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My MyQ garage door opener just lost its smarts, but here's my workaround

Chamberlain, the maker of MyQ, is now blocking access to its API for third-party apps. Here's why and what you can do if you're affected.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
MyQ Chamberlain Smart Garage Control

Chamberlain, a manufacturer of garage door openers, remotes, and parts, continues perpetuating the interoperability battles in the smart home world by now cutting off third-party access to its MyQ APIs. 

Users who were using platforms like Homebridge and Home Assistant to connect their MyQ devices with their smart home systems are now left without a simple solution to integrate their smart garage door openers with their smart home.

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"Unauthorized app integrations, stemming from only 0.2% of MyQ users, previously accounted for more than half of the traffic to and from the MyQ system, and at times constituted a substantial DDOS event that consumed high quantities of resources," Dan Phillips, CTO at Chamberlain Group, maker of MyQ devices, announced in a blog post

Phillips explained that the decision was made to give the "best possible experience" for MyQ's more than 10 million users, which leaves about 20,000 of those users without a workable smart home solution to their MyQ device.

As a HomeKit home with a MyQ garage door opener and one of those 20,000 users, we relied on HomeBridge to integrate MyQ into our Apple Home ecosystem until now. MyQ has never worked with Amazon Alexa, even though it's an Amazon Key partner. It dropped its little support for Google Assistant this past summer, and it discontinued an official MyQ Home Bridge Hub to enable a HomeKit integration last year. 

The decision to cut API access to third-party apps means that users who ideated solutions to the lack of interoperability with the major smart home systems can no longer do so. 

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The workaround to MyQ's lack of support was Homebridge and Home Assistant. These allowed MyQ users to control their smart garage door openers with their preferred platform, open or close the garage with voice control via Siri or Google, and add automations to automatically close the garage when they leave or after a set time.

Now, MyQ users are limited to using the MyQ app, IFTTT's problematic integration, or one of Chamberlain's authorized partners that pay a fee to work with MyQ's smart devices. Among the "Works with MyQ" partners are Vivint and Alarm.com -- which require monthly fees -- as well as vehicle-specific integrations like HondaLink, Tesla, Mercedes Benz via the MBUX voice assistant, and Volkswagen, among others. 

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I set up a Siri shortcut to open the MyQ app when I say, "Siri, garage." This isn't ideal and leaves me with a device I paid for and cannot integrate with my smart home or use locally. But there are several MyQ alternatives on the market.

What smart garage door alternatives are there?

Though the Chamberlain Group manufactures many of the most popular garage door openers like Craftsman and Liftmaster, other smart home devices can make existing dumb and MyQ garage door openers interoperable with smart home systems. 

Meross makes several inexpensive and highly rated options for Wi-Fi garage door opening remotes, including one that is compatible with Apple HomeKit for only $50. Unlike MyQ devices, these are not UL certified and will not flash lights or make noise as a warning when closed remotely. 

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The Tailwind iQ3 Pro is a UL-certified device currently on preorder and works with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Apple HomeKit, and more smart home systems. Orders made now are expected to ship on or about Nov. 15. 

Eufy Security also makes a 2-in-1 garage camera E120 and control on sale now for $90, though it's important to check compatibility with current garage door openers. The benefit of this Eufy Security E120 is that it doesn't require monthly fees and works seamlessly with a Eufy Security system, as well as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This garage opener is also not UL-certified. 

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