Lately, I’ve experienced a rash of issues with my Wink hub, ranging from service outages last month between it and Google Home to some connected devices simply not working on the first or second try when in the Wink app. And this past weekend was the last straw for me.
We unplugged the hub to paint our hallway. After plugging the hub back in, it failed to re-connect to my home network; something it’s generally done by itself after the resolution of a power loss. Repeated attempts to get Wink back on my wireless network have resulted in utter failure.
I’m sure I can reset and manually connect the hub to an ethernet cable to re-establish the network connection temporarily. Then I could change it over to Wi-Fi access like it had before. And of course, I would then rediscover devices, set up automations, etc…
If I’m going to go to all of the trouble to set up my devices and automations again, I think it makes more sense to do so with an alternative product that has continued to evolve and improve over time. If Wink the company were showing momentum, I’d stick with it. I’ve loved the product for its simplicity and effectiveness. However, that love affair has deteriorated over time due to small issues and a lack of product maturity.
To be honest, I’m not sure what route I’ll be taking. In fact, I think I’ll be transitioning to a temporary solution for a bit. The easiest thing for me to do right now is to plug in the Samsung SmartThings Link for Nvidia Shield TV that I bought at a discount for $10 in 2018. We have two Nvidia Shield TVs in the house, so I can plug in the Samsung USB stick in the one that’s most central in our home.
Why use SmartThings instead of the many other alternatives we’ve covered here such as Home Assistant, Hubitat, an Amazon Echo Plus, OpenHAB, Insteon or a similar solution?
There’s a good reason. Any smart home devices in our home have to be simple enough for my wife to use. If she can’t use or manage a device, she doesn’t want it in the house. And although all of the automation solutions above are excellent ones, few have what I’d consider “mainstream usability” as compared to Samsung SmartThings.
I think an even simpler (read: highly acceptable to my wife) end solution is not to have a traditional hub at all. We have multiple Google Home displays and speakers around the house and ideally, if all of my devices could run through those, my wife would likely be happier.
So although I’ll probably be moving over to SmartThings in the near term, I’m patiently waiting to see what additional integrations and features Google adds to its smart home platform, such as local control. My wife and I already love the updated Google Home mobile app that brings all of our devices together in one unified view.
Over the long term, I’ll be thinking about swapping out some older Zigbee bulbs with newer inexpensive Wyze bulbs. I’ve been very happy with the few I recently bought; they work great with our Google Home and there’s practically zero latency due to the use of Wi-Fi.
I know there’s a passionate crowd using Wink out there and if the Wink hub is still meeting your needs, I don’t blame you for continuing to use the product. However, I’ve been let down a little much lately by the old hub, so it’s time for me to pull the plug on Wink.
Filed Under: Analysis, Featured Tagged With: Amazon Echo Plus, Google Home, Home Assistant, hub, Hubitat, Insteon, openhab, samsung, smart home, SmartThings, Wink
I actually had the same issue this weekend as well. I bought a new router (Black friday!), didn’t want to use the same SSID as I was previously using and now I can’t change it using the app so I had to plug it in to the ethernet port. Didn’t notice any major issues on my end though. I will stick with it for as long as I can and most likely will transition over to homekit if it comes down to it.
Why not run home assistant so you can have more control and link home assistant to Google Assistant so that you’re wife can manage more easily.
I switched before I had your problem. I went to Hubitat mainly due to its local operation. While it is much more versatile and robust than Wink, the learning curve is quite steep. There are still things that I don’t understand. Good luck with Smart Things.
I dumped Wink earlier this year for Smart Things, and I didn’t look back. It constantly went down, and support was slow to respond. I don’t love the SmartThings app, but I didn’t realize til I got the Samsung hub how Rock solid it is, and how often Wink was slow to respond or suffered outages.
You do realize with Wink, if you can completely reset your hub and just reconnect your account. You don’t need to reconfigure everything again its stored on their servers. Only thing im not 100% sure of is the robots, but i think i tried it before and it restored those as well… I think
I feel strongly that my wink hub should be sorting things out itself. Carpet cleaners unplugged switches. I can’t get some back online.
I also have wink2 hub back in its box because i can’t get to stay on network. I could be making errors.
I’m in the same boat. I’ve got a couple Zigbee devices (color changing counter lights, SmartThings plug) that I’d prefer not to get rid of, but Wink is concerning me these days.
Coincidentally, just two days ago I also reached the decision to migrate away from Wink given many of the reasons stated in the article. I just purchased a SmartThings hub and plan on transitioning this week. Hopefully it is smooth as most of my sensors are SmartThings anyway.
I gave up on wink about 2 years ago when Phillips sent me. Free starter pack direct from the Netherlands! To test out! I took all the wink lights offline ASAP and never looked back! It was full of issues with connectivity lights not working etc
I am very concerned on any products that rely solely on the internet to work!!! Sure it’s fine if you could use the internet to control/monitor it for remote control but every device must be able be used in the house without any external networks, PERIOD!!! The devices shouldn’t care if some distance server goes down or goes away, because what matters is what’s going on in the house! there are too many products on the market right now that if the internet goes down outside your house you cannot turn off the fucking light!!!! That is bullshit…
I have only four expensive wink socket (one plug) units and Hunter fan/light controller…sadly if the internet goes down I’m screwed… And sadly the hunter fan control can not be controlled with Google voice control!!! You must use wink app, it does have its own remote if you don’t lose it!!! All will be scrap if wink folds…that’s just Bullshit..
I left wink for hubitat about a year ago and never turned back. I don’t like the dependence of Google and Samsung on internet as I don’t believe one should have internet to be able to control their house. It’s worked very well and whereas we do use Google as a voice interface (and even the Google home app), I do have some smart switches around that control most things also.
I have been singing this tune on reddit for a while now myself. Wink is done. It just is. I actually got banned from the wink reddit from posting anymore because i tried to warn people to leave it now.
The wink people who still support them are delusional. A bunch of delusional f$@!’s. I was one of those people. But you have to be able to know when its time to cut your losses and move on. I was able to migrate EVERYTHING i had with zero issues over to Hubitat for about a year now.
I have many zigbee devices, and a few zwave alarm stuff, but mostly zigbee. No reason to stay on this dying platform any longer. Just bite the bullet and move.
Wow! I just did the same thing on Black Friday! I replaced my old GE Link bulbs with Philips Wiz bulbs based on WiFi. A bit of setup on Google and IFTTT and I was back up and running. (I miss Wink’s advanced scheduling though. That’s why I needed IFTTT.)
I use SmartThings WiFi in my home which combines fast wifi and the hub in each device so there are less things to plug in. I have 3 ST wifi devices across my home and it’s been rock solid for over a year. Also, the SmartThings integration inside the Google Home app works well.. it definitely has a higher spousal approval rating than solutions I’ve tried to pull off in the past. Hope that helps.
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