Along with Genie, Chamberlain is one of the big two garage door opener manufacturers, offering equipment under its own brand name as well as the popular LiftMaster and Craftsman brands. As such, it stands to reason that it would have some idea of how to make high-quality smart garage door technology. Turns out, that instinct is correct.
The Chamberlain myQ Smart Garage Hub supports a wide range of openers from a multitude of brands, but you’ll need to check myQ’s fine print to determine exactly whether your opener is compatible. Since I have recent-model Liftmaster openers in my home, I encountered no compatibility issues.
Unlike some other brands, the myQ Smart Garage Hub is completely wireless. You only need to plug it into wall power and attach a sensor to the door. In essence, the myQ system works just like any other add-on garage door remote control, pairing directly with your opener hardware via the “learn” button. Once paired, you can communicate with the hub via myQ’s mobile app in order to send a wireless signal to the opener, telling it to open or close.
Because no additional wiring is necessary, setting up the myQ is quite simple. Unbox and plug in the hub unit, mount the wireless sensor on the door with Velcro and sticky tape, and press the learn button when instructed. After also creating an account through the myQ mobile app and pairing the hub with your Wi-Fi network, the process is complete. I didn’t experience a single hiccup along the way.
The myQ app is relatively self-explanatory, though it provides two ways to organize your garage doors, either with a single large opener button front and center or with all the openers on the same page. This isn’t exactly unusual, except for the fact that in order to open a door, you must tap the “open” icon just once in one of these views, and double-tap it if you’re in another view. At first, I thought the system wasn’t working when single taps failed to open the door, only to realize my error after a little experimentation.
The myQ system feature set includes the ability to set up alerts when a door is opened, closed, or stopped in between, as well as the ability to set up schedules. There is no automatic close feature included. My only complaint is that each alert must be manually configured, and the interface for setting up these alerts isn’t the friendliest. If you want alerts to warn when a door has been opened, closed, and left open for a certain amount of time, you must manually create three different alerts.
The good news is that these all worked fine in my testing, and myQ’s logging system made it easy to keep track of everything that was going on.
When you use the app to close a garage door, you’ll immediately discover the most common complaint about the system: A loud beeping that lasts for a full 30-plus seconds (in my case, continuing until well after the door was completely shut).
This is of course a safety feature designed to alert anyone standing under the door that it’s about to shut on them, but it is nonetheless a grating nuisance—and many homeowners will find it simply unnecessary given the safety features that may already be built into their opener. As there is absolutely no way to turn the alarm off, some owners have actually taken to cutting the wire to the speaker to shut the thing up.
That’s a small drawback on an otherwise amazingly capable controller, and its list of additional features is impressive. Key among these is the fact that you can use a single hub to control two doors. Be wary when you shop for that additional sensor, though, as there are two models. This $25 model (at Amazon) controls this garage hub and another model, but it was out of stock at press time. This other model costs $60 at Amazon and controls only the garage hub reviewed here. I tried the former configuration in my home and had no trouble at all with it.
The myQ system also supports the new Amazon Key delivery platform, and it’s building its own ecosystem of myQ-branded gear and third party products that work with the system. With add-ons like the myQ light switch, you can sync a switch to activate along with the garage door. In other words, you can have a light in the stairwell illuminate when you come home in the dark. (These accessories are a bit more liberally priced.)
It’s also worth noting that myQ works with HomeKit and Wink, but not SmartThings. The system is also not compatible Alexa—at least not officially. Both IFTTT and Google Assistant support are now “free for a limited time.” (Previously you had to pay $1 per month to use myQ’s IFTTT channel or connect to Google Assistant.) Here’s hoping that “limited time” remains in place for the long haul.
In the final analysis, myQ’s outstanding capabilities and rock bottom price make it a no-brainer, top-tier choice in the smart garage controller field. If your system is compatible, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.