Who Should Get A Smart Garage
A smart garage-door opener controller is a modest luxury, but it can provide real peace of mind for anyone who regularly worries about whether they accidentally left their garage door open.
These small devices connect to your existing garage-door opener, and they then let you check on or operate your door from anywhere, using an app on your smartphone, tablet, or a computer. Typically these devices cost between $30 and $180, and they simply add to the functionality of your existing opener. They dont replace the other devices you may have and like, such as visor clips, push buttons, and keypads.
Think of a smart garage-door opener controller like a smart door lock: an excellent security and access tool for your home, vacation home, or rental property. You can open and close your garage door remotely, or use geolocation features to automatically shut the door for you, so you dont need to worry about having left it open. Controllers can give you a heads-up if your garage door is accidentally left open, so you can close it from wherever you areeven if thats just the couch. Some controllers can even close the door for you automatically .
You dont need to be invested in home automation for a smart garage-door opener controller to be of use to youits a simple, entry-level device that can make your life easier.
What To Look Forward To
iSmartGate launched the iSmartGate Mini, the cheapest model in its lineup starting at $50. The new version has features similar to those of the Lite model but will work with a wired or wireless sensor, though it doesnt support HomeKit or Samsung SmartThings. The company has also released a Switch Adaptor to make all of its controllers compatible with the newer Chamberlain-brand openers, which we are currently testing. The iSmartGate Pro+ was also announced but hasnt yet been released.
The Eufy Garage-Control Cam, announced in January 2022, has a built-in camera and door sensor that uses AI to detect people and vehicles in the garage it also includes voice control and geofencing detection. It will have a 1080p camera and will be available in a single-door control version for $100 or in a 2K, two-door control version for $130. We dont have a firm arrival date.
The Wyze Garage Door Controller is a unique new model that relies on an included Wyze camera and AI to determine if your garage door is open rather than relying on physical sensors. An included controller device plugs into your existing door opener and allows you to use an app to open and close your door. Interestingly the controller also has a built-in smoke and carbon monoxide detector. You can opt to buy a kit that includes a Wyze v3 camera for $40, or just the controller module for $19.
Walmart Opens Door To Secure Delivery With Smart Garage Tech
Walmart+ members now have access to secure delivery and return management via smart garage technology.
Walmart is collaborating with myQ to expand delivery capabilities through Walmart+ InHome. Members will soon be able to easily track and monitor the orders delivered to their garage. Additionally, the service will include returns, allowing consumers to easily send back items without needing to drop them off.
Walmart+ InHome subscribers with myQ smart garage door openers will be able to select it as their default delivery method. Members without the tech will receive a free upgrade to make their existing garage door opener compatible.
Users can secure, control, and monitor their garage via their smartphone with the myQ app. They can receive real-time alerts when the garage door is opened and remotely let anyone in using the app.
Full-time, tenured Walmart associates will be assigned to the delivery so consumers have the peace of mind that a trusted and familiar face is behind every order. On delivery day, they will get one-time access to the garage via a myQ connected device.
They’ll put away the order in the garage sanitize surfaces they touched, and pick up any returns. Once the delivery is complete, they close the garage door to ensure the home and packages are secure.
Eligible areas can be found here: myq.com/walmart-availability.
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Why Walmart And Amazon Are Battling Over Your Garage Door
The future of delivery might be in your garage.
For Amazon, In-Garage Delivery is a subset of the larger Key by Amazon service for Prime members, where authorized delivery people can unlock a customers car, front door or garage door and slip a package inside. But while Amazon is leading the charge for in-home delivery, Walmart is not far by behind. Since last year, Walmart has tested its own InHome Delivery system, which includes a few extra services: Walmart will unload groceries directly into your fridge, put pharmaceuticals in your medicine cabinet and pick up items you want to return at your home. Like Amazon, the company will also deliver to your garage.
The obvious reason why Walmart and Amazon are jockeying to expand their in-home delivery systems is to make ordering online a simpler proposition. Both companies see having in-home and in-garage delivery options as bolstering their overall value to consumers the less work the consumer has to put in, the more attractive shelling out money for Amazon Prime or Walmart+ seems. But more quietly, in-home delivery programs may also be opening a pathway for both companies to expand or launch their presence in the smart home market.
How Our Picks Compare
Can users opt out of data sharing?
|Tailwind: Yes, by not using some features that rely on location-tracking.|
|Chamberlain / MyQ: Users can unlink accounts with third-party partners or request to opt out of communications with MyQ at any time.|
|Remsol / iSmartGate: No data is shared with third parties. The only data collected is user IP address which is shared with Remsol only for a period of 7 days.|
What data is shared? And are customers notified?
|Tailwind: No data is shared.|
|Chamberlain / MyQ: We do not provide any customer data to any third-party data brokers or similar. If a user links an account to a partner service, data may be shared to deliver the service.|
|Remsol / iSmartGate: No data is shared.|
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Find The Garage Door Opener Information
Look for the manufacturer and model information on the motor unit found on the garage ceiling or on the external receiver near the wire antenna. Using the manufacturer information, you can purchase an exact replacement for the garage door remote by matching brand and model number and purchasing it directly from a representative of the manufacturer, your local hardware store or online. If you have an older garage door opener, this is the way to go. Many universal remotes do not work on older models, but the manufacturers still sell the remotes.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
If your door is left open, the Tailwind iQ3 will notify you only twice. And it wont repeatedly notify you, as most other controllers will. This is both a blessing and a drawback, depending on how you feel about notifications. But it does mean you could miss a notification and end up leaving your door wide open. An effective workaround is to set the door to close automatically.
