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Rookie questions....


JeepVoodoo
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So it looks like the Smart Things Hub seems to be a solid choice for a beginner in HA. But I see a Aeon Labs DSA02203-ZWUS Z-Wave Z-Stick Series 2 USB Dongle that looks appealing also for less money. is there a drawback to using the dongle? 

 

Also, i see everything requires a Hub, is there not software that will do the same thing instead of running on a hub? Why the hub?

 

So if i went with smart things or the dongle or something else, does it limit the make/brand of accessories that i can use with it? Can i buy a Smart Things and then run down to Lowes and buy plugs etc or do i have to buy specific makes of accessories?

 

Again, i am obviously new and i think these question will get me off and running. thanks in advance for helping a rookie. 

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No proprietary hub for me. Domoticz open source is my choice. I use a nuc but others use a raspberry pi. I use z wave devices, ip based devices, many 433 mhz devices all integrated. My motion sensors are Z Wave, light switches lightwaverf, relays are ip switched, environmental sensors are Oregon etc. Together with Tasker on Android (So i can use my Moto 360) or others now using Siri / Home kit, all brought together by Domoticz. Check it out @ Domoticz.com.

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There are software solutions in addition to hubs. The hub is designed to communicate with all the devices. If you go the software route you will still need hardware to talk to the devices.

For the most part any Z-wave device will work on a system that support Z-wave, but it is a good idea to look at their list of compatible/tested devices.

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