What is Home Assistant and what it can do?
What is a Home Assistant?
Have you ever wanted Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to let you have a smart home rather than just a group of smart devices? It would be fantastic to wake up with fresh coffee ready, have TV or radio casting news for you, the temperature adjusted properly, the toaster pre-heated, and all other things smart gadgets do for you, but let them do it on their own based on the time you set on your alarm clock.
All of these are quite easy tasks that must be looped together and work collectively instead of having to use 10 different applications and adjust 10 different things individually. This is what anyone would imagine when it comes to having an automated home. Let’s learn about what is an automated hub and home assistant.
What is an Automation Hub?
An automation hub is a smart device that connects other smart devices on a home automation network and manages communication between them. Being a central home automation controller, an automation hub can avert traffic off your home Wi-Fi, reducing network crowding. An automated hub is perhaps what you expected from Google Home or Amazon Echo and didn't really get.
What is a Home Assistant?
Home assistant, a Home Automation Hub or Software, is an open-source and free application that is used for home automation. It is a complete local alternative to solutions like SmartThings and HomeBridge. Home assistant enabled the local control of smart home devices, offering better security, greater reliability, and more flexibility than many cloud-connected devices.
It offers you the control of home automation without the need for cloud, thus your home automation system is not dependent on remote servers or internet connection. It will result in fast operation and consistency. It is flexible and supports a majority of smart devices and doesn’t use your network.
The home assistant lets you set up schedules and individual smart home devices work together and let the devices as smart as they need to be. You will let Home Assistant find all the smart devices on your Wi-Fi network, link with the device it can control, and provides a clear interface to let them work together based on how and when you want the single command to be executed.
The thing that makes Home Assistant a great solution is that it doesn’t concentrate on any single brand of smart devices. Many devices you already have in your home can work with a home assistant and linking to network services like IFTTT is simple and straightforward.
Why do I need a Home Assistant?
It is essential to understand that the Home Assistant cannot control anything itself. A home assistant is just like a master gadget that can command other smart devices to perform the task. A home assistant will be useless and won’t do anything if you don’t have any smart home device in your home. However, if you are having one or more smart home devices a Home Assistant can be a great way to enhance the functionality and features that will not cost you a fortune. Home Assistant is not very difficult to use and configuring it is inexpensive.
As it is a local service, it means it is not going to deliver data to the cloud, even if it is required to recover data from the internet. The commands and schedules you set up are only for you. It is quite easy to perform setting and programming routines with the help of a web interface hosted by Home Assistant locally. It is important as such services can get very difficult if you are willing to program a wide range of routines, so the simple and nice interface makes it a lot easier to do it.
Anyone with more than a couple of smart home devices or one having a slight interest in moving a step forward in the world of home automation need to check out and have a Home Assistant.
What Does Home Assistant run on?
The home assistant runs on a local server or a Raspberry Pi. You are required to connect Raspberry Pi to the router Ethernet and install Hassio. Hassio only runs this home automation software on the Pi, enabling the software to use its full resources.
Benefits of Home Assistant
A local home automation hub like a Home Assistant has several benefits as compared to cloud-connected devices. Here are some of the advantages of Home Assistant for home automation.
- Speed: When you trigger an activity or issue a command, all the processing occurs in your home as a home assistant is a local controller. There will be nothing sent over the webserver. Also, you won’t have too many devices competing for the bandwidth of your home network. Smart devices can be kept in subnets and only connect gadgets that are directly interacting with.
- Compatibility: You don’t have to fear the company such as Amazon forbidding your Google devices if you don’t use their cloud service to start with.
- Security: When there are few devices connected to the internet, there will be fewer devices allowing the internet into your network. You are allowed to decide what can access your data and how they interact.
- Control: Cloud offers only limited services to the users that their owners want. Using local hubs and controllers, you are free to decide what to do with it. You can have full control over devices and automation and involve as deeply as you want.
- Reliability: What will happen if the cloud service is out of business? Or if servers just go down leaving thousands of users with doors locked or without AC as the home automation hub isn’t working? What if service owners stop supporting your specific device? Imagine you lose the internet? Many circumstances lead to your cloud-connected devices getting offline. But if you use a local home automation hub to maintain and control your devices, you don’t have to worry about such problems.
- Free: The Home Assistant is a free source.
If you want to find out more about Home Assistant, feel free to check out the DrZzs YouTube channel or visit the Home Assistant website
If you are a developer you can join the team and help to improve HA project on Github