Is VeraSecure better than Wink Hub 2 and SmartThings?

Is VeraSecure better than Wink Hub 2 and SmartThings?


– Looking for more information about the Vera SmartHub lineup? Today we’re going to look at the VeraEdge, VeraPlus, and
do an in depth review on the VeraSecure. Stay tuned. (electronic music) Hi again, John Stone
the DIY Smart Home Guy, I’m the channel that’s all about providing tips, tricks,
and reviews for your affordable smart home. If you’ve seen my How
to Start Your Smart Home video, you’ll remember
that I make a case for a Smart Hub to be the center
of your Smart Home experience. This is because Smart Home devices use a variety of networking protocols like Z-Wave, Zigbee, and
Bluetooth amongst others. In my opinion, you’ll want a capable hub to bring it all together. And if you haven’t seen
that video, I’ve left the link in the description below. A few months back I
had a conversation with the folks over at Vera
about their new Hub lineup and they were kind enough to send me over this VeraSecure for me
to evaluate, and I know what you’re thinking. This video is not a paid
endorsement, I received no compensation for making this video. All product links in the
description below are affiliate links and I
may receive commissions if you purchase products from these links. Some products shown in
the video were provided to me for free from the
manufacturer, however this video should not be
considered an endorsement for any of these products. And as always, I’ll be
giving you my honest opinion of the product, regardless
of the fact that I received this product for free. To kick things off, let’s
learn a little about Vera as a company since in my
opinion, there’s something that really sets them
apart from the competition. Vera entered the smart
home controller space back in 2008, that’s roughly
a decade of experience and understanding about the smart home. And, their expertise isn’t limited to the consumer product space. Vera runs on Mios, which
is M-I-O-S, which is a software platform used
by top manufacturers and service providers to
provide home and business automation in 65 different countries. And it’s worth mentioning that the Vera controller, it’s the brain child of Mios. Which, according to Vera,
allows their customers to benefit from innovation
that comes out of the Mios partnerships. And as I mentioned at the
top of the video, Vera has three levels of controllers
that are available. To see more videos like
these, now’s a good time to subscribe. You’ll also want to spank that bell icon to be notified when new
videos are released or if I stream a new live broadcast. The VeraEdge is the
entry model and it comes in right around 99 bucks. Now this is a Z-Wave only
controller, which means it doesn’t support Zigbee
and it doesn’t support Bluetooth. This isn’t a big deal if
your Zigbee devices are things like the Phillip’s
Hue since there is a plugin available. But you want to check out
the Mios marketplace to be sure that your devices are supported. The mid-grade product is the VeraPlus. Coming in right around 150 dollars makes it a bit more expensive then the Wink Hub 2, and the SmartThings Hub. But I do see this on sale
now and again, and in my opinion, it has the
power and capabilities to make the extra price worth it. But, I’ll get into that in a little bit. The VeraPlus supports
more memory, Zigbee, and Bluetooth support plus gigabit internet. You can also purchase
add-on’s cellular and battery backup, which is true
for the VeraEdge as well. (laughing) So let’s talk about the
big boy, the VeraSecure. First thing that you’ll
need to get past is that 300 dollar sticker shock. But before you write this
thing off, this is far more than a simple smart home hub. Vera markets this as a whole home security controller with built in
smart home functionality. If you’re looking to have a full blown security system without the huge monthly fees, this could be worth your time. That is, if you’re willing
to go the DIY route after all, this is the
DIY Smart Home guy channel so, of course you’re
willing to go that route. Right? Now the first thing that caught my eye is that this is a fully
self-contained unit, by that I mean it doesn’t rely on an internet connection to do it’s job. All routines, robots,
scenes, and schedules run locally. While SmartThings and Wink
Hub 2 do have some aspects of local control, they
still rely on their cloud services for the heavy lifting. So, basically if you’re
serious about DIY home security, then local control is definitely the way to go, and if
you’re already running a 2GIG security system, never fear! According to Vera, this
has a built in protocol called VeraLink that allows you to integrate with certain 2GIG panels. The unit also has a
built-in battery backup that provides up to four hours of life, and there’s an embedded 3G cellular backup. So basically, if the power’s
out, the internet is out and your phone line is
down, this thing’s gonna keep on trucking. It’s worth mentioning that
if you want to use this 3G connection, you’ll need
to have a data plan and this is gonna cost you
an extra monthly fee. And no, I actually don’t
know how much it costs. The VeraSecure also has
a built-in speaker and microphone, which allows
you to talk to a monitor in service, if you signed up for it. And you’re gonna talk to
them directly, and it’s got this built-in siren
which is freaking loud! (beeping) (sighs) Vera also offers a monitoring
services which runs a hair under 20 bucks
a month at the time I made this video. So this essentially
means that you can spend anywhere from 500 to
1,000 bucks a month for a custom DIY security system with full smart home capabilities. And if you want someone
else to monitor it for you, you can add in that
extra 20 bucks a month and you get the extra peace of mind. Now, make no mistake
this is a DIY security solution, that means it’s up to you to plan, install, and maintain the individual components of your
security system; and these kinds of things can become
complex, so make sure you have both patience
and understanding if you plan on going this route. I’ve seen a few reviews
about the Vera products and these complain about support for WiFi devices, well the system
does have built-in WiFi, this is not a hub
that’ll integrate all of your WiFi smart home devices. But then again, neither
will Wink or SmartThings so I’m really not sure
what this is all about. However, I have seen
some Vera apps that allow you to connect to WEMO
gear, but that’s about all I’ve really found. Now as far as accessibility
is concerned, Vera products can be accessed from smart phones, tablets, and even
