Best With Camera: Chamberlain B6765t
Whether its used for added security or checking what time your teenagers come home, the Chamberlain B6765Ts built-in camera streams high-resolution video straight from the garage to any connected smart device. It also has two-way communication for live conversation between the garage and linked device thanks to the myQ App.
Users can expect a sturdy design thanks to the B6765Ts steel-reinforced belt drive. Installing the device is a breeze as well, thanks to the snap-lock rail system that takes minimal effort to get working.
The Chamberlain B6765Ts camera feature can be used by parents with young children or teenagers to check when theyre coming and going, or even for car owners who like added certainty of knowing where their vehicle is at all times.
- Drive type: Steel belt drive
- Warranty: Lifetime motor and drive warranty, 5-year parts warranty, 1-year accessories warranty, 1-year camera warranty
- 360-degree rotating HD camera
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.
Why Trust The Spruce
This article was written and researched by Camryn Rabideau, who is a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. She considered a wide range of garage door openers, including models from top-name brands and smaller manufacturers, and evaluated each pick for power, convenience, and versatility. All of the garage door openers included have at least 0.5-horsepower motors and can be used on standard 7-foot garage doors. Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, also assisted with this article by reaching out to Michelle Nichols, a Merchant at The Home Depot, who provided purchasing insight and helpful resources for garage door opener installation.
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Chamberlain B: Best Value Garage Door Opener
What we have here, with the Chamberlain B510, is a less fully-featured version of the Chamberlain B970 shown above, so if you’re shopping on a budget it’s one to consider because it offers the same Chamerblain quality, but at a lower price point.
However, the B510 does come with significantly fewer features than the B970. For the price drop, you’re losing the Wi-Fi capabilities, backup battery and you’re dropping down to a motor with just half a horsepower.
On the plus side, this is a belt-drive model so it’s quiet, plus the remotes use Triband technology so will work from a massive 1,500 feet away. Like it’s bigger brother, the B510 uses the same 100 billion code encryption, so you can be sure your garage is safe and secure. The safety sensors also project an invisible beam that prevents it from closing on people or objects.
If you’re shopping on a budget then this is one to consider, but please be aware that the B510 is specifically designed for a 7-foot door, and an extension kit is required for an 8-foot garage door.
- Read the review:Chamberlain B510
Programming A Garage Door Opener
Practically all garage door openers are programmed the same way, using a radio signal to communicate between the motor and remote. To program a garage door remote, youll need to have access to the garage door opener itself, so may need a ladder.
Somewhere on your garage door opener should be a button labelled learn or pair. This will ready your garage door opener to remember your remotes signal. The learn button may be located underneath the light cover.
Press the learn button until it begins to blink, at which point youll have several seconds to press the open button on your garage door remote. Wait about a minute and then test your garage door opener remote.
If youre remote still does not work, you may need to try pairing a second time. Be sure that the brand of your garage door remote matches the brand of your garage door opener.
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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.
How To Program A Garage Door Opener
Garage door openers have settings to adjust the maximum opening height. These are typically found on the opener housing. Programming to sync with handheld remotes and built-in car remotes will vary by manufacturer. It usually involves a sequence of pressing and holding the desired button to clear any codes and store the new one. Additional steps to connect the opener to your home Wi-Fi network and a corresponding smartphone app are usually completed in a few minutes.
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What Type Of Garage Door Opener Lasts The Longest
The overall lifespan of a garage door opener will depend on the model, brand, and amount of use it gets, but in general, a chain-drive opener will last the longest. It requires less maintenance than screw drive openers that must be lubricated semiannually and isn’t affected by temperature or humidity changes like a belt-drive mechanism. It’s worth noting that the lighter your garage door, the less strain it will place on the motor of your opener, which will extend its lifespan.
Best For Basic Use: Skylink Atoms Atr
For those who appreciate simplicity, the Skylink Atoms ATR-1622CK is a no-hassle garage door opener. It can effortlessly open a 7.0-foot garage door with its powerful DC motor and durable chain drive. The Skylink uses Quiet-Drive Technology to reduce noise when running.
