Being able to push a button and your garage opens is no longer referred to as “technologically advanced”. It’s the one area of the home that we have come to expect. So when I was offered the opportunity to test the
Chamberlain Wi-Fi GDO (HD950WF) with built in WiFi – I was intrigued. A garage opener that for some reason has WiFi built in? why?
Turns out that by garage openers standards, I have been living in the dark ages compared to the Chamberlain MyQ !
The Entire Package
Lets start off with the motor. The Chamberlain has a 1.25HPS motor that uses a belt drive system which is ridiculously quiet. Who knew that the garage could open and close without the house rattling ?!? In homes that have the bedrooms above the garage this is a must-have !
The unit fit snugly into the ceiling of the garage and has two light bulbs to illuminate the area. Interesting to note that Chamberlain recommends NOT to use LED bulbs as they reduce the range of the remote controls. The motor houses a backup battery too so in the event where there is no power, you are not stuck outside trying to break into your house! The battery takes over operation until the power is restored.
The system comes with an exterior keypad that allows you to program a secret code to manually enter if you would like to open the garage from the outside. This is great for the kids so they can enter the house after school without the need to carry a key or a remote control.
There are also safety sensors so that you can’t close the garage on top of your car (or yourself).
There is a controller keypad on the inside of the house that has a nice little LCD showing the temperature, time and the state of the backup battery. It has more programmable settings but the feature I like is that there is a motion sensor built into the keypad. Whenever you walk past it heading to the garage it automatically switches on the light in the garage. It’s the small things that make a huge convenience difference.
Lets Talk WiFi Tech !
The Chamberlain kit comes with two remote controls so that you can open and close your garage. But here is where Chamberlain takes it up a notch – you can open and close your garage with an app !
After the installation of the motor is done, you set up the Chamberlain MyQ system to access your home’s WiFi router. The process is simple: press the yellow button on the side of the motor three times, connect your cell phone to the MyQ WiFi network, open the browser to the given URL and follow the instructions. Once that is done, download the MyQ app on your Android or iOS device.
Your app links to your account and your own garage in a secure way so you can control your garage by pressing the screen on your phone from anywhere in the world.
Another additional touch that I like are the alerts. You can set up your MyQ app to send you an email or a push-notification every time the garage is opened or closed. This is great if you are expecting kids to arrive home who sometimes forget to call to let you know they are home…only sometimes….grrr…
Finally, the MyQ app is also able to work with other smart-home systems such as Nest, Wink and Xfinitiy Home so it naturally just fits into the home automation eco-system.
So in Summary:
I love being able to remotely open and close the garage. Initially I thought that there is never a need for it, but the more I use it the more I see what I have been missing. I now can let a family member into the house when I am not there and when I go out for a run (ok for a walk who are we kidding…) I no longer have to take a house key or the remote with me – I have my phone and that’s all I need !