Wink, the smart home hub company, is down. That includes cloud controls, voice assistant controls, and even Wink’s website and email support. It’s a pretty bad look for a company that mandated monthly fees just six months ago on the promise of stability. Maybe this time it will die for good, which would be better for everyone involved.
The Wink smart home company suffers from a pretty rocky history. The company has been through multiple buyouts, including its latest to Will.i.am’s company dubbed iam+. At one point, you couldn’t find a Wink hub in stores or online, and thus we stopped recommending the hub as an option altogether. It reversed course on its promise never to charge a subscription, and mandated a monthly subscription for all users—with one week’s notice.
Wink changed its mind and held off on the subscription, then changed its mind again and instituted subscriptions. The entire point was, of course, to keep the lights on and fund new development. Before that, Wink didn’t add support for new integrations for well over a year.
Now, the entire service is down. For users lucky enough to be logged in, some local controls still work. But Wink’s local control options are pretty limited, and if you get logged out, you won’t be able to log back in. Cloud controls, voice controls, third-party integrations (like Nest and Arlo), and even the website and email support failed. Very little works.
Wink’s site currently redirects to the Wink Status page. There, you’ll see messages that started yesterday morning with occasional updates. But those updates aren’t promising and amount to “still investigating.” It doesn’t sound like Wink has any timeline for solving the problem.
This isn’t the first time Wink’s services have failed, and in the past, it turned out to be a security certificate that didn’t get renewed. But that’s an easy solution, pay for a new certificate. But honestly, we still recommend considering alternative solutions to Wink, of which there are plenty.
If you prefer a traditional smart home hub, you may want to check out Hubitat or Home Assistant. Otherwise, you may find that Google Assistant and Alexa speaker work well enough as smart home hubs in many homes now. But an unstable smart home platform makes for a terrible smart home experience. You’re betting off making the jump to another company with a better track history, which is all of them.
This post was written by Josh Hendrickson and was first posted to www.reviewgeek.com
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