This unit is engineered with an autonomous functionality that makes it very easy to use and rely upon. Tracks your placement, even if you're out of sight from home, yet still ensures your garage door will be open upon arrival.
Requires a reliable network in order to work effectively overall.
Pairs with smartphones, which can further pair with other ancillary devices. Smoothly opens and closes garage doors without interruption. Easy to install for those with a bit of tech savvy.
Can be a bit complicated to set up, however a customer service team is standing by.
A 2-in-1 product that comes with both the garage door opener as well as controls, this unit combines both function and ease of use. Digital component not only programs garage settings but provides lighting as well. High marks for its ability its ability to notify you with your garage's status within 25'.
Some reports of damage, however there are warranties that can help.
Works as expected and that's a great thing with this particular device. There's no fuss in the setup and with a simple press of a button, you can automate garage controls from your phone. We love that it's supported by free video tutorials as well.
Not the sleekest in terms of design and functionality, but does the basic job well.
Works better than a traditional remote control. We love that we can program multiple users. Should only take a few minutes to install. Helps you modernize and also create timely efficiency with each use.
May not be compatible with all garage door openers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Automatic garage doors have long been popular for the convenience they provide. Now the introduction of smart garage door openers has made them easier than ever to operate while offering enhanced access and security options.
But in a rapidly developing market, choosing the right model isn't always straightforward. Not all devices work with all garage doors. While Android and iOS users are universally accommodated, that's not always the case with home hubs like Alexa.
BestReviews has been exploring the market and comparing price and performance across an extensive range of devices. We've chosen some favorites, which will answer the needs of most buyers, and we've also put together the following buying guide for those who need more in-depth information.
Do you need a smart garage door opener?
If you don't already have an automatic garage door opener, you can buy a smartphone-enabled model for around $180, albeit with fairly basic functions.
If you're adding smart capabilities to an existing garage door, you can expect to pay $80 and up. For your money, the minimum you can expect is Android and iOS control. You can use your phone to do the following:
Open and close the garage (from the car, office, anywhere)
Grant (and revoke) access to other users
Monitor door activity
Define specific opening and closing times
Receive alerts if door is left open
You might also be able to do the following:
Use voice commands to operate door
Use Apple Watch for status and control
Operate multiple doors
Operate garage lights
Activate door by proximity alone (using geofencing)
Monitor garage temperature
Receive real-time notifications (text and/or voice) of door use
Link to real-time view of security cameras (including infrared night vision on some systems)
Link to smoke detectors
Control entry gates (some systems)
When you consider the wide-ranging additional functionality offered by these devices in terms of convenience, safety, and security, the extra investment seems comparatively modest.
Stylish and clever
The Senclo Fi controller set offers wide-ranging garage door compatibility, integrates with Google Assistant and Alexa, and can be controlled by Android, iOS, Apple Watch, or its own sleek HD touchscreen. The range of access controlling and monitoring is extensive, and it will work with up to three garage doors (additional sensors required). The only flaw is a sometimes frustrating installation process caused by fussy WiFi connectivity.
Bluetooth garage door openers
Before we focus on WiFi models, it’s important to add a note about Bluetooth garage door openers. These often grab the headlines. At first glance they're remarkably cheap, yet they still offer many of the features listed above, and they don't require the strong signal that most smart openers demand.
What's often not made clear is that Bluetooth has a maximum range of about 200 feet. What you're buying is a smart version of the remote that originally came with your door opener. It won't work from your office. It can't offer remote monitoring or those other “distance” functions. It will probably work from your car – as long as your car is in your driveway! There's nothing wrong with these devices as long as you understand their working range.
WiFi garage door openers
Compatibility: The first thing to check is compatibility with your existing automatic garage door opener. With major brands, this isn't usually a problem, but some cheaper models come with a number of "ifs" or "buts." If you're comfortable troubleshooting things yourself, that's fine, but it's often easier to spend a little more for ease of installation.
Apps: All WiFi smart garage door openers come with Android and iOS apps. The latter may share some functions with the Apple Watch. What the app actually controls, and the feedback you get, is specific to each one, so it's important to check that you’re getting what you want.