Although it doesnt have smart device compatibility, the ATR-1622CK can be opened via either one of its one-button remotes or an in-car garage door remote if a vehicle has one. Skylinks Anti Break-In Drive System also prevents unauthorized external access, providing an extra layer of security against would-be thieves.
In a world run by smart devices, the Skylink Atoms ATR-1622CK demonstrates that simplicity can still be effective. This opener is best suited for those who dont need extra bells and whistles with their garage door opener.
- Warranty: 6-year motor warranty, 1-year parts and belt warranty
- Quiet-Drive Technology for reduced noise
- Integrated LED lighting
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How We Selected Products To Test
We know plenty of anecdotal stories about openers in our own homes and in the garages of our friends and relatives, but we spent a long week digging on internet communities like /r/homeowners/ and the Garage Journal forum to see what other people have to say about the openers they install and use.
After checking a few facts, we found out that Chamberlain Group, Inc. now makes the majority of openers in the US. This includes well-known brands like Liftmaster and Sears private label Craftsman.
Fortunately, Chamberlain has a good reputation among installers and homeowners. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the only major competitor, Genie. The general consensus is that durability and quality of materials used in Genies residential-class openers have degraded significantly in recent years, and it was hard to find an expert who didnt warn us about that when we asked about the brand.
We decided not to test a Genie opener, since theyre very similar to Chamberlain models except in the reputation for build quality, and theyre not competitive in pricing.
To see how the other brands stand up to the market leader, we chose a newcomer to the market Skylink has made a name for themselves selling their compact Atoms openers with tight integration into the Skylink DIY security/smart-home system.
Best Garage Door Opener For Heavy Doors
Boasting an impressive 2HP motor, the Genie 4063-TNMSV is powerful enough to raise doors up to 750 pounds, and is compatible with a variety of smart devices and apps.
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime for motor, 5 years for parts
Pros: Strong enough to quickly raise heavy doors, screw drive has no belts or chains,
Cons: Does not include backup battery, light bulbs must be purchased separately
Heavy garage doors, like older wooden doors, or modern all-glass versions, can be a challenge for less powerful openers, and apply extra strain on their motor, chains, and belts. This isn’t the case with the Genie 4063-TNMSV, which boasts a 2HP motor that can easily lift doors up to 7 feet tall and 750 pounds. It’s screw-drive uses a long threaded screw to raise and lower the door, which allows it to work much more efficiently than belt or chain-drive openers, and minimizes the amount of lifting force lost between the motor and the door itself. This smooth operation also makes them quieter, and reduces the chances of annoying jerking motions during lifting and lowering.
The Genie 4063-TNMSV doesn’t include the necessary the incandescent light bulbs though, and must be purchased separately. Also, if your garage door is taller than 7 feet, you’ll need to purchase a separate $46 extension kit.
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Best Garage Door Openers
The best garage door openers are quiet and reliable. Most can be installed DIY, without the help of a professional, and newer garage door openers have advanced features such as smartphone integration.
If you need to replace your old garage door opener, or are looking to install one for the first time, well help you find the best option. Our guide explains how to find the right garage door opener for your needs and explains what to expect if you decide to install one yourself. We also recommend our top picks for the best garage door openers based on cost and performance.
A Note On Installation
Garage doors can be difficult to install at the least and potentially dangerous at the most. Installing a garage door opener is not something you would want to take lightly, wrote Jim Powell on Devices for Home. Its not a fun DIY project you want to gamble with. If not installed properly, the door can fall and cause damage to your garage and possibly hurt you. In fact, injuries caused by improper garage door opener installation are not uncommon.
We recommend that you hire a professional . But if you insist on doing it yourself, be sure to read the directions carefully. Some models like the Genie Signature Series 6172H-B feature a super DIY-friendly installation process. Maintenance, on the other hand, is often easy enough to do yourself with the help of our guide to garage door repair.
