Wink Hub 2 Review: Best Home Automation Hub Gets Even Better

Wink Hub 2 Review: Best Home Automation Hub Gets Even Better

My smart home runs on Wink, and it just got smarter thanks to the Wink Hub 2 ($99). This new version of the smart home hub adds Ethernet support in addition to 5GHz Wi-Fi support. This will make it more reliable and compatible with newer routers. The original Wink Hub is still available and still works fine. The newer home automation hub lists for $30 more and is worth it for the features mentioned. Technically, while the original Wink Hub lists for $69, it can often be purchased in a bundle that includes a few smart bulbs, etc., for that same $69 price, so it's not exactly a fair comparison.

Related: Smart Home for Renters: Best 8 Renter-Friendly Home Automation Gadgets

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The Hub 2 has a sleeker design, so you won't feel compelled to hide it away. It also has improved software for auto-discovery of Wink-compatible devices, and it has Bluetooth LE support. This should make it even easier to add new smart devices like lightbulbs, door locks, doorbells, thermostats, and more, although it wasn't really that hard before. It's a little disappointing that Wink doesn't have an upgrade or trade-in program for the original hub and the Wink home automation system is still not HomeKit compatible, but perhaps that will change in the future.

Pros

  • Ethernet support in addition to 5GHz Wi-Fi
  • Sleeker design
  • Improved software for auto-discovery
  • Bluetooth LE support

Cons

  • No upgrade plan
  • Not HomeKit compatible

Final Verdict

If you are starting to build your smart home and looking for the best smart home hub, I'd recommend starting with the Wink Hub 2 versus the original Wink Hub. 

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.