Best home automation systems of 2022 : Making your home smarter

The best home automation systems provide an easy and secure way to control all of your intelligent home systems. The best home automation systems are essential to any growing smart home.

Home automation has become a must for many families, and we're here to help you choose the best system for your needs. We looked at dozens of smart home hubs before narrowing down the list of contenders, considering such factors as connectivity, ease of use, and security.

We've included options that work with everything from voice control to artificial intelligence, so you can tailor your experience to fit your needs. Our top pick is [brand name].

Whether you want a set-up that responds to your voice or a hub compatible with all your favorite products, there's a system on this list that fits the bill.

First of all, what is a smart home?

A smart home is any house that has some sort of technology in it that's connected to the internet and allows you to control things remotely. So that could be something like a thermostat that you can manage your heating or something like a light bulb you can control with your phone.

Best home automation systems of 2022 : Making your home smarter
Image credit: shutter stock

There are loads of ways to control your smart home – you can use voice assistants, such as Alexa or Google Assistant, or use phone apps. You might have an intelligent hub that sends out commands to other devices on your behalf, or you could have something more advanced such as an automation system for your whole house.

In this article, we'll look at the latter – the best systems for controlling all the elements of your home at once with one hub.

The best innovative home automation systems give you an easy way to control all of your connected gadgets in one place.

Imagine this: You wake up on a Saturday morning and are craving a hot cup of coffee—but you're still snuggled in bed under the covers, feeling nice and cozy. If you had an intelligent home automation system, you could simply use your voice to tell it to turn on the coffee machine—and as long as your coffee maker was connected to the hub, it would do precisely that!

That's just one example of how home automation systems can save you time. These devices also allow you to control lights, locks, and even the temperature in your house from anywhere with an internet connection.

The best home automation systems, also known as 'hubs,' come in. They are a singular device that connects to all of your smart devices, regardless of brand, and gives you an easy, user-friendly way to control them all - including via voice commands.

They do this by utilizing connections like your home network, broadband, Bluetooth, ZigBee, z-wave, and other protocols, 

The best home automation systems in this list are platform agnostic. This means they can work with a wide variety of devices, which means the days when every smart device refused to work with devices from other brands and told you needed a whole army of apps to control everything are long gone.

The range of intelligent products continues to grow. There are video doorbells, home security systems, thermostats, bright lights, smart plugs, smoke and flood detectors, and even locks for the front door of your home. There are also smart TVs, home music systems, other audio-visual entertainment products, and robots for vacuuming floors or mowing the lawn, all now available to be controlled by intelligent wireless technology. 

The modern home is becoming an automated one and quickly filling up with new smart devices. The home automation systems on this list will help ensure they all work smoothly and give you complete control over all your smart gadgets.

We've also highlighted the best home video surveillance.

Best home automation systems at a glance

1.      Amazon Echo

2.     Google Nest Hub

3.     Wink Hub 2

4.     Samsung SmartThings

5.     Apple HomeKit

Amazon Echo
Image Credit: Amazon

1. Amazon Echo

The best smart home hub




+Easy set-up

+Voice commands

+Multiple features

+Good compatibility

The Amazon Echo is a leading hub for home automation, using Amazon's proprietary Alexa voice-powered technology. You can take advantage of your Echo's built-in features to control your home's lighting, temperature, etc.

If you have built a "skill" for the Amazon Echo (a program that gives the Echo new functionality), you can add it to your Echo through the Alexa app. You can also add "smart" devices to your Echo.

Once you're all set up, you can do many things with your Echo. For example:

- Ask your Echo to tell you a joke.

- Play music on Spotify by asking what song you want to hear, who sings it, or when it was released.

- Get news updates from NPR or FOX News.

The Echo can work as a standalone device, connecting to a cloud-based service to provide music, make calls, set up alerts and times, ask questions, or even request weather and traffic reports. The Echo has multiple omnidirectional microphones to make it easy to take voice commands from across a room and includes multiple speakers to make it easy to be heard.

Additionally, Amazon now provides a range of product variations. The original Echo, the smaller Echo Dot for the more budget-conscious, and the new kids' edition. 

