CNET First Look
Nexia BridgeFor a monthly fee, this little device will mastermind your home automation needs.
Hey. I'm Ry Crist here on CNET's appliance testing floor to show you the Nexia Bridge from Nexia Home Intelligence. The Nexia Bridge is like the mothership for home automation in your house. Any product or device is compatible with it can be automated through the Nexia app or website. Basically the Nexia Bridge is like a router. If you take a look at it here it's got 2 ports, 1 for the power cable and 1 for the Ethernet cable. So right now this white cable is connecting us to the router here at our CNET office, and with that we're able to connect our appliances to it using different devices and automate them from the Nexia app and website. So if I pulled the Nexia app here on my phone I can use it just to turn this lamp on. I can dim it. I can make it nice and soft. I can control it however I want. It's really easy to do and it's very quick to respond as well. So we like this app quite a bit. Now of course I can't just dim the lamp using the Bridge itself. I have to plug the lamp into a dimmer module that's Nexia-compatible. So if you don't have any Nexia-compatible devices you're gonna need to buy those separately. The good news here though is that there are over 200 Nexia-compatible devices available for purchase so you've got a lot of options. Another key strength of the Nexia Bridge is its range. It uses the Z-Wave wireless network and that's a network designed exclusively for home automation. That gives it a range at about 60 feet to 100 feet. So we wanna test that out. We built a door right in the middle of our test floor right back there, and right now it's about 90 feet away. It's got Z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt built right into it so we can control it from the Nexia. So I pull my app right now and if I press the unlock button right here the door opens even from 90 feet away. One of the Nexia's best-selling points is its website. Once you log in, you'll have access to a whole array of features that are designed to give you complete control over your home automation needs. We've got this list of recent events which are all the things you've triggered, all the lights going on, and doors opening and closing. It also has this automation center and this is where you can create different automation setups where if the door opens the light comes on. If you've used IFT before it does than that. It's a lot like that. If this thing happens then that thing happens. Unfortunately you can't create these automated setups on the app. It has to be on the website and that's one of my big critiques here is that the app could be a little more powerful. Nexia charged $9 a month to use their services. If you're looking to automate only 1 light or 1 appliance it's probably not worth it to spend $9 a month. So is the Nexia right for you? Well, if you wanna get to home automation and you feel a little overwhelmed it's a really good option. At $59.99 it makes it very easy and accessible to automate a lot of different things at once all from 1 app. Thanks for watching. I'm Ry Crist for CNET.