ST as security monitoring [advice needed] (April 2016)


(Jason Day) #1

Lurker here.

I’ve been reading all the news lately with the stability issues, SHM issues, as well as general malaise around the product.
Additionally, I have been comparing the Vera Plus.

I’d like some input on what are the items I need to accomplish the below (software, plugins & devices).

I want to set up basic security monitoring, with the ability to add more home automation features down the line.

  • Is ST stable enough to accomplish this?
  • Does ST work well with cameras?

For devices, I am looking at (what devices are the easiest to integrate?):

  • motion sensors (pet friendly)
  • door/window contacts
  • IP cameras ( I have a Foscam C1 - will I need additional code/plugins to work with this)
  • wall mounted tablet (running Smarttiles, I assume)

For behavior:

  • Armed, Disarmed, Away (vacation), Armed lite or maybe a night mode, and panic mode (call police, flash lights, etc.)
  • geofencing (device connected status indicates Armed/Disarmed)
  • remote control of system

Can ST do this well?

(Jason) #2

[quote=“Jason_Day, post:1, topic:45245”]
I want to set up basic security monitoring, with the ability to add more home automation features down the line.

Is ST stable enough to accomplish this?[/quote]
This might be a better question to ask in a week, they are alledgedly pushing updates tonight to fix some more issues. They also pushed updates yesterday

Vera is more open with cameras, ST has to be on the approved list to show video in the app

I would wait a week or two to see how the updates pan out, but yes if they fix the back end ST can do all of this

I have both, major differences to me:

ST’s App is monumentally better, but there are alternative options for vera.

Both platforms are flexible, ST has an edge though

ST is more userfriendly

Vera is Way more stable

Vera is better at Zwave, Right now if you plan to have more than 20 zwave devices (it goes quick) ST can run into(not always) major issues where your whole network can fail. It doesn’t seem high on their priority list.

ST has many more options for devices, and it is much easier for community members to create device integrations

ST’s forum is more helpful and usually quicker to reply

If you ever do color bulbs vera is not good at this, especially syncing multiples

Both have remote control

ST has more options for presence/geofencing (ibeacons, and Zigbee in addition gps)

This is one of the big questions, my opinion is pretty skewed right now because I am having zwave network problems. Without those issues it really depends on how much you will rely on the security portion. ST has a pretty good track record of breaking things and seemingly feeling no remorse for it (or they would stop doing it IMO)

All of that said, I enjoy ST more than Vera.

Edit: Veraplus does have bluetooth enabled right now, but there are only 1 or 2 devices.

(Jason Day) #3

Thanks for taking the time to answer.

My impression was the Vera supported more devices overall. Does your comment mean the ST supports a fuller feature set of supported devices?

With video in the app, is there any way around it? Or can I have a notification, and have the camera save clips/photos to a dropbox/ftp folder?

(Jimmy) #4

I agree with Jason, wait a week and see if the pushes fix the Smart Home Monitor issues. Right now it isn’t usable.

Video in-app is limited only to their white-listed devices

Personally I decided to go with Foscam’s and BlueIris since eventually ST will charge monthly for cameras and their approved cameras were a bit more expensive. There is a community made SmartApp that changes the Blue Iris profile based on mode, so we have certain cameras armed when home and others when away.

(Jason) #5

Vera probably has more built in support of Z Wave, and can definitely handle zwave network better. But they can both use the same zwave devices, actually since it’s much easier for users to create device types ST will likely have support(albeit non-official) of newer zwave products sooner than Vera. ST is better at Zigbee, and has more zigbee devices, and again will have newer device support quicker because of the community.

Their are various ways to control/automate arming/disarming of certain cameras w/o getting video in the app. There are also some solutions to get pictures with certain cameras to show up in the app. I don’t know enough about these to really comment, only that it’s my understanding that vera is more open with video integration.


FWIW, I have just 143 zwave devices working on ST just fine… It all depends upon how well you’ve built your zwave mesh. Same goes for zigbee.

If you mean tools to help us manage the mesh better, I would totally agree; otherwise I’m not sure what you mean. I’ve been on ST’s platform since late 2013, and I haven’t run into anything major related to zwave to make me think that.

(Jason) #7

I’m not making this up, and I’m not the only one.

And it has nothing to do with “how ive built my system”

Also I only said it could happen not that it will to everyone.


I’d say it has a lot to do with that, as well as overall mesh health and management. If someone improperly removes a device, poorly places their hub and devices, as well as a few other things I can’t think of off hand; all that will have an impact eventually.

(Jason) #9

No offense, but it seems like your up for an argument that I’m not in the mood for, and doesn’t really relate to this topic. It’s a Fact, at least in my experience that Vera does a better job with zwave. I own 3 of their hubs on which my networks didn’t have any issues. And while I haven’t been with SmartThings since the beginning, I have had a HA system for just as long.


None taken, and I’d agree it’s off topic. My point is just that some users not familiar with ST will read into statements too deeply, and the next thing you know there’s another Network World article about the ST community in an uproar.

(Jason) #11

Fair enough, but they should know there is a Possibility. I did try to be as impartial as I could be in my comparison of the two companies.

(Jason) #12

I don’t remove devices. They do however once in a while randomly fall off of my network when connected to ST. They do not act like that when connected to Vera.

My hub is centrally located, I am fully aware of the 4 hop limitation on zwave network, and I have plenty of nodes to support a strong mesh.