Vera 3 Review Part I
So a few months back my old laptop that ran Homeseer, my home automation software, finally died.
I’ve used it for quite a long time and mostly ignored it. I’ve been running Homeseer for about 13 years now and ported my setup from a couple different PCs but always managed to save my configuration through the transfers and upgrades. This time I don’t have a backup unfortunately.
I’ve invested a lot of time and money into the system over the last decade and a half. Most of it is x10 hardware but there are a few other kludges in there as well. My weather system, a zwave module or two and a boatload of scripting. The last five years or so I’ve deactivated a good bit of it but left the core system up and running that I didn’t have to tinker with.
After my system died I figured it was time to move on to some newer technologies. Zwave is supposed to be more reliable and it’s wireless so I wanted to make sure that I could use something that was compatible with old and new. Homeseer is but I also wanted a dedicated controller as well.
After reading some (obviously not enough) reviews and docs I settled in the Vera 3 from MiCasa Verde. Quite a few of the other Tasker users I communicate with use the Vera and there is a plugin that let’s you communicate and hook Tasker up with it. Pretty cool.
The Vera (the lite version and the 3, which is what I purchased) are pretty cheap for HA hardware. According to their web site it’s compatible with Zwave, insteon and x10. I figured it would be a win/win. Something to help me move into new territory but still stay on a budget.
I received my unit last week and immediately set it up. Several things I noticed right off the bat. Initially you go to getvera.com and create and account, which redirects you back to the home network and finds your vera(s). This has its good and bad points which I’m not going to get into.
Anyway, I set up my account through them, found my unit and started the setup. I was able to add my one Zwave module with no problems but that’s where the ease of use ended. You’re supposed to be able to go to apps.mios.com and browse/download apps from there. Sort of like the Google Play store. Not a bad idea at all. Unfortunately even though my Vera was linked to my account when I tried to go to the external app store it told me I had no units linked to my account. The answer from their text support? Download the apps from within the Vera interface. That’s fine and dandy but NOT what I was trying to do. I guess that’s not something they are trying to fix.
Another glaring omission is there are absolutely NO help files or documents to access from the Vera. Apparently a previous firmware upgrade in the last two years broke the links and they just haven’t bothered to fix it. Tech support did say they are working on a new release within the next two weeks that fixes the issue. We’ll see I guess.
I’m tired and have to work in the morning so will finish the second part of the review then…