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Smart Home

Liftmaster's new 8500W Wi-Fi garage opener locks things down

The side-mounted garage door opener frees up space overhead, and you can control it using an app or using Google Assistant voice commands.

liftmaster-8500w-chamberlain-myq

The Liftmaster 8500W garage door opener comes with Chamberlain MyQ's Wi-Fi smarts.

Ry Crist/CNET

Chamberlain's MyQ Garage is an easy smart home upgrade, and over the past couple of years we've watched as Chamberlain has integrated the MyQ Wi-Fi platform into a growing variety of garage door openers. The latest belongs to Liftmaster, one of the Chamberlain Group's subsidiaries, and it's one of the nicest we've seen yet.

It's called the Liftmaster 8500W, and Chamberlain tells us that it'll retail for roughly $600 to $700 depending on the dealer. Unlike a lot of garage door openers, it mounts to the side of the door in order to help free up space overhead, and it also includes a built-in deadbolt that automatically locks your garage whenever it's closed. Once installed, you'll be able to open and close the door from your phone like any other MyQ opener, and you'll also be able to integrate it with MyQ-compatible services, including Nest, IFTTT and the Google Assistant.

The big catch there is that Chamberlain charges $1 per month or $10 per year for access to IFTTT and Google. A Chamberlain spokesperson told me that the fee revenue helps them broaden the platform's partners and services -- though that's the same thing they told me back in September, and the list of partners hasn't grown since then.

At any rate, it feels needlessly stingy -- plenty of smaller names in the smart home have managed to stay in business without charging their users extra for the sorts of integrations that probably compelled them to invest in smart home tech in the first place.

Annoying fees aside, the 8500W looks to be a pretty nice garage door opener. Along with the space-saving design, it also boasts a battery backup that'll let you get in even when the power goes out. You can also add MyQ's Remote LED lights to your setup and control those lights alongside the garage door in the MyQ app.

For more information on the 8500W, you'll need to find a certified Liftmaster dealer -- this site can help with that.

EDITOR'S NOTE, 1/10/2018, 9:00 AM PST: This article originally described the price of the 8500W as $300 - $400. Liftmaster now tells us that the number is actually $600 - $700, depending on the dealer. The text has been updated accordingly.

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