Sunday, January 12, 2014

MyQ Universal Smartphone Garage Door Controller

No compensation was received for this post. Complimentary product was provided for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.
It seems that every time we leave home, we get a block down the road and my husband asks if we remembered to put down the garage door. Most of the time, we are close enough that we take a trip around the block in order to drive by the house to make sure it is down and other times, we text or call our neighbor to ask them to check. So, when I learned about the MyQ Smartphone Garage Door Controllers from Chamberlain, I knew it was a product that would be perfect for our house.
The MyQ Smartphone Garage Door Controller works with a number of garage door openers and allows you to both check the status of your garage door from anywhere on your Smartphone and to operate it remotely too. So, with the MyQ we can now log in to the app on our phone and see whether the door is up or down. It also tells you how long it has been open or closed, a great feature that lets you confirm that your child has arrived home. Having a repairman coming to the house? You can easily use the app to open the door for them when they arrive - no need to give them a garage door code or a key to your house.

The set up of the MyQ is fairly straight-forward. There is a bracket that mounts to your ceiling, next to your garage door operator that is used to attach the WiFi hub. A door sensor is installed next to your garage door. The third step is to connect the WiFi Hub to the home network - with an iPhone or iPod, you use the BlueTooth feature and then launch the app to complete the set up and with other devices you use the web browser to set up the MyQ.

There are several models of garage door openers that the MyQ works with and you can find a list of them here. Turns out (after a good amount of effort and reading the help on the website) that although our manufacturer was listed, we had an opener that the MyQ couldn't learn to operate. We could still use the monitoring aspect of the device/app and were able to see if the door was open or closed and how long it had been there, but if we were away and the garage door was open, we wouldn't have been able to close it. In order to allow us to experience the MyQ Smartphone Garage Door Controller, the group at Chamberlain offered us a new garage door opener - all we had to do was install it.

Once the new garage door opener was installed (more about that here - Chamberlain HD930EV Garage Door Opener), we were able to start testing out the MyQ Garage. We learned a few things early (that we wish we had learned earlier) and put it through the paces.

You can install the app on multiple devices and can put a security code on the app, so that others can't operate your garage door. I like this added level of security. What we didn't know right away is that there can only be one account per device. My husband had initially set it up with his e-mail, but once we found out that we could only have one account, we decided to change it to our joint e-mail account. Unfortunately, we were not able to find a way to do this on the website and had to delete his account. This meant having to reset up the device with the new log in - not a big deal, but it did take some time. A nice benefit of this feature is that in order to add the app to their device and use it, someone would need to know your username and password.

We tested the app near and far. When my husband was away from home and on another WiFi network, he sent me a message and then tested that he could operate the door from there. When I was further from home at work, and on a WiFi network, I tested that I could operate the door from there. We also tested it on 3G, near and far. We had some challenges with the 3G operation being consistent. If the 3G signal was not strong, I wasn't always able to connect to the opener to operate it but once my signal strength returned it worked. We also had an issue when I tried to open it and immediately close it. Normal operation wouldn't typically find you opening and closing within a few seconds and I didn't have the same problem when I allowed time between operation, so I wasn't too worried. I don't really know what didn't work, but my guess is that once operated, the system needed a minute to return to 'steady' state.

A good thing to note is that when you operate the opener to close it from the app, it sounds a beep and flashes a blue light before it begins to operate. I like this safety feature, in case someone would be in the garage when you close it they would have a warning.

Overall, we are very pleased with the MyQ Smartphone Garage Door Controller. We like the added security of being able to check that our garage door is closed. It is nice to know that if we need to let someone in to the house, that we can operate the door from elsewhere rather than giving out our security code for the external keypad. I also like that if I am out with friends, I don't have to worry about taking keys or fumbling in the rain or cold with the external keypad...I can use my phone to open my door when I arrive home.

If you are looking for a home automation product to allow you to monitor and operate your garage door, then I would recommend checking out the MyQ Smartphone Garage Door Controller.

No compensation was received for this post. Chamberlain provided the MyQ Universal Smartphone Garage Door Controller, so that we could share our experience with the product. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

2 comments: said...

This sounds like a worth-while product for sure! Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

You can easily put a temporary code on your door key pad.