- The Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub is ranked as the best overall Z-Wave hub, offering compatibility with multiple protocols and devices, local data storage, and fast automations even without an internet connection.
- The HomeSeer HomeTroller G3 Pi Smart Home Hub is the most compatible Z-Wave, supporting over two dozen different smart home devices and technologies.
- The Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 Z-Wave Hub is the best stick Z-Wave hub, offering easy setup, a maximum range of 492 feet, and compatibility with popular home automation software.
- The Aeotec Smart Home Hub is the best SmartThings Z-Wave hub, supporting voice control through Google Assistant, Ring, Alexa, and Samsung Bixby.
- The Ezlo Plus Smart Home Hub is the best value Z-Wave hub, featuring the MiOS operating system, compatibility with multiple wireless systems, and a three-year warranty.
Many modern homes now rely on smart automation technologies to control numerous features. Lights, locks, smoke detectors, temperature control, appliances, and more can be controlled by voice or touch from virtually anywhere. The popular Z-Wave wireless communication protocol has long been the design of choice for home automation systems. Here we review and rank the best Z-Wave hubs to make your buying research a snap.
Z-Wave differs from Wi-Fi for home automation because it is a low-bandwidth and low-power solution using Mesh Network technology on a distinct frequency. Other Z-Wave devices connected to your network act as repeaters to effectively extend your network’s reach throughout your home. This eliminates the need for multiple extenders or repeaters.
After reviewing many popular options, our rankings for the best Z-Wave hubs are:
- Best Overall: Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub
- Most Compatible: HomeSeer HomeTroller G3 Pi Smart Home Hub
- Best Stick Hub: Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 Z-Wave Hub
- Best SmartThings Hub: Aeotec Smart Home Hub
- Best Value: Ezlo Plus Smart Home Hub
#1 Best Overall Z-Wave Hub: Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub
- Fast device automation
- Local processing (devices work even when the internet is down)
- User data stored locally and never sold
- Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
The Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub comes in as our Best Overall Z-Wave Hub for its substantial combination of affordability, compatibility, easy-to-use features, and reliability. Home automation users can quickly connect multiple devices on several protocols and control their entire smart home setup from this single hub. Easily automate your security, convenience, and energy-saving devices for the most modern living style and comfort available.
Users can connect most Z-Wave, Z-Wave Plus, Zigabee, LAN, Google Home, Alexa, Lutron, and SmartStart devices within a 150-foot range of this hub. You can also enjoy dozens of automation apps to help you quickly set up and control different smart home scenarios for everyday routines, weekends, travel, extended absences, and more. Your automations do not rely on an Internet connection or cloud accounts, so actions occur fast even when your Internet connection is down.
The Hubitat Elevation Hub also securely stores your data locally to prevent data breaches. Use the many preset automations or create your own custom codes. Remotely control your home devices with customized dashboards for each room through the free app on iOS or Android. This product also comes with a 90-day warranty. Check out the Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub on Amazon.
|The Hubitat Elevation Hub is compatible with most Z-Wave, Z-Wave Plus, Zigabee, LAN, Google Home, Alexa, Lutron, and SmartStart devices.
|This product only has a 90-day warranty.
|Dozens of preset automation apps are available for quickly setting up controls for each room.
|This Z-Wave hub has a range of 150 feet.
|Automations with this hub do not rely on cloud or Internet connections.
|All data is stored locally to prevent security breaches.
Most Compatible Z-Wave Hub: HomeSeer HomeTroller G3 Pi Smart Home Hub
- Works with most popular smart home products including Z-Wave, Zigbee, Chromecast, and more
- No limits on the number of devices you can connect
- Compatible with Alexa and Google
- Supports live camera views and recordings
- IFTTT and Node Red integrations
Users with multiple smart home devices need the HomeSeer HomeTroller G3 Pi Smart Home Hub, our Most Compatible Z-Wave Hub. This unique Z-Wave hub is based on the innovative Raspberry Pi, making it highly versatile and customizable. Users can connect many of the most popular smart home devices and technologies like Z-Wave, Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee, Phillips Hue, Wemo, WiFi, Chromecast, Hubitat, Ecobee, Harmony Hub, KNX, LIFX, MQTT, MyQ, Rachio, Shelly, SmartThings, Tesla Powerwall, TP-Link, Tuya, and even Shark Robot.
