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Best Home Weather Station
We get asked over and over: What’s the best home weather station? As a result, we’ve put this list together for our readers. The criteria we used for selecting the top 3 on this list was ease of installation, connectivity options, affordability, and reliability. For a detailed home weather station review on each individual model from the list below, simply click “read full review” and you’ll find more info than you ever thought you’d need on that particular model.
Comparing Home Weather Stations
There are so many different weather stations for home use to choose from today. While some of them focus on accuracy and other performance metrics, we tended to focus more on the consumer for our list. We feel the importance of a weather station to a regular Joe is its ease of installation and operation as well as being convenient in daily use.
While professional weather observers value things like data update frequency, the best home weather stations are typically used by amateur weather watchers and other hobbyists. Professionals may need accuracy to perform their job function, but all you care about is the day’s weather in your backyard. You don’t want it to require a meteorology degree to operate the darn thing!
What Makes a Home Weather Station Easy to Install?
We only considered weather station models with weather instruments in an all-in-one configuration for this list. Some of the higher-end weather stations split the outdoor sensors up so you can separate the anemometer and thermometers for increased accuracy. That, of course, requires additional work to install two, now separate, components. Those two installs probably also mean two different mounting brackets. With the all-in-one configuration, there are many ways to mount the unit without much hassle.
In addition to an all-encompassing outdoor sensor, a wireless connection from the weather instrument to the display helps ensure an easier installation. This means there won’t be any wires to run outside. These wire runs could sometimes be hundreds of feet in length and require holes through the walls of your house! Do you want to do that? NO, OF COURSE NOT! This is not something we expect, or even recommend for you to do. For that reason, we only considered wireless units for our best home weather station list. Similarly, since we’re talking about a weather station for home use, we made the assumption that 300ft of wireless transmission was adequate. Whereas, some wireless weather stations can transmit up to 1000ft!
To be considered the best home weather station, it must be very “connected” just like everything else in our lives. Most of the popular modes are these days. Nobody leaves their home without a smart phone anymore so you might want to see the data from there, right? Some of these weather stations will even integrate with your smart home, including Ambient’s WS-2902 Osprey at the top of our list. You’ll have to decide what connections are important to you, but here’s a quick list of things weather stations can connect to these days. There are so many, you won’t use them all. Note, all of our individual weather station reviews provide information on particular connectivity options of each model in detail.
- PC – Connecting to a PC helps you log data and follow trends
- Internet – Connecting to the world wide web allows for many options. There are both private and public networks to join where weather data can be posted. Most of the major weather station brands offer their own private networks. The most popular public network is the Weather Underground. Uploading your data to the web can be fun and give you an opportunity to network with others who have passion around the same things you do.
- Smartphone Apps – Many of the big brands, including those on this list, offer apps for both Android and iPhone.
- Smart Homes – Connect to things like Amazon’s Alexa and IFTTT. Through IFTTT, can connect to web services such as Gmail, Facebook, and Instagram.
Best Weather Station for Weather Underground
While we’re on the topic of connectivity, it’s worth mentioning the Weather Underground again. I’m commonly asked, “What is the best Weather Underground weather station?”. Well, each of the models chosen on our list of best home weather stations are great options for connecting to Wunderground. The Ambient and AcuRite weather stations tend to come with the hardware needed to make this happen.
Here is the top 5 list for naming the Best Weather Station for Weather Underground:
What makes them the best Weather Underground weather station?
The Ambient Weather WS-2902 has the all-around easiest hardware package for uploading the weather data to anywhere on the web. There is no extra hardware required. You just connect the display to your home’s wifi and you’re all set. The outdoor sensor is solar-powered with a battery backup, so rarely will batteries need to be changed.
The AcuRite Atlas weather station is another great option for use on the Weather Underground platform. It does require the “Access” module to connect it to the web, but this module is included, so not too big of deal. The other minor drawback of the Atlas is that it’s outdoor weather sensor is battery-operated so batteries will need to be changed at some point.
Rounding out the top 3, the Davis Vantage Vue is the most accurate and rugged all-in-one weather stations on the market. It is slightly pricier than the other options on the list, but it has some great capabilities. The biggest draw back to the Vantage Vue is that it requires additional hardware (that is not included) to connect the weather data to the web. It is, however, a solar-powered weather station, so that’s a plus!
