Nabu Casa is a paid subscription service which is linked to your Home Assistant instance, the main purpose of Nabu Casa is two fold, give the smart home owner access to their smart home outside of their home network, and secondly to help fund the home assistant developers and cloud infrastructure.
Currently, Nabu Casa has a 31 day free trial and costs $5 a month after that.
Nabu Casa is owned by the same people that run the open source project (home assistant).
Nabu Casa provides good value for money with features like access to smart home from everyone, text to speech technology and one click connection to voice assistants (Alexa, Google).
All of this can be achieved without Nabu Casa by the technically inclined with some degree of work. On the other hand for the average person it could take around 10 hours to DIY this considering an average wage of $20 it could cost $200 that would take more than 3 years to get your money back at $5 a month.
I understand the “try to get it to work” ethos and that a lot of people get enjoyment out of it. I also tried myself to get it all working without Nabu Casa, but I need to recognise that I’m a software engineer and if home assistant is going to be more approachable for people outside of the tech community then we need to start embracing these one click solutions.
Also, supporting the home assistant project could justify the $5/month alone without any of the additional values. If you look at other companies which charge subscription to just use their product, home assistant is very generous. You can download and use it for free within your home forever.
Is it worth your money
This analysis is based two assumptions
- Time = Money
- It takes 10 hours on average to DIY the same benefits.
I’ve run two scenarios, the minimum wage and the average wage.
Take by example the three main countries that visit this blog and YouTube Channel:
Minimum wage as of time of writing
In terms of effort I calculate at least 10 hours of work if you are not familiar with these concepts such as: Port forwarding, Dynamic DNS, SSL and you have Amazon developer accounts or familiar with GCP projects with google home this will hold true.
Rough splits is 3 Hours for External access, 4 hours for Amazon and 3 hours for Google. In that you need to calculate cost of research, trying it out and the inevitable troubleshooting error messages and frustrations.
In terms of the ongoing maintenance there might be a problem for people in the long run too or opening the wrong ports could cause a backdoor into your network, making you vulnerable.
It can take more than a year on minimum wage, 3 years on average wage and more than 5 year or a high earner.
Now, some people wealth or not just don’t like subscriptions and that is fine too.