Users can connect the HomeSeer HT G3 Pi Smart Home Hub with Alexa and Google Home devices for voice control. This device does not depend on the cloud or an Internet connection to carry out your programmed automations. Program your smart home automatic commands via the HomeSeer app for Apple or Amazon devices. Users also enjoy free MyHS remote access service; premium plans are available for even more control options.
There are no limits on the number of devices you can connect to this smart hub. Connect it to your existing network via Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi for seamless connectivity throughout your smart home network. HomeSeer warrants this Z-Wave hub for one year. Check out the HomeSeer HomeTroller G3 Pi Smart Home Hub on Amazon.
|The HomeSeer HomeTroller G3 Pi Smart Home Hub is compatible with over two dozen different smart home devices and technologies.
|No maximum range is specified with this product.
|This Z-Wave hub can be connected to Alexa or Google Home devices for voice control.
|This device stores your data locally without cloud or Internet connectivity to perform your programmed automations.
|Programming is easy with the free HomeSeer app for Apple or Android devices.
|This product has a one-year warranty.
Best Stick Z-Wave Hub: Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 Z-Wave Hub
- Compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux systems, and Raspberry Pi 4
- Can control up to 232 different Z-Wave devices
- AES 128-bit encrypted communication and security features
- Max range of 492 feet
- Supports OTA firmware updates for Z-Wave devices
Smart home aficionados wanting a smaller solution need our Best Stick Z-Wave Hub, the Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 Z-Wave Hub. Simply insert the stick Z-Wave hub into your computer or Raspberry Pi home computer device for setting up programming, then tap the button on top to add devices. The stick must stay connected to an always-on computer to activate your programmed automations.
This Z-Wave hub works with Mac, Windows, and Linux systems and the new 2020 Raspberry Pi 4 upgrade. The maximum range for this device is an incredible 492 feet, much higher than many other Z-Wave hub devices. Users can connect and control up to 232 different devices from a single hub. Programming is easy in the control interface on a desktop or laptop computer.
The Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 Z-Wave Hub is compatible with other Z-Wave-enabled home automation software including Home Assistant, Home Seer, Indigo 7, OpenHab, and OpenHab2. It does not connect to a home WiFi network. The device also has AES 128-bit encrypted communication and security features built-in for more data security. Check out the Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 Z-Wave Hub on Amazon.
|The Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 Z-Wave Hub works with Mac, Windows, and Linux systems and the new 2020 Raspberry Pi 4 upgrade.
|This device does not work with popular smart assistant devices.
|This Z-Wave hub has a maximum range of 492 feet.
|This Z-Wave hub must remain connected to an always-on computer to manage your smart automations.
|Users can connect up to 232 different devices for the ultimate smart home network.
|Aeotec warrants this stick device for one year.
|Strong AES 128-bit encryption keeps your data secure.
Best SmartThings Z-Wave Hub: Aeotec Smart Home Hub
- Compatible with over 5,000 smart home products
- IP00 protection rating
- Ring, Google Assistant, SmartThings, Amazon Alexa, IOS, Android controller types
- ZigBee, Bluetooth, Matter, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave connectivity
Fans of the popular SmartThings smart home system from Samsung need our Best SmartThings Z-Wave Hub, the Aeotec Smart Home Hub. SmartThings app users on Apple or Android devices can use this powerful Z-Wave hub and even enjoy voice control through Google Assistant, Ring, Alexa, and Samsung Bixby.
Set up this versatile Z-Wave hub in only two steps and connect to over 5,000 devices from numerous brands. Program and control automations for every room and appliance in your home without an Internet connection. The initial setup does require connecting to the Internet. This device also connects to your Wi-Fi network to seamlessly integrate those devices.
