Fibaro Hub vs SmartThings A Deep Dive into Smart Home Platforms Featured Image

Fibaro Hub vs SmartThings A Deep Dive into Smart Home Platforms

Choosing the right smart home platform is crucial for creating a seamless, reliable, and secure environment. This article delves deep into a comparative analysis of Fibaro Hub vs SmartThings, two leading solutions in the smart home industry. We evaluate their key differences, similarities, pros, and cons, along with answering some of the most frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision.

What is the Main Difference Between Fibaro Hub and SmartThings?

The main difference between Fibaro Hub and SmartThings lies in their compatibility and ecosystem. SmartThings, owned by Samsung, offers broad compatibility with a wide range of smart home devices and protocols, including Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Wi-Fi, making it a versatile choice for those looking to integrate various smart home products. Fibaro Hub, on the other hand, is more specialized and is generally more focused on Z-Wave compatibility, offering advanced functionalities for users invested in the Z-Wave ecosystem. While both platforms offer features like automation, remote control, and third-party integrations, SmartThings has a broader appeal due to its extensive compatibility, whereas Fibaro is often preferred for more specialized Z-Wave setups.

What is Fibaro Hub and what is SmartThings?

Fibaro Hub is a smart home automation controller primarily centered around the Z-Wave protocol. It acts as the central unit that connects various smart devices, such as sensors, lights, locks, and more. Fibaro Hub offers a wide range of automation capabilities and allows users to set up complex scenarios via its dedicated app or web interface. Known for its robust and specialized functionalities, Fibaro Hub is often preferred for customized Z-Wave setups.

SmartThings is a smart home automation platform owned by Samsung. It serves as a hub for connecting a wide range of smart home devices and is compatible with various protocols, including Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Wi-Fi. The platform provides users with the flexibility to control smart devices through its mobile app, voice commands, or even third-party applications. With a focus on extensive compatibility and user-friendly setup, SmartThings appeals to a broad range of users and smart home needs.

Key differences between Fibaro Hub and SmartThings

  1. Protocol Compatibility: SmartThings supports multiple communication protocols including Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Wi-Fi, whereas Fibaro Hub primarily focuses on Z-Wave.
  2. Ecosystem: SmartThings is a part of Samsung’s broader ecosystem, allowing seamless integration with other Samsung products. Fibaro is more standalone in nature.
  3. User Interface: Fibaro Hub offers a more complex and customizable user interface suited for specialized setups. SmartThings has a more user-friendly interface geared towards the average consumer.
  4. Advanced Features: Fibaro Hub offers more advanced automation and scripting capabilities for Z-Wave devices, allowing for highly customized smart home setups.
  5. Device Compatibility: SmartThings has a broader range of compatible devices due to its multi-protocol support. Fibaro’s compatibility is generally limited to Z-Wave and a few other devices.
  6. Price: Generally speaking, Fibaro Hub is often more expensive than SmartThings, reflecting its specialized capabilities.
  7. Community Support: SmartThings has a larger user community, which translates to better community support and a wider range of third-party integrations.
  8. Geographic Availability: SmartThings generally has wider geographic availability and support, compared to the more region-specific nature of Fibaro Hub.
  9. Scalability: Due to its multiple protocol support and broader device compatibility, SmartThings is often considered more scalable for larger and more diverse smart home setups.

Key similarities between Fibaro Hub and SmartThings

  1. Remote Access: Both platforms allow for remote control of smart devices through mobile applications or web interfaces.
  2. Automation: Both SmartThings and Fibaro Hub offer robust automation features, letting users set up scenarios or “routines” to automate daily tasks.
  3. Voice Control: Both systems offer integration with popular voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free control.
  4. Security: Both platforms come with security features that aim to keep your smart home data and access secure.
  5. Updates: Both platforms regularly release software updates to add new features, improve stability, and address security issues.
  6. Third-Party Integrations: Both Fibaro and SmartThings offer a level of third-party integrations, though SmartThings generally has a wider range due to its larger ecosystem.
  7. Local and Cloud Control: Both platforms provide options for local and cloud-based control of smart home devices, offering flexibility in how you manage your smart home.
  8. Mobile App: Both platforms have mobile apps that are designed for easy use and control of smart home devices, with options to monitor, control, and automate your smart home from anywhere.