There is also now the Echo Spot intelligent alarm clock, Echo Show to act like a small portable TV, and even an Echo Auto for your car, as well as the Echo Plus and the Fire TV Cube media player, all of which come with Alexa built-in and use the same innovative technology.

Whichever Echo type you use, it should be compatible with most intelligent peripheral devices. Connecting them is as easy as saying, "Alexa, find my devices."

Overall, Amazon has been pushing hard on its Alexa-powered devices to make them as accessible as possible. Also, watch out for special rolling offers throughout the year, seeing discounts applied to some or all of the Echo range.

Google nest hub
Image credit: google nest hub

2. Google Nest Hub

Google your smart home



+Visual interface

+Google Services

+Voice commands

Good compatibility


-Small screen

-Privacy concerns

Google Nest Hub is a virtual assistant and home automation system that emphasizes an easy-to-use, visual interface.

The Google Nest Hub allows for hands-free control of smart appliances. The device uses voice commands to control thermostats, lights, locks, etc. It can also play music, manage your calendar, and provide weather reports.

The Google Nest Hub connects to other Nest devices through a centralized app that allows you to control all of your connected devices from one dashboard on your smartphone or tablet. This gives you the ability to set up automatic schedules and routines for tasks such as turning off the lights at night or setting the thermostat at different temperatures throughout the day.

It can display local weather information, events, notices, and daily schedules and play music and video from YouTube and other services. When not in use, it can display a clock across its screen or serve as a digital photo frame by displaying images from your Google Photo account.  

It also, of course, works as a central home automation hub and easily connects with many other intelligent devices. You can control lighting, heating, security, and the typical range of smart homes through voice commands or the user interface by swiping or tapping screen options.

The Google Nest Hub really excels through its integration with Google Services, not least web search, which is still more developed than most competitors, if somewhat overwhelmed by ads and Google self-promotion these days. 

However, the Google Nest Hub isn't a whole media device, so you can't access digital subscriptions the way you can with Chromecast. Additionally, while the display is excellent for close-up interactions, the small 7" screen means it's not so helpful when across a room. 

Altogether, the Google Nest Hub is a great little piece of kit that works fine with other intelligent devices, and the addition of the visual element can be user-friendly at times. However, Google continues to be plagued by privacy concerns, not least the company's zeal to store as much user data as possible.

wink hub 2
Image credit: Wink

3. Wink Hub 2

Customize settings with a Wink



+Mobile app

+Automate settings


-Some limited controls

The Wink Hub 2 is one of the most versatile featured hubs for home automation. The hub can be set up wirelessly or connected to your router with an ethernet cable. If you have several smart-home products, you will still only need a single hub to manage them all, which makes it a good choice if you are looking for a seat that will be able to handle many different smart-home products and brands.

In terms of compatibility, the Wink Hub 2 works with products from brands such as GE, Philips Hue, Lutron, Schlage, Yale, and Amazon's Alexa. The Wink Hub 2 also comes with a one-year limited warranty.

The Wink Hub 2 has received high ratings for its versatility and ease of use, but some users have reported issues with connectivity. The Wink app is available for iOS and Android devices to help you control your smart-home products remotely. After that, you download the Wink app to your Android or iOS device and then control everything from inside the app. You can select which other smart devices you want to connect with and manage their settings accordingly.

This means that commands are generally made via a visual interface, similar to the Google Home Hub. However, as it's all run through a device you're likely to be carrying, such as your smartphone or even a wearable smartwatch, you don't need to worry about looking across a room for information. However, the Wink 2 doesn't use voice commands by default, but you can use any existing voice assistant built into your devices, such as Google Assistant or Siri, or even use Alexa.

Where the Wink Hub really excels is the ability to set up conditions for your other smart devices by default, making it truly the center of your home automation system. Using IFTTT protocols - IF, Then, That - you can set your smart devices to activate and do specific things when certain conditions are met. For example, you could automatically put your bright lights on at particular times, the heating or air conditioning to come on at set temperatures, or tell security cameras to record when a door sensor is activated. In this way, your home can become not just connected but automatically controlled. The one downside to this is that the Wink 2 app might not offer the same fine-tuning that dedicated apps for the intelligent devices might also provide, such as commanding a smart thermostat to be switched on-off across vacation dates.

