SmartThings vs Vera- Inside Research

A smart home is nothing new. Everyone wants to live comfortably and customize their home according to their standard. Not all smart home controllers are the same and if you are thinking about changing your device to something new, then this article is for you. We will discuss all aspects of SmartThings vs Vera and what is best for you.

Also, this topic focuses on the best two products currently running successfully in the market.

If you are already a smart home user, it is needless to enlighten you with the benefits of it. The smart home will make your life easier, comfortable and cost effective, energy efficient, and resource efficient.

Furthermore, you can have your data with high security and customize your home with your coding language. It’s like dictating the home and its devices how to behave and how to work.

SmartThings vs Vera - Know what you really want:

There are different types of users looking for the same smart home automation. The first levels of users have very few requirements and less interest in smart devices and their uses.

If a user has some lights, cameras, and door locks, then the hassle of a smart controller is not for them. They should pause and look for smart plugs that will be very simple and easy to satisfy their needs.

The second level users have several appliances to be connected to the hub and want things to be really easy going and user-friendly.

In this case, they might face several issues in terms of connecting devices. One should be aware as to which device will be compatible along with the protocols to avoid such confusion.

Also, the technical support team can assist users at any time.

The third level is users are experienced in using devices as well as their languages. These users love to create their own home automation by programming it the way they want it to be. SmartThings can be a better option for them.

Smart Home: SmartThings and Vera

This article will shed light on the two devices namely: SmartThings and Vera. Along with that, there will be extensive analysis and research to provide an in depth knowledge of the two devices and its use.

Both these devices work effectively with different properties but giving the same output. Their unique characteristics will help you choose which device you actually want for your home.

The following details will give you a clear understanding as per your requirement.

Comparison between SmartThings and Vera:

In terms of Voice assistants:

Voice assistants are very famous where it is very easy to control your appliance by voice commands. Vera works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. There has been some report on using Iris products on Vera, which seemed to be solved by the customer support team.

SmartThings works with Alexa, Iris and Google Assistant.

In terms of the number of protocols:

Vera secure, the latest release of Vera supports up to 5 different protocols including Z-wave plus, Zigbee, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth and Veralink. Although it is detected that after installing a number of Zigbee products, further addition was not possible. This problem will be solved with the addition of the Wink hub connected to the Internet via Ethernet.

SmartThings, on the other hand, works with ZigBee, Z-Wave, IP. This device cannot be connected to Wi-Fi directly.

In terms of working locally and in the cloud:

Both Vera and SmartThings work locally. But with Vera, it is easier to work and handle devices locally without an internet connection. The Vera has devices running on Z-Wave which can function locally.

In SmartThings, the devices that run with Z-Wave and Zigbee will work locally. The Smart Home Monitor and Smart Lights apps work locally. Any cloud or virtual device will not work locally. Any devices connected in the LAN will not work locally.

Also if you have a device with Zigbee wave which is connected with a device supported on the cloud, then it will not work locally An example can be, an SYLVANIA running on ZigBee can work but, SYLVANIA connected with a LIFX bulb running on cloud to cloud will not work locally.

The Vera has devices running on Z-Wave which can function locally.

In terms of backup battery:

The Vera Secure has a built-in battery that can provide support up to 30 minutes and SmartThings can run up to 2 hours, in case of a power outage.

In terms of cost:

The latest release of Vera, Vera Secure is quite costly compared to SmartThings.

In terms of UI:

Although it is said the user interface of both the hubs are faster and easier to use. It is seen that consumers complain more about Vera not working than SmartThings. According to them, the Vera app can be pretty confusing and sometimes get hang as well.

In terms of scene capabilities:

Creating a scene in the app means creating a situation for a particular time or by the user or by a sensor. Such as, a user can set a time at sunset when several lights would turn on along with some music.  Building this scene is flexible in both controllers.

For VERA Scene Editor, the recent U17 Firmware is built such that it had guided wizards that work with “if/then” and “or” circumstances but not with “and” conditions. Although it issue can be addressed by the use of plugins like PLEG or Combination Switch.

For SmartThings, the Rule Creator is very intelligent that helps to develop scenes at ease. This can work with “and/or” condition which is not offered in other scene editors.

In terms of coding:

The Vera can be programmed with the common language for home automation, LUA Scripting. On the other hand, SmartThings works with Groovy scripting.