Take complete control of your home and your life with the Aeotec Smart Home Hub at the center of your monitoring and automated control system. Program for daily routines, special events, vacations, extended absences, and more. This device has a maximum effective range of 100 feet. Check out the Aeotec Smart Home Hub on Amazon.
|The Aeotec Smart Home Hub requires only two steps for setup and connects to over 5,000 devices from numerous brands.
|The SmartThings system requires cloud access, which may pose a security concern to some users.
|Control SmartThings automations on an Apple or Android app or use voice control via Google Assistant, Ring, Alexa, and Samsung Bixby.
|This device can also connect with your existing Wi-Fi network to seamlessly integrate those devices.
|The maximum range of this Z-Wave hub is 100 feet.
|This device is affordably priced.
Best Value Z-Wave Hub: Ezlo Plus Smart Home Hub
- Control any Z-Wave, Zigbee, or RF device, plus thousands of Wi-Fi devices
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Control your automations from the web or mobile app
- Connect to your router using the included Ethernet cable
Smart home beginners or those seeking the best value for their investment need our Best Value Z-Wave Hub, the Ezlo Plus Smart Home Hub. This innovative smart home hub runs its own operating system, MiOS, the very first OS specifically designed for properties. The app is available on Apple or Android. Connect and take control of dozens of different apps through Z-Wave, Xigabee, RF, and Wi-Fi. Connect your Alexa or Google Assistant to enjoy voice control for all your devices and appliances.
The simple three-step setup is easy and intuitive; all the settings you need are on the app. Download the app, plug in your device, and begin setting up the ultimate smart home network for security, convenience, energy savings, and more. Smart home networking doesn’t get much easier. Plus, this small Z-Wave hub is unobtrusive and allows you to hide it easily.
The incredible three-year warranty demonstrates the reliability of this device and Ezlo’s commitment to excellence with its products. Place this smart home hub in a central location where it can be connected via ethernet cable to your router for full connectivity with all your devices. Check out the Ezlo Plus Smart Home Hub on Amazon.
|The MiOS operating system in the Ezlo Plus Smart Home Hub is the first OS specifically designed for properties.
|This device provides no maximum range data.
|This device is controlled through an app on Apple or Android devices or with voice through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
|Take control of dozens of different apps through Z-Wave, Xigabee, RF, and Wi-Fi.
|Ezlo warrants this product for an incredible three years.
|This product offers incredible value for the most options and features.
How to Pick the Best Z-Wave Hubs: Step by Step
Although Z-Wave technology is not new, many buyers new to home security tech may not be familiar with it. It is more effective and secure than Wi-Fi and supports a wide range of devices and brands. Setting up a smart home network requires a hub to control your devices through real-time commands or automated programming. This hub must operate effectively, connecting with your existing devices while handling any new devices or appliances you add over time.
As we reviewed many popular devices to choose the best Z-Wave hubs, we determined several critical factors that make the best stand out from the rest. They were:
- Smart Assistants
- Number of Supported Devices
Let’s review each of these criteria in more detail.
Obviously, you want a Z-Wave hub that is not only compatible with as many Z-Wave devices as possible, but can also handle the newer Z-Wave Plus upgrade. In addition, many other technologies are available in the smart home landscape. If you already have a number of devices from different manufacturers, you may need a Z-Wave hub that is compatible with more than two or three wireless systems.
The best Z-Wave hubs will connect seamlessly to Z-Wave, Z-Wave Plus, Zigabee, LAN, Google Home, Alexa, Lutron, and SmartStart. Some of the more high-end hubs also connect to Chromecast, Ecobee, Harmony Hub, Hubitat, Philips Hue, Rachio, Shark Robot, Shelly, SmartThings, Tesla Powerwall, and even some rare types like KNX, LIFX, MQTT, MyQ, TP-Link, Tuya, and Wemo. Some also handle older IR and 433MHz radio-controlled devices.
Even the best Z-Wave hubs are worthless if they cannot connect to devices throughout your home. The maximum effective range is critical when shopping for a smart home hub. Consider the distance between your furthest located devices or appliances, including upstairs and downstairs areas. Your smart hub needs to be placed as close to the middle of your home as possible to make the best use of its effective range.
