Smart Entry with Nexx Garage
We have been using the Chamberlain MyQ garage door opener for years and it was one of the very first products we reviewed. Our friend and AppMyHome follower Laura Hollis wanted a smart garage too, but since her opener uses DIP switches she was not able to use the MyQ. After extensive research she chose the Nexx Garage remote compatible door opener and offered to share her review with our readers. Her review is also posted on her own blog, Gottobeme.com.
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After successfully completing the Kévo™ Convert Smart Lock Conversion Kit installation, I decided to take the next step towards making my smart home smarter.
Let’s Get To It
I am one of those people who cannot continue my day away from home if I haven’t checked a few times to be sure the garage door is closed. I’ve been known to turn my car around, even if I’m already miles away, and head back home for one more confirmation. I’ve been looking for a (non-pharmaceutical) solution to this issue for years, so I was very excited when they started coming out with devices that could do the checking for you. There may (or may not) have even been a little dance involved.
After some extensive and mind-boggling research, I decided to go with Nexx Garage over Chamberlain MyQ, which was reviewed favorably here on appmyhome.com, and would have been on my shortlist of smart openers, had it worked with garage doors using DIP-Switches.
I have to admit, when I first opened the Nexx Garage box after racing to the door to snatch it away from the nice delivery person, I almost closed it up again and was prepared to send it back. I thought I was sent a device that had been previously opened and/or used. Normally, there is a nice layout of packaging and everything is exactly in its place; nestled into its molded cardboard or styrofoam bedding.
However, in this case, all of the contents seem to be just floating about with nary a care. My goodness, they were actually touching each other! It looked as if someone had opened the box, took everything out, decided they didn’t want the device – but had, for some reason, already tossed all of the molded innards – and shoved everything back into the box for its return.
I actually searched for pictures and videos posted by others who had done an ‘unboxing’ of this unit. It turns out, their unboxing looked exactly like mine. So, I moved on. I pulled everything out and started to read through the Quick Guide in order to familiarize myself with the installation process.
To be fair, the one feature Nexx Garage has that I did not find on the MyQ is “Just Drive.” This feature is perfect for the driver who is simply too exhausted from work or play to even think about pressing a button. With Nexx Garage, you just drive near your garage and the door automatically opens, welcoming you in like a big, warm garage hug. Who wouldn’t want that?
NOTE: According to NexxGarage.com, the “Just Drive” feature is in BETA release and there are known issues on Android 6.x. So it may not work for everyone or every time. The feature also depends upon the device’s ability to read the location, and that is dependent upon the device electronics and network environment.
I feel I must disclose the following before going any further: I am afraid of electricity. Not the kind that makes it easier to see, keeps us warm or cool or makes my popcorn and coffee. Pretty much any electricity that happens on the outside of a wall switch, as directed, is okay. It is what occurs behind the scenes that has always given me pause.
Because of this, I was leery of purchasing the Nexx Garage. In my research, I saw I’d need to attach some wire thingies and run some cable while standing atop a ladder. None of it seemed inviting, but I’m also not one to shy away from a good old fashioned challenge.
Does It Work?
After browsing the Quick Start Guide, I went ahead and began my smart garage journey. I performed the test to confirm my controller was compatible with Nexx Garage. This was the first of a few tasks that caused a shudder in my stomach. I had to touch a wire (in this case, it was a piece of technical paraphernalia called ‘a paperclip’) to the two terminals behind the remote control’s button cover. The door reacted as I’d hoped and I survived without a shock. So far, so good.
As with most smart devices, you need to grab an account. I did this and got the unit all set up on wifi. It was time, now, to move into the garage for the heavy lifting. By that, I mean getting myself up on the ladder.
There is double sided tape inside the box to mount both the sensors and the unit. I opted to use velcro, instead, in order to better accommodate any tiny adjustments that might need to be made in the future. It seemed to work out well.
I ran the sensor cable back up the ceiling and back to the main controller. After plugging it in to the controller, I confirmed the remote worked again, then opened up the application I downloaded earlier and noticed I had been getting notifications regarding the door opening and closing during all of my tests. This is a good thing. I also confirmed I could open and close the door from the application.
Final Thoughts (for now).
The Nexx Garage was a bit more involved, but simple and straightforward installation and it has been installed for a little over a week now. Though it will be a while before I finally let go and ‘trust’ it, I have enjoyed knowing the garage door is closed when I think it is closed and getting alerts if there is any activity with it during the day. It has now been seven days since I’ve turned my car around to be sure I’ve closed the garage door.
Oh, the time I’ve gained in my day without having to drive back home unnecessarily.
I would recommend the Nexx Garage unit. The iOS app seems to be working flawlessly and I’ve also set it up to use Amazon Alexa and Google Home. I’ve yet to allow more than one user to control the door, but I know that is an option and I foresee myself using it, as I can set them up from anywhere I happen to be. There is also a nice history log of door usage and a notification will be sent if I do happen to forget to close the door.
As far as the “Just Drive” feature goes, that is actually more off putting than I thought it would be. It is odd having the door just magically open when I pull up. But, as you may have guessed, I’m all in for the big garage hug, so I’ll get used to it.