Frequently Asked Questions
Will Vera work internationally?
Yes. Vera's power adapter runs on all international standards, from 100 to 240 volts. Customers in Europe receive a power connector for their outlets. Other countries may need to use an adapter. Z-Wave operates on different frequencies in the U.S. and Europe. When you order Vera, the Z-Wave stick is available either in European or U.S. versions. Note that the Z-Wave accessories at our online shop, like lamp modules and light switches, are U.S. only. Vera will work fine with any Z-Wave accessories you buy locally. For more information on Z-Wave outside U.S. and Europe, read Z-Wave International.
Will my Z-Wave light switches, lamp modules, etc. still work if Vera is removed from the system?
Yes. Vera is only used for control of those devices. They still function like normal switches when Vera is not around. The only exceptions are in-wall scene controllers and remote controls, since they're not actually wired to anything. In that case, if you use method #1 as explained here they will work without Vera. Method #2, however, does require Vera.
What is Vera's black dongle for? What happens if I lose it?
The dongle is plugged into one of Vera's USB ports and contains the Z-Wave chip needed to talk to your Z-Wave devices. When the dongle is removed, Vera cannot communicate with any Z-Wave devices, though IP Cameras, Wi-Fi and other non-Z-Wave functions still work fine. Also, when you pair Vera to Z-Wave devices (that is, 'Add' Z-Wave devices), that pairing information is stored in the dongle. So, if we ever need to replace your dongle, you'll have to reset the Z-Wave devices and add them again. Beginning with Vera 2, a dongle is no longer needed.
How secure are Z-Wave devices such as door locks?
The security implementation was created by a consortium of companies known as the Z-Wave Alliance. There are many large, security-conscious companies in the alliance who signed off on the Z-Wave security implementation. We have not heard of any security vulnerabilities or exploits. We set up a forum at forum.micasaverde.com dedicated to security concerns.
How much money will Vera save me on my energy bill?
See this detailed example of how Vera can reduce a typical family's energy bill by 1/3!
Can Vera really be that easy to setup and access remotely?
Vera 1 with UI2
The first time you do this you will see Vera's setup page where she asks you to enter a username and password. To do this your PC or web browser doesn't need to be connected directly to Vera, they just need to share the same home network. Once you've entered your username and password, then you can go to findvera.com from any web browser - anywhere in the world - and put in the same username and password and you'll automatically be connected to your Vera back home.
Vera 2 with UI4
The first time you do this you will see Vera's setup page, the Wizard. After you setup your unit, from the same network as Vera visit cp.mios.com and create an account. Log in and you will be able to take control over your unit and access it from all around the world where there is an Internet connection.
Vera 3 with UI5
From the same network as Vera visit cpui5.mios.com and create an account. Log in and you will be able to take control over your unit and access it from all around the world where there is an Internet connection.
What if I don't have Internet at home?
No problem, having an internet connection is optional. You can still set up and use Vera, even without an internet connection. Just connect your PC, Mac or other web browser into one of Vera's network ports, or connect to Vera wirelessly. Vera's built-in wireless comes pre-configured, so if you have a wireless / Wi-Fi device, you'll automatically see the 'Vera' network and can connect to it. If you don't have an internet connection, though, you won't be able to access Vera remotely from outside the home, and you won't see the helper videos on Vera's setup pages.
So Vera has a built in Wi-Fi access point? Those things are complicated to setup!
Yes, Vera has a built-in access point, but it comes completely pre-configured. There's nothing to setup. Just plug Vera in. Then you will see the 'Vera' network show up on your laptop or other Wi-Fi enabled device. Click the 'Vera' network and you'll be asked for a password. Your unique password is printed on the bottom of Vera and in the 'Getting Started' guide. Each Vera has a different password, so it's secure, and you don't have to worry about your neighbor connecting to your system. Also, Vera's wireless is pre-configured to use the highest-security for wireless networks, WPA2. Of course, if you know networking stuff you can change all that. But if you're a novice, all you do is plug Vera in.
What if I don't want another Wi-Fi access point? What kind of Wi-Fi does Vera use?
You can disable Vera's Wi-Fi on the 'Net & Wi-Fi' tab. Vera 1 and Vera 2 use 802.11g for wireless. Vera 3 uses 802.11n for wireless.
But web cameras and other network devices always require some setup, right?
At the Mi Casa Verde store, we pre-configure everything for you. So when your new device arrives at your home, you just take it out of the box and plug it in. We do all the work for you. For example, if you bought a web camera from a retail store and want to connect it to Vera's wireless network, you would probably need to configure it with some technical stuff, like the correct SSID and WPA key. But, if you buy the camera from us, we pre-configure it with all the information it needs to connect to your Vera. So you just plug it in!
Are you sure this is really secure? Can some hacker spy on me with my web cam or control my house?
Before Vera, this was a big problem because all the other IP cameras and home control systems didn't use a secure network. So even though a web cam or home control box may ask for a user name and password, it wasn't secure. Unless the web site starts with https:// and you see the padlock symbol in your browser, it's not a secure connection. That means the user name and password are transmitted all over the internet and anyone could intercept it and control your system. Banks and e-commerce companies overcome this by setting up a secure network. But this requires effort and technical expertise. So if you're connecting directly to your home system, it's not secure.
We solved this by setting up a secure server to act as the "intermediary." So you don't connect directly to your home's Vera system; rather you go through our secure server. This has the added benefit of not only being secure, but being much simpler for you as well since it's fully automatic. The Vera system in your home connects to this server using a secure connection. Then when you want to control your home or view your camera, you also connect to the secure server at findvera.com or cp.mios.com, and the server "patches" you in by connecting you securely to Vera. So, yes, it really is secure. Your username and password are protected. And nobody, including the Mi Casa Verde staff, can access your system or control your home without the password.