Vera Alternatives

I am just about to hit the factory reset button on my vera plus, i have migrated all my 200 devices away onto a Windows Homeseer server with Aeon Z-Stick. the vera just was not reliable at all, it regularly missed zwave device updates because the luup engine would spontaneously restart.

HomeSeer although costs a bomb has been extremely rock solid.

Hi fuzzysb,

Sorry to see you leaving.

If it’s something we can do to change your mind, or if you decide to come back, don’t hesitate to let us know.

[quote=“John M., post:2, topic:195573”]Hi fuzzysb,

Sorry to see you leaving.

If it’s something we can do to change your mind, or if you decide to come back, don’t hesitate to let us know.[/quote]

Suggestion: read the forum with criticism and you know “what to do”. I would suggest to sort on “most read items”. And to support better and more zwaved devices.

[quote=“John M., post:2, topic:195573”]Hi fuzzysb,

Sorry to see you leaving.

If it’s something we can do to change your mind, or if you decide to come back, don’t hesitate to let us know.[/quote]

You really have to beef up your firmware team and stop releasing immature firmwares. The firmware core is very weak. Device support is one thing but adding support for devices and adding features at the cost of throwing out system stability is a poor choice. I am now getting some strange vera and luup reset on the latest firmware…

[quote=“John M., post:2, topic:195573”]Hi fuzzysb,

Sorry to see you leaving.

If it’s something we can do to change your mind, or if you decide to come back, don’t hesitate to let us know.[/quote]

[size=1em]John M, I have resisted going public with my issues and have been happy to sit back and wait, however one gets to the point where enough is enough.[/size]

[font=verdana][size=1em]CS has been working on fixing my sandbox system since early January, after I stupidly decided to upgrade FW. The greatest problem I see that you have is that it can take up to 7 days for a reply to a ticket, which means a turnaround of 14 to 21 days in obtaining any information.[/size][/font]

[size=1em]It has been made worse that by the time I do get a reply, the login link has expired and I find myself back to Step 1 and I having to start all over again. I have lost count of how many times I have been asked to exclude/include/factory reset the device in question. Now it (Vera)
cannot correctly set the Parameters that are required (I need to have it act as a Push Button, not Binary Switch).[/size]
[size=1em]It doesn’t make sense as similar devices Included in early FW are recognised correctly, while this device is also working correctly when Included into a Home Seer environment.[/size]

[size=1em]Luckily, this system is isolated from the working UI5 HA environment so it doesn’t interfere with daily life and has a high WAF.[/size]

[size=1em]Seriously, UI7 is such a dud and any attempt to patch it only results in further bugs.[/size]

[size=1em]So there you have it, you asked what you can do.[/size]
[size=1em]I now expect communication daily, not weekly or fortnightly, so please do it and resolve issues in a timely manner.[/size]

[size=1em]Sadly, this response (like many others on the forum), will fall on deaf ears or blindness of the Vera employees that occasionally read these forums and I’ll still be waiting in 6 months for a resolution to our problems. [/size]

i just took a look at HS
it would cost me at least $600 to switch… that’s way to much for software IMO.
my veraplus isn’t perfect… but it works most of the time without problem.
guess it depends on how much disposable cash you have and how important it is for your lights to turn on and off when they are asked to.

good luck!

^^^

It is expensive, but it works. Thats something that Vera isn’t doing ATM.

I’ll admit I have a vested interest in getting Vera to work correctly, but when asked by Clients which to use, I always ask how much hair do you want left at the end of the day.

Homeseer has regular 50% off sales so that would reduce your initial cost. If past sales are a guide, one should come around again next July. At this time I have no intention of leaving as I have a pretty stable setup.

My main Vera3 is still running Ui5 and has most of the switches and the tstat on it. It’s running more or less rock solid. My secondary Vera3 with Ui7 mostly has sensors on it with a few mains powered devices to get a reliable mesh for it. It’s more or less stable. I am working on migrating the Ui5 unit to a Vera Plus and the UI7 one to a Vera Edge but that is on hold until the Alexa integration is out of beta and stable as I don’t want to risk outages of my HA. Granted, any ZWave+ devices will go on the Edge or Plus to take advantage of their support for the ZWave+ standard. My next addition will be the Aotec Zwave+ door bell most likely on the Plus.

The turn around time on responses to tickets is crazy.

