This $17 gadget automated my garage with no hassles

My Q Chamberlain Smart Garage Controller in a persons hands
(Image credit: Future)

Deciding on and then installing even the best DIY home security systems can be a slightly daunting experience. There are so many products and different ecosystems and price points, it can certainly take some time and research.

There is always something to add or tweak, and with home security, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. But I found this one gadget that helped me transform my garage in minutes by making it a “smart” garage.

Before I tell you more about myQ Chamberlain Smart Garage Control ($17 at Amazon right now), let me tell you the pain point that it solved for me. I recently went through the process of adding my own home security system and even though I write about technology for a living, a simple house automation project that requires tampering with wires, makes me anxious.

Update: As of Nov. 28 this Cyber Monday deal is still in stock. 

Chamberlain myQ smart garage control: was $29 now $17 @ Amazon

Chamberlain myQ smart garage control: was $29 now $17 @ Amazon
Over the Black Friday weekend, the Chamberlain myQ is discounted to just $17, which is 43% off its regular price. 

I love tinkering with gadgets, but give me a mesh router to install myself and I might be quite at sea. I went ahead and ordered the simplest DIY home security system around — the Ring Alarm

I bought the Ring Video Doorbell (battery), some window and motion sensors, the keypad, and a base station. Additionally, I also purchased a Ring outdoor camera (battery) for my garage which is one of the best outdoor security cameras right now. All of it was surprisingly simple to set up and I was very happy with my purchase. 

Driving off to work one day though, I had a sudden realization that there was a loophole in my chosen devices. After leaving home, I just could not remember if I had closed my garage door behind me that morning. My outdoor garage camera faced outwards, so there was no way to check from there either. 

Image of an open garage door with a car standing inside

(Image credit: Future)

The garage is the most common entryway of most houses, yet unfortunately none of the home security systems I looked at include a garage door sensor. All I needed was a sensor to tell me if my garage was shut or open and none of the best security system companies had one available.

The garage door opener I have that came with my house is the WiFi Liftmaster. It can connect to an app called My Q that should be able to do the job — but unfortunately, that doesn’t work. I tried to connect it to the app on my phone a couple of times but it got synced with another frequency in my neighborhood — and naturally, that made me jump out of my skin every time my garage door randomly opened. I abandoned that plan and decided I definitely needed a solution to my problem.

A small sensor that changed my garage 

Image of the My Q Chamberlain smart garage controller in someone's hands

(Image credit: Future)

A smart garage controller can notify you every time your garage opens and let you use your phone as a remote to open your garage as well. My Q’s Chamberlain Smart Garage Control currently tops on our list of the best smart garage door openers and is very simple to install. 

I bought the device and put off installing it for some time because of the vast nest of wires I thought I would have to deal with, not to mention my frequency-faulty garage door opener. But it was simple enough. The base just had to be plugged in and kept in the garage itself, while the sensor had to be attached to the garage door. The rest of the installation required the My Q app. 

My Q Chamberlain Smart Garage Controller with the base

(Image credit: Future)

The My Q app takes you through the step-by-step process in detail and the in-depth video walkthroughs helped me get set up in minutes. 

My Q app screenshots showing the installation process of the My Q Smart Garage Controller

(Image credit: Future)

The best part about this smart controller is that it syncs with most home security systems. It also supports Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. I connected it to my Ring ecosystem and was able to receive notifications in my Ring app whenever the garage door was opened or closed. 

Ring App notification screenshot

(Image credit: Future)

This device also lets Amazon delivery persons enter your garage to drop off packages if you enable that feature and want to keep your packages safe from snooping porch pirates. 

Available on Amazon, this is one of the best smart garage controllers and it is currently on sale from its regular price of $29. If you are looking for a simple device that can transform your garage into a “smart” one and give you the power to control your door from your phone, then the My Q Chamberlain controller is a good option.

Next: I’m testing Roku’s new security cameras — and this is one feature I really like. Also check out how this clever $13 product just saved my Philips Hue lights.

Sanjana Prakash
News Editor

Sanjana loves all things tech. From the latest phones, to quirky gadgets and the best deals, she's in sync with it all. Based in Atlanta, she is the news editor at Tom's Guide. Previously, she produced India's top technology show for NDTV and has been a tech news reporter on TV. Outside work, you can find her on a tennis court or sipping her favorite latte in instagrammable coffee shops in the city. Her work has appeared on NDTV Gadgets 360 and CNBC.

  • Craigers66
    admin said:
    The My Q Smart Garage Control is a $19 device that automated my garage with no fuss and minimized all the home security loopholes in my house.

    This $19 gadget automated my garage with no hassles : Read more
    This item has been strife with known issues and minimal help from the company... Amazon typically sells items like this without the regard or care if it works or not. If the garage gets too cold or too hot, the app will not work! Imagine in the world of smart home technology where your only access to your home is through the garage. Now imagine that your app suddenly stops working..... Not a good feeling for sure. I'm glad you've not experienced this yet. But it's a common issue mentioned via the reviews on Amazon.
  • MrMusic66
    This is so obviously sponsored content and annoyingly it's not labeled obviously as such. Stuff like this really makes me question credibility.
  • Steve1982
    I would strongly advise people to stay away from this product. I bought one so I could remove the remotes from our cars. While the setup was pretty straight forward, it's been very unreliable. I've had multiple times we're the server was down and I couldn't open the door. There's a long warning period before the door closes that you can't adjust. If there's any issues you only get 2 tries to close the door, then the app locks out and you have to manually close it. The door sensor takes 2250 batteries that are fairly expensive. I'm ready to replace mine since now it refuses to close the door at all. It does it's warning then nothing, the door doesn't move.
    Long story short, the myq is a waste of money.
  • Dave103110
    This thing is not reliable at all. Not one of the best in any way shape or form. The notifications suck. The status is wrong often, says your door is closed when it isn’t. App is crappy on iOS and Android. Do not buy this! Read real reviews from people who spent real money and you will fund the best ones. I got this for free in a promotion and wish I hadn’t wasted my time.
  • brucebc
    Why have a complex device with yet another app and server, just to detect if the garage door is open? Why not just add another of the window/door sensors you probably already have in your Ring system? They even sell an adapter for applications with unusual placement like garage doors.