Although smart home devices have achieved major popularity in recent years, they have actually been in development for quite some time. And the earliest smart home devices weren't always the easiest to use. They didn't always feature the best compatibility with various hubs. In fact, you often needed to get a smart home controller that was from the same manufacturer as your smart home devices. Any smart home device that wasn't from the same manufacturer simply wouldn't work. This largely changed when more universally compatible smart platforms like Z-Wave and HomeKit were developed. Then you could start using smart home devices from a variety of different manufacturers with the same convenient smart controller or hub.
But a problem arose when some individuals wanted to use these older smart home devices with their newer platforms. Many of these devices still worked perfectly well. Even if the user upgraded to a newer, better smart network, they still wanted some way to bring in these existing devices. This is where serial controllers came into play. By using a serial controller you can actually make your newer Z-Wave devices compatible with these older smart home networks. Then you can have all your smart home devices operated on the same convenient network. Although it is recommended that you simply upgrade entirely to a newer, more reliable smart network like Z-Wave or HomeKit, there may be some, rare, scenarios where your best option is to maintain an older network.
In the world of home automation, things can become complicated pretty quickly. That is why there are a lot of things to check if you decide to try and use a serial controller to integrate all your smart devices on the same smart network. For one, you will need to make sure that your smart devices are compatible with the serial controller you are trying to use. This is true whether you are trying to bring older smart devices into a newer, more universally compatible controller, or if you are trying to user newer smart devices with an older, less universally compatible controller. Compatibility is always key when you are trying to set up a smart home network. Also keep in mind that there are many smart devices and smart home hubs where serial controllers are simply not an option.
In many cases, the best choice is to simply upgrade to a better smart home network and just use devices that are compatible platform. In fact, this is what we recommend for the majority of users looking to establish a smart home network. If you have an alarm system that supports Z-Wave, then you can very easily get Z-Wave devices and start pairing them with your system. If you have an alarm monitoring plan that includes access to a smart platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, then you can easily use that platform to start controlling all your devices. This is typically much easier than trying to set up a fairly unreliable network using a serial controller. Of course, the decision is ultimately up to you. But you will usually find that just going with Z-Wave and then building around that platform is the best option.