to a browser interface on your PC. The usual suspects are supported being iOS and Android, and the
mobile apps are pretty simple to use. This is where I live on
most days, but I really do like the fact that you
can use a PC browser interface occasionally. Since this is where the
true power lives, and we will get into that in a little bit. And with that, let’s
get into the software. I’ll be switching between
the mobile app, and the browser so that you can get
a feel for the differences. Okay so let’s take a look
at these user interfaces. Over here on the left
side of the screen, you’re gonna see the uh, PC
interface and on the right you’re gonna see that
is being mirrored off of my iPhone, so I have
this running on the iOS app, and just so you can see what’s going on over here, I’ve got
the VeraSecure now I do have it plugged into the
ethernet, but this is running on battery power
and it’s running just fine, that’s a rechargeable battery. If we go back over here
to our interface, you can see that it’s telling us that we have 75% of the battery that’s
remaining because I’ve had it unplugged for about an hour. You can also see this if
we go over that iOS side there’s our battery power;
the three hours battery power. So this is your dashboard
on that iOS app, you have your favorites and this
is really where you probably live on your phone. These are the things that you should be turning off and on most often. Uh, you can have those same favorites down here on that web interface, uh so it’s all on one screen on the
web interface, but you have to flip over between
dashboard and favorites on the iOS side. If you wanted to get into
a full listing of all of the devices, you’re
going to come down here to the devices. Now this gives you
everything, we’ll do the same thing over here on the
iOS, look at the devices there and it’s pretty much one for one. Vera does organize things
by rooms, so we have the downstairs hall, the garage, these are basically where I’ve
put all of my devices. Again, you can see the
same kind of concept. Over here, you have all
of the rooms of what’s going on, so it’s organized pretty well. One thing that I find
with the Vera is it breaks down every single
capability that you have on a device, so there are some
things that I’ve thrown down into this little
Zignore room, because there’s really no other place to put them. But those are down there
in that little ignore area. Another powerful capability
of the Vera platform is the scene handling. I find that I like their
approach better than I do the Wink or SmartThings;
this is because everything is both integrated into one approach and everything runs locally. The Wink Hub breaks out
robots, schedules, and shortcuts into different places. On Vera, these are all in the same place. Also, for the true advanced automation on SmartThings, you need
extensions like Core, which runs in the Cloud. This means that if your
internet goes down, your Core Pistons won’t run,
at least that’s according to my research. Again, on Vera, everything is local. Looking at the scene that’s set up on the mobile app, you’ll notice that the scene has this play button. This means that the
scene is either a robot or a schedule using Wink terms. Pressing this button will
play the scene, which is basically a shortcut in Wink language. When you create a new
scene, you’ll see where you can select the trigger, which can be a device, schedule, or location. And since Vera allows you to have multiple triggers for one scene, you can basically make it any combination
of any of these items. When you have more than
one trigger, Vera gives you the option to create
an and or an or condition. The and condition is
this only if all triggers are tripped option and
the or condition is if at least one trigger is tripped option. After you have set your
triggers, it’s as simple adding the actions. Vera allows you to tie
the scene to the home and away settings and it
also accommodates night and vacation mode. You can also select to
retrieve notifications any time the scene runs. Switching to the desktop,
there’s one more thing I’d like to point out. The first thing you’ll
notice is that there are more options for the PC interface. One of the more powerful options is the ability to add loopcode. I’m not going to be
covering loopcode in detail in this video, but to
put it simply, loopcode allows you to create your
own advanced automation without the need for third
party apps like IFTTT and Stringify. So I want to take a second
just to show you just how fast this VeraSecure
is, so I created kind of a stupid little scene here, and basically when this Zeus power switch
that you see over there on that desk gets turned
on, I’m gonna hit some loopcode and this
loopcode is going to turn on device number 37, which is that little desk lamp that I have right there. Now I’m gonna hit that
Zeus power switch icon down there at the bottom; both
of these are happening in real time that mobile
app is being mirrored up to my PC, so let’s go
ahead and kick that off. And you see that light
just comes on in real time there, so what’s
happening is that Zeus being turned on is
triggering that scene, which is firing that code,
which is turning on that little switch in the back,
which in turn turns on that desk lamp, and the speaker
scene there is because all of this is running local,
so you get that real time aspect of it, so it’s pretty slick. I love the speed that you
get out of this VeraSecure. So a couple more things
that we’ll look at here in addition to the
scenes there is an energy monitoring function that this has. So if you have devices that support energy monitoring, you can look
all of that up inside Vera as well. Pretty standard stuff
and let’s take a look at the apps here. So these apps are what I
have on my system, now you can see down here I have
my ecobee thermostat and I’ve got my MyQ, uh
the other thing that I found was a Harmony Hub
control add-on app, so let’s take a look at that real quick. What I have this is, I have the ability to turn my TV on from my
Vera and switch this into either turn this on or off
or switch it over to cameras. So overall, if you couldn’t tell, I really like the VeraSecure. What impressed me the
most was the speed of the device control, and the
powerful scene that can be fully local controlled. Thanks for watching and
don’t forget to subscribe and don’t forget to click like. And over here, there’s a couple of other videos that you might enjoy. For more of reviews,
tips, and DIY videos visit AZHB.com, and thanks
all of you that already support me over on
patreon.com/diysmarthomeguy. Until next time, cheers! Bluetooth support, plus. (babbles)

