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What is Thread and how does it work with my smart home?

Thread smart home logo

Logo Source: Thread Group

Smart home tech can not only save you money but also make everyday tasks more convenient, like turning on the lights, adjusting the temperature, or seeing who's at your front door. And it's only getting better. A new technology called Thread® promises more efficiency, security, and speed for the smaller devices in your smart home.

But how does Thread work? And what's a Thread smart home?

At Asurion, we don't just take care of your tech: We teach you how to get more out of the devices that run your world, whether you want to pick the right Wi-Fi router for your home or learn how to best use smart plugs. Here's everything you need to know about Thread.

What's Thread and how does it work with smart homes?

Thread is a mesh networking technology that connects your small smart devices—from motion sensors to door locks—and offers a better, more efficient way for them to work together. Thread comes built into smart devices. To use it, you'll need a Thread border router to connect the thread network to your home Wi-Fi. Once that's in place, any Thread-compatible device—up to 250 at a time—can connect, regardless of the manufacturer.

Some types of Thread border routers include:

  • Apple® HomePod® Mini
  • Apple TV® 4K (2nd gen)
  • Eero® Wi-Fi routers (Wi-Fi 5 and newer)
  • Google Nest™ Wi-Fi points and routers
  • Google Nest Hub Max™
  • Google Nest Hub (2nd gen)
  • Nanoleaf® Shapes, Lines, Elements

Why's Thread important for smart homes?

With Thread, your smart home will be, well, smarter. Your devices will work faster and more reliably across a larger area, and they'll use less power than they would on Wi-Fi. Since Thread connects smart devices to each other, the network can also continue working, glitch-free, even if service is spotty, your internet goes down, or a device fails.

Thread and Matter

For years, setting up a smart home meant checking the packaging before buying a new device, looking for disclaimers like “Works with Apple Home" and “Works with Alexa™" to make sure it's compatible with your set up.

Matter™ is a new standard for communication that simplifies your smart home so your devices can talk to each other regardless of the manufacturer. It lets you choose the gadgets you're most excited about, not just the ones that happen to work with your existing tech.

Where does Thread come in? It's what connects Matter devices to each other, making them faster, more secure, and more reliable.

To learn more, check out our guide, What's Matter—and why it matters to your smart home.

Thread vs. Zigbee

Like Thread, Zigbee® is a wireless system that lets smart home devices talk to each other. (Others include Z-Wave®, Bluetooth®, and Wi-Fi.)

While Zigbee requires a central smart home hub, Thread devices don't. Instead, they communicate directly with each other, making them faster over larger networks—if they're connected to a Thread router.

Thread vs. Wi-Fi

Think of Thread as a complement to your home Wi-Fi. While Wi-Fi is built to support security cameras and other devices that use a lot of data, Thread creates its own network, with multiple connection points, spread throughout your smart home, without relying on your internet connection or Wi-Fi.

Will Thread work with my smart home?

That depends. So far, Thread is only available on certain devices, but that'll change as more smart home gadgets become compatible with it and more companies release new products. Some certified Thread devices that are now available include:

  • Aeotec® Smart Home Hub
  • Eve Energy
  • Eve Door & Window
  • Eve Weather
  • Wemo™ Smart Dimmer
  • Wemo Smart Light Switch

You'll know a device works with Thread when you see the “Built on THREAD" logo and the “Border Router" and “Requires Border Router" taglines.

Make sure your smart home is protected

An Asurion Home+® protection plan provides coverage for nearly all the technology in your home with one simple plan. Laptops, tablets, TVs, gaming consoles, smart thermostats, and so much more—even future purchases. Plus, you'll get 24/7 live expert support and robust digital security. Learn more about Asurion Home+® coverage and how you can get peace-of-mind electronics protection.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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