Home hubs: You'll need to be equally careful when checking for integration with home hubs. Many that claim voice activation aren't compatible with all available systems. Alexa and Google Assistant are often included. WinkHome, Samsung SmartThings, and others aren't so well covered. There are still smart garage door openers that are compatible with these, but you have less choice.
IFTTT: Similarly, IFTTT (If That Then This) integration is available with some units. IFTTT is a free web-based service that allows you to create your own sets of commands (applets), adding custom functions to your smart garage door opener. For example, you could schedule an action for a particular time of day.
Wall-mounted screen: Most smart garage door systems provide information via your smartphone screen, but one or two high-end models also have their own wall-mounted displays. These are particularly convenient at home. You don't need to have your phone with you to check or adjust settings. Some even have their own themes, so you can match the screen to your mood or décor!
This is an alternative that doesn't rely on WiFi but creates its own low-power radio frequency (RF) network. You'll need a Z-Wave controller (like the popular Vera and VeraPlus), but it forms a hub much like Alexa or Google Assistant. There are over 2,000 Z-Wave-compatible products, so you have lots of potential. For example, While opening your garage door, it could also turn up the heating and switch on the TV! It's a little more involved initially, but it’s worth looking into if strong WiFi isn't available where you live.
One thing pretty much all smart garage door openers need is a strong 2.4GHz WiFi signal in the garage. If yours is borderline, a WiFi range extender might provide a low-cost solution.
Home hub integration varies from one device to another. Always make your choice based on what's available now rather than what's “planned” or “currently in beta.”
Geofencing uses GPS to detect your phone and open the garage door as you approach – without you doing a thing.
As already mentioned, if you're considering a complete installation, the prices start at around $180, but we'd recommend spending around $250 for a quality product from one of the leading brands. You can pay up to $500. The extra cost usually buys you a more powerful and quieter door mechanism rather than dramatically enhanced smart functions.
Making an existing system smart
If you're adding smart features to an existing automatic garage door, you'll pay $45 to $60 for a Bluetooth system, which is fine if you don't mind the range restriction. WiFi models start at $70 to $80. You can expect comprehensive phone-based features, though compatibility with home hubs might be an issue. If you want the widest possible range of features, and integration that takes in not just with home hubs but also services like IFTTT and home security systems, you'll pay between $200 and $400.
Compatible with just about all automatic garage doors and activated via screen or voice, the NEXX has all the features expected of high-end devices. It's compact and easy to install. At the time of writing, vehicle proximity sensors weren't fully available, but this is already an extremely impressive, low-cost system. One note of caution, the installation takes considerably longer than the 20 minutes Nexx suggests!
The Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener is a popular choice from two well-known names. It's compact, easy to install, and offers comprehensive features (though a monthly subscription is required to access all of them).
We also looked at the Tailwind iQ3 Smart WiFi Garage Door Opener, which has good connectivity and works with up to three garage doors. It's not a bad unit, but know that your existing opener might need nonstandard wiring.
Then there's the Gogogate 2. It's got plenty of options, can integrate with a number of security cameras, but it doesn't connect with as many home hubs as competitors in the same price range.
Q. How difficult is it to fit a smart garage door opener?
A. Most are fairly straightforward, though it depends on your DIY abilities and the complexity of your chosen system. Usually it's a question of attaching a small unit to your existing control panel, the door motor itself, or the garage ceiling. You may need to solder in a couple of wires. Some have a wireless tilt sensor that attaches to your garage door. A WiFi camera is also a possible option.
If you fitted your garage door opener yourself, it's almost certainly within your abilities, and there are videos online that can help. If a professional fit it for you, it shouldn't take them long to add the smart system.
Q. Are there any ongoing fees?
A. With most, there's only the initial equipment cost. One or two charge a small amount ($1 per month or $10 per year) for connectivity with certain devices or services. However, this market can change rapidly, and additional features might be added at any time. It's worth checking when you order.
Q. How secure are smart garage door openers?
A. Physical security depends on the garage door opener mechanism, and most are tough to get past. High-quality models also back this up with rolling code technology, so the standard remotes can't be cloned. Smartphone apps handle security by allowing you to limit access to specific individuals or by shutting down the system completely under certain circumstances. While there's some concern that apps might be hacked, it's a situation that is constantly monitored. If a vulnerability is discovered, it's usually fixed quickly, which is why you should always update your app when prompted.
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