Which Vera Controller is best for me?
The VeraEdge Home Controller, our most basic model, is a very powerful controller, capable of handling up to 50 or 100 security and home automation devices in your home, at a very attractive entry-level price. VeraPlus can handle more devices in your home, up to 200 or more, and also handles more brands of devices because it "speaks" in 4 different wireless protocol "languages" -- Z-Wave, ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE. The top-of-the-line VeraSecure Home Controller adds one more protocol - VeraLink - and features built-in siren alarm, backup battery and a backup cellular connection (requires optional VeraProtect monitoring service.) Note that all Vera Controller models run the same Vera App, so you are getting the same set of features and benefits built into the software. Also, you can easily upgrade from one model to another while preserving all your settings and customizations. For a more detailed comparison, see this article: Selecting Your Home Controller
Can Vera work without the Internet?
Yes. Your Vera system works all the time, even when your Internet service goes down. Of course, without the Internet you won't have remote access to your Vera system. However, the system will continue to work. (If equipped with "cellular backup" capability, your Vera system can also send out text and/or email notifications without Internet.)
How can I bridge two controllers?
For very large homes or applications where very large numbers of devices need to be included in the system, it can be beneficial to add a second Vera controller to the system. This is called "bridging" controllers. When you bridge Vera controllers, one unit (usually the first one you installed) acts as the "master," and the second unit is considered the "slave." For more detailed information, see here: Steps to bridge your Vera units
With Vera offering new optional services, will monthly fees be required?
No. Vera Home Controllers are sold with our commitment that no monthly fees are required, and this will not change. The Vera App will always be available without a monthly fee. You will always be able to self-monitor your Vera system without a monthly fee. Vera is offering optional add-on services, such as VeraProtect Professional Monitoring Service, that provide added capabilities to your Vera system at very competitive prices (compared with alarm and cable-TV company offerings.) However, regardless of how many additional services we may offer, you can be assured that the basic functioning of your Vera Home Controller will never require a monthly fee.
How do I upgrade to a new Vera Controller?
For more detailed information, see here: Intro: Upgrading Your Controller
Is my Vera system vulnerable to hacking?
Though ultimately anything connected to the internet is vulnerable to hacking, your Vera Home Controller and connected devices are better protected, and more secure than most other home security and automation systems. For starters, when you're home your computer and tablet and phone communicate directly with your Vera Home Controller over the home network -- meaning the signals between computer and controller don't travel over the internet. In fact, when you're home you can disconnect your Vera Home Controller from the internet and continue to control lights, thermostats, door locks, etc. When you're away from home, Vera uses state-of-the-art encryption to communicate with your Vera Home Controller. (It's very similar to what banks use for secure home banking.) And all current Vera Home Controllers provide their own Wi-Fi network for cameras and other devices, separate from your home's existing Wi-Fi network that you might use for online banking or other sensitive activities, adding yet another extra layer of protection. Although no home security and automation system can be absolutely 100% hack proof, be assured that Vera's protections are as good as you can find anywhere -- if not better.
How secure is my Vera system?
Extremely secure. The Z-Wave security implementation was created by a consortium of companies, known as the Z-Wave Alliance, that includes many large, security-conscious companies such as major lock manufacturers. This system incorporates 128-bit encryption, among other security measures. We have not heard of any security vulnerabilities or exploits. (For more info, we have a forum at forum.micasaverde.com dedicated to security concerns.)
Why can’t I remotely access my controller?
To remotely access your Vera Controller from another computer please visit: https://home.getvera.com If you are unable to access your unit remotely, it may be that your firewall is very restrictive and your Vera is unable to initiate the connection with our servers. In normal situations where the Vera unit is able to connect to the Internet like a normal computer would, there should be no issues at all, but if you have a very restrictive firewall you might want to open a port for the unit to let it connect to our servers. To do that, first you have to make sure you set up a static ip for the Vera unit preferably directly on your main router, based on its MAC address which you can find on the back of the box itself or in the DHCP table on your router. After you've successfully set up the static IP address you can safely go and open port 232 for that IP address for outbound connections. Assuming this has been successfully set, the Vera Controller should be able to reach to our servers and you should be able to access it remotely from anywhere.
How do you setup a static IP address for a Vera Controller?
