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How does Vera compare?

Frequent Contributor

Re: How does Vera compare?

Hey Josh, glad your still here. Any chance you could release partial results, like maybe just those items confirmed, and / or what other devices you will be checking?

Rookie

Re: How does Vera compare?

For those of you researching different platforms/systems to replace your Iris...

 

I actually did a lot of research on this, and came across a lot of platforms, like Abode, Iota, SmartThings, etc.  I was NOT AT ALL impressed with the customer support for those companies, IF I got someone on the phone in support!  Those that I did speak with seemed to be bothered by my call.  Now, I did tech support for a software company for 14 years, and that is NOT the way to assist customers looking at purchasing your product!

 

I did contact GetVera (Vera) and I was sincerely impressed with the knowledge and support I got from them!  I spoke with one representative, Jonatan, who was very helpful and helped me immensely with answering my questions, and making sure that I understood his answers.  After I hung up with him, I did some more research, and Vera seemed to have outstanding reviews, from what I found.  I called Jonatan back, and spoke with him, and he assisted me in placing my order for the system.

 

Based on my research, and the minimum of devices that I had with my Iris system, although Vera was offering different bundles at a reduced rate for Iris customers, I decided on the VeraPlus controller (the brains) https://getvera.com/controllers/ , and a Vera VistaCam 700 https://getvera.com/portfolio-posts/vera-vistacam-700/ to fit my needs, since I had Z-Wave and ZigBee devices, and the basic VeraEdge really couldn't handle those.  My order was shipped out and I just received my package today.


Here is what I wrote to Jonatan regarding the install:

  • Took me about 3 hours total, between running up and down stairs, mainly for the camera.

  •  

    I initially set up the First Alert Smoke and CO detector to pair, then worked on the 2 First Alert Smoke detectors (the ZSMOKE ones). These were a bit of a pain; I had to select the Generic Z-Wave device in the Device Wizard, then had to go to select mode, then sync and get the light flashing, the insert the batteries into the smoke detector to pair, then go through the process of naming them and assigning to room, etc.

     

  • After getting those paired, I tried to get my ZigBee water/flood sensor to pair, I could not get that one to pair AT ALL!

    Then, upstairs to do the Vista Cam 700. Following the instructions for both methods, wired and wireless, the image would not come up to show that it was paired. However, after getting out of the Device Wizard, the camera was showing as added, so all I had to do was assign a room, etc.

     

  • Lastly, I was able to pair the UtiliTech flood sensor (Z-Wave, using the same process as I did for the 2 plain smoke detectors). However, that sensor is a bit touchy when trying to pair it, and I had to work with it to get it to pair, which was the same as the Iris system.

  • I was unable to pair the Iris Flood (water) sensor puck, although I tried and tried.  I went ahead and purchased the Fibaro Flood Sensor puck, which sets on the floor and detects any water on the floor.
  • I also couldn't pair the Iris camera, nor the Range Extender.  Vera MAY possibly be able to incorporate that, but, at this time they don't pair.

NOTE:  I must say that the main concern that I have is that I have a woodstove which we use for heating, and need to monitor our laundry room, which is where our water enters the house and goes to the pressure bladder tank, as that we have well water, and in the event that a clothes washer line breaks, or a PVC pipe breaks in the room, I want to be notifed if no one is home.

 

Overall, I am very happy with the Vera system, albeit I've only had it up and running for a couple of hours.  Set up is easy, paring is relatively easy (the plain First Alert smoke detectors did take some time, and they reflect BOTH a CO and smoke detector, but they work!).  Ran a test on the smoke detectors and got an almost immediate message that an alarm had gone off in my home, and then, when I canceled the alarm, another message that it had been canceled.

 

At this point, I'm very happy with what I spent, and used my Iris redemption card to pay for it!  If anyone does have any questions, feel free to reply to this and I'll check back in occasionally to see and reply.

 

One thing that Jonatan did say was that Vera is working to get a GoogleDrive or Dropbox type connection to record any video when the camera (also has a motion detector, unlike the Iris cam I had) is armed.  He also stated a few more things in the works that should be out later this year, once they are refined.

 

BUT, the nice thing is that there isn't any charge for self monitoring your home!


Hope that helps!

 

Ted

 

 

Frequent Contributor

Re: How does Vera compare?

