Retrofit Your Garage Door Openers to Work With Wi-Fi
An open garage door is an invitation to thieves. Solve the problem by retrofitting your garage door openers with a Wi-Fi controller.
An open garage door is an invitation to thieves. In the blink of an eye, they can make off with bikes, mowers and sports equipment. If you have an attached garage, leaving your garage door open is the best way for burglars to enter your home and steal even more! And face it, how many times have you forgotten to close your garage door at night? Yeah, we thought so.
Solve the problem by retrofitting your garage door openers with a Wi-Fi controller, and check out our guide for how to secure your garage from thieves. A Wi-Fi controller and smartphone app lets you check door status from anywhere and close it with a screen click. The app allows you to set a nightly closing time so you never forget or close the door if its been open too long. Plus, the app can send you an alert if the door is opened when your not home.
Installation is easy, but you do have to check your Wi-Fi signal strength and garage door opener compatibility before you buy. Plus, learn our tips on how to replace an existing opener.
Photo: Courtesy of Chamberain Group Corporation
Check Your Wi-Fi Signal Strength
The Wi-Fi controller mounts on the ceiling near the opener. So you’ll have to have strong WiFi reception there. Grab a ladder and hold your smartphone or tablet near the ceiling. You’ll need a signal strength of at least two bars and be able to surf the Internet from that location. If you don’t have a strong signal, you’ll have to beef up your signal with a Wi-Fi extender or a newer mesh router.
Add a Wi-Fi Range Extender
A Wi-Fi extender receives the Wi-Fi signal from your home’s wireless router and re-broadcasts it, giving you coverage farther from the router. Choose from a table top model or a wall-hugging plug-in model. Prices range from as low as $20 to $125 for more powerful units.
Buy a Better Router
If you’re leasing a router from your Internet provider, chances are you have a low power unit with limited range. If you can’t get a strong Wi-Fi signal in your garage, ditch the leased unit and buy a new high speed router.
More powerful wireless routers sell for around $150. If you’re willing to spend up to $450, you can upgrade to a powerful tri-band mesh wireless router that’ll broadcast high speed Wi-Fi to every corner of your home. Check out this guide for how to get faster Wi-Fi and how to extend your Wi-Fi range.
Photos: Courtesy of Chamberain Group Corporation, The Genie Company and Skylink Technolgies Inc.
Shop for a Wi-Fi Garage Door Controller
Three companies currently make retrofit Wi-Fi controllers.
• Genie ALLADIN CONNECT $95
• Skylink Nova $100
Depending on the brand, a retrofit garage door controller can operate two or three openers. Plus, they interface with a variety of home automation but not all.
Photo: Courtesy of The Genie Company Credit:
Genie ALLADIN CONNECT Wi-Fi Controller
The Genie ALLADIN CONNECT controller operates up to three garage door openers. The unit comes with one door sensor and you need one sensor ($35) for each additional door.
The unit requires 24-hr 120V AC power and connects to the either the wall switch(s) or the opener(s) with 2-conductor bell wire (included).
ALLADIN CONNECT is compatible with most garage door openers made after 1993. The unit works with the ALLADAN app and the IRIS home security/automation system from Lowes. For a garage door opener compatibility list, go to geniecompany.com
Photo: Courtesy of Chamberain Group Corporation
Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Hub Wi-Fi Controller
The Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Hub controller operates up to two garage doors. The unit comes with one door sensor and you need one sensor ($35) for each garage door.
The unit requires 24-hr 120V AC power. However, the MyQ Smart Garage Hub doesn’t require any additional other wiring. Simply touch the “learning” button on your opener to train the MyQ hub to act like a traditional garage door transmitter. The hub then sends open and close commands wirelessly to your opener. The MyQ hub is compatible with most garage door openers made after 1993. For opener compatibility, go to chamberlain.com.
In addition to the MyQ app the unit also works with these home automation systems*:
• Ok Google
• Apple Homekit
• XFINITY Home
• Alpine Connecty
• Clare Controle
* may require a subscription fee
Photo: Courtesy of Skylink Technolgies Inc.
Skylink Nova Wi-Fi Controller
The Skylink Nova controller operates up to two garage doors. The unit comes with one door sensor and you need one sensor ($20) for each additional garage door.
The unit requires 24-hr 120V AC power and connects to the either the wall switch(s) or the opener(s) with 2-conductor bell wire (included). Skylink Nova is compatible with most garage door openers made after 1993. For a garage door opener compatibility list, go to skylinkhome.com. In addition to the Skylink app the unit also works with most home automation systems using the IFTTT platform.
Check Opener Compatibility
Grab a ladder and jot down the model number of each garage door opener. Then check the manufacturers’ websites to make sure they’re compatible with the Wi-Fi controller before you buy.
If your current openers aren’t compatible, check out new Wi-Fi enabled garage door openers.
Connect to Your Home’s Wi-Fi
Download the app to your smartphone. Then plug in the controller and follow the app instructions to connect the controller to your home’s Wi-Fi. You’ll need with your Wi-Fi password for this step.
Mount the Controller
Secure the mounting bracket to the ceiling between your garage door openers. Then mount the controller.
Connect the Controller to the Openers
Route the supplied 2-conductor bell wire from the controller to each garage door opener (Alladin CONNECT and Nova only). Strip off 3/4-in. insulation and connect to the wall switch terminals.
For the MyQ Smart Hub controller. Press the “learn” button on the opener and the programming button on the hub.
Pair the Door Sensor(s) to the Controller
Press the programming button on the controller and then the pairing button on the door sensor. Wait to see the “paired” confirmation light on the controller or app. Repeat for each door sensor.
Set a Closing Schedule and Warning Alerts
Program the app to close the door at a certain time every night or when the door has been open longer than a programmed time. Set warning alerts to notify you by text or email if the garage door is opened when you’re not home and check out this burglar proof garage door.