Smart garage door controllers are the new generation of garage door openers. They’re equipped with sensors that can detect when you’re approaching your home and automatically open the door for you. If you’re looking for a smart garage door controller, here’s our list of the best ones on the market today.
The best smart garage door opener is a question that is asked often. There are many different types of controllers, and they all have their pros and cons.
While you’re likely still spending a lot of time at home, your family may be required to leave the house on a daily basis for job, gym class, or band practice. Smart garage door controllers make it simple to regulate garage access without having to spend all day programming remotes for everyone in your home. If you’re always worried that you’ve left the garage door open, smart garage controls make it simple to double-check the door or remotely shut it, giving you and your family piece of mind.
Smart garage controllers allow you to use your smartphone or smart home setup to operate your current garage door opener. To discover the finest smart garage door controllers, we installed the most common garage controllers and thoroughly evaluated each model.
Overall, the best smart garage door controller
The Chamberlain MyQ can control up to two garage doors, and it’s simple to set up thanks to the wireless hub. It’s also a great bargain for a simple smart garage controller, costing just $29.99.
For houses with many garage doors, this is the best option.
The Aladdin Connect, which comes with tools for any installation configuration out of the box, benefits from Genie’s garage knowledge. The Aladdin’s big three-button panel can also operate up to three garage doors.
Ideal for high-tech smart homes.
The iSmartGate Pro is an advanced version of iSmartGate. is expensive, but it comes with a long list of capabilities, including multi-door, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, SmartThings, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT integration.
MyQ-G0401 by Chamberlain
Our top choice is the Chamberlain MyQ-G0401, which achieves the ideal combination of price, features, and ease of use.
The Chamberlain, unlike other smart garage controls, does not depend on a tangle of wires to function. The hub and door sensor are both wireless (with the exception of the hub’s power connector), making setup a snap. It simply took a few minutes to link the hub with our garage door opener (the procedure is similar to connecting a conventional garage door remote) and set up the controller thanks to the MyQ app and its in-depth video walkthroughs. Among the controllers we tried, the Chamberlain was by far the simplest and fastest to set up.
The Chamberlain hub takes a bit longer to install because it requires a clear line of sight to the garage door opener — you can’t hide the MyQ under a shelf or behind a cabinet. Fortunately, Chamberlain provides a convenient mounting plate for the hub (complete with screws and drywall anchors) to make installation easier. Simply screw the hub on and place the plate next to the closest power outlet (Chamberlain advises at least six feet above the ground, but we had to put it in a less-than-ideal location between shelves around five feet up the wall and had no problems).
Chamberlain’s fast speed and clear app design pleased us throughout our testing. Our Chamberlain garage door opened and closed in under three seconds, putting it on par with our competitors’ garage door openers. If you have children or dogs, the hub’s front LED light momentarily flashes before closing the door, providing an additional layer of protection for your family.
Major functions like your access history and automatic door shut scheduling are easily located at the bottom of the screen in the MyQ app. You can remotely check your door status and shut or open the door from the app, as you can with any of our tested controllers. Within the app, you may add approved garage users such as your family or provide restricted access to visitors such as a handyman.
When your garage door is closed or opened, the MyQ app can monitor it.
Geofencing (the ability to activate smart home routines such as opening a garage door depending on your position) is restricted in the MyQ app. Teslas, recent Mitsubishis, and cars with Alpine Connect or STEER Tech hardware are the only vehicles that can use MyQ geofencing. However, if you’re ready to design and debug your smart home routine, you can create something that’s similar to geofencing using the controller’s Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT compatibility.
The tiny advertising banner on the MyQ app’s homepage, which promotes other MyQ smart home devices, didn’t appeal to us, but the remainder of the app is fortunately ad-free.
The Chamberlain can also operate up to two garage doors from a single hub; a second door sensor ($29.99) is required. The Chamberlain’s wireless and multi-garage door compatibility are major pluses over other multi-door smart controllers, which either cost more or require you to connect cabling throughout your garage. With Chamberlain’s MyQ Smart Garage Camera ($149.99), you can now add video support. The Chamberlain, best of all, is just $29.99. It’s one of the most inexpensive smart garage door controllers on the market, and it covers almost all of the bases for most smart home customers (with the exception of Alexa compatibility).
