A smart garage opener can bring a lot of benefits to your home like opening the garage door when you get close to home or monitoring what times its been opened and closed. Interested in buying a smart garage door opener to make your life easier? Here are a few things to look for that may help you choose the right one. In the past, Chamberlain has been the clear leader in garage door openers for as long as we could remember. Today, however, Chamberlain has fallen behind the competition from a technological standpoint.
After considering more than half a dozen smart door garage openers, the clear winner is the Nexx Smart Garage Door Opener. For me, it’s the perfect balance of quality and easy setup of Alexa/Google functionality. I can get notifications when it’s open or I can even authorize multiple people access to my garage when I’m not home. My favorite feature is the geofencing so when I’m getting close to home, the Nexx garage door knows to open.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is the compatibility with other smart devices. If you simply want a garage door opener that you can open with your phone, you can scrap by with a cheaper option under $80 like the GarageMate. But if you plan on adding more smart devices to your portfolio or want maximum compatibility, it’s better to invest a few more bucks into brands like Nexx that plan on adding more functionality in future releases.
what to look for in a smart garage door opener
There are a lot of smart garage door openers on the market. You want a reliable product that meets all your expectations. Here a few things to keep in mind.
- Compatibility with your existing Garage Door Opener. Please see the manufacturers compatibility list. It would be a bummer to find out your Chamberlain HD220 isn’t compatible with Nexx. Compatibility links to all brands below
- Smart Compatibility. Choose a garage door opener that is compatible with the devices you own or plan on owning. Alexa, Google, Apple Homekit, etc. Not all smart garage door openers work with them.
- Features. Do you want your garage door opener to open when you’re close to home? Maybe you care more about being able to monitor who opens the door or what time.
- How many doors it supports? Some smart garage door openers only support 1 door, 2 doors, or 4.
- Does it support IFTTT? Does it connect to your smart hub (Smart Things/Wink)?
- Does it require a Hub? This is another thing to plug in and worry about. You have to consider being in the range of your WiFi.
Top smart garage door openers to consider
These are our 5 favorite smart garage door openers. They are all a little different and will satisfy your smart device needs in one way or another.
Note: All garage door openers can support up to 3 doors with the purchase of an additional door kit (it’s a fraction of the price of the initial garage kit). The only caveat is the Chamberlain MyQ can support a 3rd door too, but it takes a little extra effort . More details below.
- Nexx Smart Garage Door Opener is our favorite. It has the most functionality to offer with seamless Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility along with Geofencing, sharing access to friends, notifications and monitoring activity. IFTTT friendly and Watch app’s available. The few disadvantages it has are:
- Not compatible with some common older models of Chamberlain or Liftmaster (Don’t worry, there is a compatibility link in the next section plus a workaround to use your existing incompatible garage door)
- Not compatible with Apple Homekit, Smart Things/Wink (ST & Wink compatibility is being worked on)
- Tailwind iQ3 Smart WiFi Garage Door Opener is the runner up because it offers nearly identical features as Nexx and supports up to 3 doors. They haven’t been around as long as Nexx but they’re definitely a contender. What’s cool is they offer a special feature called “Night Mode”. It will close your garage door if it’s night time after it’s been open for more than 5 minutes.
- Not compatible with Apple Homekit or Smart Things
- Not aesthetically designed
- Gogogate 2 is our selection for smart device hobbyists. If you want an integration with IFTTT, this is your best choice. It even supports security cameras to integrate with it and excellent customer support. If you want a ‘quick’ setup with Alexa or Google, this is probably not your best bet. It requires a little more work via IFTTT. The few disadvantages are:
- The UI for the App isn’t that great. The app is also having some issues, there are a lot of complaints about the notifications not working.
- No “Direct” integration for Alexa or Google, this requires you to configure it via IFTTT.
- TAOPE Smart WiFi Garage Door Opener has most of the bells and whistles you expect like compatibility with Alexa, Google, IFTTT, and no Hub is needed. You get to monitor your garage activity too and you can receive notifications on if its open/closed.
- The app can be a headache with heavy battery draining if you setup Geofencing
- Alexa setup can be cumbersome with getting the Smart Life app and additional Alexa Skills
- Other owners complained about spotty Geofencing
- MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener is trailing behind because it has no Alexa integration. It works great if you just want to open it with your phone via the app. You will still get notifications on when it’s open/closed and monitoring activity. It also works with Wink, Nest Thermostat, and Xfinity Home, but that’s about it. If you don’t need all the extras, the MyQ can satisfy your needs and save you a few bucks. A few disadvantages are:
- Not compatible with Alexa
- Google Home/IFTTT (compatibility requires a monthly subscription)
- Requires a Hub and the bluetooth range is weak. Needs to be close to your router
- Homekit Compatibility (with additional purchase of the MyQ Home Bridge)
- To support a 3rd garage door, an additional purchase of a MyQ Hub is required because the Hub can only support 2 Doors. This means you’ll have 2 MyQ Hubs for 3 Garage doors.
The most frustrating thing to encounter is that your smart garage door opener isn’t compatible with your current garage. Nexx support does a great job of offering assistant for garages that aren’t compatible. All you have to do is ship your clicker to them and they will work their magic to make it compatible and then ship it back to you. They are also working on an adapter to allow incompatible garage door openers to work with Nexx in the future.
Here is a link to check compatibility for each smart garage door opener we recommend.
- Nexx Compatibility
- Gogogate2 Compatibility
- Tailwind Compatibility
- MyQ Compatibility
- TAOPE Compatibility (Amazon’s page shows a chart at the bottom)