A Telling Measure Of a Smart House
A telling measure of an automated smart house is the knowledge of its main entrance. In the case of many rural homes, this essential access point is not the front entryway but rather the garage.
There will positively be a lot of homeowners who don’t instantly observe the interest of an Internet-connected garage entryway. I admit at first that the value of such a setup was lost on me, as well. In the wake of digging into exactly what a connected garage opener can achieve now and in the possible future, I’m persuaded that it’s one of the most valuable components of an automated smart home setup.
Listed below is a review for the best garage door opener:
MyQ Garage Door Opener
The $130 Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener lets you open and closes your garage door from anywhere with an Internet connection. It also grants you the ability to set custom alerts and monitor the open/closed status of your garage door.
There’s a lot to like about the MyQ. Installation is simple. Broad compatibility means the MyQ should work on your current garage hardware. Chamberlain’s inclusive attitude also means you can coordinate the MyQ to interact with a growing number of connected home platforms.
You’ll find that interoperability to be crucial to the MyQ achieving its full potential. The basics of the MyQ all work as expected, but soon after you install it you start wondering what else it can do. What if it could learn when you’re coming and going and respond automatically? Wouldn’t a camera in the garage also make sense?
Between its comparatively low cost and its ease of use, the MyQ is recommendable in that it that delivers on its core promises with little fuss. Just be prepared to feel the itch to add more smart products once you start using it.
Installs In A Flash
The world of connected garage door openers is surprisingly broad. In addition to Chamberlain’s own fixed units with built-in connectivity, it shares the same MyQ technology with sister brand Liftmaster. Sears’ Craftsman also has it own line of connected openers using a tech it calls AssureLink. You’ll also find at least half-a-dozen options on the retrofit market.
Those retrofit devices include GoGoGate, Garageio, and others, with prices ranging from $130 for the MyQ to $180 or so. Although it’s one of the least expensive devices in its class, the MyQ is also one of the easier units to install, requiring no wired connection to your existing opener.
The entire MyQ kit itself is made up of-of two main hardware components; a base station that attaches to the ceiling of your garage near your current opener, and a sensor unit that adheres to the garage door.
Installation should take about 15 minutes. Start by screwing a small bracket to your garage ceiling near a power outlet (wood screws, as well as drywall screws and anchors, are included). Slide the base station onto the bracket, plug in the power cable, then link your phone, your wireless network, and the garage opener to the base station, via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Go through the typical iOS or Android Bluetooth pairing process to link the devices and share your home Wi-Fi settings between your phone and the MyQ base station. That step puts the hub on the Internet, granting you access to your garage door opener from anywhere you can get online with your phone. Via the MyQ app, you then make an account and add the device via the serial number from the base unit.
Select the make and model for your opener within the app, and then follow the prompt to hit your opener’s program button. Chamberlain says the MyQ is compatible with any photoelectric sensor-equipped opener made after 1993. The opener will then broadcast the open/close code for the hub to memorize. Lastly, attach the door sensor to your garage door via the included adhesive strips and hit the test button to pair the sensor to the MyQ hub.
None of these steps are terribly onerous. Yes, you’ll need to get up on a ladder and drill into the ceiling of your garage (unless you mount the hub some other way). There’s no need to mess with breaker switches or hard-wiring the hub to anything, making it an exception in its category. It also matched the photoelectric signal to my Overhead Doors Overdrive opener on the first try.
Chamberlain also deserves credit for making the Wi-Fi receiver in the hub rather strong. My iPhone registers only one bar of Wi-Fi signal strength coming from my house to my detached garage, and sometimes it doesn’t find the signal at all, but I’ve always been able to find the MyQ remotely and send signals to it in the two weeks or so that I’ve had it installed.
Smart, But It Could Be Smarter
As easy as the MyQ to install, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s far easier to simply reach up and hit the old-school opener clipped to the windshield visor in my car. Replacing that routine with an app isn’t really the point of the MyQ, though.
Instead, the idea is that It will let you check the status of your door remotely, and then do something about it if you don’t like what you see. The kids left the garage door open? Your neighbor wants to borrow or return a tool when you’re not around? MyQ lets you intervene from your bedroom, the beach, or pretty much anywhere with Wi-Fi or a cellular data signal.
One usability quirk with the MyQ comes when you have multiple residents in a home.
Chamberlain is keeping its options open among the various smart home platforms out there. It’s an inaugural partner of Apple’s forthcoming HomeKit iOS extension. If you own a Nest Learning Thermostat, you can use the MyQ app to set home and away status on your thermostat automatically when you open and close the door.
Chamberlain has also promised MyQ integration with the new Wink Hub from Quirky’s Wink smart-tech spin-off. Once that comes online, you will be able to program automated behaviors between the MyQ and an assortment of other smart home products, including DropCam.
It doesn’t support all home automation hubs. If you use either SmartThings or Revolv, you’ll either need to find a workaround, as SmartThings users have already done or hope for official compatibility soon. You might also wish for IFTTT support, which would let you tie MyQ behavior to various other devices and online services to trigger various behaviors (“if my phone’s GPS comes within 10 feet of the garage, then open the garage door”) on the MyQ, or for the MyQ to act as a trigger itself.
Those other retrofit openers offer essentially no interoperability though, so the MyQ still comes out ahead. And what of those other devices? The $150 GoGoGate has built-in support for integration with cameras from DropCam, Foscam, Insteon, and others, although it costs a reasonable $30 for a three-year subscription to the video-streaming service. Others openers from Garageio , Securemote, and miDoor all cost $150 as well, and all of them, including GoGoGate, require some kind of direct wiring into your opener system.
That wiring step isn’t the most difficult thing, but it will alienate a few people, and the MyQ and its wireless setup are there to offer an easier alternative. With few wires, the low cost, and the growing interoperability with various other smart-home systems, the Chamberlain MyQ has all of the moments in this still-emerging device category. Watch its competitors, particularly the GoGoGate, to see if they start to play well with other smart-home products. Until they do, the Chamberlain MyQ is the smart garage-door opener I’d recommend.