Verizon Wireless just launched SmartHub, a 4G LTE router (hot spot) and home automation hub that connects to the Internet via cellular instead of wired broadband. This ensures that if your home’s Internet service is down or you can’t get traditional broadband in your neck of the woods, you can still access and utilize the SmartHub via cellular service. The cellular connection allows you to access the home automation features of the SmartHub to remotely monitor and control from a cellular-connected mobile device any variety of smart devices in your home.
While Verizon touts the reliability of service, thanks to a built-in back-up battery*, a tiny little footnote reads: “*Battery backup is for your phone service only. Internet and smart home connections are not powered by the backup battery.”
For reliability, you sacrifice the super-fast speeds of a wired connection. Verizon 4G LTE promises downloaded speeds between 5 and 12 Mbps, and upload speeds between 2 and 5 Mbps – a far cry from the double- and triple-digit speeds of wired.
The SmartHub is $200 on its own, or $100 with a two-year contract. Services start at $40 per month for 4GB and $110 for unlimited data (with throttling after 22GB).
Per an online chat representative, currently there are no “bundling” opportunities for existing Verizon Wireless customers.
Verizon SmartHub IoT Features and Specifications
The SmartHub works with the Verizon Home app for controlling not just the smart-home devices but network functions such as parental controls.
Verizon says users can “connect to over 200 Wi-Fi enabled devices and compatible smart home accessories,” but the company includes in that number “computers, tablets, gaming consoles, eReaders, printers, smart home devices and more.”
A handful supported smart-home devices are listed on the site, and the SmartHub can control Z-Wave devices:
- Honeywell – Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat – Second Generation
- Nest – Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation
- Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera
- Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera
- Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm
Other features and specs of the SmartHub include:
- 45” Color OLED Display with touch navigation keys for accessing information such as access data usage and Wi-Fi passwords
- Secure, guest Wi-Fi connection
- Parental controls
- Phone services (keep your phone number)
- 2,500mAh removable Li-Ion battery (only powers phone service, not Internet and smart-home services)