I am considering switching to Vera Secure


(Brandon W) #1

I LOVE Smartthings, but to me it is an unreliable mess. I always got something wrong with this system. Awesome software, poor reliability. And yes, please don’t tell me I need yet another repeater as pretty much I have a zwave switch every corner of my house. I won’t ever “get rid” Smartthings, if they ever become more reliable, I will go back. But, from what I hear the Vera Secure system seems like the way to go for my needs. If anyone wants to give me some tips here are my issues with my ST system right now.

-One of my GE zwave dimmers is not being nice when I do a zwave repair [Failed to update mesh info]. This is near most of my door sensors that do not work.

-Half of my GoControl Sensors decided to go out on me and start misbehaving. These have been working great until last week when I found 1 or 2 were not working. Replaced batteries in every sensor, half work now.

Anything that does work (Remotes, misc zwave plug in switches) they decide to only work part time.

Thanks
-Brandon


#2

I’m considering Vera Secure for my parent’s home. If you do switch, let us know what you find. It had just been released when I jumped ship.


(John) #3

I considered Vera as I also get frustrated with ST, but I found too many of my devices were not supported. The deal breaker was control of my alarm system. For me, there is little point to home automation if I cannot arm and disarm my alarm system.


(Matthew Valeri) #4

If you haven’t yet, spend some time on Vera’s forum:
forum.micasaverde.com

From someone that’s had a Vera before let me briefly describe how it works.

GetVera (formally MiCasaVerde) makes an operating system that they sell to third parties called MiOS. The “unofficial” way to describe it is they use their Vera products as a beta test bed for the MiOS software. The good is that you get a home automation system fairly cheaply (although ST, Wink are now challenging that market) but at the cost of being a beta tester. Now, they won’t officially acknowledge this but it is widely known and accepted. Even company reps refuse to refute it.

As such, Vera’s main weak point (there are a few) is it’s software and specifically updates. I’ve been off it in about a year, but UI5 was the last reasonably stable version. UI6 was abandoned due to being a disaster. UI7 was rushed due to their MiOS customers demanding an update for new product releases. It was a very slow process catching UI7 up to the stability of UI5. EVERY time Vera released an update, more things seemed to break than be fixed. The final straw for me was that support for my humidity sensor that controls my kid’s bathroom fan broke and there was no idea from tech support when/if it would be ever fixed (“Maybe in a future update”). Unlike ST, you can not make a DTH. You are reliant on Vera to provide support for products so if something is broken or a new product hits the market you have to wait for Vera to get off their butt to support it.

There is a very robust smart app market (they call them Plug-ins). You can think of Plug-ins as a combination of smart apps and to a lesser degree DTHs for external systems (Sonos, weather, ect). More like bindings if you are familiar with OpenHab.

Automation is very similar to ST. A very basic native automation offering but there is a Plug-in very much like Core called PLEG that provides much more options. It is paid (about $7) but extremely worth it.

Finally, the other issue with Vera’s is the hardware itself. It’s basically a re-branded router. Memory has been a huge issue. Recent offerings like the Secure has been better, but still very under powered for what people have been requesting.

Good: Cheap, local automation
Bad: Buggy software, underpowered hardware

In your decision you have to think about the history. Vera created a niche between computer based DIY and multi thousand dollar systems like Control 4. This was before ST, Wink, Iris, Revolv, ect. The market got flooded with these systems a few years ago and while some died off, those backed by large corporations (Samsung, Lowes, ect) remain. Vera survived off it’s MiOS software but quickly fell behind the “new” slick consumer offerings. To increase business they are trying to get into the monitoring side of the business with the Secure.

TL:DR, I’d put Vera on equal level with ST but the difference is ST has big money behind it (Samsung) where Vera has no clout. IFTTT, Amazon, other companies all scoff at GetVera when trying to get implementation. GetVera will always say the company isn’t willing to work with them but I highly suspect GetVera just doesn’t have the resources to enter an agreement with them.