Best smart home software for Windows PCs [2020 Guide]

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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best smart home tools

Home Assistant

There are multiple things that you should know about this specific software. For starters, this is an open source meaning that it is highly accessible and it makes for a very easy time on the configuration side of things.

Getting Home Assistant set up on your machines is also going to be a breeze thanks to the special care its developers have put into that specific part of the implementation – the actual deployment. Home Assistant doesn’t come with a lot of requirements but it does need a device that can run Python 3.

On top of the software you also get a Docker for getting Home Assistant, which only makes things better considering the fact that you will probably want to hook Home Assistant up to more than just one device.

Some might think that Home Assistant is limited to open source products since Home Assistant itself is open source. However, that’s not the case as it is compatible with both open source and commercial property, making it the perfect bridge for getting the best of both worlds.

Once again, Raspberry Pi is a viable option in combination with Home Assistant, just like the previously presented software.  If that’s just not in your circle of interest, there are plenty more technologies able to link up with Home Assistant ranging from weather information related tech to full blown home assistants like Amazon Echo.

This means that you are able to control a long list of types of technologies and device functions. Another thing that might get you intrigued about Home Assistant is the fact that it features an MIT license and  you can find the source code on GitHub as was to be expected.

OpenMotics

If you’re still looking for a solution that would cater to your specific home automation needs, you can also take a look at OpenMotics. OpenMotics comes with some real nice features and one of them is the fact that you can use it for more than just hardware.

This automation system works perfectly fine with hardware and software and it excels at controlling devices in the true sense of the word rather than creating a thin glue layer of sorts around all the involved devices.

You might be wondering what exactly OpenMotics does differently in terms of automation and the answer is simple: it provides a hardwired solution for creating a unified platform. If you’re looking for a retrofitting solution, OpenMotics might not be what you need as this is quite the opposite of that.

OpenMotics however might be the solution you need if you’re looking to get away from some of the usually concerns that come with the task of creating a compatible and unified home automation platform. OpenMotics does not differ from the other presented solutions in terms of accessibility and can

ago control

Last but definitely not least, we have ago control. This software comes with some features you might recognize and some that you might be so familiar with. One of the first things that users pick up when they start using ago control is the fact that even though it provides great support for sustaining a device control framework, it can also used in other device spectrums than just home automation.

For instance, ago control is acknowledged as a useful solution for agriculture. The ago control backend for communication is supplied by AMQP Enterprise Message Bus which definitely gives it a nice boost right from the get-go. Another important perk that you get with ago control is definitely the fact that it comes with lightweight protocol.

What this means is that it’s easy to read regardless of whether a person or machine is doing the reading. This can speed things up considerably throughout the deployment and management process. Those that want to secure their ability to expand for the future could definitely make use of ago control thanks to its various features that encourage expansion.

For example, it comes with cloud features as well as a modular architecture. It’s also important to mention that ago control makes use of YAML for its device scheme and offers a really nice performance output for the various embedded tech it takes under its wing. Some examples of this include Raspberry Pi, of course, but also the likes of Guruplug or Sheevaplug, which fall under the plug computer umbrella.

There are a lot of supported protocols for various devices. Some examples of this are KNX, EnOcean, Z-WAVE, 1wire and of course Asterisk PBX. Not all of them are going to be featured in your standard home automation setup but you can rest on the thought of having those options in your back pocket.

Conclusion

Home automation is definitely something that will pick up traction in a massive way in the following years and those who want to get a step up on everyone else surely have some enticing solutions at their disposal right now.

While it’s hard to say how the market will evolve, it’s pretty safe to assume that it will bring even more solutions for a better, more robust ecosystem. The core tech is already there. The area in which developers can make the most astounding advancements is that of device connection.

More compatibility and vendor neutrality on top of the already promising list of such existing features will play a big role in bringing complete and true home automation to the average consumer.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2017 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.