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19 Replies to “Is VeraSecure better than Wink Hub 2 and SmartThings?”

  1. Are you able to use Google assistant to control all of the devices associated with Vera? Do you know if it works with the Chamberlain MyQ garage controller?

  2. Good. I have two questions. Do it work wit Amazon Alexa? (I know someone else already ask 😉 Does it has the capability to work as zwave repeater, like the old vera3 did?

  3. So, are you going to switch out your Wink Hub 2 for this? I like the local control aspect as well as the battery backup. Don't really need the security aspects. My Wink Hub 2 has been great but as you've noted, when you get a lot of devices, it can be slow. The interface looks better as well as Wink is lousy on a tablet. Would you recommend the Secure over the Plus? Reviews on Amazon are mixed for both.

  4. Great videos. So you said you don't have to use Stingify or IFTTT but does it still integrate with those if you wish? I know that means the control would no longer be local.

  5. I do not see the "and" condition for scenes on my Android app. I am using Vera Plus. Is that currently an exclusive feature of Vera Secure or iOS app?

  6. I have both a Wink 2 and a SmartThings v2 but you won me over with local control and multiple triggers. The VeraPlus has this, as well, correct?

  7. Hi, thanks for all the great vídeos. Any suggestions for a Smart light switch dimmer (like the Inovelli w scenes) but for Europe? We have 220V, and I can't find any good ones for integration with Samsung' Smartthings.

  8. I was originally going to get the wink hub 2 after watching your videos. But I was planning on getting a monitored security system too. I didn’t want two window sensors for example on two systems. I’m probably going to get the VeraSecure but I am still looking. What are the cons of it? Anything it can’t do that wink or SmartThings can? How is the app for just turning simple lights on and off or opening the garage door or unlocking the front door via phone? Anything else you can add?

  9. Don’t get the Vera!!!! I had terrible experience with it. If you are serious I would highly recommend Homeseer Software with an Intel Nuc computer. Great solid reliable software!

  10. Wonderful review, you almost convinced me buy Vera, then I went on Google Play and find out that way over 500 ppl. have rated Vera app. 1 * and 2** stars while only 170 ppl have rated it 5 stars.
    There are so many people complaining about serious staff and no fix even after a year… So who are we to believe ?? A video review or over 500 people? I mean the Official Vera Tech people (miOS L.T.D.) are confirming the problems so…
    Please, before any replying, go on Google play and read the problems that a vast majority are reporting, maybe even solve them since you advertise this product so heavily.
    I'm researching to find out what controller to buy and it's so hard to know what to choose.
    Vera has all those reported problems, the new Smart-Things has also so many problems and the wink hub 2 is not available in Europe…so I really don't know what to do..

  11. I have experience with several smart home hubs. VeraPlus was my primary hub until I ran into too many issues that steered be straight into SmartThings. First, if a Zwave device went offline the VeraHub would become extremely slow as it was trying to reconnect. Another issue that made is extremely slow was when I had a large number of Zwave and Zigbee devices. These two issues chased me away. Awhile ago, Lutron Caseta support was terminated after a Lutron update which really ticked be off. There was also no Nest integration. There was also many issues with Zigbee devices being dropped. Also, Luup code (really badly hacked LUA) was really troublesome to work with. The bottom line is that VeraPlus was okay with a small network of not very many devices.

  12. Sheesh, after watching this video I signed up for the Vera forums, and man oh man are there some problems with that ecosystem. People are fleeing in large numbers, apparently many of them are landing with a Hubitat. Would love to see an in depth review of one of these devices.

  13. How do you shut of the loud alarm once tripped ? Was using the air impact in the garage and tripped the glass break sensor. I turned of the VeraSecure button but the alarm blasts as soon as I turn it back on !!!

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