The Best Smart Garage Openers for 2018

Current smart garage door openers allow you to work your garage doors using your smartphone and without you even having to be home to do it.  They also allow you to see certain information, including a record of who opened your garage doors and when they were opened.

Moreover, these smart garage door openers work with other connected devices and allow some degree of automation.

Now what are the best smart garage door openers for 2018?

Market Leader: MyQ Garage Door Opener

MyQ Garage Door Opener is from Chamberlain and it allows you to close or open your garage door even when you are not at home.  It connects to your Wi-Fi network and has a mobile app that lets you operate your garage doors from anywhere in the world.  You can also set up alerts and see whether your garage door is currently open or close. After my original review, I was curious to compare it directly against the competition for 2017.

What’s in the box?  Every MyQ Garage Door Opener comes with the Wi-Fi Hub, power cord, door sensor, mounting bracket, and instructions.

Installation: Installing the MyQ Garage Door Opener is a breeze because you do not need to connect it to your current garage door opener.

  1. The base station will be attached to the ceiling of the garage while the door sensor will be placed on your garage door.
  2. Start by affixing the bracket to your garage ceiling, placing it near a power outlet.
  3. The screws you need are also included in the box.
  4. Place the base station into the bracket and then plug it in.
  5. Pair it with your phone and connect it to your Wi-Fi network.
  6. You would also need to pair the garage opener to the base station either by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
  7. The mobile app has all the instructions on how to pair everything.
  8. The whole installation process takes around 15 minutes.

Having step-by-step instructions for you to follow make everything simple and easy.

Integrations.  MyQ Garage Door Opener works with Apple Homekit. It also works with Nest Learning Thermostat, allowing you to use your MyQ apps to set your thermostat to “away” status when you close the garage door in the morning and to “home” status when you arrive at night.  You can also use IFTTT recipes to make it work with other devices.

Things to Like About the MyQ

  • Compatibility: First off, MyQ Garage Door Opener is compatible with a wide range of garage door openers.  This means you do not have to replace your current garage door in order to smarten it up.  Plus, you have a free mobile app where you do not have to pay for any monthly fees.
  • Strong Wifi: Also, the Wi-Fi receiver is very strong in picking up Wi-Fi signals from your house.  This would help ensure that your MyQ is not out of Wi-Fi range and can continuously work your garage doors and keep an eye on it.
  • Alert System: MyQ also has a warning alert that sounds for 15 seconds before closing your garage door, ensuring that it does not close the garage door on anybody by mistake.

Overall Take on the MyQ

With the MyQ Garage Door Opener as your garage door opener, you can replace your current remote with your smartphone.  But unlike your current garage door opener, it also allows you to check on the status of your garage door, and operate it from anywhere.

You can also have it alert you if, for instance, your garage door is left open for more than 45 minutes.  All of these can help you stop worrying whether or not you have left your garage door open or not.  And if you are not sure, you can always check to see if it is open, and then remotely close it if it is!

Plus it integrates with several connected devices that you have to help you automate your home.  That is certainly worth the roughly $130 that you pay for it (check this listing for the latest prices)!

But is it better than the competition? Let’s find out…

The Contender: Garageio

Garageio is retrofitted to your existing garage door opener to connect it to your Wi-Fi network so that you could control it using your smartphone.  It works with IFTTT and Amazon Echo, so that you can manage other devices with your garage door.  That also means that you could just say, “Alexa, ask Garageio to open the garage doors,” or “Alexa, ask Garageio if the garage doors are closed.”

Geofencing: With IFTTT, you could set up your Garageio with geofencing.  For instance, once you are a certain miles away from your house, Garageio would automatically close the garage doors so you wouldn’t have to go down your car to do it.  Or Garageio would open your garage doors for you automatically before you even arrive at your driveway.

Compatibility: It also works with Stringify, and MyKnock, and soon with SmartThings.

Real Time Alerts: What’s more, you have real-time alerts that tell you when your garage door is opened or closed, while also allowing you to see an activity log that records the times when the door has been opened or closed.  Garageio also allows you to give access to other people so that they can operate your garage door using their own devices.

What could be better

  • Takes a Bit to Install: Garageio is not that easy to install.  When you put up your Garageio, expect to work with wires, screwdrivers, tapes, and other components.  It takes quite a longer time than Chamberlain’s 15 minutes. The good thing is that Garageio has provided easy-to-follow directions.
  • Only Works for Select Garage Door Openers: However, these instructions are only for the compatible garage door openers.  If you have one that is not on Garageio’s list, then you would just have to wing it.  Also, you have to work with a lot of wires, since Garageio wanted to include every installation scenario.