Key Differences in Products Offered by Fibaro Hub and SmartThings

  1. Sensors: Fibaro Hub offers specialized Z-Wave sensors, such as flood sensors, temperature sensors, and CO2 monitors. SmartThings offers a more generic set of sensors, but with the advantage of compatibility across Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols.
  2. Controllers: While both platforms offer wall controllers, Fibaro’s options tend to be more advanced and focused on aesthetic integration into luxury or custom-built homes.
  3. Lighting: Fibaro offers Z-Wave-based smart dimmers and switches designed to work specifically within its ecosystem. SmartThings offers compatibility with a broader range of lighting solutions, including popular brands like Philips Hue.
  4. Home Security: SmartThings has its own range of home security devices like cameras and doorbells, while Fibaro tends to rely on third-party Z-Wave devices for similar functionalities.
  5. Smart Plugs: Fibaro provides Z-Wave smart plugs with energy monitoring capabilities. SmartThings offers smart plugs that work over Wi-Fi and Zigbee, providing greater flexibility.
  6. Ecosystem-Specific Devices: Fibaro has a series of products that are uniquely tailored for its own ecosystem, including specific scene controllers and remotes. SmartThings, by virtue of being a part of the Samsung ecosystem, offers easier integration with Samsung smart appliances and TVs.
  7. Custom Devices: Fibaro allows more room for customized, DIY solutions through Z-Wave. SmartThings also allows for some level of customization but is generally more geared towards off-the-shelf solutions.
  8. Intercom Systems: Fibaro offers specialized intercom systems that integrate directly into its ecosystem. SmartThings does not offer this and would generally rely on third-party solutions for such functionalities.

Key Differences in Features of Fibaro Hub and SmartThings

  1. User Customization: Fibaro Hub allows for more advanced customization options, particularly for users who are comfortable with programming or scripting. SmartThings is more plug-and-play, designed for the everyday user.
  2. Multi-Protocol Support: SmartThings supports multiple communication protocols, including Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Wi-Fi, whereas Fibaro Hub is primarily Z-Wave focused.
  3. Mobile App: SmartThings offers a more streamlined and user-friendly mobile app. Fibaro’s app offers more advanced functionalities but can be complex for the average user.
  4. Voice Control Integration: Both platforms support voice control, but SmartThings offers more seamless integration with a variety of services like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, as well as Samsung’s own Bixby.
  5. Local Control: Fibaro Hub offers robust options for local control without relying on cloud services. SmartThings is more cloud-reliant but is making strides to offer better local control options.
  6. Automation Complexity: Fibaro Hub offers more complex automation options, including Lua scripting for those who want to get very detailed in their automation scenarios. SmartThings provides a simpler but effective automation setup through its mobile app.
  7. Community Support: SmartThings has a larger community, leading to more readily available third-party integrations and community-developed solutions. Fibaro’s community is smaller and more specialized.
  8. Security Features: Both platforms offer a variety of security features, but SmartThings has the advantage of being integrated into Samsung’s broader security ecosystem, providing additional layers of protection.

Pros of Fibaro Hub over SmartThings

  1. Specialized Z-Wave Support: Fibaro Hub excels in offering advanced functionalities specifically for the Z-Wave ecosystem, providing a robust platform for those invested in Z-Wave devices.
  2. Advanced Customization: Fibaro Hub offers more complex and intricate automation capabilities, including Lua scripting for expert-level smart home setups.
  3. High-Quality Sensors: The sensors offered by Fibaro tend to be specialized and of high quality, covering a range of functionalities from temperature to flood detection.
  4. Local Control: Fibaro Hub provides stronger options for local control, reducing dependency on cloud-based services for operation.
  5. Aesthetically Pleasing Devices: Fibaro’s smart home devices often have a more premium and aesthetically pleasing design, which can be a deciding factor for users focused on interior aesthetics.
  6. Security: With its emphasis on specialized products, Fibaro often offers more robust security features in its native devices.
  7. DIY-Friendly: For those comfortable with a bit of programming and tinkering, Fibaro offers a level of customization and adaptability that can be a significant advantage.