The back and forth to resolve an issue sometimes takes weeks. Those responding are well meaning, competent and doing the best they can. It is frustrating to know a response will take days. With a recent issue I had it took about 20 days to sort out. I will say by the time I had their full attention the responses were quicker. (I had a few issues, geofence, luup restarts and I had multiple cameras recording an event from different angles to one clip. Not unlike a double exposure of a negative but in video form. Very odd)

I have learned that a message to the FB page for vera results in a response within a day on a particular issue.

I echo the sentiment that stability should come first before features or devices.

After the recent upgrade I also plan to trial homeseer shortly and potentially buy come May at the next discount.

Anybody went over to Wink and is happy?

I’m beginning to be really frustrated with Vera. It’s really unreliable. Last weekend I’ve upgrade last firmware and everyday Vera / Luup is not responding and I should rebooted it(three times in three days), corrupted scenes, variable lags… . I thinking to change eedomus or similar. Support is really bad, I sent last email to get help three weeks ago, and I’m still waiting for an answer.
I can’t to talk positive about Vera.

OpenHab2 is another (""“free”"") option.

I put quotes around free because your time isn’t free and speaking from experience as a pretty well rounded computer guy and developer, getting OpenHAB2 working is a huge learning curve. I was able to get it up and running and doing rudimentary communications with Vera in a few hours, but that was basically “toggle this light on and off when I hit this button”.

If I were to go down that road I would probably clear everything but the Z-wave network off my Vera and use it as a dumb controller from OpenHAB, then I would prepare to spend several hours getting everything working again, and I don’t even have that much complex automation.

So far, though I’m a bit frustrated at times it’s not bad enough that I’d spend that time switching and I’m sure OpenHAB2, being pretty new and under development, has its own headaches.

I am more or less happy with Vera stability, i have c.a. 1 need for a restart per month.
But there are other things which are frustrating.
Reading the forum it is surprisingly common that some device is not working with Vera or need some tweaking to make it work. And that some issues are known for months and nothing is happening to solve them: for example I have Fibaro double switch (newest version) which is not working properly with Vera, issue is known at least for half a year and… nothing.

Support guys are trying to help but in such cases it is a matter of development which seems to be really slow. Getting an answer from support also can take days, I don’t know, maybe there is not enough support staff?
For comparision: I’ve contacted several manufacturers of Z-wave devices about their products and usually got an answer within one day. In one case they did some testing of the device especially to answer my question, in other case during 2 day period we’ve got from question about the issue and defining the problem to issuing RMA and organizing sending it back for repair.

There are some things which are maybe Z-wave specific, but nevertheless other brands seem to tackle them better. I’ve got used to the idea that some devices appear several times (I have single switch which is appearing as three separate devices), but I still don’t understand why i.e. double switch power metering is visible only on master unit and not separately for each slave - which seem to not be a problem for other brands producing controllers.

There is lot of inconsistiencies - some functionality is for example in UI5, but not in UI7 (like remote access via SSH); or it was in previous releases of UI7, but not in the newer one (i.e. indicator of device’s z-wave signal strength). I don’t understand why I can’t for example see logs remotely, while at the same time I can upload LUA files crucial for proper working of specific apps, install/remove apps themselves and so on. If I can install new app or deeply modify files for existing one, then why I can’t read system log?

And I still can’t understand why is so difficult to program more friendly scene builder enabling the user to add several triggers in various combinations “and” and “or” type, or implementing easy way to create “if…then… else/elseif…” to not force user to learn lua or plugins like PLEG.

From the other hand, Vera price/usability ratio is good enough to compromise for some frustrations.

I just wonder why (and if) it have to look like it was at Win 3.1 times - very good first impresion, but for most things you still have to go to DOS command prompt.

[quote=“kwieto, post:14, topic:195573”]…
Reading the forum it is surprisingly common that some device is not working with Vera or need some tweaking to make it work. And that some issues are known for months and nothing is happening to solve them: for example I have Fibaro double switch (newest version) which is not working properly with Vera, issue is known at least for half a year and… nothing.
…[/quote]

In some ways the forum probably gives a false impression to the company, because a lot of the posts are about pretty complex stuff.

I think they need to focus a lot more on basic device device support.

  • the UI and the slow remote login are a bit annoying, but the bulk of users probably aren’t that bothered, and others are using AltUI and other solutions
  • the scenes and notifications and workflow functionality can be worked around with PLEG or Lua etc
  • in fact, almost anything not in device firmware support can probably be programmed around somehow

But if you can’t reliably connect to all your devices, nothing else works, and you can’t fix the firmware yourself. The real power of Z-Wave is that it is becoming a defacto standard and there are so many devices - not much use if Vera support is poor.