Final Say on Gargeio

If you have a compatible garage door opener or if you are very handy with electronics and screwdrivers, Garageio is a good choice.  It is good for those who want to include their garage door in their smart home mix.  This is also a good choice for families as you can share access with them easily.

You can, of course, read my full review here.

Versions: Garageio is available in three versions: one-door ($199), two-door ($209), and three-door ($219).

The Upstart: Gogogate 2

If you want to get the best out of any device you buy, then Gogogate2 is probably the one for you.  Gogogate2 gives you video integration apart from allowing you to operate your garage doors remotely.

Smart App: Another plus factor for Gogogate2 is the mobile app.  Out of all the smart garage door openers that we have reviewed here, Gogogate2’s mobile app has the most user-friendly interface and gives you a lot of information about your garage door, including graphics and temperature readings, and if you add an IP camera, you can view photos of the times your garage door was opened or closed, or real-time live streaming.

Shareable Access: Like Garageio, you have the option to share access to your garage with other people.  But it has the distinct advantage of allowing you to share either unlimited access or restricted ones.  You can give other people one-day access or access only on certain times and certain days.

Historical Data: Gogogate2 also gives you a record of who accessed your garage doors, as well as gives you a playback of recorded videos for the event.  Gogogate2 also works with Amazon Echo and IFTTT.

What could be better

  • Requires Separate IP Camera: Gogogate2 differentiates itself from other brands by highlighting its video capability, but it does not have a built-in camera for the purpose.  Instead, you need to buy a separate IP camera and you need to pay $30 for three years of video.  Also, the list of compatible cameras does not include the best IP cameras available.
  • More Difficult to Install: Gogogate2 is also quite difficult to install, taking significantly more time to set up than MyQ.

Final Take on the Gogogate2

If you would like to know for sure whether or not you left your gate open, you should get Gogogate2 and pair it with a compatible IP camera.  It gives you everything you need in a smart garage door opener, plus an easy-to-use and intuitive mobile app.  It is less expensive than a Garageio at this listing.

Before you buy

While all of these devices are retrofitted to your existing garage doors, there are smart garage door openers that replace your current garage door opener.

The garage door openers have built-in Wi-Fi.  Some examples include the Craftsman 1 1/4 HPS* Smart Garage Door Opener that uses the company’s AssureLink technology, or Chamberlain’s 1-1/4 HPS* Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener that uses MyQ technology.

Also, if you are not in a rush to have a smart garage door opener, then get Chamberlain’s Smart Garage Hub (when it comes out).

The Smart Garage Hub will feature HomeKit integration that will connect your smart garage door opener with your lights, Siri, and the Home app.  It can remotely operate your garage door, notify you if your garage door is open or close, and use connected gadgets to open or close your garage door.

Moreover, it allows you to use Siri to operate your garage door and find out its status.  The Smart Garage Hub is expected to hit the shelves by July 2017.

What is the Best Z-Wave Garage Door Opener?

Surprisingly, none of these recommended remote control openers are strictly compatible with the Z-Wave protocol.

This might be problematic, depending on how “built-out” or integrated your smart home tech already is (or WILL be).

With this in mind, I recommend checking out the GoControl Z-Wave Garage Opener here.

It is the best systems I’ve found that smoothly integrates with Z-Wave and Z-Wave controller hubs. It also is Nexia certified, meaning that you can integrate with your Nexia system / hub, if you have one.

What should you buy Today?

The “Smartest” Option: When it comes to home automation, Garageio has a clear advantage over MyQ.  MyQ’s smart interactions are not that deep, even when it works with IFTTT and other home automation platforms.  MyQ could have easily added more automation and deeper integrations.  You also cannot automate MyQ to work with other devices to open or close your garage doors, except when you use workarounds, which might not be easily available.

The Easiest to Install: In addition, you might find that Gogogate and Garageio have wires that may be difficult to work with, especially if you are not too savvy with electronics.  MyQ is easy to install and keeps wires out of sight, and more importantly, out of the way from the moving chains.  MyQ is also the most affordable option among the three, as well as the easiest to install. Go with the MyQ here if you are worried about the installation.