Wink owners frustrated by service issues and Quirky’s bankruptcy proceedings, are looking for alternative home automation controllers. Let’s look at some of the current alternatives to replace Quirky’s Wink. One key advantage to ALL of the Wink alternative controllers, is that while they are accessible from the ‘cloud’, they can work just fine if the Internet connection is dropped or servers go offline for a short time. Some in fact don’t require Internet at all.
- VeraEdge – This little automation powerhouse supports hundreds of Zwave devices as well as many ethernet and WIFI devices as well, with a huge library of user submitted plug-ins that enable interaction with a huge array of devices including alarm panels from the major manufacturers like GE, Honeywell, DSC, Elk and Visonic, NEST thermostats and more. VeraEdge uses a cloud service to make access simple, but all of the device information, schedules and triggers are stored in the local VeraEdge at the customer’s location. VeraEdge does NOT support Zigbee devices but by adding a 2413U, customers can also enable Insteon support.
- Hometroller Series – The Hometroller series support Zwave devices very well, and they have third party developed (paid) plug-ins for some other devices such as alarm systems. No support for Zigbee. Insteon support is available with a paid plug-in and 2413U interface. While hometroller has a cloud finder service, and can be remotely accessed and send alerts, it can also be used completely without Internet from installation to configuration and operation, for those who want some separation from ‘cloud envy’.
- ISY994 – The ISY994 series the most complete and powerful Insteon controller we’ve seen. It supports basic and advanced scheduling as well as conditional logic (if/then/else) so ti’s a programmer’s paradise. Unfortunately out of the box it does not support Zwave devices, but basic Zwave device support is available by adding a Zwave daughter card. This Zwave card is not currently sold in Canada due to some licensing issues but we expect to see it available in Q4 this year or Q1 2016. The ISY994 can send email alerts and is Internet accessible but can be installed, programmed and operated completely without Internet.
- Insteon Hub – This low cost Insteon enabled home automation controller is great for small to mid sized basic Insteon installations and has built-in free support for NEST thermostats as well as links to work with the Logitech Harmony Home series of remotes. Sorry, no plans for Zigbee or Zwave support. Schedules and triggers will run without Internet access but a cloud account is required for set up, configuration, and alerts.
- Zipabox – Zipato’s Zipabox supports Zwave ‘out of the box’ with add-on hardware modules available to also support alarms, Zigbee or even wired alarm contacts. Decent Zwave device support but users will need to check in to what Zigbee devices may be supported as Zigbee is a bit proprietary in their implementation of ‘profiles’ – a way for Zigbee devices to identify and communicate with each other. Schedules and triggers will run without Internet access but a cloud account is required for set up, some configuration, and alerts.
Still confused? Give us a call or send us an email and we’d be happy to answer your questions and help you find your next home automation controller!