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Hive Welcome Home Standard review: You'll pay a price for Hive's smart home automation system

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The Good Hive's Welcome Home Standard automation kit is very easy to install and use, thanks to its well-designed app.

The Bad While there's no upfront cost, you have to pay a $25 contract-based monthly fee to use Hive.

The Bottom Line The Hive Welcome Home Standard system is solid, but its odd pricing system hurts its overall appeal.

6.7 Overall
  • Features 5
  • Usability 7
  • Design 8
  • Performance 7

Hive's Welcome Home Standard ZigBee automation kit includes a thermostat, two smart plugs, two door sensors, one motion sensor, four LED bulbs and a hub. Set schedules, create custom automations and opt in to alerts in the responsive and smartly designed Hive app. Enlist your voice platform of choice -- Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant -- to control your devices without ever picking up your phone. 

It sounds pretty good, right? Not so fast.

Hive, like ADT, Vivint and other professional companies, locks you into a multiyear contract. In Hive's case, it's two years, or 24 months of required $25 monthly payments. (The Welcome Home Standard Plan is currently US-only; Hive is based in the UK, where a Welcome Home plan costs £5.99 per month.) There is no upfront cost for the hardware, but the total cost after two years comes to $600 for the Standard kit I tested -- and even more if you use Hive for longer than two years. 

Weirdly, Hive isn't a professional system -- it's strictly do-it-yourself and self-monitored. So, unlike ADT and others, you won't get free installation, professional monitoring or any other advanced features for your money. 

Given that I could piece together my own DIY system for less, I'm really not sure why I (or anyone else) would buy Hive's otherwise impressive automation kit. 

Is Hive's Welcome Home Standard a good value?

Spoiler alert: Not really. Here's a quick comparison with some other DIY automation and security systems. 

Wink

Wink grand total: $457

Samsung SmartThings

SmartThings grand total: $490

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