What is the Best Z-Wave USB Stick?

October, 2017 Update: We’ve changed the article after a review of the latest Z-Wave USB stick models and after taking a look at a few newcomers. 

Title
Best Choice
Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5, Z-Wave Plus USB to create gateway
HomeSeer SmartStick+ Z-Wave Plus USB Interface
Linear HUSBZB-1
Z-Wave ZMEEUZBWD USB Smarthome Stick for WD My Cloud, Black
Preview
Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5, Z-Wave Plus USB to create gateway
HomeSeer SmartStick+ Z-Wave Plus USB Interface
Linear HUSBZB-1
Z-Wave ZMEEUZBWD USB Smarthome Stick for WD My Cloud, Black
Pros
  • Certified for OpenRemote
  • Very reliable
  • Minimalistic Design
  • Supports Most Z-Wave Products/Software Systems
  • Nice minimalistic design
  • Works with Open Z-Wave
  • Nice minimalistic design
  • Works Great for DIY Projects
  • Supports Most Z-Wave Products/Software Systems
  • Smaller and More Compact than Other USB Sticks
  • Cons
    -
  • Lacks Support of some newer Z-Wave Devices
  • Doesn't Provide with Manual Configuration Options
  • Advertised as "Z-Wave Plus" Compatible
  • Is Not "Z-Wave Plus" Compatible
  • Requires an additional purchase of Zway Software License
  • General Purpose is to be Used with WD My Cloud
  • Compatible with Home Assisstant
    Compatible with OpenHab
    Compatible with Z-Wave Plus
    Easy to SetUp
    Compact Design
    Customer Rating
    -
    -
    -
    -
    Best Choice
    Title
    Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5, Z-Wave Plus USB to create gateway
    Preview
    Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5, Z-Wave Plus USB to create gateway
    Pros
  • Certified for OpenRemote
  • Very reliable
  • Minimalistic Design
  • Cons
    -
    Compatible with Home Assisstant
    Compatible with OpenHab
    Compatible with Z-Wave Plus
    Easy to SetUp
    Compact Design
    Customer Rating
    -
    More Information
    Title
    HomeSeer SmartStick+ Z-Wave Plus USB Interface
    Preview
    HomeSeer SmartStick+ Z-Wave Plus USB Interface
    Pros
  • Supports Most Z-Wave Products/Software Systems
  • Nice minimalistic design
  • Cons
  • Lacks Support of some newer Z-Wave Devices
  • Doesn't Provide with Manual Configuration Options
  • Compatible with Home Assisstant
    Compatible with OpenHab
    Compatible with Z-Wave Plus
    Easy to SetUp
    Compact Design
    Customer Rating
    -
    More Information
    Title
    Linear HUSBZB-1
    Preview
    Linear HUSBZB-1
    Pros
  • Works with Open Z-Wave
  • Nice minimalistic design
  • Works Great for DIY Projects
  • Cons
  • Advertised as "Z-Wave Plus" Compatible
  • Is Not "Z-Wave Plus" Compatible
  • Compatible with Home Assisstant
    Compatible with OpenHab
    Compatible with Z-Wave Plus
    Easy to SetUp
    Compact Design
    Customer Rating
    -
    More Information
    Title
    Z-Wave ZMEEUZBWD USB Smarthome Stick for WD My Cloud, Black
    Preview
    Z-Wave ZMEEUZBWD USB Smarthome Stick for WD My Cloud, Black
    Pros
  • Supports Most Z-Wave Products/Software Systems
  • Smaller and More Compact than Other USB Sticks
  • Cons
  • Requires an additional purchase of Zway Software License
  • General Purpose is to be Used with WD My Cloud
  • Compatible with Home Assisstant
    Compatible with OpenHab
    Compatible with Z-Wave Plus
    Easy to SetUp
    Compact Design
    Customer Rating
    -
    More Information

    Last update on 2017-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    We all know that setting up a complete Home Automation system can be quite expensive. Most people want to test out things first before they spend a big amount of money only to realize later that the gadgets don’t properly work in their environment . You might have noticed the price tags of some devices in our review of the best z wave controllers. Of course these home automation controllers are a must have if you want to do some serious automation with a wide range of different devices and protocols. Moreover they provide a huge amount of different functionalities and features that justify the costs. But if you don’t know what home automation protocol to choose yet and want to dive deeper into the intricacies of orchestrating your home – buying a cheap Z-Wave USB adapter might be the perfect option for you. These sticks turn your ordinary pc into a fully customizable Z-Wave controller. You have full control of what it does and when to execute which function. Provided you are at least a bit tech savvy and know some basic coding – but if you are surfing this site chances are high that you are probably a tech enthusiast living the Tony Stark Life.

    Tips: How to get started with a Z-Wave USB Stick/Adapter

    Of course, having the hardware is only one side of the story because you will need some corresponding software, too. One option is to resort to a feature rich commercial product like the HomeSeer HS3 which starts at a price of $250 for the regular version and $600 for the professional version. But chances are that you first want to try something inexpensive before spending too much on high end software and hardware. Luckily there are two open source projects that we recommend to try out with your Z-Wave USB Stick (provided you are going to buy it).

