Mr. Fix It reviews a smart device worth every penny.
Updated: Nov 12, 2022
The Chamberlain My-Q Smart garage door opener explains itself with the name. For $29.98, it sets out to be a catchall solution for remote access to a garage door complete with intelligent features. By definition, it’s an entry-level smart home gadget — and not one that requires you to jump into the deep end of the smart home world. With just two pieces of hardware, a Wi-Fi connection and the app on your phone, you’ll be able to see the status of your garage door, remotely open or close it and even add household members as users. For $29.98, it’s practically a steal. And after a few weeks of testing, it’s safe to say that it works as promised. Let’s unpack it. Prime Early Access Deal Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener A plug and play setup for remote access Chamberlain The Chamberlain MyQ is truly a no-brainer. It can make nearly any garage door smart and give you the benefits of opening or closing it from anywhere. Today, it's down to an all-time low price. $29.98 $16.98 at Amazon The who, what and how Who this is for: The Chamberlain MyQ is for someone who wants to control or keep tabs on their garage door from near or afar. What you need to know: Setting up this gadget took about 15 minutes, and it’s quite intuitive. Chamberlain says the MyQ supports most garage door openers made after 1993, but mileage could potentially vary. It also doesn’t support Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit integrations. How it compares: For $29.98 (when it’s not on sale), the Chamberlain MyQ is a no-brainer addition to a home with a garage door. It doesn’t require the long install or cost of a new garage door opener with a smart hub built in and supports a long list of openers. Chances are that includes the one in your home. The mandatory app for setup and control is intuitive and less cluttered than other smart options on the market. It doesn’t feature support for core smart home ecosystems like Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit. BeamUp is a similar solution that’s more expensive at $77 but supports Alexa out of the box. Those looking for HomeKit integration can look at the $119 iSmartGate. The MyQ and the alternatives all use similar tech to get online, though, and work with most openers made after 1993. An intuitive setup that requires Wi-Fi
In the Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Control box, you’ll find two main pieces of hardware and some extras. What you won’t find is a garage door opener, though — the MyQ system works alongside your current garage door to make it smart. The smart hub, which we’ve been affectionately calling the brain, gets mounted on the ceiling, close to the actual garage door motor. It’s a square piece of plastic with technology inside to connect with your garage door, along with some buttons and a power port. Chamberlain didn’t hold back on branding with two big logos. The other piece to the puzzle is a door sensor that will live in the bottom corner of the physical garage door. It’s much smaller in comparison to the hub and opts for a battery. It’s all pretty simple, and Chamberlain includes some mounting tools (a frame and screws) for an easy installation. Alongside the physical hardware, you’ll need the MyQ Garage & Access Control app — it’s available for Android and iOS. The app is the main control panel for both setup and using the MyQ. You’ll also need to create an account, and fair warning, it can take a bit to get the confirmation email. That delay in creating our account was the only delay we experienced. Once you’re in, the MyQ app does an excellent job of providing clear instructions to get you through the process. It took us between 10 and 15 minutes to get the whole system working. And it essentially works by the smart hub acting as a remote control opener. It can send and receive signals with your garage door opener. Chamberlain says the MyQ system should work most garage door openers made after 1993 — some of the big names include Chamberlain, LiftMaster, Craftsman, Genie, Linear and Raynor. A good tell is a “learn button” on your garage door opener, as this is used to send out a signal for pairing with controllers or devices like the MyQ. Modern garage door openers made by Chamberlain even feature the MyQ hub built in. The smart hub also features Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz connectivity for connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi network. Garages can sometimes be a dead zone, especially if they feature concrete walls or are detached from the house. In either of those scenarios, you may need to boost your Wi-Fi’s range, and a solution could be a Wi-Fi extender. If you have a mesh Wi-Fi system, like Eero, you could purchase another node or point to extend your network. There is no way to get around the Wi-Fi requirement, though. And during setup, get ready to see your garage door make some sudden movements. In our experience, it will raise and lower a few times throughout the process. And when it’s done, you’ll be able to control, see a status and even link it with other smart home systems through the app. Open or close with a tap Jacob Krol/CNN The setup process is the only heavy lifting you’ll have to do with the Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Controller. You’ll see the garage door status and how long it’s been in that state front and center. For instance, if you closed 40 minutes ago, it will show just that. You can easily tap the garage door to open it as well. You can also view a timeline of sorts that shows you when the door was opened or closed. It’s all quite handy. From a security standpoint, you’ll need to be actively signed in and authenticated to launch the app. You can opt for a passcode on your mobile device or use the built-in authentication method, such as unlocking with a fingerprint or your face. The app at this time doesn’t offer a two-factor authentication solution, but we’re hopeful it could be supported in the future. You can also share access to your home and the garage door (or doors, if you have a multi-car garage) through the Users tab. They’ll need to create a MyQ account and authenticate. And the common theme here is that Chamberlain isn’t adding complex interfaces to access information or functionality. It’s all front and center with menus at the bottom. The Schedules field lets you select predetermined times for actions to happen. It’s an excellent way to make sure the door is closed at night. In terms of compatible systems, you’ll find most of the major players here: Google Assistant, IFTT, Alarm.com, Residio Total Connect and Vivint, among others. The big two that you won’t find support for are Amazon’s Alexa and Apple HomeKit. The former is a big surprise, considering this supports Key by Amazon — the brand’s service that lets delivery drivers open the garage door to leave the package in a secure spot. It’s just strange that you can’t tie this into Alexa. HomeKit is a bit trickier to integrate with, but both would be nice to see in the future. The simple solution here is to use the app; you’ll need it for setup after all. Bottom line At under $30, the Chamberlain MyQ is the easy way to gain remote access for your garage door and make it smart. You don’t need to rush out and spend hundreds on a new opener or opt for a specific brand. It brings a tremendous amount of value, and while it’s not perfect with some missing smart partners, it still offers plenty of functionality. Whether you’re interested in starting a smart home or just want an easier way to control your garage door, the Chamberlain MyQ can stand on its own as a terrific gadget to add to your home. Just keep in mind that you need an opener made after 1993 and will need Wi-Fi in the garage. Otherwise, you’re set up for success.