A quick look to Vera:

Vera Control VeraPlus-US Smart Home Controller Hub

Vera Control VeraPlus-US Smart Home Controller Hub

The family tree of Vera consists of Vera Edge, Vera Control Plus and Vera Secure.

The Vera Secure hub is the latest model and comes with several exciting features.

  • Super-fast processor and it has larger memory of DDR3 512MB
  • Works with other manufacturer’s device, so the user is not limited to anything
  • It has a built-in siren which alerts strangers from sneaking in, adding a new feature to old models
  • It has battery and cellular back up which can work when power is down
  • It works with 5 protocols: Z-wave plus, Zigbee, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth and Veralink
  • Works with several brands: including Amazon Alexa, Nest, Schlage, Yale, Kwikset, First Alert
  • It uses Veralink causing less interference between devices.
  • It is compatible with around 2000 devices
  • It will work locally, that is even without an internet connection
  • It supports Alexa and Iris voice assistants.

Pros of Vera:

  • innovative and precise geofencing to detect motion
  • can connect to 5 communication protocols
  • Can connect directly to Wi-Fi
  • can be accessed by many people with unique PINS
  • faster and easier installation process
  • backup battery to support when power is off
  • can work locally,
  • supports amazon Alexa and Iris

Cons of Vera:

  • it is not compatible with Ademco, Honeywell or Vista alarm panel or components..
  • Cellular backup requires a subscription
  • The setup and installation can be confusing

Vera compatible devices:

The following shows the names of equipment Vera can work with. This is to provide an idea for consumers so that they can decide well.

  • Hubs
  • Vera Plus
  • Vera Edge
  • Vera Secure
  • Ezlo Atom
  • EzloPlugHub Atom
  • Camera
  • VistaCam 700
  • VistaCam 1101
  • VistaCam 1000
  • Light
  • GoControl 60-watt Equivalent Light bulb
  • Aeotic LED Bulb
  • Aeotic LED Bulb 6
  • Aeotic LED Bulb 6 Multi White
  • Hank RGB Bulb
  • Zipato Bulb 2
  • Domitech Bulb
  • LG LED Bulb
  • Sensor
  • Philio Door/Window Sensor
  • 3 Series Water Sensor
  • Centralite 2-Series Water Sensor
  • Philio Smoke Sensor PSG01
  • Philio 3in1 (Flood, Humidity, Temp), Z-Wave Plus
  • Philio 3 in 1 Multisensor integrates (Door, Window Sensor, Temperature &Light)
  • Aeotec Door/Window Sensor Gen5
  • Outlets
  • Centralite 4-Series Smart Outlet
  • Iris Smart Plug
  • Fibaro Wall Plug
  • Zooz Smart Plug
  • Aeotec Smart Energy Illuminator.

A quick look to 3rd Gen Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub:

Samsung SmartThings Hub 3rd Generation

Samsung SmartThings Hub 3rd Generation

Features:

  • It can connect and manage up to 200 equipment.
  • It can work in an area of 50 to 100ft
  • Easy installation within 15 minutes
  • Can easily adjust and be compatible with 40 different companies including Phillips, Honeywell, and Google
  • It can be managed by using SmartThings app in phone or Amazon Alexa
  • Deals with 3 protocols: ZigBee, Z-wave, and IP
  • It has to be connected by Ethernet cable to the router
  • It comes with A/C wall adapter and battery life up to 2 hours
  • It has a 1-year warranty

SmartThings Pros:

  • It has a back-up battery, a 4 AAA up to 10 hours
  • It can be used via Android or iOS apps
  • It can support a varied number of smart devices.
  • Faster and easier installation
  • Supportive help forum in their website
  • Appropriate size, not bulky
  • It has 2 USB ports
  • It has a built-in battery pack

SmartThings Cons:

  • The mobile app can be difficult to use
  • It takes a long time to pair with devices and is not easy to comprehend
  • It can work up to a distance of 130ft
  • It can work only with 3 protocols
  • It cannot connect directly; it has to be connected to the router for Wi-Fi access.

SmartThings Compatible Devices:

The following names are listed so that consumers can realize the products that can work with the hub they buy.

