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Q: What is the range of my Vera Controller, and can I extend it?

Last Updated: Sep 18, 2018 01:46AM PDT

Q: What is the range of my Vera Controller and can I extend it?

 


A: Approximately 25 to 30 feet. "Yes" is the quick answer and "it depends" is the more accurate answer.


Keep in mind that Vera uses up to four wireless communication systems: Z-Wave for most non-camera devices, Wi-Fi for wireless cameras, Zigbee for added versatility, and VeraLink for Nortek's 2GIG Radio Frequency devices. The range for cameras may be different from the range for door/window sensors. With Wi-Fi, the range is the same for every device; if you can use a laptop or smartphone with Wi-Fi from a particular location, then your Wi-Fi camera will also work there. When needed, you can add a Wi-Fi range extender to get cameras working from outside the normal Wi-Fi range.  A general rule of thumb in home networking says that WiFi can reach up to 150 feet (46 m) indoors and 300 feet (92 m) outdoors for 2.4Ghz frequency but 5 GHz bands can reach approximately one-third of these distances.


With Z-Wave, the "official" range is about 100-feet (30-meters) but it depends upon the materials in the way of the devices. Certain obstructions will decrease the Z-Wave range:
 

  • Each wall or obstacle (such as refrigerator, big screen TV, etc.) between the controller and a Z-Wave device will reduce the maximum range by approximately 25-30%
  • Brick, ceramic tile, granite, concrete walls, metal walls, mirrors, and smoked glass block Z-Wave signals more than walls made of wooden studs, plasterboard (drywall), clear glass, or plastic
  • Wall mounted Z-Wave devices installed in metal junction boxes will suffer a significant loss of range (approximately 20%) since the metal box blocks a large part of the Z-Wave signal
  • All Z-Wave devices that plug directly into an AC wall power outlet, such as dimmers and smart switches, act as "repeaters." You can also buy a repeater as a standalone accessory device. If a Z-Wave device does not appear to be communicating with the controller, try plugging in a repeater approximately half way between the device and the controller


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