Hubitat Elevation review: This smart home hub keeps everything local, a noble but ultimately impractical goal

Is the cloud really all that bad?

hubitat elevation hub on white background
Hubitat

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At a Glance
  • Hubitat Elevation

The Hubitat Elevation smart hub was born with noble intentions and the promise of total privacy, because it doesn’t rely on any cloud-based service. As the company asks, why put the security and convenience of your smart home in the hands of an unreliable internet—or a company that could shut down its service at any moment?

In stark contrast to the rest of the industry, Hubitat says its smart home solution is “100 percent local.” While you need to create an online account with the company to use it, once you do that, all your devices connect directly to the Hubitat, all processing is done locally on your home network, and all management takes place via a web-based interface served from the Hubitat Elevation directly, not from an online service.

If you’re concerned about hackers taking control of your smart home from afar, Hubitat has a security selling point in that all your information is stored locally, too. While your data is only as secure as your login credentials, at least it’s not at risk of a widescale hack against a cloud-based service.

At a Glance
  • Hubitat’s smart home hub eschews the cloud, but extreme usability challenges make it difficult for us to recommend—especially to beginners.

    Pros

    • Eliminates any reliance on the internet to operate most smart home devices
    • A powerful device for those willing to overcome a steep learning curve
    • Secure from attacks coming in from the internet

    Cons

    • All but the most tech-savvy consumers will find this system confusing and difficult to set up
    • Very little handholding during setup and configuration
    • The hub itself can operate independent of the internet, but the touted local control goes away as soon as you add devices like smart speakers
  
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