The Best Garage Door Opener (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

Garage Door Opener Review GuideGarage door openers have come a long way since they were first invented, when they tended to be loud, clunky and occasionally dangerous contraptions. Using a crude chain-driven system, the first generation of garage door openers were often balky, difficult to install, and expensive luxuries for many homeowners.

Modern technology has evolved leaps and bounds since those days, and today’s garage door openers use sophisticated technology to transform the experience. Many of today’s garage door openers can turn on interior lights, provide protection against collision, and use secure codes to provide excellent security for vehicles, tools and other valuable items.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Garage Door Openers of 2016

What are the different types?

While some garage door openers continue to use the loud and clanky chain-driven system, most modern models use some form of sound dampening technology. By taking advantage of the tensile strength of quieter materials such as rubber or silicone, the act of opening or closing a garage door can be rendered much more quietly.

Garage door openers can be operated in a variety of methods. Some mobile units can be installed or used for vehicles, while other security systems feature code pads on the exterior or simple one-button operation from an interior switch. Some garage door openers can be programmed to operate from in-dash software applications in vehicles.

Today’s garage doors are designed to operate with a variety of different sensors. Motion detectors and other sensors can stop the garage door automatically to prevent damage or injury. Interior sensors can help drivers park vehicles better or more efficiently, preventing accidental damage. Security features can be installed that automatically close and lock the garage door after a set interval.

What are the advantages of owning a garage door opener?

The first benefit of having a garage door is the simple convenience of having an automated way to lower and close one or more extremely heavy doors. Children, seniors, and other residents can quickly and easily open and close garage doors by remote activation. Many drivers enjoy the convenience of being able to open garage doors remotely, park their vehicles, and then close the garage door effortlessly. Here’s some tips on installation to make your upcoming installation smooth and hassle free.

Garage door openers also offer homeowners and property managers greater security. Garage door openers, when closed, can be programmed to lock automatically. By making entry and exit easier, valuable items such as tools and vehicles can easily be accessed in a garage with an automatic door opener. These devices can also be programmed to work in conjunction with lighting systems, offering drivers greater protection when accessing the garage at nighttime.

Which models are the contenders for top garage door opener?

Chamberlain WD832KEV Ultra Quiet – This garage door opener uses a patented Motor Vibration Isolation System (MVIS) to drive the belt, resulting in ultra-quiet operation. Features a Timer-to-Close option, so that homeowners can have the garage door automatically close after 1, 5 or 10 minutes. The WD832KEV Ultra Quiet uses the company’s patented PosiLock system to ensure that the garage door is always locked when it is closed. Comes with a quick-install rail system for simpler assembly. Is also designed to be HomeLink compatible for use with in-dash vehicular systems.

SOMMER Direct Drive 1042V001 3/4 HP – This elegant, matte-black system uses a vibration dampening system to operate virtually inaudibly. Includes two remote transmitters that operate using the company’s Secure Rolling Code Technology. Is HomeLink compatible for vehicles using the in-dash system. Also comes with one interior wall button. Includes an extension rail for taller doors.

Chamberlain WD962KEV Whisper Drive Garage Door Opener – Extremely quiet operation thanks to a unique belt system. Comes with a battery backup system to provide 20 open/close operations in case of a power outage. Uses force-sensing technology to adjust forces to adapt to temperature and ambient condition fluctuations. Has a Timer-to-Close feature that can be programmed to close the door automatically after 1, 5 or 10 minutes. The WD962KEV Whisper Drive is MyQ Enabled, and can be linked together with any MyQ accessory. Is Homelink compatible for use with the in-vehicle remote control system. Comes with two wireless transmitters, one wireless and keyless entry system, and one control panel with a code pad.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Garage Door Opener

