December 9, 2016
To many of us, a garage is more than just a place to store your cars. It’s where we get the messy work done, it’s typically where we enter our homes, and of course we find it perfectly acceptable to allow our garages to be a bit of a cluttered mess.
Some may have a side door, but otherwise, your typical interface is the large garage door that requires a remote, maybe a keycode panel, to get in. But garage door remotes suck. They alway suck. And if your battery dies, it sucks even more, because you probably have to find the right button battery to replace it. Chamberlain on the other hand has another idea, one that throws most garage opening sets into the age of the Internet of Things (IoT). That is, as long as it was made after 1993.
The Chamberlain MyQ is an incredibly simple device that works with your existing setup, giving you control of the door, in addition to monitor capabilities through any iOS or Android device. We gave the MyQ a whirl over a month through regular use, and even got a pet sitter to use it for easier access to the house. Overall, it’s a simple to setup and use this system, which adds a bit of tech to an otherwise ignored part of the house.
Note: Before considering a purchase, ensure the MyQ is compatible with your existing unit and check the WiFi connectivity in your garage.
The setup process for MyQ and its ease of use is dependant on how friendly your existing opener is. During the in-app setup process, you’ll eventually need to hit the motor’s program button, which seemed to be a bit hit or miss for the MyQ hub to pick it up. And in my case, the remotes needed to be programmed at the same time as they defaulted and would no longer function. So if you have a Genie opener, expect some issues, but that’s not really Chamberlain’s fault. It’s mine.
Beyond that, setting up the MyQ follows a typical process of tethering the hub to your home network, and then a bit of hardware mounting. If you want a look at the step-by-step process, you can find their manual here.
On the surface, the Chamberlain MyQ opener would seem like a simple device that makes it easier to control whether or not your garage is open. But from our perspective, it’s more about accessibility than anything else. From safer access to your home to pet sitters and babysitters, information plays just as important a role as the actual functionality that it brings.
When it comes to worry about your home, if it’s not your stove it’s likely the garage. Eventually, you’re going to be concerned about how safe your house was when you left it last. MyQ makes it incredibly easy to see the status of your garage door, and regardless of where you are (with internet connection on both ends) you can close it back up.
Obviously, the MyQ faces the same issue all IoT devices do, internet. If your power or internet goes out or you can’t connect to the app, you’re out of luck.
Opening and closing your garage is all accessible with the tap of the app. How amazing is that?
Do your kids come home at a specific time but keep losing garage openers? Scheduling with the MyQ will open the garage at a set time and then alert you through the app. Personally this feature seems nice in theory, but leaves you open to some potential security concerns.
MyQ integrates with three relatively popular platforms: Nest, Wink, and Xfinity Home. Interestingly enough, it does not support IFTTT or HomeKit yet. We’re more surprised by IFTTT, because that is really one of the most accessible platforms currently available regardless of device. With each, you simply link your account to the platform and enter the device into your ecosystem.
The MyQ hardware itself is not designed to be anything pretty. It has a simple black plastic finish with a light in the center of the hub. It’s powered by the same source that your existing garage opener uses, which does mean in many cases you’ll have a bit of a cord showing.
MyQ’s app is what you’re more likely see on a regular basis, and although it’s not the prettiest, it’s insanely simple. Typically, you’ll see a visual of your garage door either being up or down with some text stating how long it’s been open or closed. Beyond that, there’s a scheduling option, but that just seemed a bit odd to me. Granted not every child is spoiled enough to have a device handy, making the scheduling feature seemed a bit iffy to use in that situation.
Overall the the MyQ is designed to be simple and fit in with your existing garage opener.
Pros & Cons
- Adds wifi connectivity to many garage openers
- Generally easy to use
- Setup process can be a bit wonky
Should you buy the Chamberlain MyQ Wifi connected garage opener? If you hate using your existing garage opener or don’t want to buy additional remotes, yes. Personally, I found the device to not exactly be a necessity for my situation since I am typically the only one going in my garage, but for families, this would be an easy addition and add a bit of peace of mind. It generally works well enough, and it also has some decent integrations that makes makes it part of your automated, internet connected home.
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