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Best Smart Chain Garage Openerchamberlain C2405 C2405t Smart Controlled Chain Drive Garage Opener
Customers who like the reliability and strength of a chain garage door opener but who like wifi capabilities will enjoy this Chamberlainmodel. The garage door opener can remain as a hardwired choice or it can be monitored through an app. This particular kit comes with two remotes, too.
Though installation of this garage door and its track is fairly simple, like most garage door openers, there were multiple recommendations to get the help of another person and have several tools on hand. This garage door opener doesn’t disappoint great for any home that wants to turn their garage door to a smart door, explained a customer. I highly recommend this product.
Smart Garage Door Openers 101
If you already own a motorized garage opener, even one with a belt drive opener or a chain drive, you can use one of the easy add-on accessories above for smart garage door control. If you’re in the market for a whole new opener mechanism and you want a smart device, you can find smart opener and door sensor options from makers such as Chamberlain, LiftMaster and Ryobi.
Smart garage door controllers come in a few variations. In general, a control attaches to your existing opener with a double-sided adhesive strip. In most cases, you’ll need to attach two small wires to the open and close command nodes on your existing garage door opener.
Smart garage kits also typically include some type of sensor to attach to your garage door. This sensor detects and transmits your garage door status, so the control accurately knows whether the door is open, closed or somewhere in between, and with the garage door opener app, can send you a push notification if your garage is open when it shouldn’t be. It also usually serves as a safety sensor.
The ability to connect to a Wi-Fi signal is key to ensuring your new smart garage door and remote control work the way you want them to. On the smart side, an add-on controller connects to your Wi-Fi network, which is easy enough. You’ll need a strong 2.4GHz internet connection that reaches your garage. Typically, a corresponding app will walk you through adding your device to the network, as well as the general installation.
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Genie Silentmax 1200 Garage Door Opener
Genie is another brand with a wide assortment of garage door openers, with the SilentMax 1200 being one of its most popular. Its an ideal option if your garage is attached to your home, powered by a 140-volt DC motor that is lighter in weight while providing ultra quiet and smooth operation thanks to a soft start and stop feature. The opener is powerful enough for almost any residential garage door, up to seven feet in height, or eight feet with an extension kit that is sold separately.
This opener uses the Safe-T-Beam system to help prevent accidents, with an invisible infrared beam across the door opening. If an object crosses the beam of light while the door is closing, it will reverse automatically. Genie says the beams are enhanced with diagnostic technology so it can alert you if a malfunction occurs. The system also incorporates a two-bulb lighting system, with space for a pair of 100-watt bulbs, which are sold separately. Taking advantage of the lighting, there is also a built-in motion detector that will automatically turn on the overhead lights for added convenience and security.
The SilentMax 1200 uses Intellicode Security technology to help prevent unauthorized access to your garage. Intellicode is a rolling code technology that automatically changes the access code on each door activation.
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.
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How I Evaluated The Smart Garage Door Opener Controllers
As CRs smart-home reporter, Im no stranger to working with connected devices. I live with them, too. In my own home, Ive installed about 70 smart home devicesPhilips Hue smart lightbulbs, Samsung water leak detectors, and an LG smart refrigerator, to name a few. I also own a Genie smart garage door opener , and Ive previously evaluated the Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Control as part of my .
To evaluate the smart garage door controllers for this story, I focused heavily on the installation and setup of each device because I know that can make or break the whole experience. All but the Chamberlain controller had to be wired into my garage door opener, and a few of them also had hardwired door sensors, meaning you have to run a wire along the ceiling and walls from the controller to the door.
If the controllers supported digital assistants and smart home ecosystems I considered how easy they were to integrate with each platform and how well each integration worked. For example, in my evaluation, I found that Google Home, like Amazon Alexa, requires you to set a PIN code that you tell the assistant to open your garage door. Amazon makes this easy to do in the Alexa app, but Google makes you set it in the controllers app, and you have to dig through that apps settings to find it.