    1. OpenRemote

    A complete home automation software that works with all major protocols and is very similar to the software developed by Homeseer. You can cover a lot of different use cases and create your own scenarios. Moreover user control interfaces are available for iOS and Android devices as well as a web interface that works with any devices using modern web browsers.

    Website: http://www.openremote.org/ 

    2. Open ZWave

    A more technical project aimed at people who like to program. It provides C++ wrappers for the Z-Wave protocol and allows for low-level interaction with it. A deeper technical understanding is required compared to OpenRemote.

    Website: http://www.openzwave.com/

    Below you will find a list of short reviews of the best Z-Wave USB sticks based on experiences from other users and forum reviews.

    Our Winner: Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5

    Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5

    As always we begin with the product that it is in our eyes the most complete one and therefore a good candidate for being the best z wave usb stick. Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 is a huge improvement over previous models, while retaining the best qualities that Z-Stick has been known for over the years. Compatible with all the major Z-Wave software systems, including HomeSeer, OpenHab and OpenHab 2 and more, the stick works perfectly right out of the box. Easy and simple to use, Z-Stick Gen5 also supports both Z-Wave and Z-Wave plus. Overall, there is not much you can do wrong in buying the Aeotec Z-Stick to get your feet wet in home automation.

    Pros

    • Compatible with Open Z-Wave, OpenHab and OpenHab 2, Home Assistant, HomeSeer and Others
    • Certified for OpenRemote
    • Very reliable
    • Works with Z-Wave Plus devices
    • Minimalistic Design

    buy_from_amazon

    HomeSeer SmartStick+ Z-Wave Plus

    HomeSeer SmartStick+ Z-Wave Plus

    The HomeSeer SmartStick is a perfect purchase for those who want to implement a complete HomeSeer home automation ecosystem in their homes. However, for use outside of the HomeSeer family it might not be the best choice. Even though it supports most Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus products, it isn’t compatible with some newer models and z-wave devices. Plus, it is not as user-friendly and doesn’t provide you with any manual configuration options.

    Please note that at there are only 10 items left in stock (via our link) at the time of writing. We contacted HomeSeer, but we haven’t received a response of whether or not the item is discontinued.

    Pros

    • Supports Most Z-Wave Products/Software Systems
    • Compatible with Z-Wave Plus
    • Nice minimalistic design

    Cons

    • Lacks Support of some newer Z-Wave Devices
    • Doesn’t Provide with Manual Configuration Options

    buy_from_amazon

    Linear HUSBZB-1

    Linear HUSBZB-1

    Not every Z-Wave USB stick is created equally. Take the Linear HUSBZB-1 for example. While working with third-party software, rather than focusing solely on Z-Wave, HUSBZB-1 is a USB that helps connect your PC with either Z-Wave or ZigBee. One of the best features of the Linear USB is the fact that it provides out-of-the-box support for Home Assistant, Philips Hue and other third-party home automation software. Of course, it’s compatibility list is not as long as Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5, but it is still worth mentioning. For the most part, this stick will serve you justice for your home automation projects. Especially when combined with a RaspberryPi 3 board, the stick allows you to create some amazing DIY projects.

    Pros

    • Works with Open Z-Wave
    • Nice minimalistic design
    • Works Great for DIY Projects

    Cons

    • Advertised as “Z-Wave Plus” Compatible
    • Is Not “Z-Wave Plus” Compatible

    buy_from_amazon

    Z-Wave ZMEEUZBWD USB Smarthome Stick for WD My Cloud

    Z-Wave ZMEEUZBWD USB Smarthome Stick for WD My Cloud

    The Z-Wave ZMEEUZBWD USB Smarthome Stick for WD My Cloud is one of those obscure Z-wave enabled devices, that you’ll have to play around with to make it work. Adverised as a way to turn your WD My Cloud into a smart home gateaway, the Z-Wave USB stick can be used for other home automation purposes and DIY projects as well. However, make sure to note that you will need to purchase a Zway Software License to configure it additionally or to use it for other purposes.

    Pros

    • Supports Most Z-Wave Products/Software Systems
    • Compatible with HomeAssistant and Open Z-Wave
    • Smaller and More Compact than Other USB Sticks

    Cons

    • Requires an additional purchase of Zway Software License
    • General Purpose is to be Used with WD My Cloud

    buy_from_amazon

    About Author

    In the process of creating a web page completely dedicated to the “Smart Home”. Find info on all the different aspects of Home Automation & Home Security.

    1 Comment

    1. Hi,

      I have essentially decided to go with the Z-Stick and OpenRemote. Thank you for your post that has boosted my confidence in that I am making the right descision.

      Not wanting to buy old hardware now the Z-Stick Generation 5 is out I was wondering if you had had a chance to test it with OpenRemote?

      Thanks, W.

    Leave A Reply

    Make your neighbor jealous!

    Get Our eBook for Free!

    Building a Smart Home is not an easy task. To make your life easier we have compiled a 5000 word eBook full of wisdom that will help you becoming an expert in Home Automation in a matter of days. This eBook is a gift for all our Newsletter Subscribers. We just need your E-Mail address and then we are ready to go.

    Your information will never be shared with any third parties