Connect with Aladdin’s Genie
With the Aladdin Connect, Genie combines its name-brand experience in conventional garage door openers to the smart garage controller idea.
The Aladdin can manage up to three garage doors at once, and Genie comes with everything you’ll need to get started right away. You can place the hub up near your garage opener’s mount or down near a door using the supplied accessories (which include anything from wire clips to bolts and drywall anchors). Because of its manual door buttons, the Aladdin Connect hub may also be utilized as a conventional garage control panel. The Connect features power and Wi-Fi status indicators on top, and three buttons on the bottom operate each garage door. You may have the best of both worlds if you place the hub at ground level: a regular garage control panel that also links to your smart house. While we tested the hub near the opener, Genie’s supplied 25-foot wire spool means you may run cable from the ceiling to the ground or anywhere else you’d want and still have enough wire for additional openings.
The Aladdin Connect app, on the other hand, is equally as feature-rich as the hardware. We breezed through the installation procedure by following the app’s walkthroughs and swiftly connecting the hub to our Wi-Fi network and the Aladdin’s entrance sensor.
The software is well-designed, with a main screen that displays all of your linked doors. A great addition was the device setup area, which displays information such as your Wi-Fi and sensor connection strength. In your garage, Wi-Fi connections may start to fail, and the app’s Wi-Fi indicator makes it simple to check whether your Aladdin and Wi-Fi network are establishing a secure connection. We experienced no Wi-Fi issues in our test location (an attached garage around 30 feet from the router), but if you’re putting your controller in a detached garage that can’t receive a consistent Wi-Fi signal, we suggest using a Wi-Fi extender.
The Genie app includes easy-to-use door controls.
Because Genie doesn’t make its own smart home products, you won’t be able to use the app to control a camera. However, with the Aladdin’s support for Alexa, Google Assistant, and SmartThings, it won’t be difficult to locate a suitable camera with which you can create routines to enhance garage security.
Although the Aladdin lacks built-in geofencing functionality, Genie suggests downloading the Yonomi software from a third-party supplier if you want to create sophisticated smart home and geofencing routines. Yonomi’s geofencing feature is simple to use; you’ll select a trigger location using your address and phone GPS, and Yonomi will automatically create a 300-foot radius around that place.
Your garage will open when you’re down the street from your home thanks to Yonomi’s broad geofence radius, but if you want more accurate geofencing that keeps your door closed until you’re in the driveway, you’ll need to change your listed address around. Yonomi also had trouble reliably triggering geofencing procedures until we added our local Wi-Fi network to the geofence location – the app checks your Wi-Fi connection status to see whether you’re at home.
It’s simple to keep track of who enters and exits the garage. Simply click the door on the app’s homepage to reach the door management option. It was great not to have to go through numerous submenus to locate each door option, unlike some of the smaller manufacturers’ control applications we tested.
Set schedule and duration-based restrictions in the Aladdin app to automatically shut the garage at particular times or if it is left open for too long. If someone in your family is prone to forgetfulness, the Genie’s schedules are a useful failsafe, but you can’t set a rule that unlocks the door from inside the app.
We understand why Genie’s scheduling functions were restricted — it’s better to force consumers to open the garage rather than allowing them to do it automatically and risk leaving it open, and the Chamberlain MyQ has the similar close-only restriction. Competitors like as Nexx, on the other hand, enable customers to program garage door open and shut rules. While the usefulness of an open rule is limited, it may be helpful if you need to frequently allow someone into your garage, such as a home care provider, but don’t have a simple method to grant them guest access.
In the Aladdin Connect app, you may modify rules and give access to each garage door.
Genie’s virtual key system also allows you to offer family members complete garage access or restricted garage access to visitors. You could, for example, offer a dog walker a virtual key that allows them to enter the garage just during their shifts.
The Genie app took around five seconds to open the garage door on average, which wasn’t terrible but was somewhat slower than other controllers. The Genie is also very big in comparison to the competitors, measuring 5 by 5 inches. While the Genie’s door buttons are convenient if you intend to place the controller near an inside door, the extra weight may be problematic if you’re attempting to mount the controller discreetly or have limited ceiling space.
