Z-Wave vs. Zigbee: Find the Best Smart Home Devices
We get why you’d wonder—home automation protocols can be mysterious and confusing.
But we’ll cut to the chase here: it doesn’t really matter.
Sure, there are small differences—Zigbee devices broadcast at a different frequency than Z-Wave devices, and they send data at slightly different rates—but those things aren’t going to make a real difference in your day-to-day.
What it really comes down to is product preference. Are you a fan of Philips Hue lights? Those use Zigbee. More interested in the August smart lock? It’s Z-Wave.
So what should you get for your home?
As smart speaker hubs like the Amazon Echo and Google Home have become more popular, more smart home devices are designed to work with Alexa and Google. In lots of cases that means you can make sure a device works with your favorite smart speaker instead of worrying about whether it is Zigbee or Z-Wave compatible.
But if you want to be sure you can connect any Zigbee or Z-Wave device you buy, we recommend getting a smart hub that works with both protocols.
Two of your best options are the Samsung SmartThings Hub and the Wink Hub 2.
Wink Smart Home Hub 2
Zigbee vs. Z-Wave devices
While there aren’t any crucial differences between Zigbee and Z-Wave, we understand that you might want to purchase devices that use the same protocol. Here are a few of our favorite products for each protocol.