7 Best Garage Door Remote Controls | April 2017

7 Best Garage Door Remote Controls | April 2017
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We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Lost yours? Or just need something smaller or more secure? You'll find the perfect garage door remote control in our selection. We've included basic, budget models and some fancy devices that increase security and let you check on your door over the Internet. Skip to the best garage door remote control on Amazon.
The Genie G3T-R features auto seek technology, which means nearby frequencies won't interfere with its ability to open your garage. Its modern look makes it a great gift for new homeowners, and it even works in the rain.
  • three well defined buttons
  • compatible with intellicode 1 and 2
  • rattles when it's attached to a visor
Brand Genie
Model G3T-R
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
The Craftsman 30499 can open the door from up the block, so you can quickly and safely pull in at night without waiting at a closed door. It also has a convenient loop on the top so you can put it on your keychain.
  • small enough to go in your pocket
  • very sensitive buttons
  • uses batteries quickly
Brand Craftsman
Model 139.30499
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
The BFT Mitto is a basic remote in a shape that fits naturally in your hand, similar to a television remote. It features rolling code technology, which means the code it sends to open your door constantly changes for added security.
  • can be used on gates too
  • batteries last a long time
  • programming panel is easy to open
Brand Bft
Model D111750/D111904
Weight 0.6 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
The Chamberlain KLIK1U is a universal transmitter, so you can use it with any garage door that features photo-eye safety sensors, making it ideal for replacing broken or lost remotes. Plus it's made in the USA.
  • uses a single coin cell battery
  • can operate on multiple frequencies
  • eco-friendly design uses less plastic
Brand Chamberlain
Model KLIK1U
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
The Liftmaster 971LM comes from a trusted brand in security remotes and includes a strong clip that will hold it tightly to your visor and keep it nearby when you need it. It's also compatible with all security systems.
  • comes with programming directions
  • slim design fits in small spaces
  • led light indicates it is working
Brand LiftMaster
Model 971LM
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
The Linear 308911 comes in a discrete grey color that you can put in a cupboard or closet, and won't catch the eye of intruders trying to open your garage. It also has user-friendly coding switches.
  • small button prevents accidental pushing
  • ideal for apartment garages
  • perfect price if you need multiple units
Brand Linear
Model 308911
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
The Sears Craftsman 139.30498 provides peace of mind, with its patented AssureLink technology that lets you confirm your garage door is properly closed through a smartphone or any device with Internet access.
  • narrowband frequency for greater range
  • compatible with all assurelink devices
  • controls up to 3 garage doors
Brand Sears
Model pending
Weight 0.6 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Open Sesame

It's late at night in the middle of winter and you're on your way home. The last thing you want to have to think about is manually lifting your garage door to get your car inside. You want the convenience of a remote control to send a signal to your door's motorized opening mechanism to lift the door for you.

So how does this little device work, you ask? How does it know to only open your garage door and not your neighbor's? How do you deal with interference from other frequencies nearby? Furthermore, how can you be confident that a criminal can't obtain your remote's transmission code by simply recording its signal and playing it back to gain unlawful access to your home?

A garage door remote control transmitter allows for a physical point-and-click system between you and the garage door itself. Simply aim the transmitter at your door and it opens. Modern garage door transmitters leverage what's called rolling code (also referred to as hopping code) for extra security. Use of rolling code prevents a criminal from recording the signal transmission and playing it back to the door's receiver when you aren't there.

Remote controls can send signals using rolling code, fixed code, or a combination of the two. Rolling code is different with each signal transmission to the receiver. By contrast, a remote using fixed code will always send the same code to the receiver, regardless of how many times the remote's button is pushed. Using rolling code with a garage door remote significantly increases security and the degree of difficulty for a criminal to cause mischief, since it is always changing and tough to pinpoint. Think of rolling code as a lightning storm. If you could control the lightning and pinpoint the exact location it would strike land, you would be operating as the transmitter, while the lightning bolt would be the code used to make the connection to the receiver (the land) for striking. Obviously, a garage door receiver doesn't get fried when it receives the correct code from its remote transmitter, so converting your garage receiver into a lightning rod wouldn't be recommended.

Rolling code remotes use encrypted radio frequency (RF) transmissions to communicate with your garage door's motorized opening mechanism (the receiver). The RF transmission is usually made up of a combination of fixed and rolling code. The receiver first separates the fixed code from the rolling code, then determines that the signal has originated from an authorized transmitter (your remote), and finally generates a signal to activate its electric motor to either raise or lower the garage door. This process usually occurs instantly when you depress the button on your remote control and aim it at the door.

A Brief History Of The Garage Door Remote

The earliest transistorized garage door remotes from the 1950s were invented by engineer Richard Goldstein, who had a fascination with radio waves and built tube radios from scratch. The early remotes could easily clip onto a car's sun visor (and they still do today) and operated using a simple transmitter and receiver. This technology has its roots in World War Two when it was used to detonate remote bombs. Transmitters used a designated radio frequency, which the receivers would listen to and open or close the garage door depending on its position. The problem with this simplicity was that only a single signal was sent out from the transmitter, meaning that anyone with a transmitter could just drive down the street and open almost any garage door because they all operated on the same frequency.

By the 1970s, the technology became slightly more evolved with the use of the DIP switch, which was composed of eight small switches soldered to a circuit board. The DIP switch offered multicode use by allowing the user to set the DIP switches inside the transmitter in order to control the code that was sent. With this second stage wireless remote system, a garage door would only open if the transmitter's DIP switch was set to the same pattern as the DIP switch in the receiver. However, even DIP switches didn't provide a high enough level of security.

An intermediate system was released that was backwards compatible with the DIP switch and used remotes preprogrammed with over three billion possible codes, making them difficult to duplicate.

The third and fourth stages of remote systems make use of the rolling code technology that is still in use today. The fourth stage is limited to the 315 MHz frequency, which avoids interference from the Land Mobile Radio System (LMRS) used by the military.

Knowing Your Options

Security is a top concern when investing in a remote control. Anything that allows you to confirm your door is closed (and remains closed) is a welcome luxury. For that reason, many remotes offer the ability to monitor your garage door from a smartphone.

If you have more than one garage door, then a remote with separately dedicated buttons and frequencies is a convenient option so you don't have to keep multiple remotes in your car. On that same note, ease of programmability of such a remote is another big selling point, since you don't want to experience confusion or frustration trying to sync up the remote frequencies with the right door. Check out the instruction manuals for the remotes you're interested in.

Finally, a thin remote will save extra space and clip easily to your car's sun visor.

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Last updated on April 25 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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