Back in Sept-2014 was when I first really got deep into testing some new home automation equipment. At that time I looked at all the hardware in my home and upgraded everything I could, such as the Rachio IRO irrigation system, and much more. Since then I’ve swapped in/out a few different home automation hubs, and in doing so have tested two of the most popular smart home garage door systems on the market today. Let’s compare them as we look closer at the Chamberlain MyQ MYQ-G0201 versus Linear GD00Z-4 units.
Originally my smart home consisted of a Wink Home Hub and Wink Relay Wall Controller both which were great units to enjoy, but as you’ll see in THIS ARTICLE, ultimately the Wink just didn’t keep me happy. Eventually I upgraded to the Staples Connect Hub unit that I have today, and couldn’t be happier. As my blog post above shows, it isn’t without fault, but is the best of the bunch.
Although most of the Z-wave protocol garage openers work fine with the Wink hub, the most touted unit was the Chamberlain MYQ-G0201 MyQ, so that is what I purchased originally. But that unit is not compatible with the Staples-Connect system, so I ended up also purchasing a Linear GD00Z-4 Z-Wave Garage Door Opener, which does indeed work with the SC hub.
Thanks to having had a chance to play around extensively with BOTH units, I’m going to provide you folks with my thoughts on both, what I loved about each, and why I’d suggest one over the other.
Setup on the Chamberlain MYQ is amazingly simple. You install a tilt-sensor on the door itself, then you mount the main hub/brain on the wall somewhere (anywhere) in your garage near an outlet. You can mount it on the wall, or ceiling, and it comes with a nice metal bracket. Setup requires a smart-phone to program it for the local wifi network at your house, and as with either unit, you’ll need access to your opener via a ladder. (In most cases to press a learn button for the MyQ to be programmed properly).
In my case I installed the unit on the wall, which was easiest in proximity of an outlet. Overall it was a fast setup, and with no issues whatsoever. Immediately after programming I was able to use my iPhone to put my garage door up or down, and see the status of the door. It was also easy to link the Chamberlain MYQ unit to my Wink Hub, and gain access to it there.
Connectivity was the main issue that I had over my few months of testing the MyQ unit, however. Not only did the Wink hub often not properly show the correct state of the door (open vs closed), but the actual connection to the MyQ software directly was flaky. Many times I would be out and about, wanting to verify my garage door was closed, and I’d not be able to connect using their software to see my home/hub. This happened more often than I think it should have.
However, even with that issue, I did seem to have relatively reliable alerts for when the door was opened or closed. It was really nice to be able to set alerts in specific time frames, so that while at work I could be alerted of garage activity, which I did not need in the evenings when at home or on the weekend. I also really liked the ability for the garage door to alert me if it remained open for more than a few minutes, a feature the Staples Connect lacks. This is especially nice in case you drive off and your garage door doesn’t actually close properly.
Overall the hardware quality was really nice, the fact that it works off wi-fi and requires no additional hub is a huge bonus, and the software was great except for the occasional connectivity issues. Setup was super simple and quick, with the hardest part being the time it took to mount the bracket to the wall for the hub. Though the Chamberlain MYQ unit is pricey, it really is worth the cost.
Lesser known of these two units is the Linear GD00Z-4, which isn’t sold in quite as many stores around the country. And that is a shame because in many ways the device is a great jump-start to those looking at home automation. Hardware wise the unit is larger than the MyQ (the main brain), but feels a bit more robust. I wouldn’t particularly say one is better than the other in terms of build quality, though.
However, the first big difference you’ll notice is that where the MyQ uses RF to connect to your garage door opener like most remotes would, the Linear GD00Z-4 requires you wire it up to your actual garage opener itself using the same two-wire hookup that you do your hard-wired button. This typically requires that you mount the unit on the ceiling closer to the main opener, and does take quite a bit more time to setup and install. (Like the MyQ the Linear also has a tilt sensor that gets installed on the garage door).
In my case there is no outlet on my ceiling, my garage door instead uses an extension cord to run to the nearest outlet. I ended up installing the main hub of my Linear on a wall/ceiling section towards the side of my garage, and routed the wires the best/only way they could reach. I would have liked to see the cabling be longer, but most homes are setup with an outlet on the ceiling near the opener that would not have had my installation concerns I suspect.
Once you get over the hurdle of a longer/more complex installation, setting up the unit is equally as simple as the MyQ. However, since the Linear GD00Z-4 uses Z-wave protocols, you’ll need to have some sort of Z-wave hub/controller to handle it. In my case that was my Staples Connect Hub, in which setup was a breeze. As you can see in the photo above, the interface is very similar to the MyQ. You can see open/close state, and from there you can control the opener.
Like the MyQ software, the SC hub allows you to be alerted when your garage door opens/closes during restricted times you set. However, the SC hub doesn’t have any sort of “open for X minutes” notification (that I’ve been able to find), and it also lacks the security layer of requiring a pass-code to open the garage door. Beyond that, however, it does allow you to do more integration with the SC hub such as triggering events and such (same as the MyQ/Wink combination offered).
At a price of nearly that of the MyQ, the Linear GD00Z-4 is a great option, especially for those who need Z-wave protocols.
To say that one of these units is better than the other is a tough call, but I’d probably say that for most users the Chamberlain MYQ will prove the better purchase. Here is why…
First off the MyQ bests the Linear in simplicity of setup/installation. Secondly, many users don’t have a home automation hub, and the MyQ works stand-alone where the Linear requires some sort of Z-wave controller (making the MyQ the overall cheaper purchase for a new-comer). Additionally, with security features and other bits, the MyQ software is better than most.
However, if you happen to already own a home automation hub/controller (Wink, Staples, or any other) which offers Z-wave capabilities, then the Linear is worth considering. It works just as well (and doesn’t require a wi-fi connection to work, unless your hub requires that). And though installation was a bit more time-consuming, the end result is an equally awesome functionality.
You can’t go wrong with either unit– so make sure you buy the one that works best for your smart home needs. And be sure to consider scalability as you move forward, making sure that if you plan to get a home automation hub down the road you buy the right hardware that will remain compatible with your home, as your tech/gadgets collection grows. Ciao!