Overall, though, Wink offers a decent system with more options than some other automation hubs provide. This is primarily by allowing your controls to be more personalized using IFTTT as a built-in default, something other hubs often need third-party software to enable.

Samsung SmartThings
Image credit: Samsung

4. Samsung SmartThings

Samsung tries to get smart



+Mobile app

+Automate settings

+Battery backup


-Limited user experience

Smart living is a wise choice.

And with SmartThings, you can do it all in an instant.

Our home automation hub allows you to control and automate every aspect of your home—from the lights in your living room to the lock on your door—right from your mobile device. With SmartThings, your home is always under your watchful eye.

Worried about forgetting to turn off the oven before leaving for work? Worried about forgetting to turn off the stove while you're at work? SmartThings has that covered, too. Use our mobile app to program when appliances shut off or turn on throughout the day and night. You can set up custom triggers that automatically adjust temperatures or power appliances down if certain activity thresholds are exceeded. By giving you control over everything from lighting to doors to thermostats, SmartThings simplifies smart living—so you can focus on what matters most.

Samsung also produces many peripheral devices to work directly with it, including motion sensors, multipurpose sensors, and bright buttons. The Samsung SmartThings hub also plays well with most third-party smart devices, though it doesn't have as many connectivity options as some, mainly restricted to Z-Wave and Zigbee protocols. However, it offers simple IFTTT customizations to make a home truly smart.

A notable feature of the Samsung SmartThings hub is that it comes with a built-in battery power option so that in the event of a power failure, the system will continue to run, unlike some standalone hubs. It's also relatively simple and painless for other smart devices to connect with the corner, at least at first. However, while Samsung is known to be good with hardware, they've yet to establish their credentials with software, and this shows with the SmartThings app in that it isn't so user-friendly as some other app-based home automation systems. 

If you find the app restrictive, you can always set up voice commands by connecting with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to work with it. Still, it's not set up to provide the same multimedia experience that other voice-powered home automation systems can deliver unless you plan to connect with existing smart audio-visual devices.

The SmartThings hub can work well for people simply looking to set up an intelligent home automation system. Still, it's really set up to work with many different pieces of hardware rather than focused on delivering a direct experience that some rivals can.

Apple home kit
Image credit: Applehomekit

5. Apple Homekit

The big smart apple


+Good customization

+Good hardware support


-Apple devices only

If you have an Apple device, or two, or three… you know how it feels to use them: intuitive and easy. You also understand how it feels to get a new device—you're stoked to be able to do even more with your devices than you could before.

Now, imagine getting that same feeling in your home. When you turn on the lights, adjust the temperature, and get music playing right when you walk in… that's HomeKit. It's a system for controlling all the smart devices in your home from a single app on your iOS device or Mac.

With HomeKit, you can use Siri voice control to have your connected devices listen and respond to you. You can also set up routines and scenes to control multiple devices at once—like having the lights turn on, your favorite playlists start playing as soon as you walk through the door.

HomeKit is compatible with many third-party products like smart speakers, light bulbs, smart plugs, thermostats, and more! Plus, HomeKit is secure and private, so no one else can see what's happening in your house (because we all know things are wilder when no one else is watching).

While the HomeKit has been available for many years, stringent demands by Apple for hardware security meant few third-parties initially developed products for it - these rules have since been relaxed to allow for a software security measure to replace them instead. The result is that the Apple HomeKit now supports a wide range of different intelligent peripherals.

However, the Home app used for controlling the HomeKit still suffers from minor usability issues. Connecting new smart devices isn't as automated as other home automation systems. They have to be manually added by scanning printed codes, and this can only be carried out on an iPhone or iPad, not from a Mac. Additionally, the Home app is sometimes unable to manage intelligent devices and the dedicated apps for those intelligent devices.

There's now a good range of additional hardware available in terms of audio/video, lighting, thermostats, sensors, and cameras similar to other hubs. Additionally, Siri voice controls remain highly developed and are often more nuanced than other voice assistants, allowing you to speak in a more natural and less artificial voice. There are also some excellent configuration settings for rooms and zones, so the whole innovative experience can feel more customized than some others.

Overall, while the HomeKit can seem a little more limited in some ways than other home automation systems, it can still deliver a brilliant experience.

We've featured the best smart home devices.

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