The Aqara M3 Matter smart home hub is now available

Over the years, Aqara has released several smart home hubs that have played a key role in the company’s integration with HomeKit. The company recently released its new Aqara M3 Matter hub, focusing on privacy and local automation capabilities.

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“Aqara is committed to creating the best smart home solutions that continually adapt to users’ evolving needs,” said Cathy You, senior vice president of global business and strategy for Aqara. “The edge computing capabilities of Hub M3 will provide users with an additional layer of stability and security, and compatibility with Matter will significantly improve interoperability and choice for users.”

Originally unveiled at CES in January, the new M3 Hub stands out as an Edge Hub, offering data privacy with fully encrypted local storage and enhanced local automation features. For existing Aqara customers using a Zigbee hub, the addition of Hub M3 significantly increases the stability of their smart home networks, facilitating more local communication between Aqara devices.

When integrated with your home network, the M3 is designed to outperform other Aqara Zigbee hubs and Wi-Fi devices by enabling automation locally on the Edge device rather than through cloud services, ensuring uninterrupted functionality during internet or other SaaS outages. Additionally, the M3 Hub allows certain Aqara Zigbee devices with Repeater functionality to act as a proxy hub and manage automation when the M3 is offline. Future Aqara Thread devices equipped with the Mesh Extender feature are expected to be compatible with device pairing via M3.

The Aqara M3 aims to become a universal hub that supports multiple protocols, including Thread, Zigbee, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and IR. Quickly connects and controls Aqara’s acclaimed line of Zigbee devices while also serving as a Matter bridge for HomeKit support. Attaching the 360° IR module to the new hub increases control over infrared-enabled devices by directly synchronizing their status with the Aqara Home app every time the infrared remote control is used. Additionally, M3 makes the latest Aqara Thread devices and selected Matter-compatible devices from other brands available by integrating them with the Aqara Home app.

From a networking perspective, the Aqara M3 includes dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) with WPA3 security and a PoE-enabled port. My biggest pet peeve with smart home products is that they only support 2.4 GHz, so I love that it includes a 5 GHz radio. I have one of these on the way to put it through a deeper HomeKit functionality test.

The new hub can be purchased from Amazon or other Aqara retailers.

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