Chamberlain MyQ Garage Review – It Works, But Needs More
I got the opportunity to test out the Chamberlain MyQ garage door opener and monitoring system. I do love technology and am happy to review products like this. I am slowly working toward automating my new home, so these products are of interest to me. Now, my wife thinks I am crazy for wanting automation, but that is OK. She will love it when I get everything setup and running. It takes time and money to automate your house, so don’t be discouraged if you plan on doing so. Either way, I have setup and tested the system, so here is my Chamberlain MyQ Garage system review.
How MyQ Garage Works
So what does this system actually do? The concept is really simple, so here we go. The Chamberlain MyQ Garage system monitors the status of your garage door. Is it open or is it closed? On top of that and probably the most important feature, you can open and close your door from your smartphone or tablet. You use a simple app on your phone and you press a garage icon when you want it to open or close. It is really that simple. You can also get alerts when your garage door opens or if it has been open for a specified amount of time. These notification are great.
Note: You can control two garage doors with one MyQ garage hub and app.
Some have reported MyQ as a closed-loop system, which means it can only control the garage door. While that is technically true at this point, they are working on adding more automation features and working with integrating with other companies. Here are some upcoming features of MyQ that you might enjoy.
- Apple announced that Chamberlain MyQ is one of the devices that will work with their HomeKit initiative to launch in iOS 8 this fall. Not further details are available yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as they are.
- A few weeks ago, Google’s Nest announced their Works with Nest initiative, of which MyQ will integrate with the Nest Learning Thermostat, also available this fall. Using the MyQ app, you will be able to control your Nest Learning Thermostat, view your home’s current temperature, and also view if predetermined settings have been modified (e.g. kids manually adjusting the Nest Thermostat). In addition, MyQ will allow consumers to set Away mode when closing their garage door upon leaving the house and then switch back to Home mode when reopening the garage door upon returning home.
- The most recent initiative is with Quirky-owned Wink, which announced the Wink Connected Home Hub last week, where you can use the Wink app to control your MyQ Garage device. This will also launch in the fall.
Hopefully these new features and expansions will get you excited about the product. Right now, the best use of this device is to make sure you closed the garage door. Also, if you want to open it, yet don’t have an opener, then you can easily do it on your smartphone. I know some forgetful people who have left their garage doors open all day while they were at work. The MyQ garage would alleviate that type of stuff. Simply check your phone to see if your garage is closed. If not, click the button and done!
MyQ only works with garage doors that are sectional and have safety reversing sensors. So, if you have a one-piece door that lifts up, then this will NOT work for you!
How to Setup MyQ Garage
I had my unit unpacked and installed in less than 10 minutes. I probably could have done it quicker, but my garage is a mess from moving. I have junk all over the place in there! Either way, there are only three steps to install the MyQ. All you need is a screwdriver and a stepladder. You might need a drill depending on your mounting location, but I will explain that in a minute.
Step 1 – Mount the MyQ WiFi Hub
This is where the screwdriver and stepladder come into play. You want to install the mounting bracket close to your existing garage door opener. You need to be able to plug the power in. I recommend mounting it to a stud if you have one near, but the hub is not heavy, so you can install it in drywall. Once you screw the hub in, then you slide the MyQ WiFi hub into place.
Step 2 – Install the MyQ Door Sensor
The door sensor comes with two methods for installation. You can use the adhesive strips for easy installation, or you can screw the sensor into place. If you want to screw it into the garage door, then you will need to remove the back plate and screw that in. You then can slide the sensor back onto the plate and you are done!
You have to install the sensor in sight of the WiFi hub. I installed mine on the top section of my door, which was pretty close to inline with the hub. Make sure you door is closed before you install the sensor!
Step 3 – Download the MyQ App and Go!
You can download the Chamberlain MyQ app from iTunes and from the Google Play Store. The MyQ app controls the Garage hub along with a few connected light switches that Chamberlain sells. Once you download the app, it will direct you through the process.
I had no issues downloading and using my app on my Motorola Moto G either!
You will sign up for an account, then connect the hub to your WiFi router. Mine had no problem connected to my router and it stayed connected.
MyQ Not Without Issues
Now, I wish I could say everything worked fine with the MyQ hub and app. If I said that, it would be false. After I first installed the app and it connected, it wouldn’t control the door. The hub beeps and blinks a light when you are opening and closing the door. I believe that is a warning signal. While the app was saying the door was opening, nothing was happening. It would take about 30 seconds before it came back to say it couldn’t open the door.
To get around this problem, I took my step ladder and looked at the back of my garage door opener. There is a button on them which allows you to pair a garage door clicker. In the MyQ app, I went back a few steps and tried to pair the hub with the opener again. This time, I pressed this button for a few more seconds. The hub and my opener paired up again and it would open the door.
I was happy to see the door open, but then MyQ wouldn’t close the door. What the hell? I manually closed my door and tried it again. Door opened, but didn’t close. Hmm…by this time, it was midnight and I am sure my wife was getting tired of hearing the door opening and closing. I packed it up for the night and went to sleep.
After waking up, I tried the app while in the kitchen. I heard the door open. I then waited a minute (there is a timer to show you how long your door as been open) and clicked the app to close the door. Low and behold, the door closed. I have had MyQ installed for almost two weeks and it has worked every time since. I am not sure what happened when I first installed it.
As I noted above, my main issue with this app is that it only controls your garage door and light switches if you buy them. While that is good, I don’t like having many apps on my phone. I do like how it can be controlled with Wink and will look into that more as I move forward. I did find Wink will have a lot of cool applications which can be controlled from their app. One app, many uses. That is what I like.
My Take on the Chamberlain MyQ Garage
Truth be told, I think this product is OK. Right now, it doesn’t provide much for me as I don’t even park in the garage. While I have been using the system for two weeks, it does work. If you are one of those who needs such a system, then I would recommend MyQ for you. If you want to include it in an all around automation experience, then wait until it is added into Wink. With that, you will be able to control many different products. If you want to control just a few lights and your garage, then this app should do it for you.
One thing that I really like is you don’t have to pay a monthly fee for the MyQ account. Unlike some other automation features, once you buy this product, it is yours. For this alone, I give the MyQ a little more weight than some other products. Monthly fees are so, blah!
So, what you think? Would you use a product like this? Have you ever thought about home automation?