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Wink Hub

5

Used Nest Cams risked exposing their new owners, but Google has since rolled out a fix

Smart home gadgets can get pretty expensive, and some might be tempted to pick up their hardware in used condition to save a bit of dough. Unfortunately for them, Wirecutter recently discovered that used Nest cams could provide the original owner with limited access to the new owner's feed, though the issue has since been fixed by Google.

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2

[Deal Alert] Wink Hub (1st gen) down to $24.99 on Amazon

Getting into home automation and smart home appliances can be a very elitist and expensive endeavor. If you want to take things a little seriously, you need a central hub that talks to your different smart objects and sensors over Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and more, then automates processes between them. You can use it to make the light turn on when you open a door, or the siren sound off when some motion is detected. Hub choices are varied, but the two that keep coming back again and again in the smart home conversation are Wink and Samsung's SmartThings, both with Android apps and Google Assistant/Home integration.

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22

Wink announces Lookout, a $199 home security system without monthly fees

Following the recent onslaught of home security systems from Nest, SmartThings, and Ring, Wink is throwing its name into the game and announcing Wink Lookout. The Lookout kit will cost $199, which is more in line with Ring's pricing, but it doesn't ask for any monthly subscription fees. That's both a plus and a minus.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's look at the kit. It comes with the Wink Hub 2 ($99), two open/close door and window sensors ($29 each), one motion sensor with adjustable sensitivity ($39), and one siren and chime with a built-in ring of LED lights and 10 selectable sounds ($39).

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21

Wink introduces two new lighting control features alongside the Wink Bright starter kit

There are increasing numbers of people looking into smart home products and services, and Wink provides a pretty robust option for them. "Powerful, but fun and easy to use" was how we described the Wink Home Hub 2 in our review late last year. Since then, compatibility for a variety of products and services has been added, including control of lights and thermostats through Google Home. Now, Wink is introducing a new light bulb starter pack and two new automation features in the app.

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13

You can now control your Wink-connected thermostats and lighting products from Google Home

When Google renamed Brillo to "Android Things" at the end of the last year, it also announced new partners for Google Home. Beside Hue and SmartThings, there would be Belkin WeMo, Honeywell, Wink, LiFX, and TP-Link. The first two are already live in the Home Control section of Google Home's Assistant settings, and the third should be available starting today.

Wink makes a home hub that works as a central control place and bridge between all of your connected gadgets. The Hub 2, which I reviewed a few months ago, has WiFi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and plenty of other protocols to communicate with many smart home products. As I discovered, it's also very easy to set up and one of the simplest ways to start building your connected smart home without feeling overwhelmed. As long as the product you choose is supported by Wink, there will be clear requirements, tutorials, and graphics for you.

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