There truly is an app for everything, and your garage door is no exception. Thanks to modern smart home automation platforms homeowners are able to control their lights, locks, appliances, and even their garage door from anywhere on their smartphones or most web-enabled devices.
Like most home appliances, garage doors can be opened wirelessly through WiFi or Bluetooth technology – each of which have their own set of unique advantages and disadvantages and are ideal for different homeowners depending on their needs. So what exactly are the differences between Bluetooth and WiFi garage door openers?
Bluetooth Garage Door Openers
Off the bat, when comparing the two, WiFi is the best route for home automation devices for a number of reasons:
- With Bluetooth connectivity, you have to physically be within a 20-foot range of your garage door opener if you want to open it.
- Bluetooth is significantly slower than WiFi and more prone to outages.
- Since it is not connected to the internet, Bluetooth does not allow you to control your home automation system.
- Bluetooth is less secure than a WiFi connection.
However, Bluetooth does have an advantage over WiFi in that it can be used without an internet connection. Since Bluetooth operates on radio signals, does not require a router, and uses less power, homeowners in remote locations without a WiFi connection may find Bluetooth to be the better option.
WiFi Garage Door Openers
WiFi is definitely the more competent option. With WiFi connectivity, your garage door is connected to your home internet service. This allows you to remotely monitor and control your garage door using a mobile app.
How Do You Add WiFi to a Garage Door Opener?
Since home automation is fairly new and new features are being added often, you might think the technology would be difficult to learn. But nothing could be further from the truth. It is really an extremely simple process. In fact, with a simple add-on, most garage door openers that were made after 1993 and have safety sensors can be converted into a smart garage door opener. Or, if you are purchasing a new garage door opener, you can buy one already equipped with this technology and ready to communicate with smart home automation systems.
Here’s how it works…
- Add a smart garage door controller to your existing opener using adhesive.
- Attach two wires (in most cases) to the open and close nodes on the opener.
- Attach a sensor to your garage door. This is what will detect and transmit the door.
- The garage door opener smart technology connects to your home’s WiFi network.
- When your mobile device sends a command, that signal is relayed to your home automation hub.
- The signal from the hub triggers the sensor in your garage door opener so you can remotely control the door.
For best performance, make sure your WiFi signal is strong and consistent in your garage. If the signal is weak and spotty, try moving the router closer to the door or consider picking up a WiFi extender to boost your signal.
Why Would I Want a Smart Garage Door Opener?
There are some great benefits of a smart garage door opener. The main reason is security. When using a smartphone app, you can monitor and control your garage door remotely. This will allow you to see if you left your garage door open and close it if you did. It will also enable you to open your garage door remotely. And some smart garage door openers will even alert you if suspicious activity is detected.
Convenience is another benefit. You will never have to worry about losing or carrying around a garage door opener remote ever again. Additionally, most WiFi garage door openers will automatically close your garage door within a specified amount of time if you accidentally leave your garage door open. So what’s not to love?
Can a Smart Garage Door Opener Be Hacked?
Anything that is connected to a network is vulnerable to potential hacks. However, most smart garage door openers use advanced data encryption when transmitting data – virtually eliminating the threat of hackers. The odds of your garage door opener being hacked is so low that your garage is farm more likely to be broken into from a break-in instead. Doing basic things to make your garage more secure will help protect you more than worrying about your garage door being hacked.
For added security, make sure that your WiFi network itself is secure as well. This can include everything from making sure your network is always getting the latest updates from your internet service provider, adding a network password, and even using a VPN (virtual private network) will secure your home against hackers.
Topped with the advanced remote features you get from a smart door opener, a WiFi or Bluetooth enabled garage door opener is a big upgrade for the overall security of your home and family.
Why not give a Bluetooth garage door opener or WiFi garage door opener a try today? Contact us here to take the leap.