To setup a static IP for your Vera Controller you will need to go to Settings > Net & Wi-Fi and select "Manually configure (advanced)". After that you will select Static IP from the dropdown box and you will put the IP that you want Vera to have on your network, the subnet mask (e.g. 255.255.255.0) , the Gateway, which is the IP of your Router (e.g. 192.168.1.1) and the DNS, which should be the same as the Gateway. Note : You should leave the options in the LAN section to the default value unless you know what you are doing or in case you're using another Vera as the main router.
How do you Factory Reset a Vera controller?
For more detailed information, see here: Factory Reset a Vera controller
How do Z-Wave devices go out of range, or stop working?
For more detailed information, see here: Z-Wave devices out of range
How can I extend the range of my devices?
For more detailed information, see here: Repeaters and Protocols
Why won’t Fios allow Vera to connect?
If you have problems getting your Vera controller to work with the Fios modem, note that it has a 'security' setting. If you leave it at the normal level, it blocks internet traffic except standard web browsing. You have to tell the Fios modem to white-list Vera, or lower the security setting.
How can a Vera system incorporate new devices if they haven’t been invented yet?
Your Vera Home Controller comes with free lifetime firmware upgrades. Currently, we provide these controller software updates at least every few months, and sometimes more often. Each update includes the info your Vera Controller needs to add dozens of new devices recently added to our "Works with Vera" compatibility list. Additionally, many new devices will work "out of the box" with Vera using our "generic" installation wizards for various categories, such as dimmers, thermostats, sensors, etc. As long as a device uses one of the wireless protocols that your Vera Home Controller offers, it should be able to work with Vera.
Why does Vera use different communications systems?
To maximize compatibility. Our philosophy is quite simple: We think you should be able to choose whichever brand and model of thermostat you want, whichever door lock you want, and so on. Having a smart home should not mean that you are stuck with a limited selection of Devices that will work with your system -- with Vera, you can use any Device you want, from any brand. As the universe of unique home control Devices continues to expand, this Vera strength will enable you to keep adding to your system.
If I have an Amazon Alexa, why would I want a Vera Home Controller?
Vera Home Controllers and Amazon Alexa work seamlessly together, and while they may appear to overlap in some ways, they provide different functions and capabilities that complement each other. If you're already using Alexa, you may be benefiting from its voice control capabilities to adjust lights, door locks, thermostats and other devices. Although you can control each device individually with Alexa alone, adding a Vera Home Controller unifies these devices so that, for example, a single command can automatically shut off multiple lights, lower thermostats, close window blinds etc. Also, your devices can interact with each other, so that a motion sensor can activate a hallway light, for example. Vera is also compatible with many more devices than Alexa alone. Most importantly, when you're away from home, Vera sends you alerts at the first sign of trouble, lets you see your cameras, and lets you control your system from anywhere. Alexa provides a great convenience when you're home, through voice control, but for full 24/7 home protection and peace of mind, you'll need a Vera Home Controller.
Do I need to keep my computer on and logged in to my Vera Controller all the time to keep Vera running?
No. Vera continues to work all the time, 24/7 regardless of whether your computer is on or off. It is the Vera Controller that runs things in your Vera system, including sending out email and text notifications. You only need your computer for the initial setup of the system, and then for making changes, such as for switching Modes, adding Scenes or adding new Devices. You can control the system entirely through mobile apps with your smartphone, or leave it running automatically.
What is the range of my Vera Controller, and can I extend it?
Approximately 25 to 30 feet and "yes" are the quick answers. "It depends," is the more accurate answer. Keep in mind that Vera uses at least two wireless communication systems: Z-Wave for most non-camera Devices, and Wi-Fi for wireless cameras. So the range for cameras may be different than for door/window sensors. With Wi-Fi, the range is the same as for everything else that uses Wi-Fi in your home or office -- if you can use a laptop or smartphone with Wi-Fi from a particular location, then your Wi-Fi camera will also work there. When needed, you can add a Wi-Fi range extender to get cameras working from outside the normal Wi-Fi range. With Z-Wave, the "official" range is supposed to be about 100-feet (30-meters) but that's under ideal conditions in an open field. For more detailed information, see here: Range
Why isn’t there a control panel? What about key fobs?
To save money, without sacrificing convenience. If you want a wall-mounted security panel, such as found on traditional alarm systems, you can add one. Vera is fully compatible with many accessory control panels from a variety of manufacturers (look for those using the Z-Wave protocol.) With Vera's mobile apps, however, you have several advantages over a traditional panel, including the ability to control things from outside the home -- and best of all, they're free! Key Fob: An accessory Z-Wave key fob looks similar to a car key fob, and can be used while you're home to control any aspect of your Vera system that you want -- to unlock and lock doors, dim or switch lights, adjust the thermostat, even change Modes.