Cons of Fibaro Hub compared to SmartThings

  1. Cost: Fibaro Hub and its associated devices often come at a premium price point, making it a more expensive option compared to SmartThings.
  2. Learning Curve: The advanced functionalities and customization options in Fibaro Hub can present a steep learning curve for the average user.
  3. Limited Protocol Support: Fibaro Hub is primarily focused on Z-Wave, limiting its compatibility with devices that use other protocols like Zigbee or Wi-Fi.
  4. Smaller Ecosystem: Fibaro doesn’t offer the same breadth of native devices or third-party integrations as SmartThings, making it less versatile for users who want a diverse range of smart home devices.
  5. Geographic Availability: Fibaro products are often less readily available in certain regions compared to SmartThings, which enjoys wide global distribution due to its affiliation with Samsung.
  6. Community Support: SmartThings has a larger and more active community, which often translates to better support and a wider range of third-party integrations.
  7. Integration with Other Brands: While Fibaro is designed to work well within its own ecosystem, SmartThings offers better integration with a wide range of popular brands and smart home devices.
  8. User-Friendly Interface: SmartThings generally offers a more user-friendly experience, especially for users who are new to smart home technology.

Pros of SmartThings over Fibaro Hub

  1. Multi-Protocol Support: SmartThings has the advantage of supporting multiple communication protocols, including Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Wi-Fi, offering greater device compatibility.
  2. User-Friendly Interface: The SmartThings app is designed for ease of use, making it more accessible for individuals who are new to smart home technology.
  3. Broader Device Compatibility: Due to its support for multiple protocols, SmartThings offers compatibility with a wider range of smart home devices, from lighting to locks to thermostats.
  4. Samsung Ecosystem: Being part of the Samsung family, SmartThings integrates seamlessly with other Samsung devices, such as TVs and smart appliances, providing an integrated user experience.
  5. Cost-Effectiveness: Generally speaking, SmartThings offers a more affordable entry point into smart home technology compared to the more premium pricing of Fibaro Hub.
  6. Community Support: With a larger user base, SmartThings benefits from a vibrant community that develops third-party integrations and offers peer support.
  7. Global Availability: SmartThings is widely available across different regions, making it more accessible for people around the world.

Cons of SmartThings compared to Fibaro Hub

  1. Advanced Customization: While user-friendly, SmartThings does not offer the same level of advanced customization and scripting capabilities as Fibaro Hub.
  2. Dependency on Cloud: SmartThings has historically been more reliant on cloud-based operations, which could be a drawback for those seeking robust local control options.
  3. Specialized Devices: SmartThings may not offer the same range of specialized Z-Wave devices, such as certain types of sensors and controllers, that Fibaro Hub provides.
  4. Local Control: Though SmartThings is making strides in this area, it still lags behind Fibaro Hub when it comes to robust options for local device control.
  5. Premium Device Quality: While more cost-effective, some of SmartThings’ devices may not offer the same premium build quality as Fibaro’s specialized Z-Wave devices.
  6. Security: While SmartThings does offer security features, it may not have as robust native security options as Fibaro, which focuses on specialized, secure devices.
  7. Complex Scenarios: For users who are looking to set up complex automation scenarios requiring advanced scripting, SmartThings may not offer the same depth of capabilities as Fibaro Hub.
  8. Niche Z-Wave Features: If you are looking for specific, niche Z-Wave features, Fibaro Hub may provide options that are not available on the SmartThings platform.

Situations When Fibaro Hub is Better Than SmartThings

  1. Z-Wave Specialization: If you already have an extensive collection of Z-Wave devices or are planning to invest heavily in Z-Wave, Fibaro Hub offers a more tailored experience.
  2. Advanced Automation: For users interested in setting up complex automation scenarios, particularly those who are comfortable with Lua scripting, Fibaro is the more appropriate platform.
  3. Focus on Aesthetics: If you’re designing a luxury home or want devices that offer a premium aesthetic, Fibaro offers a range of products designed with a focus on aesthetics.
  4. Local Control: In scenarios where local control is crucial, either due to unreliable internet connectivity or privacy concerns, Fibaro Hub excels.
  5. High-Quality Sensors: For specialized sensing needs, such as flood or CO2 monitoring, Fibaro offers a more robust set of options.
  6. Enhanced Security: If strong security features are a priority for your smart home setup, Fibaro Hub’s specialized devices offer advanced security capabilities.
  7. DIY Solutions: For those looking to create a highly customized smart home experience, Fibaro offers a range of options for DIY enthusiasts.