So for me, forget all the bells and whistles - what would make me switch is that feeling that buying a new device is a lottery as far as Vera compatibility is concerned.

I am taking that into consideration. I don’t expect support forum to be the place where people talk how good their experience is.
My own experience (pretty short) is not that bad, I don’t have much issues.

But from the 8 “standards” of devices I use (by “standard” I mean combination of device type and producer brand) two are not working as I would expect and 2 others needed some tweaking to make them work.
And I don’t talk here about complex stuff (at least from user point of view), but exactly abut same what you are pointing - improving “basic” compatibility of various devices.

I know that there are some workarounds for various things, but in my opinion it shouldn’t be that you have to do workarounds even for very simple things i.e. creating scenes with “and” type of conditions.
I’ve seen for example how it is created in Fibaro (extremely popular in my country) user interface and I was really impressed. Fibaro have its own issues and my choice was still on Vera, but I really don’t understand why it is so difficult to integrate that kind of soultion (by the way, Zipato also have it done better).

Seeing posts from other people leaving Vera I’ve got an impression that this is exactly the issue - they are tired of using workarounds everywhere and the stability compromises which are coming with these workarounds.
But to be fair I have to admit that at least we have possibility to use those workarounds, which is not always that simple for other manufacturers.

For me personally I don’t expect from Vera to be as user friendly and stable as its more expensive competitors, but still there is some room to improvment.

I just want to say that I have contacted Vera support once and they responded fast and solved the isue.

Skickat fr?n min SM-N910F via Tapatalk

I am taking that into consideration. I don’t expect support forum to be the place where people talk how good their experience is.
My own experience (pretty short) is not that bad, I don’t have much issues.

But from the 8 “standards” of devices I use (by “standard” I mean combination of device type and producer brand) two are not working as I would expect and 2 others needed some tweaking to make them work.
And I don’t talk here about complex stuff (at least from user point of view), but exactly abut same what you are pointing - improving “basic” compatibility of various devices.

I know that there are some workarounds for various things, but in my opinion it shouldn’t be that you have to do workarounds even for very simple things i.e. creating scenes with “and” type of conditions.
I’ve seen for example how it is created in Fibaro (extremely popular in my country) user interface and I was really impressed. Fibaro have its own issues and my choice was still on Vera, but I really don’t understand why it is so difficult to integrate that kind of soultion (by the way, Zipato also have it done better).

Seeing posts from other people leaving Vera I’ve got an impression that this is exactly the issue - they are tired of using workarounds everywhere and the stability compromises which are coming with these workarounds.
But to be fair I have to admit that at least we have possibility to use those workarounds, which is not always that simple for other manufacturers.

For me personally I don’t expect from Vera to be as user friendly and stable as its more expensive competitors, but still there is some room to improvment.[/quote]

There are also a lot of “succes stories” on this support forum, so it’s not only bad experience.
But even in your epistel there’s a lot of “not working”, "workarounds "…
It is the tendens that most over here are relatively satisfied with Vera and see their potential.

Even me, member and user for over 6 years and started with Vera2.

The thing is, most complaints are about the same thing, stability and device support.

Every fresh user says: stop complaining, and every experienced user complains. And a lot of them are in between…

[quote=“tixme, post:17, topic:195573”]I just want to say that I have contacted Vera support once and they responded fast and solved the isue.

Skickat fr?n min SM-N910F via Tapatalk[/quote]

Yes, they no doubt have some good people working there.

But support calls for getting a basic device working should not be necessary to begin with.

And even when they find a solution, it often doesn’t seem to get baked in to the firmware updates - so people still have to do some hacks based on this forum, or call support, and round and round it goes.

i just took a look at HS
it would cost me at least $600 to switch… that’s way to much for software IMO.
my veraplus isn’t perfect… but it works most of the time without problem.
guess it depends on how much disposable cash you have and how important it is for your lights to turn on and off when they are asked to.

good luck![/quote]
How did you figure $600?

I bought the following:
Rpi 3 - $35 ($50 as a kit with sd card and power adapter)
Zwave stick - $40
HS3 - $250 (bought it for $125 on sale)

Alternatively, you can buy the rpi based Zee S2, which comes with all the hardware and software you need for $199 (limited to 5 plugins but I only use 3 so it wouldn’t matter: zwave, imperihome and hstouch)

You definitely do not need HS3pro, and I only use one paid plugin (imperihome) but there are free options for mobile apps.

The rpi is probably one of the slowest devices out there you can run hs3 on, and it still runs circles around the fastest vera hardware in terms of power and reliability. And it has a ton more ram. It has been rock solid in my experience.