The world of technology has seen an inexplicable growth over the past few years. The concept of smart products and building a smart home have become fairly common. Smart products offer intelligent control. They provide convenience and ease of operations. Examples of smart products include thermostats, sprinkling systems, lighting control, etc. Off them one such product is smart sprinkler control. This is not a thing that people might think off often when it comes to building a smart home. But, a smart sprinkler system is a vital aspect of an interconnected smart home and the environment.
The two top smart sprinkler control systems in the market are Rachio and Netro. So, let’s go for a deep comparison between Rachio and Netro to understand their pros and cons.
Rachio Vs. Netro: A Comparison Chart
|Specifications||Rachio Gen 1||Rachio Gen 2||Rachio Gen 3||Blossom|
|8-ZONE MODEL||Present||Present||Present||7 (PSR Zone makes 8)|
|Wired Flow Sensors||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Rain and Soil Sensor||Present||Present||Present||Absent|
|Temperature range||-4 degrees F to 140 degrees F||-4 degrees F to 140 degrees F||-4 degrees F to 140 degrees F||0 degrees F to 130 degrees F|
|Compatability||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Wink, Nest, IFTTT||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Wink, Nest, IFTTT||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Wink, Nest, IFTTT||Amazon Alexa, Google Home|
|Manual Control||No manual control||On-unit manual control||In Unit Control||No|
|Wireless Radio Flow Meter||No||No||Yes||NO|
|Outdoo use||No||Yes||Yes||IP 54 (Barely)|
|Application||IOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+||IOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+||IOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+||iOS and Android|
|Internet requirements||2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n||2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n||2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n||Yes, but Protocol N/A|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Rachio Vs. Netro: Differences
1. Zone Control
Rachio:As a customer looking to buy a sprinkler control systems, then it is important to buy it according to your requirements. You should take into consideration factors such as the health of your lawn and which section needs maximum attention. Rachio has the ability to break the area into different zones. Dividing the area into zones ensure that there is greater control over the watering process. This tactic is called “zone control”. Rachio has 8 and 16 zone variants. This feature depends on the Rachio model that you buy. This type of zone coverage is accurate for homes that are larger in size.
Netro:Netro also provides zone control. But, the only thing that differs is the quantity of zones that it supports. Netro supports zone control for 6 and 12 zones. It is suitable for small and mid-sized homes. Netro also supports multiple controllers. This means that you can buy multiple systems. These systems can be combined to provide an easier way of control. For a little extra cost, you will also be able to have an extensive choice when it comes to zone control. Rachio is pretty behind Netro when it comes to extendibility. .
Rachio :In the beginning Rachio models did not support rain sensors. This was something that was introduced in later models. All the Rachio models have good weather tracking systems. They adjust your watering schedule according to the current conditions. It acts as a backup and turns things off when the sensor reaches a certain rain level. Another advantage of having a Rachio model is that it is compatible with a third-party sensors as well. Some of them include Hunter Rain-Clik Wireless Rain Sensor, RAIN BIRD WR2 Wireless Rain Sensor, Orbit Wireless Rain Sensor, etc.
Netro:Netro doesn’t provide any support for rain sensors. This is because they have a good forecasting system. It cannot be denied that the Netro tracks weather quite well. But, not having sensor support is a big drawback for customers. Apart from that, if you are looking for a soil moisture sensor, then you should check out the Netro Whisperer.
3. WiFi Connection
Rachio:A crucial mistake that first time buyers make when they purchase smart sprinkler control systems, is that they purchase a model that doesn’t work with their router. This should be avoided at all costs. If you purchase a controller that doesn’t work with your home’s wireless frequency, then it is impossible for the controller to perform its operations. Rachio uses WiFi in order to give your sprinklers the data that it needs to work efficiently. Rachio 3rd Gen is the better model when you compare the WiFi connection. It supports 2.4 and 5 GHz 802.11 b/g/n connections.
Netro:Netro also uses WiFi to transmit required data to your controller. The controller uses this data to water your lawn as per your requirements. There isn’t much range in Netro though, as it supports 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n connections only.
4. Flow Meter & Wired Flow Sensors
Rachio:Smart sprinkler systems are supposed to be more cost effective than regular systems. This is because smart sprinkler systems help to save more water. But, this benefit will not be of any use if there is a leak in your system. An important advantage of having Rachio is that it is great at detecting leaks. The wired flow sensors and flow meter enable the Rachio to detect leaks. This is a very necessary feature as it allows the customer to take action before the leak worsens.
Netro:The Netro Sprite doesn’t have any provision for flow sensors or a flow meter. You can only pray that a leak doesn’t happen. But, if it does happen, then your system will not be able to detect it.
5. Watering Regulation Detection
Rachio :Another benefit of having a smart sprinkler system is the fact that they can detect weather. Detecting the weather will help it to adjust the watering schedules accordingly. It is important to note that in the United States of America, many states have strict regulations when it comes to how much water can be used for lawns. It becomes difficult for sprinkler systems to use water as per these regulations. This is where the system of watering regulation detection comes in. This feature allows the sprinkler to detect the water regulations and adjust itself accordingly. Unfortunately, the Rachio does not support this feature.
