Homebridge is an open source platform that allows you to control and automate your home using Apple's HomeKit technology, even if the devices don't natively support it. While it can run on countless devices for free, there are times when you want a plug-and-play solution that is low-power and can be put out of the way. This problem is exactly what the IONEXX XOME Homebridge for HomeKit aims to solve. HomeKit Weekly is a series that focuses on smart home accessories, home automation tips and tricks, and everything related to Apple's smart home framework. Before you jump straight to the comments and point out that Homebridge is free and you don't have to buy anything, yes, that's right. This solution is for people who either don't have an old computer they want to run Homebridge on, or want a ready-made device to manage Homebridge.
How is XOME different from HOOBS? HOOBS is a product I have dealt with in the past and it is absolutely fantastic. XOME and HOOBS differ in that XOME is a pure version of Homebridge where HOOBS builds on top of Homebridge. Both products take you to the same result where you can run non-HomeKit devices in HomeKit, but the path they take is slightly different. They are both good products that I recommend. XOME is Wi-Fi only and HOOBS has an Ethernet port. I can see a situation where that could be your determining factor beyond price. HOOBS costs $249.99, while XOME costs less than $150. HOOBS offers some nice features, but if budget is your determining factor then XOME is a great product.
Setup Process To set up XOME, connect it within 20 feet of a Wi-Fi access point and away from devices that may cause electromagnetic or wireless interference. Wait for a few minutes and then connect to the HOMEBRIDGE WIFI SETUP network using a Mac, iPad or iPhone in the same room as XOME. My iPhone took me straight to the Control Panel, where I was able to connect it to my home Wi-Fi network. After it connected, I went to Homebridge.local on my local network and the installation began. XOME's instructions list a default username/password of admin/admin, but I was able to set up a new user without following this step.
To add XOME to HomeKit, open the Apple Home app, choose "Add Accessory," select "More Options," and choose "Accessory not shown." Enter the code found in the Homebridge interface at Homebridge.local or the IP address. Once everything is connected, you can go back to the Homebridge interface and start adding plugins. Popular Homebridge plugins in Ring, UniFi, MyQ and Nest. In general, it is a simple device with one purpose. It works exactly as you would expect. Yes, you can easily build your own version of this, but it's designed for people who don't want to figure out what to buy and how to configure it. It is a plug and play option for Homebridge.
Wrapping Up I hope that over time Matter will make the need for Homebridge less widespread, but I think we're still a few years away from that. Even if Matter becomes the standard for all new products, there will be plenty of existing products that can take advantage of Homebridge to connect to HomeKit. XOME for HomeKit is a low-cost Homebridge-in-a-box solution that's an easy way to get Homebridge up and running without the need for a full computer 24/7. It can be purchased from Amazon or eBay. FTC: We use auto affiliate links that generate revenue. More.
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