  • Installation – It can be expensive and difficult for homeowners and property managers to install a complex system like a garage door opener. Most models today are designed to be installed by anyone, and use simple tracked rail systems that connect with a motor. Mounting and installing accessories such as entry code pads and lighting systems may require close attention to the technical guides provided with the product.
  • Transmitters – A garage door is only as useful as the ease in which you can operate it. Vehicles with installed in-dash HomeLink systems can program some garage door openers to operate remotely. Other garage door openers come with portable two-button remote transmitters, which other models feature interior one-button switches or remote entry code pads or keyless entry sensors.
  • Security – A good garage door will add to the overall security environment. Using sensors to prevent injuries or damage to property, garage door openers can offer more secure operation. Transmitters and remote operations need to be secure and free from tampering or unauthorized access. Some garage doors can be connected to the internet or other remote monitoring programs to allow for remote status updates. Garage door openers can also be used to ensure that garage doors stay locked when in the closed position. Garage door openers can also be programmed to work with lighting systems to provide additional security at nighttime.
  • Operation – Garage door openers should be simple and easy to operate once installed, providing quiet and efficient access to the garage at the touch of a button. Garage door openers should offer trouble-free and smooth operation for all members of the household.

Installation

The Chamberlain WD832KEV Ultra Quiet – Luckily my garage door is only 7 feet tall, as I found out at the last minute that the WD832KEV won’t handle doors any taller than that. Other than that, installation wasn’t too bad, although you’re going to need to block off an entire Saturday afternoon if you’re doing it yourself. I’d say even an average homeowner could install it though, but having an experienced friend to help never hurts either.

The SOMMER Direct Drive 1042V001 3/4 HP – The lights are a great feature with this model but it’s important to remember that it can only handle A15 bulbs, or smaller. Installing the actual garage door track wasn’t too difficult, but all the programming and coding with the remote access devices will take some time. Installation was helped out a lot by the fact that the instructions include pictures.

The Chamberlain WD962KEV Whisper Drive Garage Door Opener – Unfortunately, there’s little documentation to help you install the entire system. One of the benefits of the WD962KEV Whisper Drive is its compatibility with HomeLink and MyQ accessories, and unless you’re experienced with these, you’ll have to look online for detailed information on how to program and install everything. The good news is that the manufacturer has a lot of great videos online to help you install the track and the mechanical parts. You will need an extender kit if your door is taller than 7 feet. The sensors are extremely easy to align as the unit will display error codes to help guide installation.

Transmitters

The Chamberlain WD832KEV Ultra Quiet – Fortunately, it only takes about 10-15 seconds to program each remote. It’ll take another minute or so if you want to program it with the app. Likewise, the code pad was also easy to program. Getting the unit to work with Home Link can be a little difficult for first-time users but is otherwise rather straightforward with some help from online guides.

The SOMMER Direct Drive 1042V001 3/4 HP – It can be a little difficult to get this unit properly synched up with HomeLink, but fortunately there are some informative directions on the internet. Remotes are simple to program and the task can usually be done in less than a minute. The remotes are quite small and may be lost or fumbled by people with big hands.

The Chamberlain WD962KEV Whisper Drive – Getting this opener to be networked with both MyQ and HomeLink can be daunting for beginners. There are extensive tutorials online but installation can be tedious, although once it is working, it operates flawlessly. Some older HomeLink systems may need accessories or upgrades in other to function with the Chamberlain WD962KEV. Programming the wall unit and access pad is fairly straightforward, although it will take a few minutes to complete.

Security

The Chamberlain WD832KEV Ultra Quiet – This model has an excellent system of sensors to prevent the door from making contact with people or objects. The PosiLock protection system means that the door will always stay locked if it is closed. The automatic close function, set on a timer for 1, 5 or 10 minutes after opening, is another great security feature. The outdoor wireless keypad is a great security feature for people without keys or remotes. Motion sensor turns on lights if you trip the safety beam.

The SOMMER Direct Drive 1042V001 3/4 HP – All remotes use 310 MHz Secure Rolling Code Technology, meaning no one can hack or clone your remote. Interior wall button allows for easy one-touch closure. Works with HomeLink to offer one-touch vehicular access to the garage.

The Chamberlain WD962KEV Whisper Drive – Top-notch security as this garage door opener works with a variety of MyQ accessories. Remote access is secure from a wireless keypad, HomeLink enabled systems, and a wireless code pad. Can be connected to lighting systems to provide more secure nighttime access. By using internet remote access, users can securely check on the real-time condition of their garage.

