With the advancement in technology, home automation became a necessity that no tech-savvy can live without. If you’re looking for a smart home control system, then you may have heard of Insteon home automation system
Today, I’m going to break this Insteon review down to all its features and specifications to help you decide whether or not it’s the right purchase for your needs.
What is Insteon?
Insteon’s home automation hub is a central controller system used for home automation. This simple device claims that it connects you to your home via any smartphone, tablet, Google Assistant, or any Amazon enabled device.
Insteon will remotely control your house through Insteon light bulbs, outlets, switches, and thermostats whether you’re at home or outside. Additionally, you can receive and push notification alerts from doors, windows, smoke sensors, and water leaks while you’re outside.
With these powerful features, the Insteon home control system offers you an advanced level of safety and control over your house. This makes it perfect for all kinds of tech savvies.
If you’re looking for a system that can help you set the bar for your home automation, or if you’re searching for a way to be more connected with your house’s safety while you’re away, then keep on reading this Insteon home automation review.
- Comes at a reasonable price
- Easy to set up
- Reliable and scalable
- Excellent signal range
- Compatible with X-10 Protocol
- The app interface needs to be improved
- Third-party compatible devices are lacking
- Inconsistent controls
Insteon Key Features and Benefits
Insteon offers multiple features that give you maximum control over your house. Here are some of the highlights of the system.
Unlike many other systems that might cost thousands of dollars to be installed in your house, Insteon is considered one of the most affordable home automation devices in the market. At the same time it offers a fairly similar service to these systems. Additionally, Insteon doesn’t charge a monthly subscription fee for its services.
Their proprietary Statelink technology ensures forwards and backwards compatibility with old, new and future automation devices. This means that you won’t have to replace your Insteon hub model annually to keep the house network efficient. This makes Insteon a great long-term investment.
Ease of Set up and Use
Whether you’re a tech expert or a beginner, you’re going to get Insteon home automation system up and ready without breaking a sweat. You can easily plug the devices in and use the mobile application to link the devices to the Insteon system.
It’s also extremely simple to install the Insteon hub system and its dimmer in your starter kit. All you have to do is unbox the hub and connect it to the Wi-Fi router. After connected the device, download the Insteon app on your smartphone or tablet.
When you first open the app, it’ll guide you through the process and introduce you to the world of home automation. The greatest thing about it is that Insteon is compatible with multiple systems, such as Android, iOS, and Windows.
This means that no matter what your smartphone operating system is, you can run your house through it. In addition to the hub, the starter kit comes with a standard sensor and some switches to help set your first house network.
Insteon utilizes a dual-band technology that makes it the only home control system that uses a combination of wireless and house power lines to operate. They create a robust network system that can handle different obstructions and interference around the house.
This allows Insteon to work perfectly around concrete and steel studs, which cause lots of signal issues for Wi-Fi devices.
The Mesh Network
One of the coolest features of the Insteon home control system is that you can connect to an unlimited number of networks. This can be achieved because Insteon behaves as a mesh network.
With Insteon, every device can repeat messages and signals across the mesh network. This eliminates the bottleneck effects that happen when a lot of devices are connected separately.
While other systems slow down and might fail when too many devices are communicating the same hub, all of Insteon devices can act as a relay station for signals.
And since Insteon is a dual-band system, this mesh network utilizes both Wi-Fi and powerline connectivity in wired devices to achieve such a robust system.
This also means that any device in the system can both control and receive orders from other devices, ditching complicated hierarchy of device profiles.
This gives Insteon an edge over multiple competitors who offer a limited number of connected devices on the system. Additionally, Insteon hub is compatible with almost all of Insteon’s products and appliances.
Signal’s Range and Speed
You can conclude the signal’s range and speed from the previous features. In Insteon, you have a system connected through a powerful mesh network, allowing all devices to pick and carry messages efficiently.
Additionally, the dual-band technology ensures that this mesh system travels further than a Wi-Fi range without interruptions. With both features in hand, the signal remains strong as far as it goes, offering an excellent and almost unrivaled range.
