Last night, Wink announced that it would be introducing a new mandatory subscription for its popular home automation hub. With only 1-week until the company threatens to turn out the lights on smart home owners, many are looking to jump ship to a into another system without having to leave accessories behind. To help with the migration, we’ve highlighted the best Wink alternatives including SmartThings, Alexa, and how to build your own system. Hit the jump for all the details.
What’s needed in a Wink replacement?
Wink has long been one of the more popular off the shelf solutions to bridging smart home gear from various companies into a single ecosystem. Having all of your gear under one metaphorical roof brings plenty of benefits, like only relying on a single app, automation that spans your entire setup, and more.
With Z-Wave and Zigbee compatibility, smart home owners have been able to bring a wide variety of devices into their setups that that aren’t locked to a single platform like a majority of Wi-Fi-based solutions. But now that Wink is introducing a user-hostile subscription for features that have been free for years, it’s time to take a look at some of the best alternatives.
We’ve praised SmartThings in the past for its Z-Wave compatibility, but that’s also true when it comes to Zigbee support. That combination means most of a Wink user’s existing lineup of devices should be compatible with Samsung’s hub out of the box.
Another perk is that SmartThings is platform agnostic when it comes to voice assistants, as both Alexa and Google Assistant are compatible. That same aversion to proprietary carries over to iOS and Android connectivity, ensuring you’ll be able to control lights from just about any recent device, as well.
Samsung’s third-generation SmartThings Hub currently sells for $60. Or for those looking to expand, Samsung also has a pretty extensive first-party lineup of accessories to consider.
As far as home automation brands go, Aqara might not carry the same veteran status that Samsung does in the smart home world. But the newcomer certainly brings a lot to the table. The brand’s gateway provides support for Zigbee and stands out from nearly every competitor in the space thanks to the inclusion of HomeKit support. So not only will you be able to take advantage of the local control, but Siri integration gives those in the Apple ecosystem, even more, to like about this Wink alternative.
Aqara’s hub sells for $50, with a variety of accessories joining the lineup for expansion.
Echo Plus: $120
For those that are more partial to Alexa and Amazon’s smart home ecosystem, the Echo Plus might be a better pick. If you’ve already been commanding Wink devices with the voice assistant, consolidating to a smart speaker that packs much of the same functionality is one of the best alternatives we can recommend.
That’s where the Echo Plus, one of Amazon’s higher-end devices enters specifically. Alongside all of the Alexa features you’ve come to know and love, it sports its own Zigbee hub for pairing compatible devices. Given that you’re getting a full-blown speaker alongside the native smart home integration, the price is a bit higher than some of our previous suggestions at $120.
Roll your own
Those looking to truly embrace a hobbyist mindset may find creating their own system to be worth the tinkering. In the past, we’ve previously offered insight into how to build your own Z-Wave hub by leveraging a Raspberry Pi, and the same setup can double as a Zigbee-compatible system as well. Pairing the miniature computer with a Zigbee gateway like ConBee. Of course, for software, we recommend taking a look at Home Assistant, which supports devices from nearly every major smart home accessory manufacturer.
Have you already decided on a Wink replacement? Be sure to let us know in the comments below what alternative you went with!
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