Everyone parks their carhe knows the feeling – you’re in the middle of the block just to wonder if you closed the garage door. But what if you could open an app and see your garage door and even use it to close it? What if you could ask your voice assistant on the phone to do it for you with just a simple command?
For those who are already familiar with, and , we should be surprised that there are more than a few good and easy options for transforming your existing garage door opener into a garage door opener with a smart controller.
Smart garage 101
If you already own a motorized garage door opener, even one with a belt drive opener or chain, you can use one of the additional lightweight accessories below for intelligent garage door control. If you are in the market for a new opening mechanism and want a smart device, you can find smart opening and door sensor options from manufacturers like Chamberlain,and Ryobi.
Intelligent garage door controllers are available in several variants. Generally, a controller attaches to your existing opener with double-sided tape. In most cases, you will need to attach two small wires to the opening and closing control nodes on your existing garage door opener.
Smart garage kits also include a type of sensor to attach to the garage door. This sensor detects and transmits the status of the garage door, so that the control knows exactly whether the door is open, closed or somewhere in between, and with the garage door opener application, it can send you a push notification if your garage is open when I shouldn’t be. It also usually serves as a safety sensor.
The ability to connect to a Wi-Fi signal is the key to making sure your new smart garage door and remote control work the way you want. On the smart side, an additional controller connects to your Wi-Fi network, which is easy enough. You will need onewhich reaches your garage. Usually, a proper application will help you add the device to the network as well as to the general installation.
The features and smart devices of the garage door opener application differ from brand to brand. One app can provide geofencing, programming, remote access and voice control, while another app can make your smartphone just a duplicate of the garage door controller.
Deciding which controller is the best smart garage door opener for you comes down to the control features you want the most and which smart home platforms you use in your home (such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Apple HomeKit) Whatever your requirements, there is probably a smart garage door opener and an app to meet your needs. We update this list periodically.
MyQ Smart Garage Hub from Chamberlain is a system for adding smart items to a wide variety of garage door openers. With MyQ installed, you can check the status of the garage door and open or close the door remotely from the MyQ app on your iOS or Android smartphone. Chamberlain’s MyQ system is easy to install, with no wires attached to the existing door opener. It is necessary to fix a support on the ceiling, rather than the more common approach of the adhesive tape used by other manufacturers.
MyQ works with a variety of smart home products, such as Nest, Wink, Vivint, and Xfinity Home to control and automate multiple smart home devices on a single platform. Chamberlain is not compatible with SmartThings or Amazon Alexa, but there is compatibility with Google Assistant and IFTTT. Chamberlain offers HomeKit users compatibility with no other manufacturer in our tests, although it does require the MyQ Home Bridge adapter. Chamberlain’s MyQ system comes with the quality of a trusted garage brand and should be at the top of the list for well-made garage smarts.
Read our full review of the Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Hub.
Chris Monroe / CNET
Tailwind iQ3 is reliable due to a wired configuration, and the automatic opening and closing worked well in our test. IQ3 can control up to three garage doors and works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for $ 80, and you can currently get it with a $ 10 discount. You won’t get HomeKit compatibility, and installing wires can be a little difficult.
In general, this garage door controller checks all the boxes for basic smart items and convenient automation if you don’t need HomeKit compatibility. Tailwind iQ3 is currently sold out, but the company is taking over early next year.
Chris Monroe / CNET
The $ 89 Garadget adds voice control and remote access to the existing garage door. The Garadget sensor system consists of a reflective label placed on the top panel of a garage door and a laser built into the Garadget device itself. When the laser hits the reflective label, Garadget knows that the garage door is closed. Easy, isn’t it? Like many garage controllers I’ve tested, Garadget requires certain cables to run the door controller.
Garadget has its own Amazon Alexa ability, and IFTTT integration means you can create custom commands for Google Assistant. The Garadget smartphone app (iOS and Android) doesn’t include programming, but if you’re just looking for simple commands and remote garage access for mobile apps, Garadget will do the job at a reasonable price.
Read our full review on Garadget.
Chris Monroe / CNET
By far one of the most attractive and interesting garage devices I’ve tested, the Garager 2 is a double room and easy door control. This $ 150 surveillance camera attaches to the bottom of the garage door opener with a magnet and controls your garage door in the Alcidae smartphone app (Android and iOS). The camera includes 1080p color video and night vision and two-way audio, although video storage requires a $ 5 monthly subscription.
The control works with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, via your wi-fi connection, for commands to open and close your garage. An upgrade from the previous model adds a magnetic base to stabilize the power supply to the camera when you open or close the garage. If you really want to be able to add video monitoring and watch and talk to your garage space, this device is for you. You can also receive notifications and control them remotely or through voice assistants, Garager works well.
Chris Monroe / CNET
The Nexx Garage is a smart garage controller that adds the ability to open normal and easily closed garage doors. You will receive voice commands, remote access and automatic opening through the Nexx Garage app for smartphones (iOS and Android) without involving IFTTT applets. Although Nexx Garage is not as integrable as Chamberlain’s MyQ system, there are no fees for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice compatibility.
The biggest downside of the Nexx garage is the sensors you will need to detect the condition of the door. Two sensors are attached to the garage door and the wall above it and should be placed 1/4 inch apart for best results. The top sensor in this pair is wired, and adding more wires to any room is something I don’t prefer. The Nexx Garage is great for anyone who wants a simple, hassle-free smart device with compatibility with Amazon Alexa Active Voice Assistants or Google Assistant.
Read our full review of the Nexx garage.