Tailwinds notifications are not as customizable as those from competing controllers. For example, you cant set a specific notification if the door is opened between, say, 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on a Thursday. This may be a non-issue for many people, but wed like to see it as an option.
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Universal Garage Door Remote Controls
Universal garage door remote controls are available that you can program for use with most brands of newer garage door openers. You still need to know the manufacturer to make sure the remote works for your garage door and to program the remote. You can program universal garage door openers to open one or two garage doors. With the addition of a light control switch, a universal remote also turns on the garage light or your home lights. If you have a newer garage door opener but you are unsure of the exact model, a universal remote will probably do the trick.
Our Pick: Tailwind Iq3 Smart Automatic Garage Controller
*At the time of publishing, the price was $60.
The Tailwind iQ3 Smart Automatic Garage Controller delivers the best performance and is the most reliable of all the smart garage-door opener controllers we tested. We attribute that to two features: a hardwired door sensor and a unique Bluetooth/GPS technology that lets you control the door hands-free.
With these two components, Tailwind has successfully solved two of the most common problems weve found with smart garage-door opener controllers: false alerts, and unreliable geofencing for opening and closing your garage door .
The Tailwind iQ3 is compatible with all garage-door openers . And it can operate up to three doors with one controller . In extensive testing over 12 months, the iQ3 worked flawlessly, immediately opening the door as we pulled into our driveway and closing it before we were out of sight. Its the only device that sends alerts to your smartphone telling you who opened or closed the door. And you can set the door to auto-close, if its left open for a set period of time.
The Tailwind iQ3 is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings, allowing you to open or close the door, query its status, or set up automated routines via their respective apps.
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How To Know Which Type Of Garage Door Opener Remote To Buy
Extra garage door opener remotes come in handy however, choosing the right opener can be confusing. Each manufacturer makes its own replacement remotes, and universal remotes are also available. You must determine the features you need and the size of the remote. Full-size remotes clip onto the car visor. This is convenient however, it may become a security risk if your car is stolen. Mini-remotes clip onto your key chain and operate just like a full-size remote.
Why You Should Trust Us
Ive spent the past four years testing smart garage-door opener controllers and have installed more than a dozen of them in four different garages. Ive been a journalist for 20 years, and I cover smart-home technology for Dwell Magazine, BBC Science Focus, and The Ambient. For Wirecutter, I have spent many, many hours over six years testing dozens of smart-home gadgets, including smart smoke alarms, smart thermostats, smart-home sensors, and smart sprinkler controllers.
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Security Privacy And Smart Garage
Wirecutter takes security and privacy issues seriously. And to help you understand which data the companies youre bringing into your garage may be taking out with them, weve compiled this table to answer some of the most common questions people have.
We reached out to the companies that produce our top picks and asked them to respond to an extensive questionnaire, to confirm issues that we think should be of primary concern for any potential buyer. Here are the results we think you should consider before making a purchase.
Myq Technology Takes Convenience One Step Further
myQ Smart Technology is partnering with Walmart+ InHome to expand delivery options to the garage. This highly personalized serviceallows you to have groceries, household items and more delivered inside the garage. Walmarts highly- trained, full-time associates will deliver your order efficiently and neatly inside the garage even into your garage fridge! Have a return to make? They have it handled with one-time access to your garage. This service provides you the peace of mind to go about your day without having to wait for deliveries, or worry about packages being stolen from your porch.
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How We Picked And Tested
We have continually tested our existing picks while also keeping an eye out for updates on competing models and new releases . For this guide we spent more than 200 hours testing controllers in four different garages over a period of nine months, in addition to living with our top picks for the past 12 months.
Most of the controllers performed well when we used the app to remotely open and close the doors. We found that differences among devices came from their feature sets and whether they suffered from false alertsa common problem in our testing and in user reviews.
These false alerts stem from the wireless door sensors that nearly all of the controllers use. The sensor tells the controller the state of your garage doorwhether its open or closed. A wireless sensor is a much easier install, since you dont have to run wiring through your garage. But these are prone to false alerts for a variety of reasons, including dead batteries, simple malfunctions, interference from the metal garage door, or, in a few cases, falling off the door.
We focused our testing on how easy each controller was to work withwhen installing and setting it up, and in everyday useand we tested out integrations with smart-home systems including voice assistants.
We favored controllers that could operate more than one garage door . Some of the models we tested require you to buy the whole device again for subsequent doors.
How It Works
When available in your area, sign up for a FREE 30 day trial of Walmart+ InHome and select In-Garage Delivery with myQ as your default option. Dont have myQ, get a Smart Garage Control installed for FREE!
Your Walmart order will be delivered inside your garage by a dedicated associate with one-time access to your garage.
Deliveries are neatly placed in garage even in your garage fridge! A Walmart associate will also pick up any returns, sanitize surfaces they touch and close the garage behind them.
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