The electric garage door opener: The ubiquitous tool that’s installed in just about every contemporary home in North America. No longer considered a luxury, the electric car door opener is both a convenience and a way to protect your property or increase your home security. But it’s not infallible. Some thieves figured out a way to bypass the safety of an electric garage opener — quite often purchasing universal remotes and driving around neighbourhoods, pressing buttons, to see which garage doors responded.
Even though industry experts rate sectional garage doors as one of the most secure types of garage doors on the market, these doors are not impervious to theives. Understanding how to improve your home security with smart-tech garage openers is important for any homeowner with a garage.
To get an idea of how vulnerable your home’s garage can be, check out this YouTube video:
The good news is that smart technology is now offering an upgrade to the standard electric garage door opener. With the help of mobile apps, you can turn your iPhone or Android smartphone into a remote control to help you manage and monitor one of the most vulnerable entry points in your home — and increase your home’s overall level of security.
What are security benefits of smart garage door openers?
To appreciate why an upgrade from a standard electric garage door to a smart-home garage door opener makes sense, consider these advantages:
- Smart garage door openers offer enhanced home security for your garage. All too often, garages are a prime target for burglars because they know exactly that garage doors are easy to overcome. If you store anything of value in your garage – car, bikes, tools, garden equipment, sports kit etc – smart technology will deliver a much more secure solution to protect your stuff. You can even add video (plus night vision) capability for real-time monitoring.
- Smart garage door openers provide stronger security for your home. If there is an internal door connecting your garage to your home, the security risk is even greater. And do you ever give out a garage key to your children, house guests or the cleaner, for easy access that doesn’t involve the front door? Having a connected garage door means maximum home security that puts you in control of who has access to your home.
- Smart garage door openers eliminate certain dangers. Opening and closing the door via a remote control device is both safe and convenient, but wouldn’t it be even better if you didn’t have to bother? Many smart garage openers use Bluetooth or the phone’s GPS capability to sense when you are approaching and operate the door automatically. No more wondering if you left the garage door open…
- Smart garage door openers provide a safe place for deliveries. Set rules for door opening and closing and give your courier one-time access to your garage, so that any packages are left safely when you’re not at home to take delivery. Use live video streaming or recording to see exactly what the driver is up to, e.g. is the item being handled with care and is nothing taken from your garage without permission, so that packages don’t disappear as soon as they are delivered.
If I upgrade to a smart garage door opener, do I need a new garage door?
Does investing in smart-home tech require an upgrade on your garage door? Yes and no. Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer, as it truly depends on what you currently have installed at your home. The good news is that most modern garage doors can be retrofitted with additional connectivity and the addition of a remote control without the need to replace the entire opening mechanism. Installation should be pretty straightforward, requiring only a screwdriver and the ability to follow a few instructions to connect two cables to your existing set-up. The Garage Door Buddy, for instance, controls and monitors your garage door via iOS and Android apps, offering great value for money and with an installation time of less than 5 minutes.
If you live in a high-crime area or you’ve been burgled before, you may wish to add HD video monitoring to be able to verify who is asking for access or to provide access to video footage should an incident occur. If this is what you want, consider the Reolink Go, a wireless mobile HD security camera on 4G-LTE and 3G networks that do not need WiFi nor a power source. (Also, check out your local hardware store for other out-of-the-box options.)
Choosing the right smart-home tech garage door opener for your home
Finding the best garage door opener for your home will require a bit of research. TomsGuide.com offers a great comparison of current models, which is great as a starting point. Other valuable add-on features to consider include:
- Keypad access outside the garage or via the smartphone app
- Two-way radio for added security and inconvenience
- High powered LED lighting that comes on automatically
- Smart door locks for side access to your house
- Integration with smart home devices and digital assistants
Once connected, your new smart garage opener should integrate with many other smart home products. This integration offers you greater convenience and security as it allows you to synchronize and set garage access, security lights, house-wide voice controls, code enabled keypads for doors, and full home security systems. iSmartGate or Chamberlain’s MyQ enabled garage doors, for example, work seamlessly with automation platforms including Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and IFTTT, to mention a few.
When to consider a smart-home garage upgrade?
If your existing garage door has seen better days and you are considering a replacement, this is a great opportunity to upgrade to a smart garage door. Most premium branded, automated doors can be enhanced with smart technology.
However, it may also be worth considering garage doors that have been designed with proprietary features, so as to minimise the chance of technical glitches. Teckentrup, one of Europe’s largest and most advanced garage door manufacturer, does this exceedingly well with their CarTeck Drive and CarTeck Automatic options. Another good example is Novoferm and their Delta Dore Smart Home System.
Whether you’ve chosen to upgrade to a new garage door or are adding connectivity features to your existing door, it’s clear that home security has never been more advanced, nor easier to obtain. Not only doe this leave no room for error, it also means no more excuses to give your home and family exactly the right level of protection they deserve.