Z-wave Controller: Trying to decide between Vera Plus & Aeotec Gen 5 USB

I am ready to take the plunge into z-wave switches and right now trying to decide between Vera Plus & Aeotec Gen 5 USB stick.

There is a big difference in prices ($125 vs $45) but there is a part of me that likes having some redundancy(if openHAB is down, I would still have limited access via Vera app)

Is there a big difference is in which one has access to more z-wave devices in its database?

I am also planning to add some z-wave locks.

My openHAB install currently runs on my iMac but thinking of moving that to a Pi3 or the new Pine Rock64,


You are sort of comparing apples to oranges. The Aeotec stick is just a Zwave radio and you have to have software (OpenHAB) running to define items and interpret the data coming from the device. Vera is a full commercial, smarthome hub and with it you wouldn’t even need OpenHAB since it does all the same things OpenHAB does (device communication, rules, interfaces and plugins for 3rd party systems). Hence the price difference.

I used Vera for quite a few years and found it to be fairly solid. In the early days updates weren’t very frequent and it definitely had some issues but I think they are now reaching a scale where they are on top of things more. Because it’s commercially funded I do find the Zwave functionality to be a little more advanced (especially around scene controllers and locks) than what you have in OpenHab (with our one wonderful but over worked volunteer developer). That said, I did find out how to workaround the scene controller issues thanks to the forums and the developmental version of the Zwave binding is quickly catching up on the locks side. So at that point you are down to the old battle of closed commercial vs. open source (and the $100 bucks, though slightly less once you include the cost of a Pi/Pine).

Just my $.02 worth.


I gave up on Vera a couple of years ago because it was unreliable - would randomly create new zwave items or remove existing zwave items. User interface also stank. OH undoubtedly way more difficult to set up, but once it’s going is rock-solid reliable.

I recently migrated from a gen5 zstick to a Nortek Controls (Linear, GoControl, etc.) HUSBZB-1. I should really create a topic for discussing it. It is basically a zstick (same chip, slightly different firmware, same libraries, no battery), but also has Zigbee. And it cost less than the zstick! The OH2 test zwave binding is working well (even with locks and garage openers), and the Zigbee binding supports this device and would work much better for me if my GE Link bulbs would stay online :slightly_smiling_face:. It works for my other devices.

I have used everything but Vera, HA-wise. If you like to pop the hood now and then, or really get deep into it, you may prefer OH. Of all the commercial HA systems I’ve tried, and the things I have learned through the experience, I wish I had started with Vera. But OH suits me much better!

I do not know how many devices each has to compare, but it is relatively easy to add new devices to OH. And quick. Chris has also hinted at possibly removing some of the dependency on the db:

Hopefully this info helps in your decision making!

Aeotec Gen5 can be backed up. This is a major feature if your network is getting bigger. I have two Aeon gen5, one for backup.
I would not get the Vera - double trouble maintining, and you are dependant on Vera to solve issues with new devices and general support when things go wrong. I actually migrated to OH from Vera, and while I did consider using the Vera in OH, I found it cleaner to use the internal zwave binding.

Thanks for all the feedback!

Right now leaning towards the HUSBZB-1 because it supports both Z-wave and Zigbee.

The HUSBZB-1 has come up a few times in the Zigbee thread,

but here’s another specifically about this device…

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