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Keep garage worries at bay

If you've ever wondered if you left the garage door open, these gadgets are here to save the day. Smart garage door controllers are a growing category that add convenience and peace of mind to your home's largest door. Let's take a look. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Colin West McDonald/CNETRead the article

Wiring

Smart garage door controllers come in a few variations. In general, a controller attaches to your existing opener with a double-sided adhesive strip. In most cases, you'll need to attach two small wires to the open and close command nodes on your existing garage door opener. Refer to your garage door opener's manual to determine which wires go where. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Sensors

Smart garage kits also usually include a sensor. This sensor detects and transmits the position of your garage door, so the controller accurately knows whether the door is open, closed or somewhere in between. These sensors can be reflective tags, tilt sensors or paired sensors with magnets. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Garager

The Garager is a two-in-one camera and door controller that's one of the more eye-catching and interesting garage devices we tested. 

This $129 surveillance camera attaches to the bottom of your garage door opener via a magnet and controls your garage door from the Garager app for iOS and Android devices. The camera includes 960p color and night vision video and two-way audio, though clip storage does require a $5-per-month subscription.

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Garager app with camera

Smart home compatibility, scheduling and geofencing are all features promised in future updates of the Garager app. Garager works well if you'd like to be able to watch and talk to your garage space, as well as get notifications and control it remotely. If you want to connect it to your smart home, you'll need something a bit more capable. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Nexx Garage

The Nexx Garage is a $100 smart garage controller that provides the most capable voice commands with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant of the devices we tested. It also includes remote access and auto opening through the Nexx Garage app for iOS and Android devices. 

The Nexx Garage's biggest downside is the pair of sensors you'll need to detect the door's status. The top sensor is wired, so you'll need to secure the wire along your wall or ceiling back to the Nexx Garage device. Otherwise, the Nexx Garage is an affordable, capable system.

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Garadget

The $89 Garadget adds voice control and remote access to your existing garage door. The Garadget's sensor system is made up of a reflective tag placed on the top panel of a garage door and a laser built into the Garadget device itself. 

The Garadget has its own Amazon Alexa skill, and IFTTT integration means you can create custom commands for Google Assistant. The Garadget app for iOS and Android devices doesn't include scheduling. But if you're looking for voice commands and remote access, the Garadget will get the job done for a reasonable price.

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Gogogate2

The $119 Gogogate2 is a capable garage controller that supports up to three doors with one device, a feature that sets it apart from other devices. The GogoGate2 also works with third-party cameras for live images in the Gogogate iOS or Android app.

You will need IFTTT applets to use any voice assistants or set up geofencing. Still, the reasonably priced Gogogate2 supports nearly every function you'd want for a smart garage. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Gogogate2 iSmartCam

This is the iSmartCam, an IP camera by iSmartGate, parent company of Gogogate. It connects to the Gogogate app for live images of your space. 

You're not limited to using the iSmartGate camera, though. Gogogate works with several other cameras, including models from Nest, D-Link, Foscam, TP-Link and Insteon. Gogogate's $219 Ultimate Garage Kit includes an iSmartGate IP camera, Gogogate2 and tilt sensor. 

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Garageio

Garageio was one of the earliest garage-smartening devices we tested. The system includes a wired sensor and an activator, mounted near each other on the side of your garage door and door frame. As with the Nexx Garage, you'll need to run the wired sensor cable back to the Garageio device to connect everything.

The $199 Garageio works with Amazon Alexa and offers IFTTT applets for customizable smarts. The Garageio app for iOS and Android devices provides remote access, multiple users and alerts when doors are left open. 

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Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Hub

Chamberlain's MyQ Smart Garage Hub is a $100 system that adds smarts to a variety of garage door openers. With MyQ installed, you can check your garage door's status and open or close it remotely from the MyQ app on your iOS or Android device. 

MyQ works with smart home products like Nest, Wink and Xfinity Home to control and automate multiple devices from one platform. Chamberlain isn't compatible with SmartThings or Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant or IFTTT compatibility will cost you a $1 monthly subscription fee, a unique and controversial extra charge for features that are free on other smart home products. Still, Chamberlain's quality and wide integration make it one of the more capable systems available. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Colin West McDonald/CNET

Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge

Chamberlain offers HomeKit users compatibility no other manufacturer in our testing did, through a $70 MyQ Home Bridge adapter. With the Home Bridge connected, you can ask Siri on an iPhone or iPad to open and close the garage and check the status. Opening the garage via a HomePod isn't possible, as Apple considers the garage door a security device, but you can close the door and check its status. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Home8 ActionView Garage Door Control System

The Home8 ActionView Garage Door Control Relay System costs $100 and adds remote access and voice commands to your garage door. Home8's system offers reliable livestreaming and works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice commands. 

This kit doesn't include a sensor, so door status and specific open and close commands aren't available. The Home8 app also includes lots of non-garage menus and functions, as it supports all Home8 devices.

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET
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