Netro:Netro Sprite can detect regulations and apply it to your address. It adjusts the water as per the regulations that are applicable to your state of residence. Investing in Netro is a smart option for a customer as it makes your life so much more convenient.
6. Manual Control
Rachio:As mentioned before, Rachio has three different generations. The features of each generation differ from each other. One of the main examples of this is when we talk about the way the products handle manual control. The first generation Rachio model doesn’t allow you change the watering settings on the device itself. The second generation Rachio model has control buttons. These control buttons are hidden under the cover. The third generation Rachio model has the best option when it comes to manual control. It has full on-device manual control.
Netro:Netro doesn’t have any on-unit manual control. This means that you will have to control the settings through the app or with the help of voice control. This may not be a big deal for customers. But, there are situations where you don’t have access to the app or voice control. It is in these situations that manual control comes in handy.
7. Android & IOS Support
Rachio:Buying smart technology is trending right now. Smartphones are the most important device that one can own. As such, it is important to make sure that your smart sprinkler system is compatible with your smartphone. It is ensure that the applications of the product are also working on your phone. Rachio supports IOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+.
Netro:Netro is preferable for iPhone and iPad, with support for IOS 8.3+. Netro also works with Android 5.5+. It works well with majority of IOS and Android devices. As a customer, make sure to check your sprinkler’s device compatibility before you purchase it.
8. Third Party Integration Support
Rachio:One of the major benefits of owning a Rachio system is that it supports third-party integration. The Rachio smart sprinkler system is compatible with SmartThings, Nest, Wink, and IFTTT. This feature allows you to sync your Rachio with any and all available smart products. IFTTT integration is a very useful feature. It provides endless options to customize your sprinkler. For example, you can program your sprinkler to turn off the moment someone walks up to your gate.
Netro:Netro is not compatible with SmartThings, Nest or Wink. It cannot be inter-connected with the other smart devices in your home.
9. Plant Library
Rachio:Sprinklers are a great addition to any garden. Now, it is a well known fact that gardening is a hobby for many people. Most of these people might not know a lot about gardening. This is where a “plant library” can be of some assistance. It is feature that allows you to identify what type of care a specific plant needs. Unfortunately, the Rachio has no such feature.
Netro:The Netro Sprite offers a Plant Library among its other features. This library helps you to water your plants better. It identifies the different plants available and adjusts the water supply based on that plant’s requirements. The Netro system identifies each and every plant’s watering needs. The same cannot be said about Rachio. This aspect of the Netro is especially helpful for amateur gardeners who want to learn more about gardening. No other smart sprinkler system has a feature as advanced as Netro’s Plant Library.
Rachio:A smart sprinkler system is a big investment for many. It requires quite a little money to be able to upgrade your system. But, what if you could upgrade your product for a significantly smaller amount? In the smart technology industry, it is common to get rebates if you upgrade to better technology. This trait is commonly seen in products like smart thermostats or smart lighting systems. Philips Hue and ecobee are great examples for this. When it comes to the Rachio family, they provide a range of rebates that will make watering your garden sound very appealing!
Netro:The Netro doesn’t provide any rebates for upgrading their product. You might have to shell out extra money to upgrade your device.
Rachio:The design of the product is a very important aspect that gives the product its entire appeal. The Rachio models are compact. They will fit in almost every home. But, it is slightly bigger in size. Rachio has dimensions that measures 9.1” x 5.5” x 1.4” . It weighs about 1.05 lbs.
Netro:Netro is slightly smaller when compared to the Rachio. It measures 5.7” x 5.7” x 1.2”. It measures at about 0.5 lbs. It is sleek and can be crammed into smaller spaces with ease.
Rachio:Rachio has a wide variety of accessories which include a Weatherproof Outdoor Enclosure, Wireless Rain and Freeze Sensor. You can also get a Wireless Flow Meter.
Netro:The only accessory Netro has is the Netro Whisperer. It is a soil sensor that measures how well your garden is being watered by the sprinkler system.
Rachio Vs. Netro: Similarities
Warranty – Smart sprinklers have become very affordable in recent times. But, affordability is not the only thing that customers look for when they buy smart products. A product with some sort of guarantee is better than one which doesn’t have any guarantee. If your sprinkler breaks down faster than you expected, then a guarantee will help you to replace it at a low cost. Both Rachio and Netro are backed with a warranty. They come with a 2 year warranty. You don’t need to worry about your sprinkler not working properly.
Indoor & Outdoor Usage – Installing a smart sprinkler is one of the main aspects that a user has to think about. It is best if your sprinkler has various installation possibilities. Most people like to install the sprinkler inside. But, what about those of you who want to install it on the inside? Rachio Gen 2 and Gen 3 are compatible with outdoor enclosure. Netro doesn’t have its own enclosure. But, it is compatible with any non-brand enclosure. This feature allows you to have more options when it comes to setting up your smart sprinkler.