Smaller networks that only handle a single room or few rooms, like a dorm or small apartment, can get by with a maximum 100-foot range Z-Wave hub. Larger domiciles may need 150 feet or more. Some of the best Z-Wave hubs have an effective range of 200 feet or more.
Modern smart assistant devices became popular on the leading wave of smart home tech, so many homes had them before incorporating a full end-to-end smart home network. You want a Z-Wave hub that can support your favorite smart assistant for voice-controlling your devices and automations.
The best Z-Wave hubs all support Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Some even support Samsung Bixby and Ring. If you have another smart assistant, be sure to check for compatibility before purchasing any Z-Wave hub.
Number of Supported Devices
Smart homes regularly become more complex as we add new devices and appliances to the network. Controlling all of them with a single hub is simpler, faster, easier, and more secure. The number of devices on your network can add up when you begin connecting outlets, lights, locks, valves, thermostats, switches, appliances, cameras, sensors, and more.
The best Z-Wave hubs can support hundreds or even thousands of separate devices from various brands on a single network. This allows for extreme versatility and simplicity with everything programmed on a single app. Grab your phone, open the app, make your changes, or create new automations for new situations, and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your home is secure and as comfortable as possible.
Like any other device on your Z-Wave network, you want your Z-Wave hub to last as long as possible. Check the manufacturer’s warranty for its terms and provisions, including how long it is covered. A long-term warranty period of a least one year is preferred. Longer warranties are available on some devices. Manufacturers that guarantee their products for a year or more have confidence in their products so you can, too.
Data security is always a consideration when using wireless technology in your home. How easy is it for nefarious people to tap into your network and steal your personal information or other data that would give them control of your home? The best Z-Wave hubs all feature encryption, multi-level authentication, or other forms of authorization to provide robust protection to prevent unauthorized access.
The price of any smart hub is always a consideration because more than just a hub is needed to set up a smart home network. As you add devices, your total investment rises. Buyers want to invest in a reliable and long-lasting smart hub to get the most out of their investment while enjoying the benefits without interruption.
The best Z-Wave hubs are all within an acceptable price range to allow for purchasing multiple devices. USB-powered stick Z-wave hubs are typically the most affordable options, but they have several restrictions. Z-Wave hubs with more features and a wider range of compatibility options will cost more.
What to Know Before Buying the Best Z-Wave Hubs
Homeowners or other users should have an idea of the smart network they will need before buying the best Z-Wave hubs or other smart devices. Can you get by with a basic USB plug-in device or do you need a wide area hub to control multiple rooms and devices? If you have an existing smart home network in place and are replacing your hub, you already have a good idea of how robust your new hub must be to handle everything.
New smart home fans typically start small with a smart assistant and a few lights and locks. They may add other devices over time, like a camera doorbell, security cameras, and a sound system. Full-blown smart home networks can include much more, like thermostats, appliances, security system settings, outdoor lighting and motion sensors, indoor sensors for health or security, and much, much more.
Many of the best Z-wave hubs can handle a large number of devices from a wide range of brands. They can also incorporate your Wi-Fi for seamlessly controlling your entire home. Buyers can choose any of the products we’ve showcased here with confidence, knowing there is adequate capacity for handling future upgrades and additions.
Using the Best Z-Wave Hubs: What It’s Like
The best Z-Wave hubs are easy to set up and use. They are designed to be used by anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of smartphone apps. The programming interfaces are intuitive so adding your smart devices and appliances is quick and easy. The entire idea of having a single hub to control everything is predicated on a program-and-forget concept. Once the initial setup is complete, your system operates as programmed until you change or disable it.
New devices or automation scenarios can be created at any time. Existing automations can be modified or deleted as needed. Users can create separate automations for each room as desired. You can create automatic setups for everyday use, like turning off lights and lowering thermostats when the home is empty and everyone is at work, then lighting everything up and turning up the thermostat in time for the family to return.
Most of the best Z-Wave hubs allow you to create custom automations or choose from dozens of preset scenarios to control your home in every situation. Create an automation setup for while you go on vacation, travel abroad, or any other situation. The sky is the limit with smart home programming and the best Z-Wave hubs make it all happen quickly, simply, and securely.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Panchenko Vladimir/Shutterstock.com.