Situations When SmartThings is Better Than Fibaro Hub

  1. Multi-Protocol Needs: If your smart home requires a mix of Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Wi-Fi devices, SmartThings offers better compatibility.
  2. Ease of Use: For those new to smart home technology or those who prefer a straightforward, easy-to-use system, SmartThings is more user-friendly.
  3. Budget Concerns: If cost is a significant factor in your decision-making process, SmartThings offers a more affordable range of products and solutions.
  4. Integration with Samsung Devices: If you already own or plan to purchase other Samsung smart devices, SmartThings offers seamless integration.
  5. Global Availability: SmartThings is more readily available in a wide range of countries, making it the better choice for international users.
  6. Broad Device Compatibility: With support for a wide array of third-party devices, SmartThings offers more flexibility for those who wish to mix and match different brands and product types.
  7. Community Support: For those who value community advice, plugins, and custom integrations, SmartThings has a more active and larger community.
  8. Simplicity in Automation: If you are looking for simple yet effective automation without the need for advanced programming, SmartThings is more straightforward to set up.


How do I migrate my existing smart home setup to Fibaro Hub or SmartThings?

To migrate your existing smart home setup to either Fibaro Hub or SmartThings, you’ll need to first remove your devices from your current hub and then add them to the new hub using the respective app’s setup process. Both systems offer step-by-step guides to assist you in this task. Remember to update your automation rules and scenes accordingly.

Can Fibaro Hub and SmartThings work together in one smart home setup?

Yes, it’s possible to integrate Fibaro Hub and SmartThings using third-party software or platforms like IFTTT. However, achieving a seamless experience may require some technical skills and could be limited by the protocols and devices supported by each system.

Is it possible to shift from cloud-based to local control on either Fibaro Hub or SmartThings?

Fibaro Hub already places a significant emphasis on local control, but SmartThings historically has been more cloud-dependent. Recent updates to SmartThings have started to offer more local control options, but the extent to which this is possible depends on the devices and automation in use.

What are the backup options for Fibaro Hub and SmartThings?

Both Fibaro Hub and SmartThings offer ways to back up your smart home configuration. For Fibaro Hub, the backup is usually stored locally, while SmartThings uses the cloud for backups. Ensure you read the respective documentation for the exact steps.

How do firmware updates work on Fibaro Hub and SmartThings?

Firmware updates for both Fibaro Hub and SmartThings are rolled out periodically and are designed to improve system performance, security, and compatibility. Updates usually occur automatically but can also be triggered manually via their respective apps.

Fibaro Hub vs SmartThings Summary

In summary, both Fibaro Hub and SmartThings offer robust solutions for automating your home, but they cater to different needs and preferences. Fibaro Hub excels in offering specialized Z-Wave devices, enhanced security, and advanced customization options. SmartThings, on the other hand, shines in terms of its multi-protocol support, user-friendly interface, and broader device compatibility. By understanding your specific needs, budget, and the level of complexity you wish to achieve in your smart home setup, you can make a more informed decision between these two platforms. Regardless of your choice, each offers unique advantages that can efficiently transform your living space into a smart home.

CategoryFibaro HubSmartThings
Protocol SupportSpecialized Z-Wave supportMulti-Protocol (Zigbee, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi)
User ExperienceAdvanced, Scripting availableUser-friendly, No need for scripting
BudgetGenerally more expensiveMore affordable options
Local ControlStrong local controlHistorically cloud-based, recent local options
SecurityEnhanced security featuresStandard security features
Product RangePremium, aesthetically pleasingWide range, including budget options
CustomizationHigh-level customization via Lua scriptingCommunity plugins, less technical customization
Global AvailabilityLimitedWidely available
SensorsSpecialized sensors like flood and CO2 monitoringGeneral sensors with broad third-party compatibility
Complex AutomationSuited for complex automationBest for simple, effective automation
ProsAdvanced Automation, Z-Wave specialization, Aesthetic focusEase of Use, Budget-friendly, Multi-Protocol support
ConsMore expensive, Limited global availabilityLess local control, Historically more cloud-dependent
Best For SituationsUnreliable internet, High-end homes, Complex automation scenariosMixed-device setups, International users, Simplicity in automation
Fibaro Hub vs SmartThings Summary

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