Choosing a home weather station may depend firstly on your desired set feature list. Basic weather stations will lack wind speed and rainfall indicators, often these stations only have a external single sensor to measure outside temperature and humidity. They do have one advantage though - they can be easily fixed to an outside wall, with out the difficulty of correctly positioning wind and rainfall gauges. Each of our reviews includes a full breakdown of features.
Ease of installation
Basic weather stations with out wind meters and rain gauges will be easier to install because they have a single sensor for temperature and humidity which can be attached directly to an outside wall.
Some weather stations have simpler direct internet connections via WiFi, these stations can directly upload to wunderground.com with out extra hardware and with out the necessity of keeping your PC turned on. Because of this they are easy to install.
Better weather stations have programmable warnings for such things as temperature and wind speed. For example you could set an alert to warn you when the temperature falls below 3 degrees Celsius and another if the wind gusts above 30 mph.
Direct PC Connection
Some weather stations have a direct PC connection options via USB. When connected to a PC special weather station software can be used to view the weather data and also upload data to services such as wunderground.com.
Note that to upload data you need to keep your PC on all of the time. Another option is to buy an extra component called the WeatherBridge which accepts a USB connection and then uploads to the internet directly via your router.
Direct Internet Connection
Some weather stations offer a direct internet connection via your WiFi, these weather stations can upload data to the internet even when your PC is switched off. They don't require any extra hardware to do so.
Mobile App Display
Some of the latest weather stations have mobile apps which enable you to easily monitor your home weather station from any location. If your station uploads to the internet e.g. wunderground.com then you can always view your own weather station data on their website using your mobile phone browser.
Solar Powered Sensors
Some weather stations offer solar powered outdoor sensors, these are useful so you don't have to replace your sensor batteries.
Lower end weather stations with out wind and rain measurement range from GBP20 to GBP80, mid-range models cost from GBP80 to GBP150, higher quality models will cost GBP150 to GBP400. As is often the case, it can be worth spending more on a unit that will last. If individual sensors break normally the only option is to replace the whole weather station. Wireless weather station sensors are constantly exposed to the elements, so make sure you buy a weather station that will last.
Multiple VS Single Sensors
All weathers stations now have wireless sensors for placement outside, usually the sensor should be within 50m to 100m of the home weather station. Some weather stations put all of the sensors in a single module (rain gauge, windspeed meter and thermometer), for more accurate temperature readings it is good to choose a unit where the temperature sensor is separate from the other indicators. It may then be placed in an ideal position - a shaded area and at a height of 4 to 6ft.
The higher end weather stations are global brands such as the Davis Vantage. In the mid range many of the weather stations are sourced from China and rebranded for the local US or UK market. This is not necessarily something to be concerned about. But when you are looking for firmware updates or components it is useful to know the original manufacturer. For example the Watson and Aercus weather stations we review here are branded as Ambient weather in the USA, both are manufactured by Fine Offset in China.