Weather Displays come in many shapes and sizes. For the purposes of determining what’s important in the best home weather station, please keep in mind three things: Aesthetics, ease of use, and functionality.
Of the brands we’ve reviewed here at wxobservation.com, AcuRite seems to be the most innovative when it comes to weather displays. Many of their displays are bright, colorful, and utilize high definition technology.
For ease of use, do you want to mount the display on a wall or set it on a desk? Many home weather station displays can do both, including all three weather stations on our list above. In addition, they all have a little different interface, but none of them are clunky or hard to navigate.
Of course, functionality is also important. What can you do with the data? Can you make graphs? Can you see trends? Can you set alarms or notifications? Davis Instruments typically leads the way when it comes to functional weather displays, but the other brands are catching up!
Although reliability is an important factor in determining the best home weather station, it is also somewhat subjective. Rather than just give you our opinion which home weather stations are the most reliable, we’ve done extensive research and shared our findings with you on our review pages. The weather stations on this list are all reliable sources of local weather data and have past the test of user reviews, each polls significantly well with customer feedback. This is where the importance of weather station reviews comes into play. This goes for both our reviews and customer reviews through Amazon, or any online retailer. You should always do your due diligence when buying any product by reading through the customer reviews prior to purchasing.
Last, but not least, affordability is the final criteria of the best home weather station. Of course, price isn’t everything. But it’s also true that often times you get what you pay for. However, you want to feel like your money is well-spent and you aren’t buying junk. It’s prudent to consider value when buying something that will cost you over $100 bucks. Money doesn’t grow on trees! So let’s specifically discuss the home weather stations we’ve chosen.
Ambient Weather WS-2902 Osprey
Each of the home weather stations on the list above supplies the consumer tremendous value for their money. At the top of the list, the WS-2902 Osprey from Ambient Weather offers the most bang for your buck. As mentioned above, it not only has a 10-in-1 sensor suite, but it also has wifi capabilities, integrates well with smart home devices, and is one of the most affordable options of any we’ve chosen to review on our site. Other brands make you pay extra for added weather sensors. With this weather station, they’re included. Other models require additional items to connect to the internet, or at least extra wires, not the WS-2902 that comes wifi-enabled. In addition, the WS-2902 uses solar energy as its main power source. You can’t beat all that!
Similarly, the Atlas remote monitoring weather station is priced right for the options it includes, specifically built-in wireless internet connectivity and AcuRite’s new Atlas weather sensor. Some of the features that come standard on this model need to be purchased separately on the Davis 6250. Out of the many weather stations AcuRite manufactures, this is our favorite! However, keep in mind when looking at the AcuRite models to consider where you’ll be mounting the weather sensor. Since they are battery-operated versus the solar power of the Davis Vantage Vue, you’ll be changing batteries. AcuRite’s Remote Battery Pack should help overcome this drawback.
Davis Instruments Vantage Vue 6250
Next, the Vantage Vue is everything consumers have come to expect from Davis Instruments. The 6250 Vue is made in the USA and built to be rugged, tough, and reliable. It’s also full of insanely capable technology! Despite of all this, it’s reasonably priced for you what you get and is a good selection for home use when durability, accuracy, and speed are top considerations. It’s also run primarily on solar-power. Unfortunately, the consumer pays extra for all these benefits, which is why it’s not at the top of this list. But, it’s hard to be the performance specifications on the Vantage Vue in an all-in-one package.
Not everyone is in the same boat. Ultimately, you have to decide what’s important to you when buying your next weather station. Hopefully we’ve supplied enough food for thought so you can make an informed decision and feel good about what you’re getting. In our opinion, due to the value proposition we discussed above, the Ambient WS-2902 Osprey is the best weather station for home use that is currently available. There isn’t any other model with so many features and such a high percentage of positive feedback at this price-point.
But I should say, you can’t go wrong with any of the home weather stations on this list. Each has its strengths. In fact, if you can afford the additional cost of the Vantage Vue from Davis, it actually has better performance specs like accuracy and data update frequency. Unfortunately, if you want to put the data on the web, you’ll need some additional hardware that costs extra.
Others weather watchers have used AcuRite stations their whole lives and love them. For those guys, the Atlas is the best choice! As mentioned above, it comes standard with features other manufacturers make you pay for.
No matter which model you choose, we wish you good luck.