Best smart garage door openers: Everything you need to know

Yes, you can connect your garage too – here's how

How to smarten up your garage door

The smart home is getting smarter all the time. Long gone are the days when you had to manually control all the different aspects of your house – but one thing that you may not yet have thought about automating is your garage. And as it happens, you can, with a number of smart garage door controllers out there to choose from.

There are a few advantages to a smart garage door controller. Not only do they allow you to more easily control the opening and closing of your garage door, but they also allow you to more easily automate your home.

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For example, through a service like IFTTT you could set your lights to automatically turn on every time the garage door closes. Or, you could set up your garage door to automatically open based on the location of your phone – meaning you won’t even have to tap a button when you get home.

Smart garage door openers: First things first

Before buying a smart garage door controller, there are a few things you should consider. For starters, you’ll want to make sure that the controller will actually work with your garage door. Is your existing door motorised or not? That’s going to affect your decision, as attaching a smart opener to a motorised mechanism is obviously more straightforward.

That said, you’ll still need to be sure it’s compatible with your model. Many manufacturers have a list of compatible doors on their website, so make sure you check that before you buy.

Another crucial component is the Wi-Fi. Garage door openers use 2.4 GHz signaling, but you'll need to make sure you have a strong connection that reaches. If not, look at getting yourself a Wi-Fi range extender.

Can I control it with Alexa or Google Assistant?

You can. You’ll want to think about your smart home ecosystem, and what fits in – though it’s always nice if it works with other ecosystems too, as the smart home is still in its infancy and it’s possible you may want to switch brands down the road.

Nest, Wink, SmartThings, HomeKit – you'll be able to find something out there that fits with what you're already using, including voice control from Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri.

Other things to consider

A smart garage doesn't stop at the door. Some of the below suggestions come with a security camera, or work with existing cameras. Think about whether this is something you want working in tandem with the door.

Also think about the types of features that will be beneficial. Some openers offer geofencing to detect when you're nearby, others don't. Some support multiple users. And if you're an IFTTT junkie, you might want something that can give you your fix.

Thankfully, there's a good variety, and some smart openers work with a range of different smart home ecosystems. No matter what you’re looking for, we think we’ve got something for you.


Best smart garage door openers:

Chamberlain MyQ-G0301

$79.99, chamberlain.com | Amazon

Chamberlain has been building some of the best garage door controllers for some time now, and it seems to have embraced the smart home with full force. The MyQ-G0301 is relatively inexpensive, connects to Wi-Fi and has a pretty easy-to-use app. It also integrates with a huge range of smart home ecosystems – though not necessarily for free.

For starters, the systems works with Nest, Wink, and Xfinity Home hubs. It can then also integrate with Apple’s HomeKit but only if you buy the MyQ Home Bridge, which costs $69.99. You can get Google Assistant and IFTTT connectivity too if you pay for a $10-per-year subscription. In other words, the only major ecosystem missing from the list is Amazon’s Alexa – so if you use Alexa a lot, you may want to look elsewhere.

As mentioned, the app is also pretty easy to use. Through it, you can do things like open and close the door wherever you are, find out if the door was left open, and schedule the opening and closing of the door at specific times.


Best smart garage door openers:

Gogogate2

$99.99, gogogate.com | Amazon

Gogogate2 is slightly more expensive than the Chamberlain, but the trade-off is that it’s a little more compact, and offers a ton of useful features. On top of that, it’s compatible with a pretty huge range of garage doors, so if yours isn’t supported by the Chamberlain MyQ-G0301, then this might be the next best option.

When it comes to smart home integration, the controller supports IFTTT and Amazon Alexa. Sure, that’s not a huge range of integration, but IFTTT is getting better and better, and Alexa integration is something that some other controllers on this list don’t offer. Last but not least, the controller can integrate directly with a number of IP security cameras, meaning you can set up a camera to monitor your garage door when it’s open. The device even checks the temperature in your garage, and can automatically open and close using the location of your phone.

There are some downsides to this option. As mentioned, it doesn’t support a wide range of smart home ecosystems, and it can be a little more complicated to install.


Best smart garage door openers:

Nexx Garage

$99.99, nexxgarage.com | Amazon

If you’re a fan of voice control, then the Nexx Garage controller may be the one for you. It has its own app that you can use to control your garage door, but it also supports both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa – which can be very helpful. It also supports IFTTT.

Like some of the other devices on this list, the controller can use geofencing to automatically detect when you’re coming home, meaning your garage door will be open and ready for you to drive into when you reach it. On top of that, you can give access to multiple users, and check the history of when your door was opened and closed through a calendar in the app. Plus, you’ll get notifications.

One of the main downsides to this device is that it may require a little DIY to install, particularly for getting the controller on the wall.


Best smart garage door openers:

Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera

$190, Amazon

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive garage control system, then the Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera Kit may be the way to go. The system allows you to easily open and close your garage door straight from your phone, plus you can see your garage door through the included video camera. You can also get email or SMS notifications when the garage door is opened or closed. On top of that you’ll get phone notifications with your garage door’s status.

Keep in mind that this isn’t really a whole new garage door controller – instead, it controls your existing controller, connecting it to the internet for smart control.

Unfortunately, the Asante Garage Door Opener doesn’t really have much support for smart home ecosystems. If, however, you like the idea of a garage door you can control with your phone, and want to be able to see your garage door when you’re on the go, this is a great way to go.


Best smart garage door openers:

GarageMate

$49.95, bluemate.com | Amazon

The GarageMate is good if you already have a great controller but simply want to connect it to the internet without spending too much money. The device is super easy to install and is compatible with a huge range of garage door controllers. Once installed, you’ll be able to tell your garage door to open or close straight from your phone, making for super easy control.

Of course, because this isn’t a full controller, but rather a controller for the controller, the system is a little limited. You won’t get some of the more complex features that some of the other controllers offer, and it only connects to your phone through Bluetooth – so you won’t be able to control the device while on the go, only when you’re within Bluetooth range.

Still, it is one of the more inexpensive options on this list, so if you don’t really care about smart home integration, and simply like the idea of controlling your garage door through an app, then this may be for you.

TAGGED   smart home

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