Operation

The Chamberlain WD832KEV Ultra Quiet – With its nearly noiseless operation and simple activation via remote control or HomeLink system, the Chamberlain WD832KEV is extremely simple and efficient to operate. Operation is a bit slow, but is extremely secure with the various collision sensors. Once everything is installed and programmed, the Chamberlain WD832KEV is very easy to operate.

The SOMMER Direct Drive 1042V001 3/4 HP – Extremely quiet and works very well every time with the remote control or HomeLink system. Takes a while to program everything, but once you do, everything works flawlessly. Garage door operates fairly slowly, so some people may prefer faster models, but otherwise this is a smoothly performing remote activated garage door opener.

The Chamberlain WD962KEV Whisper Drive Garage Door Opener – Once all the component parts are correctly assembled and integrated, the WD962KEV Whisper Drive is a cinch to operate. One-touch HomeLink controls from inside compatible vehicles, or else the flick of a switch on one of the remote controls, is all it takes to noiselessly open the door. Features and garage door can be remotely operated with software, offering an extra layer of convenience and security.

Conclusion: Our Garage Door Opener Reviews Are In

The Chamberlain WD832KEV Ultra Quiet – Best Low-Cost Garage Door Opener

Chamberlain WD832KEV Ultra QuietFor homeowners and property managers looking to install an excellent all-around modern garage door opener, the Chamberlain WD832KEV Ultra Quiet is a great model. It is simple to install and operate, and offers security and convenience to homeowners and vehicle operators. Using an array of sensors, it works to prevent accidents or injuries, while providing extra security with the automatic closing feature.

Pros

The Chamberlain WD832KEV is attractively priced and offers outstanding security and convenience. Simple to program and install, the W832KEV is extremely quiet and eminently reliable.

Cons

It can be somewhat challenging to integrate the Chamberlain WD832KEV with vehicular HomeLink systems. Taller or heavier doors are not supported without additional accessories. While the lift speed is adequate, a more powerful motor could do the job more efficiently.

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The SOMMER Direct Drive 1042V001 3/4 HP – Best Garage Door Opener for the Money

SOMMER Direct Drive 1042V001 3/4 HPThe SOMMER Direct is an excellent mid-range garage door opener. It operates virtually whisper quiet, and has the strength and power to easily handle most garage doors. Fairly simple to program, and is compatible with vehicular in-dash HomeLink systems.

Pros

The batteries are rated to last up to 30,000 hours. Very stylishly designed with a matte-black finish and a powerful internal light. Very secure remote control technology with easy to program controllers. Once everything is installed and properly programmed, the SOMMER Direct is simple and easy to use.

Cons

It can be a little difficult to program the HomeLink remote activation, and some car models may not be compatible. The system may operate less than efficiently during extreme temperature fluctuations. Doesn’t work extremely fast so some impatient people may not like waiting for the door to completely open.

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The Chamberlain WD962KEV Whisper Drive – Best Garage Door Opener Overall

Chamberlain WD962KEV Whisper Drive Garage Door OpenerThis is a top-of-the-line ultra modern garage door opener with a wide bevy of great features. Can be used remotely by the controllers or with a HomeLink vehicle, and it can connect to a wide variety of MyQ accessories for additional security and convenience. Can be connected to software apps that provide real-time control and status reports. Powerful motor can handle heavy doors with ease, and provides whisper-quiet rapid operation.

Pros

Once everything is installed and connected, the WD962KEV Whisper Drive can be remotely activated by a software app, a mobile controller, or a HomeLink-enabled vehicle. With the right MyQ accessories, a wide variety of functions are possible, and the secure lighting and motion sensor system offers greater functionality at nighttime.

Cons

Can be a little expensive to maintain and operate for some homeowners. Installation of the physical door and devices is fairly simple, but programming the accessories and remote access software will take some dedication and time.

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In Conclusion

With so many options to chose from, homeowners and property managers should carefully balance the pros and cons of various models to find the remote control garage door opener that is right for them. While all of the garage door openers we examined offer functionality and convenience to homeowners, the Chamberlain WD962KEV Whisper Drive has earned its spot at the top of our list.

With a wide variety of programming features and enhanced functionality with MyQ accessories, the Whisper Drive is the complete package, offering homeowners security, convenience and smooth functionality in one advanced garage door opening system.