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Starling Home Hub review: Connecting Nest and HomeKit

One of the biggest issues with Apple’s HomeKit smart home platform is that it just doesn’t support as many devices as Alexa and Google Home. The Starling Home Hub aims to bridge that gap by literally creating a bridge between Nest products and HomeKit. This $89 device doesn’t really do anything other than that, but it does what it sets out to do.

Read the rest of this Starling Home Hub review to find out what it can and can’t handle around the house — and why it’s one of the best smart home hubs for a very specific purpose.

Starling Home Hub review: Design and setup

The Starling Hub is basically a plug-and-play version of the homebridge-nest project for those who don’t want to go through the trouble of setting up a home server and editing config files.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

It’s a small white cube, about 2 inches on each side, with an Ethernet port, a microUSB port for power and a microSD card slot. The Starling comes with an Ethernet cable and a power cord.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

To get started, you plug the Starling Hub into your router, then plug it into an outlet. Then you head to setup.starlinghome.io to set everything up. In an era where apps are ubiquitous, this approach felt a bit dated — sort of like the original Hubitat Elevation interface — but then, there’s very little the Starling Hub has to do other than connecting two accounts.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

After I entered my Google credentials (it also works if you’re still using a Nest account), I then opened the HomeKit app and scanned the QR code on the back of the hub. Apple’s app warns “this accessory is not certified for HomeKit and may not work reliably or securely with this iOS device.” That may be, but I want my Nest Protect to work with HomeKit.

Starling Home Hub review: Compatibility