Compared to other brands like Amazon, Google, Apple, or even Wink, the name Vera might be relatively unknown. Yet, Vera is one of the pioneering players of the smart home controller industry and is actually very popular with smart home enthusiasts.
Now, the VeraPlus is their latest edition of the smarthome hub and automation system, succeeding the wildly popular Vera Edge. How then, will the VeraPlus fare against the bigger players, such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home? Let’s find out together in this Vera Control VeraPlus Hub review.
Before the Vera plus, Vera controllers are specializing in the Z-Wave protocol, and admittedly, the Vera Edge is one of the best Z-Wave hubs out there. The VeraPlus increased its repertoire with the support of Bluetooth-enabled devices, as well as the ZigBee protocol. As you can see, with those additions, the VeraPlus’s third-party support is comparable to other products we have reviewed before, such as the Samsung SmartThings.
If you are a user of the Vera Edge or other Vera controllers, you will notice that the VeraPlus has a significant upgrade in hardware. As a result, it is now capable of controlling and automating more devices at once compared to its predecessors. As a result of this upgrade, however, the VeraPlus is significantly bigger compared to the Vera Edge, with 5 x 7.7 x 1.3 Inch of dimension. However, the size is comparable to modern smart hub controllers available now, and it is still smaller compared to say, the Wink Hub 2.
Being a relatively smaller brand, you may expect that the VeraPlus will be cheaper compared to the top brands out there. The price is little bit high, which is more expensive compared to the Samsung SmartThings and Wink Hub2. However, the fact that it can also be used as a Wi-Fi router might justify the price.
We may ask then, how it will fare against the cheaper products from more known brands? Let us find out together, and let’s kickstart this Vera Control VeraPlus Review by discussing its key features.
Router+Smart Home Hub
Similar to the Securifi Almond 3 we have reviewed before. The VeraPlus can also act as a Wi-Fi router, and performed really well at that. As with the Almond 3, the router functionality can justify its price tag.
Multiple Protocol Support
Supporting Z-Wave, ZigBee, and Bluetooth, the VeraPlus has a huge repertoire of compatible devices. It is comparable to the Samsung SmartThings in this sense.
One of the most powerful, hardware-wise compared to other competitors. The Vera Control VeraPlus packs a nice 800MHz Cpu with 256MB of RAM, which is better than most similar hubs available today.
Easy To Use App
The VeraPlus is controlled via a smartphone app, available for both iOS and Android. The user interface is very friendly and easy to use and supports Philip Hue out of the box.
Easy Integration With Older Vera Devices
If you happened to own older Vera controllers, such as the Vera Edge or Vera Lite, the transition process to the Vera Plus is very easy. You can export all of your programs and settings with simple steps.
Admittedly, we waited for almost two weeks before our VeraPlus package came to our door. It’s not only for our Vera VeraPlus review, but we have been a big fan of the Vera Edge, and want to add the VeraPlus to our smart home project.
Hence, we were fairly excited when the VeraPlus finally arrived. The VeraPlus is, as mentioned, significantly bigger than the Vera Edge, and now comes with an ethernet port. Installing the VeraPlus is fairly easy. As usual, you will first need to download the smartphone app, available for iOS and Android, and follow the steps from there.
As Vera Control has advertised for an easy transfer from our Vera Edge to the new VeraPlus, it was the feature we tested first. However, the transfer process wasn’t as smooth as we predicted, especially for battery-powered Vera devices. It will require a relatively complicated process, especially for those not familiar with Vera’s interface before. It’s a bit of a disappointment from us, but fortunately, all of our settings was finally transferred without any errors, just will need a quite significant amount of time.
The device adding process, however, is surprising for us, as it is simpler than what you’ll find on the Samsung SmartThings or Wink Hub. We experienced little to almost no problem in adding our devices, so it is definitely a plus point.
We also have mentioned that the VeraPlus can be used as a Wi-Fi router. As a Wi-Fi router, it’s very decent but not game breaking. It also lacks the touch screen panel found on the Securifi Almond 3. However, if you are also looking for a router or extender, the VeraPlus can do a decent job, making it a great value overall.
Vera has a decent amount of plug-ins available, and the Vera community is huge. If some features aren’t available right out of the box, chances are, there’s a plug-in for that. Vera’s community, for us, is another strong point, as most will gladly help you for troubleshooting, or simply answer your questions.
- Huge community of Vera users, and wide availability of plug-ins
- Wide range of third party product supports
- Great automation performance
- Can be used as a router/extender
- The Geofencing feature is relatively unstable
- Vera’s interface might not be user-friendly for beginners, and can be overwhelming
You Should Buy This If
If you are already a Vera controller user, the VeraPlus is a definite upgrade. Those who are looking for a router/smart home hub hybrid might consider VeraPlus over the Almond 3 for the wider product supports.
Let’s end our Vera Hub review with a verdict:
VeraPlus is among the best performing smart home hub controllers available today. It might not be as glamorous as the Amazon Echo or Google Home, but it performs really well with a wide number of customization and automation programs.
With its ability to be also used as a Wi-Fi router or extender, the VeraPlus provides a great value.