SmartThings

  • Water Leak Sensor
  • Multipurpose Sensor
  • Motion Sensor
  • Button

Phillip Hue

  • GU10 Downlight White &Colour Ambiance
  • Bulb E27 A60 White Ambiance
  • Bulb E27 A60 White
  • Lightstrip Plus White &Colour Ambiance 2M
  • Bulb B22 A60 White Ambiance
  • Bulb B22 A60 White
  • Bulb B22 A60 White &Colour Ambiance
  • Go White and Colour Ambiance
  • Downlight White Ambiance

LIFX

  • GU10 (International)
  • Mini, A19 B22
  • Mini White, A19 B22
  • Mini White, A19 B22
  • Mini, A19 E27
  • LIFX+ A19 Bayonet B22
  • LIFX+ A19 Edison Screw E27
  • Colour 1000 Wi-Fi LED Bulb (E27)
  • Colour 1000 Wi-Fi LED Bulb (B22)

ARLO

  • Q Plus HD Security Camera
  • Go

YALE

  • Assure Lock with Bluetooth (Z-Wave)
  • Assure Lock with Bluetooth (Zigbee)

AURORA

  • AONE controllers (dimmers) 120W AU-A1ZB120

RING

  • Video Doorbell Pro with Chime Pro
  • Video Doorbell Elite
  • Video Doorbell
  • Video Doorbell 2

INNR

  • GU10 Spot warm white
  • INNR B22 Bulb RGBW
  • E27 Bulb RGBW
  • B22 Bulb warm white
  • E27 Bulb warm white
  • INNR E14 Candle warm white

SmartThings vs Vera - Installation procedure:

Samsung SmartThings:

The installation begins with simple steps of connecting the hub with power supply and then with the internet.

  • Connect the Samsung SmartThings hub to the power supply
  • Connect the device with the router.
  • Download the SmartThings app
  • Create an account by providing your location.
  • After the account is created it will take some time for the firmware to be updated
  • Start connecting the smart appliances of the house with the hub.

SmartThings  - Adding Devices:

Once the hub is connected to the internet, you can add smart tv, camera, audio system, smoke detector, coffee machine, garage door lock and all other types of equipment that can be added to the hub by clicking on “Add Device”.  If further assistance is needed, the customer support on the website can help you.

Vera Secure Installation procedure:

  • Connect the device to the power supply
  • Connect to the WiFi internet by providing your password
  • Go to the vera website to create an account with a serial number and mac address found at the back of the controller

Vera- Adding devices:

When the hub is successfully installed, in the user interface platform, you can start adding other appliances in your home.  For any help, you can check at support link. You can also get technical support for any kind of problem.

SmartThings vs Vera- Troubleshooting

The setup of both the controllers is more or less easy. You can either try to do it yourself by following the instructions given above and then you can go online to check youtube where you will find verified channels of both the hubs.

The channels contain videos where professionals will show you everything you need to know step by step. There are demonstrations showing how to add devices such as camera, smart tv, door locks, etc to your smart hub.

You can also check their websites and search for Technical support. You can email them to explain your issue for further assistance.

Comparison Table of SmartThings vs Vera

The following table provides a clear cut picture of the dissimilarities between the chosen hubs. The purpose of this is to give customers a clear understanding of the differences and among them to choose the appropriate controller for them.

Specifications

SmartThings

Vera

Dimensions

4.2" x 4.9" x 1.3"

1.5 x 7.9 x 3.4

Color

White

Black

Battery Backup

10hr. Battery Backup

Internal

Power

In-wall

In-wall

Operating System

Android, IOS

Android, IOS, Microsoft

Range

50-130 feet

100 feet

Ports

Ethernet, USB

USB 2.0, WAN

Wi-Fi Compatible

Yes

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Protocols

ZigBee, Z-Wave, IP

Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, & Bluetooth BLE

Device Control (Simultaneously)

200

200

SmartThings vs Vera - Final Verdict

If customer reviews are taken into account, it is seen that both the hub have been able to satisfy their needs. However, if any error or sudden issue occurs the client can easily solve it by connecting with the technical support. If the customer rating is taken into account, it is seen that the SmartThings are recommended highly by almost 60 % of users and Vera by 20%.

Most of the users in Vera reported issues in using the user interface, frequent software update, and devices suddenly stop working, and these issues are already taken into account and improved as per the Vera team.

Some issues with SmartThings occur when users can’t simply connect devices to the hub, which can easily be solved by using the manual or watching the setup video on youtube.

To conclude, it will always come down to the customers’ requirement and their standard of living to choose the controller that will be best for them.

Also interested to know about HomeSeer vs SmartThings, Then visit: https://sweethomex.com/homeseer-vs-smartthings/

I am very much enthusiastic about Home Automation and actively developing open-source software to extend its capabilities so this is going to all be biased by my own experiences.

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