The iSmartGate Pro isn’t the cheapest smart garage controller at $179.99, but it comes with a slew of capabilities for power users who know how to fiddle with their smart home setup.
The iSmartGate features a sleek, ring-like circular appearance with Wi-Fi, power, and wall sensor sync indicators on the exterior. A USB connection and wire connectors for up to three garage door openers and sensors may be found on the side and rear. The wire ports need a flathead screwdriver to tighten or loosen, although they’re a minor annoyance compared to rivals like the Genie Aladdin’s push terminals.
Surprisingly, the hub and door sensor are only secured with two pieces of double-sided tape. Although the iSmartGate’s backside includes a notch for a hanging screw, given the iSmartGate’s high price, we would have liked a more secure mounting option.
The watertight door sensor on the iSmartGate Pro, on the other hand, impressed us. Although the pillbox-sized sensor is larger than other wireless door sensors, its waterproof seal is useful if you’re installing the iSmartGate to an exterior gate or live in a humid environment.
A control button and an event log may be found on the iSmartGate main page.
When you first launch the iSmartGate app, it takes a few seconds to connect to the hub, but once it does, you’ll be brought to the app’s homepage. You’ll find a door control button and an event log that indicates when the door has been opened or closed there.
On the iSmartGate’s settings page, all of the controls are buried, resulting in some clutter. Along with video and Ethernet adapter settings, the iSmartGate includes typical features like multi-user support and door status push alerts. We prefer rivals’ applications, such as Genie and MyQ, which keep the most essential functions front-and-center for consumers.
The iSmartGate’s settings page offers a lot of choices.
However, architectural flaws aside, the iSmartGate’s greatest competitive advantages are found beneath the hood. HomeKit, Google Assistant, SmartThings, Alexa, and IFTTT are all supported by the controller, making it compatible with almost any smart home setup. Although this coverage creates some odd feature gaps (for example, you can manage numerous users via the iSmartGate app, but door scheduling is handled by IFTTT), it also means that the iSmartGate Pro can be a flexible smart home hub.
You can simply build geofencing routines off the iSmartGate using IFTTT, which will open your garage automatically as you drive up to the home (or close after you drive away). If you wish to remotely monitor your garage, the iSmartGate also supports video cameras. If you pay $29.95 for a three-year video streaming license (which also includes 1 GB of cloud storage), you may use your own IP camera, or buy an iSmartGate camera, which comes with a complimentary one-year license.
If you’re looking for a three-door controller that can operate with various smart home systems, the iSmartGate Pro is a good option.
We completely installed each device in our home garage to test how simple they were to set up and operate in order to discover the best smart garage door opener. A door sensor that detects whether a door is open or closed, as well as a hub that connects to your garage opener and home network, are the two primary components of garage door controllers. We then downloaded each developer’s app and assessed the training, smart home platform compatibility, and garage management features offered.
Continue reading for a complete list of our testing criteria:
- Installation: We chose controllers that made installation as simple as possible by avoiding physical wires and opting wireless wherever feasible. Wireless door sensors and hubs received the highest ratings, followed by controllers with wired hubs and wireless sensors.
- Included tools: We emphasized controllers that came with everything you need to get started with a secure installation right away. The most secure controllers are those having drillable or mountable hubs, followed by controllers with zip ties. Hubs that only came with double-sided tape, on the other hand, were penalized. Sensors are small and may be held in place with tape, but hubs must be kept high above the ground. A hub that is drilled or fastened to a wall can withstand the weather conditions in a normal garage better than one that is simply held in place with tape.
- Smart home compatibility: We looked for controllers that worked with the most popular smart home systems, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and SmartThings. Support for IFTTT wasn’t as important as support for the major smart home platforms, but we nevertheless regarded the service to be a bonus for controllers that offered it.
- Multi-user/schedule support: You can easily give garage access to family members or visitors with multi-user support. You may set up schedules to open or shut the garage door at certain times. We gave preference to controllers with both functionalities in their support app.
