The Vera Control brand of smart home controllers is not the most well-known, but their VeraEdge has been a stable and reliable performer in many small home automation systems for years.
They owe some of their initial popularity to the face that they allowed homeowners to integrate several home security devices without having to use a home monitoring program or to pay the fees associated with that. Home security remains their core strength today.
Of course, the biggest advantage to the Veras is their local processing capabilities. Nothing is completely Internet free, but in times of outages, your Vera Control smart hub and the devices connected to it will continue to work. That’s what makes these controllers and not hubs.
The VeraEdge Controller can accommodate up to 50 smart devices over the Z-Wave protocol and only that protocol. When thinking of getting this model, make sure that your devices run on Z-Wave or else pairing and controlling them will not as simple as it is through a Wink or SmartThings hub.
Although this Vera hub can accommodate many smart devices, the control tends to slow down when there are many smart home devices connected. This might be due to the limited amount of memory available—only 128MB. Because of the low memory, some suggest that you run a Z-Wave repeater when this is used to help widen the reach of the hub and make the connections more reliable.
It can also be challenging to connect with other Z-Wave smart devices that were previously connected to a different hub. This is a common problem of those who upgrade their hub to a new one, and not necessarily just because of the VeraEdge unit itself.
The Vera app can be downloaded on a mobile phone or tablet, and a PC can also be used to log in to the Vera website to control the multiple devices connected to the hub. The app lets you set up profiles or scenes as well as manage individual devices. It is fairly easy to use, but being limited to only Z-Wave devices may not be ideal for many smart home owners.
As you may have guessed, the VeraEdge would not be our choice if we were setting up a new home automation network. It is not quite smart enough, and because of the work arounds required, not quite simple enough to meet our needs.
Vera Control Plus
VeraPlus is an upgrade to VeraEdge and can be accessed in all the same ways. It is also a Z-Wave controller but it provides a better performance compared to VeraEdge because of the larger memory with which it is equipped. It has 128MB flash memory and 256MB of internal memory; this helps improve the response rate of various smart devices.
Unlike VeraEdge, which is limited to devices on Z-Wave, VeraPlus is compatible with a wider range of devices because it supports various protocols such as Z-Wave Plus, Bluetooth LE, ZigBee and Wi-Fi in addition to X10 and Insteon. WAN and USB ports are also available for better connectivity.
This obviously broadens the base of home devices that can be added to a Vera Plus controller. In addition to security sensors, video doorbells, etc. you can now confidently add your lighting and heating devices. This Vera is definitely an upgrade, but it still won’t manage your entertainment equipment.
One of the best things about this model is how easy it is to transfer to from the VeraEdge. This makes setting up very easy and hassle-free for users. The app for this is also improved, and it has a new user interface that includes a PIN code. The Philips Hue lighting that previously wouldn’t work on VeraEdge will now work for Vera Plus.
There are also additional triggers available to set the devices into action when certain scenes or events are in place. Aside from this, there are many Vera plug-ins that can be used to provide more customization for users. Along with all the extra choices, of course, comes more confusion for many people looking to add on through plug-ins.
The Vera Plus is an ideal guardian for your home when you’re away. You can pre-program random lights to turn off and on as well as to react to sunrise and sunsets. Motion detectors are always on and you can still answer the doorbell on vacation. Inside, you can adjust the thermostat to keep your home comfortable for pets or take maximum advantage of HVAC savings available when your pets travel with you.
VeraEdge clearly has too many limits to make it a valid choice for a new set up, but if you have a network of devices currently running on a VeraEdge hub, there is no reason to think you have to make a change today. If you are looking to upgrade your network, the Vera Plus is a good option. Its increased memory, the full range of protocol support and all the new compatible products that adds, makes it an attractive – and easy to follow – upgrade path.
Although it still has less memory and fewer features than some of the most popular hubs available on the market today, such as Wink 2 and SmartThings, if you’re looking for a solid home guardian, the Vera Plus is a great home security network controller.