This $30 Gadget Is A No-Brainer Addition To Any Home With A Garage

This $30 Gadget Is A No-Brainer Addition To Any Home With A Garage

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CNN —  

The Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Control explains itself with the name. For $29.98, it sets out to be a catchall solution for remote access to a garage door complete with intelligent features. By definition, it’s an entry-level smart home gadget — and not one that requires you to jump into the deep end of the smart home world.

With just two pieces of hardware, a Wi-Fi connection and the app on your phone, you’ll be able to see the status of your garage door, remotely open or close it and even add household members as users. For $29.98, it’s practically a steal. And after a few weeks of testing, it’s safe to say that it works as promised. Let’s unpack it.

A plug and play setup for remote access

The Chamberlain MyQ is truly a no-brainer. It can make nearly any garage door smart and give you the benefits of opening or closing it from anywhere.

Who this is for: The Chamberlain MyQ is for someone who wants to control or keep tabs on their garage door from near or afar.

What you need to know: Setting up this gadget took about 15 minutes, and it’s quite intuitive. Chamberlain says the MyQ supports most garage door openers made after 1993, but mileage could potentially vary. It also doesn’t support Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit integrations.

How it compares: For $29.98 (when it’s not on sale), the Chamberlain MyQ is a no-brainer addition to a home with a garage door. It doesn’t require the long install or cost of a new garage door opener with a smart hub built in and supports a long list of openers. Chances are that includes the one in your home. The mandatory app for setup and control is intuitive and less cluttered than other smart options on the market. It doesn’t feature support for core smart home ecosystems like Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit. BeamUp is a similar solution that’s more expensive at $77 but supports Alexa out of the box. Those looking for HomeKit integration can look at the $119 iSmartGate. The MyQ and the alternatives all use similar tech to get online, though, and work with most openers made after 1993.

Jacob Krol/CNN

In the Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Control box, you’ll find two main pieces of hardware and some extras. What you won’t find is a garage door opener, though — the MyQ system works alongside your current garage door to make it smart.

The smart hub, which we’ve been affectionately calling the brain, gets mounted on the ceiling, close to the actual garage door motor. It’s a square piece of plastic with technology inside to connect with your garage door, along with some buttons and a power port. Chamberlain didn’t hold back on branding with two big logos. The other piece to the puzzle is a door sensor that will live in the bottom corner of the physical garage door. It’s much smaller in comparison to the hub and opts for a battery. It’s all pretty simple, and Chamberlain includes some mounting tools (a frame and screws) for an easy installation.

Alongside the physical hardware, you’ll need the MyQ Garage & Access Control app — it’s available for Android and iOS. The app is the main control panel for both setup and using the MyQ. You’ll also need to create an account, and fair warning, it can take a bit to get the confirmation email. That delay in creating our account was the only delay we experienced.

Once you’re in, the MyQ app does an excellent job of providing clear instructions to get you through the process. It took us between 10 and 15 minutes to get the whole system working. And it essentially works by the smart hub acting as a remote control opener. It can send and receive signals with your garage door opener. Chamberlain says the MyQ system should work most garage door openers made after 1993 — some of the big names include Chamberlain, LiftMaster, Craftsman, Genie, Linear and Raynor. A good tell is a “learn button” on your garage door opener, as this is used to send out a signal for pairing with controllers or

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This $30 gadget is a no-brainer addition to any home with a garage

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