Does this nighttime conversation sound familiar?
"Did you shut the garage door?"
"I don't remember. Did you?"
And guess who ends up getting out of bed to go check? I'd say this used to happen at least a couple times per week, which is why I was willing to spend a few bucks to make my garage door smart. I wanted to be able to check its status with just one tap and, if necessary, open or close it the same way.
Today I bring that option to you. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon has the Chamberlain MyQ Garage G0301 universal smartphone garage-door control for $59.99 shipped. It normally sells for $80 -- and once upon a time, these gizmos were $130.See it Amazon
Door goes up, door goes down. Door goes up, door goes down.
It took me about 20 minutes to successfully install the MyQ, which I paired with a fairly new Chamberlain opener. But the device is "designed to work with most major brands of garage door openers manufactured after 1993 and that use safety reversing sensors."
My advice: Watch the installation video on YouTube and read the instructions. I stumbled a couple times during app setup because it wasn't especially intuitive, but the instructions got me back on track.
Arguably the biggest factor here is whether you've got a decent enough Wi-Fi signal in your garage. That depends, of course, on the size of your house, the location and power of your router and other factors. My advice: Go stand in your garage and check your phone to see if you still have Wi-Fi. Even better, use an app like SpeedTest to check the performance and make sure it's a consistent signal.
Beyond that, here are a few things to note:
- In addition to being able to control your door from the app, you can get notifications when the door is opened or closed.
- Although the MyQ supports integration with Nest and Comcast Xfinity Home, it still doesn't work with Alexa. It does support Google Assistant via IFTTT, but requires a subscription to the latter.
- The G0301 has a 3.5-star average rating from over 1,000 Amazon customers -- not the most encouraging score. (The ratings are similar elsewhere.) It's worth perusing some of the negative reviews to see what potential problems you might encounter.
My own experience has been excellent. The MyQ works as advertised; I've never had a problem with it. (Jinx!) It has saved me countless trips down the stairs at night to make sure my daughter remembered to shut the garage when she arrived home. I do wish Chamberlain would get off its butt and add Alexa support already.
You can also read CNET's review of the MyQ Garage for a more in-depth look at its features. Verdict: "Chamberlain's MyQ Garage should be the first on your list if you want to add some smarts to your garage door."
Originally published on Oct. 30, 2018.
Update, Nov. 5: Added other stores that also offer the deal.
Get the best deals from The Cheapskate in your inbox
CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our . Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!