Every smart home needs to have a smart home hub, but you might be wondering what a smart home hub is.
A smart home hub is simply a digital command center that you set up to connect all of your devices to a centralized place. Smart hubs allow the user to unify programs in the home such as the security system, security cameras, smart speakers, lighting, and irrigation systems. Once connected to a hub, these systems can then be operated remotely via an app on a smartphone when the user is away or via voice control when the user is home. Hub connectivity gives users the ability to have certain everyday occurrences in their lives, such as opening a garage door, become fully automatic at the press of a button or the signal of a verbal command.
Automation in the home is about taking our app-centered world and making it a bit more ergonomic and less invasive. The ADT Command platform currently comes with the corresponding ADT Control app, which allows customers to govern everything from the locks on their doors to the lights in their home, as well as the entire ADT family of smart home security devices.
ADT uses Z-Wave technology to make voice integration compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa, LiftMaster, and Kwikset devices fast and easy. This article will explore the uses and features of the more popular hub options on the market today.
The Seven Best Features to Look for When Choosing a Smart Home Hub
Finding a smart home hub that works for you is all about knowing which features matter most to your family’s overall protection and convenience. The following are common aspects of popular smart home hubs:
Top Seven Features Your Smart Home Hub Needs
Voice Automation with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
Being able to turn lights, sensors, locks, thermostats, and even stereos on and off with a vocal command is considered an important feature for many smart home hub owners. ADT security systems come with their own smart security hub that can be vocally armed or disarmed via pairing with Alexa or Google Assistant in conjunction with the ADT mobile app.
When seeking the best smart home hub, you want as many devices to be interconnected as possible, but you also want as many open rule-making options as you can get in a single platform.
This will allow you to set those all-important “if this, then that” automation that could not only save your home during an emergency but also make day-to-day living much simpler. With “If this, then that” automation, a command in one smart device corresponds to an action in another. For example, you can set a smart light in the kitchen to turn on when your garage door is lifting.
So, the command basically looks like: “If the motion sensor is triggered, then the lights come on.”
ADT pairs with a long list of systems you love and, once you arrive within Wi-Fi range of an ADT security hub, can even distinguish your cellphone from that of your child or spouse so that particular automations set to specific members of the family can start up instantly. This works by simply adding those phone numbers to your ADT mobile app, which then associates them with a given user.
Let’s say that you want to be sure your children are never entering a dark house. You can set an automation through your hub that commands the lights to turn on anytime one of your children’s cell phones is within Wi-Fi range.
To add multiple smart home hub automations to your daily routine, you will need a hub that is web-enabled for the more advanced suite of services, such as remote thermostat control and video applications. Your ADT installer can easily connect your ADT Control gateway to any open port on your router or add a network switch that allows broader connection capability.
Concerns over cloud security extend even to the world of smart home hubs. On the one hand, you may worry that your sensitive data could fall into the wrong hands, and on the other, you may wonder how your security system will function during a power outage.
Safewatch CellGuard allows your home security system, and most importantly, its communication with the monitoring team, to be run solely through cellular networks.
Secondly, ADT smart home security panels all come standard with advanced two-way encryption for a safer and more sturdy connection with all of the devices you choose to link.
Ease of Use
Smart home hubs are meant to make everyday tasks, and even everyday mistakes, simpler to manage.
Take something as basic as your garage door opener, for instance. How many times have you rushed out on a hectic morning and panicked later because you couldn’t remember if you had remembered to close the garage door?
A product like ADT’s automated garage door security works with the ADT Control app and Alexa to allow you total governance of your garage door from virtually anywhere. It can also be integrated into your smart security system’s “Modes and Scenes” tool so that simple commands like “Away” automatically apply to the garage door as well.
No more sweating through eight hours of a workday worrying if all of your belongings will be there when you get home.
The reality is that most of us do not exist as solitary islands. We have families, friends, roommates, and other housemates that need to be able to access smart home hub support with the same levels of ease and convenience.
ADT SoSecure allows you and your loved ones the added measures of security that come with location sharing, crash detection while driving, and SOS emergency response. ADT Go is free to all ADT customers who can also elect to purchase a premium version with more powerful features for a nominal fee. Likewise, the ADT Control app can be immediately programmed for both group and individual use.