Alexa Compatibility – Smart products are controlled through their internal system or through a smartphone app. But, there are times when a user may not have their phone with them. Now, what are you supposed to do in this situation? Well, both Rachio and Netro offer a solution. They can be operated using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can change the settings and the schedule of the smart sprinkler through voice control. This provides users with the experience of hands-free control.
Weather Intelligence – When it comes to smart sprinkler systems, buyers look for models with easily programmable schedules and sensors. Rachio and Netro have features that are unmatched by their competitors in the market. They offer weather detection. With this feature it is possible to water your lawn only when it needs to be watered. This saves both water and money. It is a very good feature that encourages us to be more environmentally conscious.
Watering Reports – We have told you how Rachio and Netro help in working efficiently and reducing water wastage. Another feature that adds on to this is that both the systems provide reports on their performance. They provide real data about the watering process, the schedule and the amount of water that has been used. A smart sprinkler is a considerable investment. If you are concerned about how to minimize your costs, then it is advisable to get Rachio or Netro as they provide you feedback. The information provided will help you to modify your usage and be cost effective.
Rachio: Product Features & Technical Specifications
- Save money and water! See up to 30-50% savings on your monthly water bill!
- Avoid watering in the rain. Exclusive weather intelligence plus automatically skips unnecessary watering with features...
- Control from anywhere with the easy-to-use app. Run sprinklers, view upcoming schedules, and observe your estimated...
- Weatherproof Outdoor Enclosure – If you are looking to install your Rachio on the outside then you should consider getting a weatherproof outdoor enclosure.
- Wireless Rain and Freeze Sensor – This is another product that will help you keep a track of the operations of your smart sprinkler system. It works for Rachio Gen 2 and Rachio Gen 3.
- Wireless Flow Meter – This is an add-on that works exclusively with the third generation of Rachio. This will help to make sure that your grass stays green always.
- WiFi – Rachio supports dual band WiFi i.e. 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
- Installation – It has easy press connectors. It is easier to install and supports 14-22 gauge wires.
- Application – The Rachio mobile app is available for IOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+. The Rachio Web App is available for most internet browsers.
- Compatibility – Rachio works with Nest, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and others.
- Items in the box: A Rachio box will contain the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller. It will also have power supply with a 6 feet cord. You will get mounting hardware which consists of 4 screws (1-3/4” in length) and 4 drywall mounts (1/4” diameter). Customers will get the Rachio Quick Start Guide which will help you with the installation procedure.
Netro: Product Features & Technical Specifications
- Fully Automatic - EPA WaterSense certified, dynamically creates and adjusts watering schedules optimized for your...
- Lifetime Cloud Service - Connects to WiFi(2.4G), monitors and controls your sprinkler system anywhere from iOS(8.3+),...
- Eco Friendly - Save up to 50% of your outdoor water use with advanced water saving technologies including weather...
- Netro Whisperer – This is the soil sensor that comes with Netro. It keeps the system updated. It shows a real-time status of your garden. This is done by measuring water capacity and how fast the water passes through the soil. It is an excellent enhancement to your smart sprinkler system.
- WiFi – Netro Sprite supports single band WiFi i.e. 2.4 GHz.
- Installation – It can be installed indoors only. For outdoor use, you may have to purchase an enclosure.
- Application – The Netro mobile app is available for IOS 8.3+ and Android 5.0+.
- Compatibility – Netro Sprite works with Nest, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.
- Items in the box:A Netro Sprite box will consist of the smart sprinkler system itself. It also includes 1 CR2 battery which is needed for the system. The Netro Whisperer can be bought separately.
Rachio: Frequently Asked Questions
Netro: Frequently Asked Questions
You are allowed to have an unrestricted number of Rachios under one account. But, the different Rachio units cannot communicate with each other. They have to be operated as different systems from the same app.
A Rachio unit will track your local weather. It will also keep a track of your watering cycles.
Rachio uses as little as 5kb for its operations. This means that it needs very little data to work. Rachio only requires a stable internet connection.
Your current sprinkler system has to utilize AC (alternating current) solenoids. Rachio will be compatible with all such sprinkler systems. You might need to replace your system if it has a DC solenoid.
No, Netro is designed for indoor use only. If you want to use it outdoors, then you will need to buy an enclosure to cover the controller and power adaptor. These enclosures can be found on Amazon.
Yes, Netro can work with your existing sprinklers. Customers only need to replace or install the controller.
Yes, you can add many devices to your Netro Account. The procedure for this quite simple and can be done via the Netro Application.
Netro Sprite is currently not compatible with rain sensors. However, it does make use of advanced technology to determine rain schedules.
Rachio and Netro Sprite both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Overall, Rachio is a slightly better product as it has many unique features that aren’t present in Netro. If you own a lawn, you should definately think of investing in a Smart sprinkler systems for your conveneince and for the enviroment too.