Wink makes hardware and software that is designed to allow homeowners to control a range of devices remotely. They have only been in business since 2014, but you should not let the fact that they are a relatively new company worry you. This company is one of the leaders in the home automation and control market, which is actually a relatively new industry.
Their flagship product is the Wink home hub, which enables users to control a plethora of devices while they are not home and automate many daily tasks. The original Wink home control hub was developed in partnership with General Electric and other appliance manufacturers, initially as a way to control home heating and cooling systems.
Very quickly, it became apparent that the technology could be used in many other ways. Today, the hub can be used to control 500+ devices and more are being added to the list every month.
The Wink Hub 2 and home security
You can potentially use it to control cameras, sensors, sirens and window or door locks that are made by various manufacturers. For example, Nest cameras, the Canary all in one security system, the Ring video doorbell and various remotely controlled lighting systems are all compatible with this hub.
The list of home security products the Wink Hub 2 is compatible with is too long to list here. If you already own home security devices, the best approach is to click through to the product page to check compatibility.
Setting up the Wink 2 really could not be easier. The first step is to connect it to the web via your Wi-Fi network and get any updates.
It is designed to work with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi systems, making it one of the most future proof units on the market. Also included in the kit is an Ethernet cable. Many users now opt to use that, because doing so makes the hub more stable and therefore, reliable.
Faster processor and more memory: 512mb instead of 64mb
Once setup is done, you are ready to add your security devices and potentially some of your appliances to the network. With this new version of the hub, you just switch it on, let it find compatible devices, and follow the step-by-step process to set each one up.
It is important to understand that you will only be able to control devices that are located within 50 meters of where your hub is located. In addition, these devices also have to be connected to the web. You will also need to make sure that it is located close to a power supply because the Wink2 is not a battery-powered device.
If you already own a Wink 1 hub, upgrading to the Wink 2 has been made as easy as possible. You can easily transfer all of your settings using the Wink app.
Controlling your devices remotely
To be able to control everything remotely you will need to download the relevant Wink App. You can download and use the app without having to pay any monthly fees.
The new Wink 2 can be controlled from any Android, iOS, Android Wear or watchOS device. You can also control it via an iPhone or an iPad touch. If you want to be able to use voice control, you can do so by pairing your Wink 2 hub to your Amazon Alexa.
You can also use IFTTT (If This Then That) recipes, which gives you even more flexibility. The Wink 2 is compatible with Bluetooth LE, Kidde, Clear Connect, Z-Wave and ZigBee automation languages.
Using this hub enables you to turn on security cameras, smoke detectors, control automatic door and window locks as well as pick up when window or door sensors have been disturbed. All of which are devices that may be part of your home security system. In addition, you can control window blinds, garage door openers, remotes, lights, thermometers, dimmers, outlet switches, water heaters, ceiling fans and sprinkler systems.
Some examples of how the Wink2 can be used for security
There are dozens of different ways you can use the Wink 2 to improve home security. To help you to see the potential, we have put together a couple of examples.
See who is at the door
If you have a Ring remote doorbell, you can connect it to your Wink 2. If someone is at the door when you are out, but you do not want them to know you are not at home, you could tell them you are in the middle of taking a shower using the doorbell’s voice capability. To add more credence to what you have just said, you could wait a minute and use the Wink hub to turn on your landing light, quickly followed by your bathroom light.
Find out why your smoke alarm is going off
You can easily connect your Nest smoke and carbon monoxide alarm to the Wink 2. If the smoke alarm sounds while you are out can have the system set up to automatically switch on a light, so that you can use your security camera to see what is wrong. Armed with this information you can then decide whether to call a neighbor or the fire department.
Surprisingly for such a complex piece of equipment, there are not a lot of reported issues. However, some users have had problems getting GE/Jasco switches working with the new hub, but firmware updates should sort these issues out. You may also struggle to set up your Lutron products on the Wink 2. As issues are highlighted, Wink is working to resolve them and the support is good, so this is not really a huge problem.Ready to get your own Wink 2 hub? They're less than $100 on Amazon here.