Home / Gadgets / This clever $60 gadget lets you control your garage door and monitor it from anywhere using an app on your phone, which is good news for safe package deliveries – Business Insider

This clever $60 gadget lets you control your garage door and monitor it from anywhere using an app on your phone, which is good news for safe package deliveries – Business Insider

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Genie smart garage

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Steven John/Business Insider
  • When paired with its smartphone app, the Genie Aladdin Connect converts your existing garage door into a smart device that you can control remotely and monitor in real time.
  • If you garage door opener was manufactured any time after 1993, it will be compatible with the Genie Aladdin Connect ($59.99).
  • DIY installation will take less than an hour, though you may want to hire an electrician to make sure the job is done properly.

We get a fair amount of packages delivered to our house each month. The neighborhood is quiet and safe and I’ve never had anything stolen, but the idea of boxes sitting there all day stills worries me at times. (And rain doesn’t care how safe the area is, it will still ruin a package.)

Wouldn’t it be great if I could pop open the garage as I neared home after a run or to allow a deliveryman or neighbor to pop a package inside? Well, I can.

Yeah, yeah, you saw it coming from miles away. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Genie Aladdin Connect smart garage door opener is a perfect merger of older and newer tech that will change the way your house works, whether you’re right there at home or miles away yourself.

Genie Aladdin connect 2

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Amazon

The Aladdin Connect is one of the simpler smart devices out there because it connects to a piece of hardware with exactly two functions: opening and closing. You can use either a physical button installed at your property or a smartphone app to open or close the garage door. It’s even compatible with Amazon’s Alexa. The Aladdin Connect ($59.99) also uses a sensor that will send your phone an alert when the door opens. (So that’s one less avenue for the kids to use for sneaking out at night.)

That’s really it. The hardware and the app open and close the door, and they alert you when that happens. You don’t even need to have a new opener installed – if your garage door opener was manufactured any time after 1993, it will be compatible with the Genie Aladdin Connect.

It’s perfectly simple, but the possibilities that this elegantly simply arrangement unlock are many.

First off, when you have a Genie Aladdin Connect system installed, you never have to worry about getting into your home again, provided you don’t lose your phone. Just have the app open the garage for you and go in that way.

Second, you can grant remote access to your home to anyone at any time from anywhere. You can let a friend who gets over early head in while you’re still on the road. You can allow in a repairman you know and trust, or let the dog walker in to get your pup. Or, you can allow a deliveryman to leave packages in the garage instead of on the stoop. You can even grant someone the ability to open the door themselves using their own Genie app, and then you can rescind that control any time later.

And if someone ever opens the garage door, whether from an app or by using the actual button there at the home, you get an alert. Usually, it will be a benign situation, maybe your partner or one of the kids. But should the door be opened when it should be shut, you instantly know of potential foul play.

Installing a Genie Aladdin Connect

Genie connect garage

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Steven John/Business Insider

I’m a pretty handy guy. I’ve rewired light switches and light fixtures and such, and generally, if there’s a YouTube video and it only involves three or four tools, I’m up the project at hand. Installing an Aladdin Connect requires five tools, but two of them are screwdrivers (flat-head and Phillips), so I wasn’t too worried about the process. (The other three, if you’re wondering, are a drill, hammer, and wire cutter.)

And good news, there’s a YouTube video. In fact, right from within the Aladdin Connect app you can watch an 18-minute video that takes you through every single step of the installation process, clearly showing how to complete each task in sequential order. As long as you can follow a video, you can install this thing. Give yourself about an hour.

The cons to consider

Installing the Aladdin Connect system was pretty easy, but not my idea of fun. I’d say if you can find an electrician who will charge less than $100 for the project, that’s money well spent to avoid the hassle of doing it yourself and to make sure the project is completed properly. (Then again, before I had kids, back when I had free time, I might have enjoyed the installation more.)

Also, while I haven’t experienced this personally, some people do report glitches with the app that could potentially leave you locked out. So don’t give up all physical buttons, and keep a key to the front door on hand. (And for the record, while this hasn’t happened to me, I’d be a bit nervous counting on my phone alone to get me into my home, based on the possibility of Wi-Fi/cell-service issues, or just a dead battery.)

Another option to consider

MyQ smart garage door

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Amazon

The MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener from Chamberlain costs about $20 less than the Aladdin Connect and has pretty much all the same features. The system offers optional linking to Google Assistant for a nominal fee ($10 per year or $1 per month), which is handy if you like your whole home to be smart and integrated.

But the MyQ system has its share of bad ratings posted along with its more than 2,000 reviews on Amazon, with a common complaint being that pairing the device with a phone is often glitchy, and getting a second phone paired is even more fraught.

So is the Genie Aladdin Connect worth it?

All in all, the Genie Aladdin Connect is worth the purchase price and the minor frustrations of installation because it lets you take physical control of a part of your home from anywhere and it enhances your safety by letting you know what’s going on with your garage.

And the fact that it means you never have to get locked out again (barring a lost phone or dead battery) will be priceless the first time you count on the Genie to get you in after you forget your keys while out on a run.

Also, it pairs with Amazon’s Alex, and it’s pretty cool to be able to yell at your house to open a door and then actually have it happen.

Pros: Offers control over garage door from anywhere, multiple options for granting access to others, clear installation instruction video

Cons: Requires about an hour to install, more expensive than some similar options

Get a Genie Aladdin Connect smart garage door opener from Amazon for $59.99


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