"Home Automation" vs "Security"

Seems like a good place to start.

I’m looking to replace my existing security system. My system is primarily home security vs control. I do have a couple Z-Wave devices but mostly it’s just door/window sensors, motion sensors, glass break sensors.

So, in looking for alternatives, I stumbled across Vera. But it seems to be more “home automation”.

  1. Does Vera work well as a home security controller?

  2. Is it possible to get Vera controller that is compatible with Simon XT (alarm.com) sensors?

  3. Can Vera interface be controlled by user created web interface? One of the limiting features of my existing system is I can’t write my own web interface, to communicate with my panel. I’d like to be able to write my own web application, to interrogate my system. I don’t need home monitoring.

  4. And while it’s likely that Vera can “work” in a home security application, how does it stack up against systems that are billed as “home security” vs. “control”?

Thanks

[quote=“MikeSD, post:1, topic:188220”]1) Does Vera work well as a home security controller?

  1. Is it possible to get Vera controller that is compatible with Simon XT (alarm.com) sensors?

  2. Can Vera interface be controlled by user created web interface? One of the limiting features of my existing system is I can’t write my own web interface, to communicate with my panel. I’d like to be able to write my own web application, to interrogate my system. I don’t need home monitoring.

  3. And while it’s likely that Vera can “work” in a home security application, how does it stack up against systems that are billed as “home security” vs. “control”?

Thanks[/quote]

  1. Aside from the ability to remotely read status and arm/disarm your alarm, not really. If your alarm is expected to have 100% uptime (which it should) you should expect your vera to only work maybe 99% of the time. The last 1% is pretty critical for security applications.

However, they do work wonderfully in tandem. This is the best practice most people would recommend. For instance, in addition to the capabilities above, many people use vera to tap into the sensors available with their alarms to trigger certain actions (i.e. vera turns on your lights when an alarm’s motion sensors are tripped, turn off your AC when your house is unoccupied).

  1. Sorry, don’t know about this firsthand. However, based on a quick search, it doesn’t look like there is good news here: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=6981.75. The most popular alarm system people will integrate with Vera is the DSC 1832.

  2. Absolutely. A lot of users do this already, and there are plenty of great plugins made by the community which serve various purposes.

  3. This question is too broad for me to answer with firsthand knowledge. Which systems are you referring to?

As a rule of thumb, while vera is fairly stable once you get it setup, i would not personally rely on it for mission critical applications. On the other hand, most systems which focus on security add control as an afterthought, and the result is as terrible.

The advantage of using vera is that it’s one of the most open systems available right now, so its flexible enough to communicate with other systems.

VERA is no good for security and it doesn’t replace an alarm.

Vera is good for notifying you when someone opens a window, door, motion or something while your gone. It also can turn on lights when you enter a room, turn on a porch light when you arrive home, lock and unlock doors as you come and go or set timers that if you left the door unlock for so many min it locks itself.

Alarms are cheap vs. home automation or z-wave devices. Your best bet and the way most of us do it is use our existing alarm panel and wire it via usb or network cable to the VERA.

The Alarm functions on its own and does what it always has, but your vera becomes a virtual keypad. It can arm and disarm and see the current status of every door, window, motion, smoke detector or what ever. VERA can then use that info for providing you a visual status, a notification, or other options.

Make sure you select an alarm panel that is compatible with vera. Honeywell vista 20p’s are popular, DSC, GE/Caddex depending on model are also popular.

There is a whole section in this forum for security and alarm panel integration. Read up in there.

Fully agree with “silencery” and “integlikewhoa”… seperation is key. So 2 seperate systems.
1 for Alarm 1 for HA.