Vera consists of two components, each providing a wireless network:
1) Vera's software runs inside the white box, known as a Wi-Fi access point. This wireless network is for internet access, and allows Vera to talk to IP (internet) devices, like surveillance cameras, Apple iPod Touch and iPhone. This type of wireless network is technically known as 802.11g, an international standard. Wi-Fi network devices around the world use the same frequency and are compatible. Hence, Vera will talk to any Wi-Fi device in any country. And Vera's power adapter is universal, so it works on all electric standards around the world. In short, Vera will work anywhere!
2) A small black stick attaches to the back of Vera, and is known as the Z-Wave dongle. Z-Wave is another type of wireless network, not a traditional Wi-Fi network. Rather, Z-Wave is specifically used for communicating with Z-Wave devices in the home, like lamp modules, light switches, alarm sensors, smoke alarms, power strips, and so forth.
The Z-Wave wireless network is not the same everywhere in the world. In different countries, ZWave uses different frequencies. There are currently 4 different approved Z-Wave standards:
- Australia and New Zealand
- Hong Kong
- the United States
Vera can only ship with the two common Z-Wave standards from the U.S. and Europe. While it is difficult to find Hong Kong, Australian and New Zealand Z-Wave is available exclusive as a part of the SmartHome.com.au Z~Series range.
There are some parts of the world, like Africa, where there is no officially approved Z-Wave standard. When you order Vera, you can specify that you want either the U.S. version of the Z-Wave dongle, or the Euro version. The U.S. version is generally used throughout the Americas, and the Euro version is generally used throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Because it's hard to get approved Z-Wave devices in some countries, we've heard some people are using either the U.S. or Euro versions. In general, people use the Euro versions if they live in an area with 220-240 volt electricity, and they use the U.S. versions in areas with 110 volt electricity, because it's easier to get 110 volt lamp modules/light switches/etc. from U.S. Z-Wave dealers, and 220-240 volt devices from Euro dealers. People may be using U.S./Europe Z-Wave devices that are not approved in their countries because they assume that since Z-Wave uses a low power wireless signal that only covers a range of 30 feet (10 meters), they are not likely to experience interference.
Mi Casa Verde does not endorse this. We do not restrict the sale of Vera, however, because Vera provides a lot of functionality without the Z-Wave stick. Also, the Z-Wave stick is removable and uses a standard Zensys serial API, so Vera will work with other Z-Wave sticks.
For example, if a customer in Australia orders Vera with a Euro Z-Wave dongle, the customer has the choice of: 1) Not connecting the Z-Wave dongle and using Vera for his IP devices (like cameras), or 2) Obtaining in Australia an Australian-certified USB Z-Wave dongle which he connects to the back of Vera instead.
Mi Casa Verde ships Vera worldwide with either U.S. or Euro Z-Wave dongles, but we do not verify the Z-Wave certification for every country, as this changes regularly. It us up to the customer to be sure that U.S./Euro Z-Wave is approved in his country before he connects the Z-Wave dongle.