This comparison guide shows the difference between the - VERA Home Automation Controllers.
|Feature||VERA Secure||VERA Plus||VERA Edge||VERA Lite
|Home Automation Technologies Supported|
|Z-Wave Plus (868.4MHz)||-||-|
|ZigBee||HA 1.2||HA 1.2||-||-||-|
|Bluetooth||4.0 + BLE||4.0 + BLE||-||-||-|
Not Yet Supported
|IP Camera Support|
|Max. Number of Devices||220||220||220||75||200|
|Wi-Fi (Access Point)||802.11 b/g/n/ac||802.11 b/g/n/ac||802.11 b/g/n||-||-|
Not Yet Supported
|GUI / User Interface||UI7||UI7||UI7||UI5 (See below notes)||UI5 (See below notes)|
|Memory (NAND Flash)||128MB||128MB||128MB||32MB||32MB|
|Memory (RAM)||512MB (DDR3)||256MB (DDR2)||128MB (DDR2)||64MB (DDR)||128MB (DDR)|
|4x AA batteries||External|
|External Power Supply||12V DC
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||225 x 147 x 48mm||198 x 128 x 33mm||116 x 80 x 31mm||116 x 95 x 44mm||177 x 130 x 34mm|
What does all this mean?
All of the current VERA controllers will run your Z-Wave Home Automation system. However, the Secure and Plus versions give you much more flexibility when using other technologies. In the case of the VERA Secure, as the name implies, it is also the perfect base for building a security system for your home.
Home Automation Technologies
Although all of the VERA controllers will support a full Z-Wave network, it is also a good idea to look at support for other technologies as this enables you to choose from a wider selection of products going forward. Z-Wave support (and what it actually means) is also important if you are currently using one of the discontinued controllers.
All the VERA controllers will support Z-Wave Plus, even the old VERA Lite and VERA3. However, it is worth looking at this in more detail as there can be severe limitations.
The VERA Lite and VERA3 do not use a Z-Wave 500 series chip, so they are not actually Z-Wave Plus devices. However, if you use updated VERA software (UI5-Beta-2013 or UI7) they will support Z-Wave Plus Command Classes used by Z-Wave Plus devices. This means they may work with some Z-Wave Plus devices, but as new devices are released, the more issues and anomalies occur. If you have a VERA Lite or VERA3, it is probably time to upgrade it to one of the modern controllers - lots has happened since 2014!
ZigBee HA (Home Automation Profile) is a popular technology used my many products. It has been very popular in the US for a number of years, and although Europe has been slow to adopt it, we are seeing more and more European centric ZigBee devices coming to market. The VERA Secure and VERA Plus controllers both support the latest ZigBee HA 1.4 profile.
Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices can be controlled directly from a mobile phone or tablet (or computer) that will support these Bluetooth protocols. This makes them very easy to control and install. With the VERA Secure and VERA Plus you can also integrate them into your home automation system and use them alongside any Z-Wave or ZigBee devices you also have.
This is a new interface in the VERA Secure controller that will enable you to directly control 433MHz-based devices. Currently (Oct 2017) this functionality hasn't been released for European products, but will be available later with a software update.
IP cameras are supported by all the VERA controllers, the latest UI7 software includes wizards for many popular camera types, as well as generic camera support. VERA also offer the VERA Sentinal service for cloud storage of video and automatic triggering of the IP cameras.
Other than the technologies supported, there are some key differences in the hardware between the VERA controllers. Some will affect the performance of your system, and others will give you new features.
The CPU (or Processor) is the controller's engine. The faster it runs, the faster your system will run. Importantly, the VERA Secure features a Dual Core 880MHz CPU - this allows it to run two processes at any time incredibly quickly.
The other aspect of the hardware that affects performance is memory. The memory is split into two types - NAND Flash and RAM. The basic rule (as for computers) is that the more memory the better, and you can never have too much!
- NAND Flash - This is permanent memory, it holds the main controller software and details of all devices, scenes, and programs for your system.
- RAM - this is used when the system is running. The more RAM memory available, the more things the controller can do at the same time. This translates into allowing it to run more devices, run more scenes and allow it to run quickly regardless of what you ask it to do.
The VERA Secure has the most memory, which means it will be able to support more devices and scenes, whilst running very quickly.
The VERA Secure includes an integrated loud siren. This siren will sound when activated acting as an internal house siren. This makes it much easier to implement a security alarm system without needing extra devices.
Back-up batteries enable the controller to continue running for a while if there is a power cut. This is an essential feature if you plan to use the VERA as part of your security system. The VERA Secure has an integrated battery that keeps it running for at least 30mins, there is also an optional external battery available for VERA Plus and Edge.
All current VERA controllers have support for a wider range of communication systems - allowing them to communicate with other systems you may have in your home.
Wi-Fi Access Point
The current VERA controllers can act as a Wi-Fi access point. This means that they can be used to extend your Wi-Fi coverage. However, they still need to be connected to you home network using Ethernet. The VERA Secure and Plus support the fastest 802.11 ac protocols.
The VERA Secure also includes integrated 3G cellular, however, this is currently unavailable for EU. Note - the Cellular communication requires the VERA Protect security monitoring service which is currently not released in the UK and EU.
All VERA controllers have USB support enabling them to be expanded. A USB memory stick can be used to log details over an extended period of time and the RFX Transceiver can be used to communicate with a huge range of 433MHz-based devices.
The current VERA controllers run the latest VERA UI7 software. This is regularly updated allowing you to use the latest features of Z-Wave, Z-Wave Plus and other technologies.
If you have an old controller running UI5 software, you would need to ensure you have the final beta version installed to have basic support for Z-Wave Plus devices. Z-Wave Plus is actually not fully supported in any version of UI5, but the beta version may allow you to at least install the Z-Wave Plus device. However, you may find the device does not work correctly or many of its features are not supported.
While technically Z-Wave Plus (Gen5) devices are backward compatible at a Z-Wave protocol level with older versions of Z-Wave, at a software level this is not always the case. The UI5 software is now over 5 years old. You should consider moving to UI7 or one of the new controllers.
Vesternet sell and support the full range of VERA controllers, they are available at - VERA Home Automation Controllers.
Copyright Vesternet 2017