home hub should be able to connect to all of you smart devices and appliances, allowing them to work together.

Basic versions of these smart hubs are compatible with more than 200 devices and third-party services, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Philips Hue, ADT security, Ring video doorbells, Schlage locks, and Honeywell thermostats. 

So, no matter how many devices you have in your home, a single smart home hub can control them all.

Voice Control Integration

Smart home hubs allow you to control all of your home automation devices simply through voice commands. Most devices are integrated with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. 

So, with voice control integration you can easily control your smart home products by speaking simple commands such as “Alexa, turn on the lights” or “Google, turn up the thermostat”.

Programmable Z-Wave Hubs for Advanced Users

Some Z-Wave hubs are programmable allowing for more advanced configuration of your smart home. You can combine different actuators, sensors, or other devices to create scenes or routines.

If you’re an advanced user, you can program your curtains to automatically open when the sun is out; your lights to turn on when the front door opens, or refrigerators to create an alert when your milk is running low!

Flexibility to include other protocols

Although we are focused on the Z-Wave protocol within this post, most of the hubs listed are also compatible with other protocols including Bluetooth, ZigBee, LE, Kidde, Clear Connect, IFTTT, and Wi-Fi. 

A smart hub is basically the brains of your home that allows you to wirelessly control a wide range of popular smart home devices, regardless of the protocol they use.

Z-Wave Hub Features to Consider

In a cloud-managed system, all control functions are processed off-site by a cloud service. 

This type of architecture reduces the cost of the hub since very little onboard computing power is required. 

An issue with this is that a lot of information is stored on remote web servers, and that may be a deal-breaker for users sensitive to privacy issues.

Other smart hubs are fully isolated and run locally on the device. In these cases, the devices can operate without an internet connection and do not pose the privacy concerns outlined above.

Basic Interface or Advanced Programming

If you’re a tech-savvy or advanced user, you can choose a smart home hub that allows you to control your smart home devices through advanced programming.

Otherwise, it is advisable to choose a hub with a rich user interface to configure your smart home easily.

Voice Assistant

A voice assistant is a must have to complete your smart home. It allows you to control all your home automation devices without touching or pressing any screens or control buttons.

The majority of devices listed above integrate with Amazon Alexa and Google Voice Assistant.

Automation Complexity – Scenes

One of the strongest aspects of smart home automation is the ability to create scenes according to your preference. A scene is a way to control a variety of home functions with just one master trigger. A typical example is a lighting scene for different occasions (party, bed-time, dinner).

As the creation of scenes is typically programmable, there can be complexities. But, if you’re tech-savvy, understand the logic and can follow the step by step instructions, it shouldn’t be too difficult.

The level of complexity you desire in your automation makes a difference in which hub you should ultimately choose.

Common Questions About Z-Wave Hubs

What is a Smart Hub?

A Smart Hub acts as the nerve-center for your smart home. The addition of a smart hub enables smart devices to interact with each other and allows you to control them remotely.

What is Z-Wave?

Z-Wave is a wireless protocol that essentially focuses on connectivity within the smart home. Z-Wave offers you a much bigger range and lower power consumption compared to Wi-Fi. It operates through low-energy radio waves to communicate from device to device as part of a mesh network.

What is a Z-Wave Hub?

A Z-Wave hub provides remote access to the Z-Wave network (via smartphone, computer, or tablet) through an internet connection. It controls and manages all sorts of individual Z-Wave devices remotely.

What can you do with Z-Wave?

Z-Wave lets devices and sensor-enabled objects talk and respond to each other. You can control lights, fans, door locks, security systems, window blinds, valve controllers, thermostats, and many more.

How does Z-Wave work?

The Z-Wave protocol creates a wireless mesh network to enable communication between smart devices and appliances in your connected home.

What's the difference between Zigbee, Z-Wave, Thread, and WeMo

Z-Wave & Zigbee are wireless protocols that operate in a mesh network. The difference is, Z-Wave is slower than Zigbee but requires less energy to cover the same range as Zigbee.

On the other hand, Thread & WeMo are wireless networking protocols that operate through IP data transfer.

The Verdict

After reviewing the best devices on the market, the Hubitat Elevation Hub is our top pick with its wide range of compatibility and attractive features, while the Aeotec Z-Wave Smart Home Hub is a close second for versatility and security.

9.6
Top Pick
A privacy-centric smart home hub

The Hubitat Elevation Hub takes home automation to the next level. It is compatible with almost every standard protocol. Additionally, it comes with internal radios for both Zigbee (US frequencies) and Z-Wave (908.4 MHz), 5 Volts @ 1 Amp US 120V power supply, and Ethernet cable.

Top Features
  • Easy to power the device using an Ethernet cable.
  • Data from other connected devices is stored locally for easier access.
  • Create a Hubitat account and access the hub using the web browser.

Sources

Need Help with a Smart Device?
Get a Free Estimate from a Local Expert!
Installation · Setup · Maintenance · Repairs · Replacements
Show CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment