Vera Home Automation Review: Mi Casa Verde

Our Rating 3.5

Vera, formally known as Mi Casa Verde, is a smart home technology company with a device that plays well with others without monthly fees or required contracts.

Vera3 vs VeraLite vs VeraLite G

Vera3 Photo by Vera

To start automating with Vera you have to purchase one of three controllers: the Vera3, VeraLite, or the VeraLite G. The VeraLite is going to be the most popular version for most home users. It plugs into your existing router to create your own mesh network for home automation. If you don’t own a router, the Vera3 might be for you. The Vera3 is a singular device for both home automation and Wi-Fi. The Vera3 is also the best choice for businesses or larger homes. Finally, you might see reference to the VeraLite G. The VeraLite G is the same as the VeraLite except it is sold through a company called TigerDirect. TigerDirect has several pre-bundled packages they’ve created using Vera hardware.

Compare Features Side-By-Side

 Vera3VeraLiteVeraLite G
Can Manage Up To200 Devices70 Devices70 Devices
Extended Range Indoors and Outdoors
NoNo
Built-in WiFi
NoNo
Z-Wave
MemoryFlash:
NAND 32MB, SDRAM: 32MB, DDR2: 128MB
Flash: NAND 32MB, DDR2: 64MBFlash: NAND 32MB, DDR2: 64MB
USB Port211
WAN Ports111
LAN Ports4  
PriceTigerDirect Bundle Brand Name
Warranty12 Months12 Months12 Months
Vera3
Can Manage Up To
200 Devices
Extended Range Indoors and Outdoors
Built-in WiFi
Z-Wave
Memory
Flash:
NAND 32MB, SDRAM: 32MB, DDR2: 128MB
USB Port
2
WAN Ports
1
LAN Ports
4
Price
Warranty
12 Months
VeraLite
Can Manage Up To
70 Devices
Extended Range Indoors and Outdoors
No
Built-in WiFi
No
Z-Wave
Memory
Flash: NAND 32MB, DDR2: 64MB
USB Port
1
WAN Ports
1
LAN Ports
0
Price
Warranty
12 Months
VeraLite G
Can Manage Up To
70 Devices
Extended Range Indoors and Outdoors
No
Built-in WiFi
No
Z-Wave
Memory
Flash: NAND 32MB, DDR2: 64MB
USB Port
1
WAN Ports
1
LAN Ports
0
Price
TigerDirect Bundle Brand Name
Warranty
12 Months

The Vera SD, PT, and HD Camera Options

Vera offers three different cameras. They have the Vera SD, PT, and the HD for video surveillance. The Vera HD camera includes SD card support, up to 32GB. All of the camera support both wired and wireless installation and should work with Vera right out of the box.

 Vera SDVera PTVera HD
Indoor or OutdoorIndoorIndoorIndoor
Lens TypeWide Angle – 90 degreePan and TiltPan and Tilt
Price$179.95
Resolution640x480640x4801280x720
AudioBuilt-in MicrophoneTwo-Way AudioTwo-Way Audio
WiFi
Night VisionIR, up to 20 feetIR, up to 20 feetIR, up to 35 feet
Warranty1 Year Parts1 Year Parts1 Year Parts
Vera SD
Indoor or Outdoor
Indoor
Lens Type
Wide Angle – 90 degree
Price
Resolution
640x480
Audio
Built-in Microphone
WiFi
Night Vision
IR, up to 20 feet
Warranty
1 Year Parts
Vera PT
Indoor or Outdoor
Indoor
Lens Type
Pan and Tilt
Price
Resolution
640x480
Audio
Two-Way Audio
WiFi
Night Vision
IR, up to 20 feet
Warranty
1 Year Parts
Vera HD
Indoor or Outdoor
Indoor
Lens Type
Pan and Tilt
Price
$179.95
Resolution
1280x720
Audio
Two-Way Audio
WiFi
Night Vision
IR, up to 35 feet
Warranty
1 Year Parts

How Does Vera’s Mobile App Work

Access to Vera’s mobile app is free. The app allows owners to setup text and email alerts, create rules (they call them scenes), control devices, and stream live video footage. This all sounds great in theory but unfortunately the app is rated a mere 2 stars on iTunes and 2.4 stars on Google Play.

In addition to the propriatary app, Vera has several plug-ins that you can download from the MiOS Marketplace. There is the 5 star rated Nest plug-in that allows you to monitor and control the Nest Learning Thermostat for free, the DSC Alarm Panel plug-in that controls DSC Power Series alarm panels, and the MiOS Weather plug-in that provides weather conditions using the Weather Underground API. Though the primary Vera app is capable of sending text and email alerts, many owners use the Push Notification plug-in to enable push notifications on iOS, Android, and Windows Phones. You can view a complete list of plug-ins here.

What Devices Will Work with Vera?

There are literally hundreds of devices that will work with your Vera controller. Vera keeps a list of certified device partners on their site. The list includes brands like Danfoss, Radio Thermostat, URC, FortrezZ, Blueline Innovations, Jasco, Yale, Pella, ASSA ABLOY, Honeywell, ELK, Kwikset, Cooper Wiring Devices, DSC, Leviton, Wintop, Baldwin, Aeon Labs, Intermatic, Romotec, Schlage, and Somfy.

Vera can automate lights, cameras, thermostats, door locks, alarm systems, and more.

Final Verdict on Vera

The cameras are sub-par and the mobile app is spotty. These are critical components of a home security and automaton system. While it is important that they have these features, it is just as important that they work well and currently Vera’s product doesn’t work well. I would suggest looking at a product like SmartThings. They are newer than Vera but they have a very active and supportive community keen on making things work.

Also, a quick safety tip. Many IP cameras, not just Vera, encourage port forwarding. Please do not use port forwarding. This will make your Vera system vulnerable to hacking. Accessing your camera through My Vera would be a much wiser and safer choice. When setting up Vera, go to the FindVera tab. On this tab you will create a username and password before checking the boxes that say “only allow access through the secure FindVera service” and “disable terminal login”. Now your Vera device can only be accessed through FindVera.com.

Final Verdict? 76.25% which is a 3.5 Gem DIY Rating