What have you heard about VeraSecure?


(Mark) #1

Continuing the discussion from Huge Security breach: Armed home and alarms do not work without internet!:

I hadn’t heard of VeraSecure until this post. The Vera site says it supports zigbee as well as z-wave plus. I thought up until now Vera devices were z-wave only?


#2

Vera added Zigbee and Bluetooth when they released VeraPlus few years ago. However, their device support for those protocols is very limited since users can’t just make their own DTH like ST.


(Mark) #3

Ah, thanks.


(Matthew Valeri) #4

I should copy this somewhere because I’ve typed it out a few times.

I’ve gone from a Vera 3 to OpenHab to now SmartThings. Here are my thoughts of GetVera/MiCasaVerde from another post:

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.


#5

Nortek bought 25% of Mios last year. (Nortek is One of the largest makers of Z wave devices in the US, and sells their devices under many different brands including gocontrol, 2gig, elan and Linear. They aren’t big like Samsung big, but they are a large player in the security device market.)

The new secure is part of the combined offering, as it has the option to include an antenna that is specific to 2gig security devices.

You can see the CES floor presentation on the secure in the following video. This is basically a commercial for it, so it’s going to make it look very good. But it does highlight the feature differences. I don’t think it’s been UL listed yet, but they hit every checkbox for what they will need to get it UL listed as a security system, which is what they will need to sell it at Home Depot.

As with all the vera offerings to date, the big weakness is the UI which is undocumented, not intuitive, and with some significant bugs. But it does run locally and it does tick all the security boxes, including optional professional monitoring, no contract required, eight hour battery back up, cellular connection for notifications and communication with the professional monitoring center, ability to use non-mesh sensors, good camera integration, built-in siren, two way voice communication with the monitoring center, and a couple of other things.

It’s not as easy to use as the monthly contract systems like ADT or Xfinity Home, there’s no touchpad display, and it’s a much more limited zigbee device selection than SmartThings. But as a self installed security panel with good Z wave automation integration, it’s worth looking at.


(Matthew Valeri) #6

Yes, the Nortek investment and VeraSecure marked a change in strategy (or the looking for other profit centers) for the company.

The main point for me is has there been any change in their development/implementation teams? I’ve described SmartThings as “A rich kid’s C+ science fair project.” Meaning, the team may not be great, but they have a rich Daddy that will keep them in business. It is yet to be seen if Norket can continue to support GetVera should the product not meet sales expectations. Even the biggest can fail. Google bought/invested in Revolv and pushed it into Home Depot only to see it fail. Now Google might have had other interests in Revolv, like using their technical talent in the development of Google Home so it may not have been a complete loss but until you know how far Nortek is willing to go down the road with GetVera I’d be very leary of jumping on board.


(jkp) #7

Wait! What? You are a little off on the facts here. Google purchased Revolv and immediately shut it down. They only wanted the team who built the system and folded them into Nest.


#8

I don’t think Nortek was ever interested in vera as far as unit sales. For that matter, Mios isn’t that interested in Vera, it’s the smaller part of their business now.


(Matthew Valeri) #9

A little off, but not much. Revolv became part of Nest, but still continued to operate and be sold.

Jan 2014- Revolv to be sold at Home Depot
Oct 2014- Google/Nest buys Revolv
April 2016- Google/Nest shuts down Revolv


(Matthew Valeri) #10

Yes, the thread is about the VeraSecure. As someone who had a Vera I simply restated my experience with the company and the system. I stand by that, Vera is a beta test bed for the MiOS software. Don’t expect much, buyer beware.


(Matthew Valeri) #11

And as I say all this, don’t think I didn’t like Vera. It’s not a bad platform. It just has its issues like every other HA system at the moment. You just need to understand what your getting yourself into and decide if the product is something that will work for you.


(jkp) #12

No, I am sorry but I have to set you straight again. But google purchased Revolv in October 2014 and immediately shut down any further development on revolv. amazon and Home Depot stopped selling it within days because so many were trying/opting to return it for refunds. I owned a revolv so I know the story. Originally, google stated they were ceasing any further development and would only maintain the revolv cloud so the revolv hub would continue to operate for current users (for life as they originally stated to us). But a lot of good that would do since no new devices would ever be added to it in the future. We were informed the developers of revolv were being moved into the “works with Nest” Group. Then in April of the following year, they reversed direction and notified users they were shutting down the cloud which caused an uproar. Then in the fall of 2015 google gave refunds to those remaining users who did not qualify for a return.


#13

And speaking of Revolv, this article back in March hints that Nest may have a new security system on the way.

And with today’s news about the new Nest IQ camera, I see this as something potentially plausible.


(jkp) #14

Check out the price on the new Nest IQ indoor security cam … $299.00


#15

It’s pricey, but worth it in my eyes. It’s a little cheaper if you purchase a 2 pack @ $498 though.

It’s packed with a whole lot more technology though. And over my existing $199 per indoor camera, it looks promising. I have wanted to see the facial recognition piece for a long time. Now if ST would create an official integration to be able to take advantage of those features.

Here’s a little more on specs:


#16

You guys might want to start a new topic for the nest cam IQ. :wink: Definitely looks interesting.

If I’m reading it correctly, though, it’s going to cost an additional $10 per month per camera to get the facial recognition features, as they are part of the nest aware package.


#17

They add this same technology to an outdoor camera and having this at my front door and facial recognition turned on for a few people and being able to automate locks and disarming my system this way, that’s closer to the vision I have always imagined, growing up with the Jetsons.

JD, can you spin up another topic on it and copy all of these posts specific to IQ in there? I just figured it’s a breeze for you to do it :slight_smile:


#18

Ya I saw this as well so I’m not sure if the author is just misinformed about the cost structure or they are going to up it a little more. I pay $10 for 10 day coverage on one camera and then I pay $5 per each of my other two cameras. And then two of them, I don’t pay the service.


#19

They talk about it recording two streams as once, so maybe they are going to up the cost. I will look into that a little more.


#20

I can’t do it at all. (And wouldn’t want to. :wink:). I can move a whole thread, but not individual posts. That would require @slagle or @Aaron.