- App quality: During the setup procedure for most smart garage controllers, you’ll have to utilize the manufacturer’s supplied app. Manufacturer applications that featured elements like readily accessible menus, garage management tools, and detailed setup instructions received additional points.
Controls and Performance
- The controller hub serves as a conduit between your smartphone/smart home speaker and the garage opener, speeding up the opening process. All of the controllers we tested took three to five seconds to open and shut, but we made note of those that took longer.
- Smart garage controllers can handle one, two, or three garage doors. The cost of a controller and the number of doors it can handle usually go hand in hand, but we noticed when less expensive openers incorporated multi-door capability.
iSmartGate Lite (Amazon.com; $119.00) The iSmartGate Lite is almost similar to the iSmartGate Pro, with the exception that the controller can only operate one door rather than three. You’ll also lose the Pro’s configurable opening/closing music, tiltable door sensor, and flashing front LED light when entering or exiting the garage. The Lite comes with a two-piece sensor kit that comprises a sensor for the garage wall and a Kit Kat-sized magnet for the garage door. Aside from that, the Lite has the same iSmartGate app with HomeKit, Google Assistant, Alexa, IFTTT, and SmartThings smart home platform compatibility. The iSmartGate isn’t as cheap as the three-door controller Aladdin Genie ($59.99) or the two-door controller Chamberlain MyQ ($29.99) at $119.00 for a single-door controller. The iSmartGate’s compatibility list, on the other hand, can’t be topped if you require a hub that works with various smart home systems.
meross Smart Garage Door Opener (Amazon.com, $49.99) The meross is a reasonably priced controller, however it isn’t the most beautifully designed. This is a tiny rectangular plastic box with cables coming out of both ends to connect to USB power, your garage opener, and your door sensor.
Furthermore, the meross is the only controller we tested that lacks a wireless door sensor. You’ll need to physically link the sensor to the opener using a long wire that you’ll run across your ceiling or through the opener cable belt.
For the purpose of ease, we prefer wireless smart home devices over wired smart home gadgets. Wireless sensors minimize wire clutter that may get caught in your garage door. During our testing, a little slack in the wire was caught as the door opened, causing the whole cable to become misaligned. Make sure the sensor wire on your meross is firmly fastened and won’t be pushed out of position by your garage opener’s door or chain track.
However, the meross was the quickest controller we tried, and the meross app opened or closed the garage door immediately. All of our other garage door controller choices had wireless door sensors, but processing instructions took three to five seconds on average. The meross isn’t as simple to set up as versions with a wireless sensor, but if you’re prepared to run the sensor wire across your garage, it makes up for it in performance.
The meross also supports HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, and SmartThings, but it’s one of the few controllers without built-in multi-user functionality. Meross recommends connecting into a single account from each mobile device to operate a controller across numerous phones. It’s considerably less secure than rivals like as Genie and Chamberlain, which have built-in capabilities for creating and deleting guest users without requiring you to disclose your password.
Nexx NXG-200 (Amazon.com; $79.99) With its simple black box and large exterior Wi-Fi antenna, the Nexx NXG-200 isn’t going to win any beauty competitions. However, it ticks all of our boxes for a smart garage controller, including a wireless door sensor, multi-user support, and customized door schedules, as well as connectivity with Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, and SmartThings. It’s also a fast performer: the garage door just required a few seconds to react after we sent an open or shut order to the Nexx app.
The Nexx’s price tag, though, is the controller’s lone flaw. The single-door opener is one of the few controllers under $100 that supports Alexa, multi-user, and scheduling. However, the Nexx’s pricing and features place it uncomfortably between our top controller choices at $79.99.
The Nexx is $20.00 more costly than the Genie Aladdin Connect, which works with up to three doors and supports Alexa. And, at just $29.99, the Chamberlain MyQ is much more inexpensive than the Nexx if you only require a single-door remote. In comparison to the Genie (Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings) or MyQ, the Nexx is compatible with more smart home systems (Google Assistant, HomeKit, IFTTT). If you utilize a combination of smart home platforms that none of our top picks covers, the Nexx may be worth considering.
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