The “Modes and Scenes” feature allows you to set automation that suits certain family members, like making sure that the house is a degree or two warmer on days when grandma comes to visit or automatically dimming the lights during the baby’s daily naptime.
As smart home hub ecosystems grow larger and more complex, you don’t want your house and life device-cluttered or overrun with endless service providers.
For those customers who may have had ADT systems installed prior to the digital boom, a product like ADT Pulse gives you instant access to all of the smart features that now come standard on the newer ADT Control application. You can receive alerts to your smartwatch and check in on your home while you are away from the convenience of your mobile device.
ADT remains committed to expanding interconnectivity between its smart home hub features and an ever-growing list of third-party hub and service providers.
ADT and Alexa
Already a fan of the way Alexa has revolutionized your life? ADT loves Alexa too, and the wide range of multifaceted interactions between ADT’s home security systems and Amazon’s smart hub can enhance nearly every aspect of your daily routine.
A few examples include:
Alexa can actively govern a multitude of ADT security features and responds to ADT-centric commands, such as, “Alexa, arm ADT in ‘Away’ mode.”
ADT’s Smart Home Skill works seamlessly with Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Plus, and Echo Input.
The list of ADT Pulse Skill and Amazon Alexa integrations allows for easy changing up of named devices, and you can even get an Echo or Echo Dot directly through ADT with the purchase of a home security system.
Google Home Meets Its Smart Security Soulmate
Maybe Google Assistant has become the digital life partner you just can’t part with. Good news! Your ADT Pulse system lets you set up security voice commands via Google Assistant. You likewise have the option to categorize your smart devices into designated “rooms” on your Google Home hub and can then take charge of all of them with a single verbal command.
Google Assistant helps you easily create names for all of your smart devices, and then it just becomes a matter of saying a phrase, such as “OK, Google, lock the front door,” to enjoy safety and convenience represented by integrating your Google goodies with ADT services.
Remember that your Google Home device will not show up as a paired device in your ADT Pulse app and can only be controlled via voice command or the Google app itself. However, adding the ADT Pulse Skill to your Google Home device through ADT comes at no additional cost.
Samsung SmartThings Makes Security Simple
If Samsung SmartThings is already your beloved smart home hub of choice, you’ll be happy to know ADT devices can work with the SmartThings hub.
Samsung and ADT function well together when it comes to managing your household’s security needs. The SmartThings hub comes with one of the longest lists of automation to choose from, as well as one of the most flexible platforms. The Samsung SmartThings app can allow your family to automate security features, such as lights or locks, or to manage them manually. You can also choose to set up group or individual control of a given feature.
Smart Home Hub Benefits That Extend Past Home Security
Helpful ADT features, such as Smart Plugs, come with a multitude of benefits to take some of the pressure off frazzled minds and tight schedules. With their ability to connect with other devices in your smart hub and be switched off remotely, Smart Plugs make history of that gut-sinking feeling that you might have left the toaster on or a space heater running.
Then, there is the simple serenity factor, often overlooked and undervalued yet vital, that can be implemented into your daily routine via the right smart home hub. The one-tap “Scenes” feature on ADT’s Control app allows you to set certain automation for designated times of the day.
Whether Saturday night is a rowdy game night with the family or study time for that upcoming certification test at work, you can use your ADT Security Hub to have the scene set just the way it needs to be.
This could mean connecting your Sonos speakers so that tranquil music greets you at the door, or turning the thermostat up a notch so that the house is the perfect temperature right when you walk in. You can even use your ADT Control app to let Rain Bird know that it’s time to water your outdoor garden, even if you are out of town for a business trip.
The geofencing technology ADT uses can make it so that your system disarms and your garage door opens the moment you pull in the driveway, and with zero input or effort made by you.
This kind of insightful integration is what having the right smart home hub is all about.
Automating a Hub Designed for Happiness
A smart home hub gives you the ability to unify multiple devices and generate your own set of rules – helping you to connect all of the small components that make up the bigger picture of your home’s digital ecosystem.
ADT streamlines the whole installation and connectivity process for you and brings the added dynamic of our incomparable staff. We not only take the guesswork out of smart home hub design, but also do it with a level of speed, friendliness, and attention to detail that you won’t find anywhere else. Our unique Tech Tracker service even keeps you from wondering when your technician will arrive.
With the billions of signals being overseen by ADT infrastructure, customers can feel safe, connected, and protected at all times, with no trade-off in convenience.