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This $ 30 gadget makes controlling your garage door a quick shot – here’s why you need it underrated CNN

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He Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Control is explained by name. For $ 29.98, an exclusive solution for remote access to a garage door with smart features is proposed. By definition, it’s an entry-level smart home gadget, not one that requires jumping to 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 can view the status of your garage door, open or close it remotely, and even add household members as to users. To $ 29.98, is practically a robbery. And after a few weeks of testing, it’s safe to say it works as promised. Undo it.

A plug and play configuration for remote access

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

For whom it is: He Chamberlain MyQ it is for someone who wants to control or keep the tabs on the garage door from near or far.

What you need to know: Setting up this gadget took about 15 minutes and is quite intuitive. Chamberlain says the MyQ supports most garage door openers manufactured after 1993, but the mileage could potentially vary. It is also not compatible with Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit integrations.

How to compare: For $ 29.98 (when not on sale), the Chamberlain MyQ it is a simple addition to a house with a garage door. It does not require the installation or long cost of a new garage door opener with an integrated smart hub that supports a long list of openers. It is likely to include your home. The mandatory application for configuration and control is intuitive and less cluttered than other smart options on the market. It does not include support for basic smart home ecosystems like Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit. BeamUp is a similar solution that is more expensive at $ 77, but supports Alexa immediately. Those looking for HomeKit integration can see the 119 $ iSmartGate. MyQ and alternatives use similar technology to connect online, however, and work with most openers manufactured after 1993.

Jacob Krol / CNN

A la Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Control , you will find two main pieces of hardware and some extras. What you won’t find, though, is a garage door opener – the MyQ system works next to the current garage door to make it smart.

The smart center, which we have been affectionately calling the brain, is mounted on the roof, near the garage door motor. It is a square piece of plastic with technology inside to connect to the garage door, along with some buttons and a power port. Chamberlain didn’t slow down on the brand with two big logos. The other piece of the puzzle is a door sensor that will be placed at the lower end of the physical garage door. It is much smaller compared to the hub and opts for a battery. Everything is pretty straightforward and Chamberlain includes some mounting tools (a frame and screws) for easy installation.

In addition to the physical hardware, you’ll need the MyQ Garage & Access Control app, which is available for Android and iOS. The application is the main control panel for setting up and using MyQ. You will also need to create an account, and with a fair warning, it may take a while to receive your confirmation email. This delay in creating our account was the only one we experienced.

Once you’re there, the MyQ app does a great job providing clear instructions to get you through the process. It took us between 10 and 15 minutes for the whole system to work. And it works essentially through the smart hub that acts as a remote control opener. You can send and receive signals by opening the garage door. Chamberlain says the MyQ system should work with most garage door openers manufactured after 1993; some of the big names are Chamberlain, LiftMaster, Craftsman, Genie, Linear and Raynor. A good idea is a “learning button” on the garage door opening, as it is used to send a signal to pair it with drivers or devices like the MyQ. Modern garage door openers manufactured by Chamberlain even include the integrated MyQ hub.

The smart hub also has 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity to connect to your home Wi-Fi network. Garages can sometimes be a dead zone, especially if they have concrete walls or are separated from the house. In any of these scenarios, you may need to increase the range of your Wi-Fi connection and the solution could be a Wi-Fi extender. If you have one mesh Wi-Fi system, like Eero, you can buy another node or point to expand your network. However, there is no way to avoid the Wi-Fi requirement.

And during setup, get ready to see how the garage door makes sudden movements. In our experience, it will rise and fall a few times throughout the process. And when it’s done, you’ll be able to monitor, view a status, and even link it to other smart home systems through the app.

Jacob Krol / CNN

The setup process is the only weight you will have to do with the Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Controller. You will see the status of the garage door and the time spent in that front and center state. For example, if you closed 40 minutes ago, it will only show. You can easily tap the garage door to open it as well. You can also see a timeline that tells you when the door was opened or closed. Everything is very useful.

From a security standpoint, you will need to log in actively and authenticate to start the application. You can choose a password on your mobile device or use the built-in authentication method, such as unlocking it with a fingerprint or your face. The app does not currently offer a two-factor authentication solution, but we hope it can be supported in the future.

You can also share access to your home and garage door (or doors, if you have a multi-vehicle garage) via the Users tab. They will need to create a MyQ account and authenticate. And the usual issue here is that Chamberlain does not add complex interfaces to access information or functionality. Everything is front and center with menus at the bottom. The Schedules field allows you to select default times for actions to occur. It’s a great way to make sure the door is closed at night.

In terms of supported systems, here you will find most of the major players: Google Assistant, IFTT, Alarm.com, Residio Total Connect and Vivint, among others. The two big ones you won’t find support are Amazon’s Alexa and the Apple HomeKit. The first is a big surprise, considering that this uses Key by Amazon, the brand’s service that allows delivery drivers to open the garage door to leave the package in a safe place. It’s weird you can’t link it to Alexa. HomeKit is a little trickier to integrate, but both would be nice to see in the future.

The simple solution here is to use the app; after all, you will need it to set it up.

At less than $ 30, the Chamberlain MyQ it’s the easiest way to remotely access the garage door and make it smart. You don’t have to run and spend hundreds on a new opener or opt for a specific brand. It brings a lot of value and while it’s not perfect with some smart partners missing, it still offers a lot of functionality.

Whether you’re interested in starting a smart home or want an easier way to control your garage door, the Chamberlain MyQ it can stand on its own as a fantastic appliance to add at home. Please note that you need an opener made after 1993 and that you need Wi-Fi in the garage. Otherwise, you are ready to succeed.

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