Can I move my Vera system?
Yes. You don't have to worry about disconnecting your Vera Controller from power for a long period of time. All your settings will be maintained. When you're ready to install the system in your new home or office, you'll find that all your Devices are still "paired" and recognized by the Controller. You may need to re-name some Devices if you move them to different rooms and different locations than where they were previously. (When moving the system, it's also a good idea to let the Z-Wave network re-establish communication links between Devices, this "repair" option is in the Settings menu under "Z-Wave Settings".)
What if I don’t have Internet at home?
No problem, having an internet connection is optional. You can still set up and use Vera, even without an internet connection. Just connect your PC, Mac or other web browser into one of Vera's network ports, or connect to Vera wirelessly. Vera's built-in wireless comes pre-configured, so if you have a wireless / Wi-Fi device, you'll automatically see the 'Vera' network and can connect to it. If you don't have an internet connection, though, you won't be able to access Vera remotely from outside the home, and you won't see the helper videos on Vera's setup pages. For more detailed information, see here: Advanced Network Info
Will my devices (light switches, lamp modules, etc.) still work if Vera is removed from the system?
Yes. Vera is only used for control of those devices. They still function like normal switches when Vera is not around. The only exceptions are in-wall scene controllers and remote controls, since they're not actually wired to anything.
Don’t all smart home devices, like door locks and thermostats and cameras, have their own apps?
Yes, some do. But using the Vera App (provided with a Vera Home Controller) is easier than the apps that come with some devices, and you can do much more. One tap can adjust multiple devices with Vera, so you can unlock the door, turn on all the lights, and change the thermostat simultaneously. Devices can interact with each other when you use Vera to create custom scenes. Most basic security devices, like door/window sensors, motion sensors, glass break sensors and alarms do not have their own apps. These types of devices require a controller to build a security system. Your Vera Home Controller seamlessly combines these devices with those that do have their own apps into a single, integrated system where everything is controlled from one easy Vera Dashboard app.
Can I add a Device if there’s no Device Wizard for it?
Yes. Vera works with all Z-Wave Devices, and most Wi-Fi Devices such as Wi-Fi Cameras. The Device Wizards for select Devices make it especially easy to add these Devices to your system, since step-by-step detailed instructions are provided. However, within each Device category -- such as Sensors or Thermostats -- there is a "Generic" Device option for adding Devices for which there is no Device Wizard. Adding these Devices may require paying a bit more attention to technical details than when using the Device Wizards, however, Vera Support is always available to help you with the process.
Does “pairing” require moving the Controller close to the Device?
That depends. Usually the answer is no, you can pair the Device from anywhere within its operating range (approximately 25 to 100 feet, depending on obstructions. However, some Devices -- including many door locks, in particular -- require bringing the Controller very close to the Device, within a 3-foot (1-meter) range, to do the pairing. This requirement is for extra security, and after the Device is paired it will work over the normal range. All Vera Controllers offer a battery power option to accommodate this occasional requirement.
What’s the difference between Z-Wave and Wi-Fi, and what’s Zigbee?
These are different communication protocols. Our two mainstay communication systems, which are available on all Vera Controllers, are Z-Wave and IP (Internet Protocol, as used in Wi-Fi and LAN connections.) Most security sensors such as motion detectors and door/window sensors use Z-Wave, because it requires very little power, running on a small battery for a year or more, it has excellent security built-in, and it's very robust (technically, Z-Wave is a "mesh network" with built-in redundancy that ensures signals get through.) Most cameras use Wi-Fi/LAN IP connections because they provide the bandwidth (number of bits per second) needed to send video signals. Depending on your Vera Controller model and/or optional accessories (often called "bridges"), you can also control Devices using Zigbee (another low-power mesh network technology) and Devices that use other home control communication protocols.
What if I can’t connect to my Vera controller? (Network troubleshooting)
In case you can't connect to your Vera make sure that your Internet connection is good and check the network cable. If your unit does not have internat access the network light will start blinking. (On Vera 2 the ETH 1 light will start blinking two times per second, on Vera 3 the WAN light will start blinking once per second and on Vera Lite the green light will start blinking once per second.) If your Vera controller is connected to the router via a switch (a network distribution box), try connecting the controller directly to the router. Try resetting the router, too. For more detailed information, see here: Advanced Network Troubleshooting