- Quieter than older systems (belt drive models)
- Equipped with MyQ technology (check status, open/close door from mobile app)
- Works w/ Google Assistant, IFTTT, Apple HomeKit and more
- HomeLink compatible
- Comes with backup battery
- Installation might be an issue
- Some smart home partnerships require a monthly fee
- Apple HomeKit requires MyQ Home Bridge
The Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener is an impressive device that allows you to monitor your garage door from anywhere.
Smart home devices are everywhere these days. There are video doorbells, thermostats with speakers built-in, smart light switches and now smart garage door openers. Chamberlain is one of the biggest names in the garage door space, so we thought we’d take one of their MyQ garage door openers for a spin. Here’s what I’ve found so far:
Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Installation
Now, I have to admit, I’m not a very handy guy. I can barely screw in a light bulb. So when the Chamberlain box arrived, I was pretty intimidated. I thought to myself, there’s no way I can install this thing. So I did what any red-blooded American would do… I called someone else to install it for me. But to be honest, after I witnessed this guy install the entire system, I was sort of kicking myself that I didn’t at least try doing it myself. It really didn’t look that complicated. It probably took him 20-30 minutes in total, which means it probably would have taken me 3-5 hours depending on how many Coors Lights I downed in the process. Bottom line, if you’re somewhat handy, you’ll probably be fine installing the MyQ openers. There’s even installation videos on Chamberlain’s website to guide you through it (see example video below).
If you’re not so handy though, you’ll probably want to have a relative or handyman help you out. Here’s the guy that helped me in action:
Belt Drive vs Chain Drive Garage Door Openers
Now, the first decision you’ll have to make (even before installation) is which type of garage door opener you want. There are two general types of openers – belt drive and chain drive. I personally got one of their belt drive openers. There are about 6-7 Chamberlain belt drive openers to choose from. Some of which have Wi-Fi built-in and some you would need to buy a home bridge [see on Amazon] in order to control the door from your smartphone. They also vary in terms of lifting power (MED, PLUS and MAX lift power systems). And it’s the same thing with the chain drive openers – there are roughly 6-7 models to choose from.
But how are they different? Well, the difference is quite simple as is implied in the name. One type uses a belt drive, usually comprised of steel-reinforced rubber, fiberglass, or polyurethane, and the other uses a chain as the mechanism for opening or closing the door. Belt drive openers tend to be much quieter, but they’re also a little more expensive. Chain drive openers are louder, but they’re less expensive and a better choice for super heavy garage doors.
Chamberlain WiFi Garage Door Opener Review – Price
The Chamberlain belt drive openers range from about $169 to $269 depending on the model. The Chamberlain chain drive openers, on the other hand, range from $129 to $249, again depending on the model and lifting power [Shop Chamberlain Garage Door Openers On Amazon].
These prices are about standard for the industry, maybe a little on the high end if you choose one of the premium Chamberlain models. For comparison purposes, you can often find garage door openers from Genie, SkyLink, or Ryobi under the $200 mark [compare garage door openers on HomeDepot.com].
Chamberlain MyQ Smart Features
What makes these garage door openers special is the built-in MyQ technology. This allows you to check the status of the door or open/close it from anywhere with your smartphone. All you have to do is download the MyQ app and add your garage door by pressing the small yellow button on the control panel. From there, it’s pretty easy to setup the whole system via the app. Just follow the instructions on screen – it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Once everything is paired, you’ll be able to do a few things within the app:
- Check the status of the door and either open or close it
- View a history timeline – see the exact times the door was opened or closed
- Setup custom alerts – For example, I set up a push notification every time the door is open longer than an hour Monday-Friday. As you can see, you can get pretty detailed.
- Setup a pre-determined schedule (i.e. have the door close every night at 10PM) – Don’t worry, the opener comes equipped with safety sensors so it doesn’t close on a pet, person, or object.
- Add and manage other openers if you have multiple garage doors
- Link accounts with other smart home devices
And speaking of smart home devices… Chamberlain partners with some big names in the smart home space, but there are some drawbacks. Here’s who Chamberlain partners with:
- Google Assistant – You can ask your Google Home, for example, for the status of the door or ask Google to close the door, but you only get a 30 day trial period. After that, you have to pay a monthly fee.
- IFTTT – Same thing as Google Assistant. Free for thirty days, but then you have to pay a monthly subscription fee.
- Apple HomeKit – In order to make your Chamberlain garage door HomeKit compatible, you have to purchase a MyQ Home Bridge [see on Amazon] separately. This will allow you to use Siri to control the door. And even if you do purchase the bridge, you’ll need an Apple TV w/ TVOS or an iPad w/ OS X in order to control remotely via Siri.
- Other smart home partners include Nest, XFINITY Home, and Wink, among others.
Chamberlain Smart Garage Door Opener Review – Other Features We Like
There are some other features we particularly like about the Chamberlain garage door opener beyond just its smart capabilities. First, the openers are compatible with HomeLink, so if you have that system built-into your car, you’re set. I know a lot of newer cars have that. If not, like me, you’d either have to get a compatibility bridge or just use the remote that comes with it. And speaking of that remote, I actually found it to be quite effective. It definitely has a much longer range than my old remote. Previously, I had to be within about 100 feet for my old remote to work. With my new Chamberlain, I can open the door from about 700-800 feet easy. It’s pretty nice. No more waiting for the door to open.
Lastly, the opener is equipped with a backup battery in case the power goes out. That way, you’re never trapped.
All in all, I’ve been pretty impressed with my Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door opener. First, it’s much quieter than my old system. Not sure if that’s a big deal for most people, but I could see it being useful for people that need to leave early in the morning while other people in the house are still sleeping. Second, it’s definitely nice to be able to check the status of the door at all times. I often forget to close my garage door after I pull out, so it’s super convenient to be able to just open the app and close the door even if I’m at work. And the app is pretty easy to use, all things considered. Lastly, I do appreciate the increased distance of the remote. I no longer have to sit and idle while my garage door opens. I can just pull right in. A little pro tip I learned from the installation guy – when you’re installing the opener, let the antenna hang down about 6-12 inches from the control panel. It will lead to a better signal.
Installation definitely has to be one of the biggest negatives. If you don’t really know what you’re doing, I can see this process being frustrating. And if you don’t want to hassle with it, you’ll have to pay someone to help you, which just adds to the final price tag. Generally, it can cost anywhere from $150-$250 for installation. The smart home partnerships are also somewhat of a disappointment in my eyes. It’s nice that Chamberlain works with Google, IFTTT, etc. but I don’t think anyone is going to want to pay a monthly fee. Ultimately, I think the majority of people will just use the MyQ app to control the opener so all the smart home partnerships are sort of just fluff.
If your current opener is getting old or not working anymore, I’d definitely recommend one of the Chamberlain MyQ garage door openers. Chamberlain has a great reputation in the industry and the MyQ smart features are convenient to have. On the other hand, if you’re current system works just fine, but you want to add some smart capabilities, we’d recommend checking out the MyQ Smart Garage Hub [see on Amazon]. It costs less than $100 and works with most garage door openers manufactured after 1993. So if money is a concern and you want to skip the whole installation issue, that’s a viable route.