I was waiting to comment on this until I got mine up and running, but given your comments I wanted to throw my experience out there also.  I emailed their support probably within a week of Iris announcing they were shutting down.  I just wanted to learn more about the system, how much is support, satisfaction gaurantee, etc.  I was shocked to actually have a response in only a few hours!  I've never gotten support from any company like that.  I responded with additional questions and again, they responded in only a few hours.

 

I was impressed with their service, but still on the fence of which route to go.  After more research, the discounts, and my experience thus far with them, I ordered a Vera Plus also.  Before I buy additional devices I was going to see what all I could transfer over.

 

Just some additional advice for those switching over, there are ways to keep Iris cameras working on Vera but it's a bit complicated and takes some research.  Basically, you can use a program like Blue Iris which has a plug-in with Vera.  I haven't done it yet, but I've got them working with Blue Iris on their own as IP cameras.  Like I said, from what I've read on livingwithiris, it can be done but it takes some work.  I haven't gotten my Vera Plus yet to try it out yet but just thought I'd throw that info out there!

Frequent Contributor

Re: How does Vera compare?

Josh,

 

Seems to be taking a long time to test products, I think you answered in this forum, 4 weeks ago.  Any progress?

Frequent Contributor

Re: How does Vera compare?

Hi everyone, I'm sorry for the delayed response. We'd love to have a faster process.
Coming our next next release we're going to support 4 devices out of the top ten most inquired and these are:
IRIS Contact Sensor 3320-L - Zigbee
IRIS Smart Plug 3210-L 2nd Generation - Zigbee
IRIS Motion Sensor 3326-L 2nd Generation - Zigbee
IRIS Security KeyPad Model 3405-L 2nd Generation - Zigbee

More to come....

Frequent Contributor

Re: How does Vera compare?

I’m very satisfied with Vera, so far it’s better then Iris ever was. Have about 40 devices running. Pairing was the only part that was a bit of a struggle, but the support line helped with that and then it was a breeze. Since then i’ve not had any devices drop . I have about 20 scenes set up and those are intuitive and easy to set up. Use of “rooms” (groups) is also great as you can also organize devices by room,  and scenes by room. The geofencing works great so modes are automatically triggered, then subsequently scenes are triggered based on modes. The support line is the best I’ve experienced, i’ve Gotten thru quickly and the resolve the few startup questions I had promptly, they get big kudos in my book.

 

Vera is even better then I expected. Thanks to Iris for going out of business and forcing me to switch, Vera is much better.

Frequent Contributor

Re: How does Vera compare?

I too looked extensively at the major replacements to IRIS.  Once I got IRIS going, it was great and stable and much of my gear was v1.  Before selection of the new platform I wanted to make sure that the basic security and HA tasks that IRIS was handling could be done in the new system.  I looked at websites, forums and then sent emails and even called.  I too was impressed that I could send an email at 10PM after an evening of research and I would have responses by the time I woke up.  Everyone had good information.  Others couldn't be bothered to respond or didn't follow up with information once confirmed.

 

Now, I too have had issues with some pairing and other problems with not responding, but once I really got the system operating I am not hampered with these issues in an operational way.  I am collecting these issues and will hit tech support all at once.

 

I "rushed" over a weekend with Vera equipment to get replacement to IRIS with much of the features that took me years to develop.  All in all it went smoothly.

 

I'm need to look more at the apps that Vera have to see what other features I can add, but now that I have a stable system, I want to add these features methodically 

Frequent Contributor

Re: How does Vera compare?

As a second thought, I see that Vera is planning to release an update that will expand the capabilities of Vera to IRIS gear.  I tried my one v2 sensor and it drove the controller crazy, so I unpaired it.

 

I am hoping that you will also be working on some of the v1 gear, specifically the plug in power controllers.  I have a number I'd love to start using again.  Along the way I also have the door/window sensors, motion sensor and keypad.

 

I've followed Vera on Facebook as they suggest, but I am putting this note out here as it seems Vera is responding and I don't see a lot of recent updates there at current.

Tinkerer

Re: How does Vera compare?

Great to know Vera may be a viable option. My neighbor kaboshed Arlo for me, says their support is horrid.

I am waiting on the new camera's from TP Link/Kasa this summer, but will need a hub for sensors.

 

Maybe Vera and Kasa are my ticket. 
Shame I have all the V3 hub and wireless cameras going to waste. 

Maybe Arcus will gain some traction.