Gadgets 821LM1

Published on October 10th, 2014 | by Greg


Open Sesame: Chamberlain MyQ Controls Your Garage Doors

Leaving the garage door open is an accident that can be pretty costly- and cause quite a hassle. We’ve had neighbors call to let us know, but if you leave on vacation, it could be a very bad situation indeed. What if you could tell, from a distance, whether the door was open or closed, and also take action without needing to rush home? With the same method, you could also give visitors access even when you’re not there- like a magic garage door that adjusts on command, no matter where you are!

We have smart locks- and now, thanks to Chamberlain’s MyQ Smartphone Universal Garage Door Controller, you can have a smart garage door too. Thankfully, you don’t need to replace your door, the hardware, or your existing opener- it works with “most major brands of garage door opener made after 1993″, and installs in about a half hour, as advertised. It won’t work with one-panel doors, but any sectional door should do. There are three parts- the MyQ hub, a door sensor, and the free app, which runs on most modern smartphones, including the Apple iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5 and Android phones (2.x and later).

The WiFi hub requires power, and should be connected near the garage door opener itself. It’s the brains of the system, and works like your typical opener/remote, learning the signals sent and broadcasting them. The sensor is responsible for detecting the state of the garage door, allowing you to check your phone to see whether it’s open or closed. Nothing else is required- no fancy home automation systems needed- and there are no monthly service charges or ongoing fees. You can even control a second, separate door with a single MyQ controller- you’ll just need to order a second sensor. We followed the setup prompts for our Genie system, and had no issues- but in larger houses, you may need to ensure you have wireless connectivity to your home 802.11 network from your garage. You’ll need your garage remotes handy, and may need all of them available. The app itself is quite simple, but the system allows for nifty alerts, which can remind you if the door is open for longer than 15 minutes for example, either by push notifications or email.

Now you can relax and stop worrying. There are some niggles- a software update caused us some small issues requiring a reset and there we some significant delays in responsiveness on occasion. And we would love to see the ability to have an “out of range” automatic closure detection (like a cellphone leash, which triggers when you might leave your phone in a cab or a bar). But the Chamberlain MyQ is a cool addition for the homeowner who would like a little more control, and it works quite well. Especially considering the reasonable price- $130 is a fair tag for a sophisticated piece of gear that is quite unique. Available now, online and in stores.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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