In addition to the previous features, Insteon uses Simulcast technology to deliver messages and signals in less than 0.05 seconds. This super fast speed is faster than our eyes, so you’ll never experience any delay in command processing with Insteon.
This means that you get to control over 200 different items around your house with a single button click.
Insteon’s hub isn’t only locked for Insteon related items, but it’s also compatible with a lot of different brands, such as Amazon Echo, Logitech Harmony Remotes, Microsoft’s Cortana, Stringify, Sonos, Yonomi, and Google Home.
One of the major downsides of many home automation systems is that many people can easily hack them. Insteon solved this problem with advanced protective technology.
This technology assigns a unique identification code to every device connected to the system starting from the main hub to the smallest light switch. This code prevents cybercriminal and nosy neighbors from accessing or controlling your device without your permission.
Additionally, Insteon user enjoys the push notification features, in which they get text and email alerts whenever someone gets inside their houses or use any of the controls.
Moreover, you can remotely monitor your house through Insteon via IP security cameras. This system is also fool-proof, as it can detect and report any errors through an automatic system.
X-10 Protocol Compatible
X-10 protocol is an old communication system used for home automation. It uses power lines and wired systems to connect devices. Although it’s a relatively old and unreliable system, many houses and users still operate their houses through X-10 protocol, as it’s extremely simple.
One of the greatest features about Insteon, since it offers dual connection, is that it’s compatible with X-10 protocols. While you won’t explore the full potential of Insteon through power lines, it acts as a nice starting point.
Additionally, being simple makes X-10 protocols the quickest way for tech illiterates to get into home automation. Remember that this can only be good as a starting up feature but you’ll still need to upgrade your system eventually.
Mobile App Integration
Similar to many home control hubs, Insteon utilizes a mobile app to give you full access to your system. With this feature, you won’t need to carry a special remote device anywhere with you.
The mobile app controls everything from turning the light switch on and off, controlling your thermostat, keep track of your house sensors, all the way to scheduling the devices to work on specific times for convenience.
How Does Insteon Compare to Competitors?
It’s clear that Insteon has some fierce competitors. Out of many examples, Samsung SmartThings and Wink stands out as the closest. Let’s put Insteon vs SmartThings vs Wink.
Let’s start with Samsung’s SmartThings. While SmartThings can also interact with Alexa and Google Home, Insteon aims to provide the users with higher control over every single aspect around their home.
SmartThings has basic control over some home automation aspects, such as lighting, air conditioning, and playing media. However, Insteon takes this point to the next level with controlling dimmer and drapery.
Insteon uses the Dual-band technology in its system along with X-10 compatibility. This allows Insteon to form a mesh network and operate through wired devices. Samsung’s SmartThings uses Z-wave, ZigBee, and Wi-Fi technologies to interact with the system.
This makes Insteon perfect for those who still have X-10 systems in their houses. Additionally, since Insteon uses the Dual-Band system to surpass walls, it’s recommended for those has concrete walls that obstruct Wi-Fi signals.
However, if you’re looking for a system that can connect to a wider range of devices, sensors, and appliances, then you should put SmartThings in considerations.
While Insteon and SmartThings have their own line of products, appliances, and other sensors, Wink doesn’t rely on private line of products.
Instead, Wink connects exclusively with a lot of third-party devices, such as EVE connect for Tesla’s Model S and X.
The Wink v2 hub supports different connectivity routes, such as Z-Wave, ZigBee, Lutron Clear Connect, Bluetooth, Wifi, and Radio. However, it doesn’t support hard wired devices and X-10 Protocols like Insteon.
In addition to having an X-10 protocol system, If you’re a Windows user, that’s another reason to go for Insteon. Wink is only available for iOS and Android devices, but not on Windows computers or phones.
Insteon Smart Hub is a very affordable option for users on a budget, or for those who’d like to try the smart home control experience without spending too much money in case they end up ditching the idea. If this is you then you should get one. Otherwise, check out the alternatives listed above.