A popular connected device today is a smart garage door opener. Many home owners with garages want to control, and monitor, their garage doors — especially if the place they store their car is connected to their home. Testing several of these products recently, GearBrain had a chance to try the Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera, which the company offered to us to review. Asante is known for its IP cameras, network switches and wireless routers and has launched a new line of smart home products including this smart garage door opener, which includes a wireless camera. We installed the opener, put it through our testing, and here is what we found.
Before You Begin
Interested in turning your garage into a smart garage? There are a few things to put in place first, starting with Wi-Fi and electricity. Depending on whether you have an attached garage, or one that's freestanding, you'll want to check how strong your Wi-Fi signal is in the space, as well as make sure you have electricity. You need both to install a smart garage door opener.
Next, buy a smart garage door opener that works with your existing garage door's motor. There is nothing worse than buying a smart garage door opener and only then finding the device won't work with your current garage door.
The new Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera works with a number of existing motors, including those on the Chamberlain's Liftmaster, Genie, Sears Craftsman and the Marantec America garage door openers. Note that if you own a Chamberlain/Liftmaster 2.0+ (Yellow learn button) or a Genie Intellicode III motor, you might need a special code to get your garage door motor to work with Asante. If you want to make sure your garage door motor works with the Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera, we recommend contacting Asante Technical Support.
What is the Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera?
The Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera is a smart garage door opener that connects to your existing garage door opener's motor, and lets you control and remotely see what's going on in your garage. With a smartphone or tablet, and a Wi-Fi connection from a home router, you can see what's going on inside your garage, as if you're watching a live feed. The camera itself is a cloud-based device with 480p quality video and night vision (Infrared lights) up to 22 feet. AC powered, the opener communicates with your garage door motor through being hard-wired into your current garage door control panel inside your garage.
Inside your Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera Kit will be a Wi-Fi camera, wires, Wi-Fi Extender, a mount and screws.
Connect Asante Wi-Fi Extender to your home Wi-Fi router.
Place Asante Wi-Fi camera inside your garage and connect to your current garage door opener controller.
Use camera mount to position your Asante Wi-Fi camera inside your garage.
Use these long wires to connect your Asante Wi-Fi Camera to your current garage door controller inside your garage.
We found the Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera more complicated to install when compared to other smart garage door openers, like the Chamberlain's MyQ Bridge, which we've tested. First, you need to unbox the unit which comes with the Wi-Fi extender, the camera, mounting for the camera, screws, ethernet cable and wiring. Next, you need to plug a power source into your Asante Home Extender, and using the ethernet cable, connect this piece to your home router.
The Asante Home Extender is a Wi-Fi device which extends your home router's wireless internet connection up to 5,000 square feet. We liked this feature as not all homes come with an attached garage.
Once plugged in, you'll see that the Wi-Fi extender has five lights: power light, cloud light, wireless connectivity light, wireless signal strength bars and cloud light. Each is self-explanatory — but keep an eye on the wireless connectivity light. The wireless signal bar reads the signal strength between your home router and the Asante Home Extender. If the camera signal is weak, you've probably placed the device too far from the Asante Home Extender.
Once you power on the Asante Home Extender, download the Asante app which can be done from either the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android),. Next, you'll want to set up an account. We found the Asante app very intuitive, and the setup process quick and hassle free. When we connected our extender to the home router, the app automatically found the router, only prompting us to put in our password.
Once we set up the extender, we connected our Asante W-Fi camera outside the garage, which is unattached, has electricity and a decent Wi-Fi signal (thanks to the Asante Home Extender.) For our first step, we located the wall mount inside the garage that controls the garage door opener's motor. Our test garage had a Liftmaster garage door motor (which is compatible with Asante) and the wall mount was on the side wall. We took off the cover and attached the supplied Asante wires to the back of the controller.
Make sure to keep the existing wiring attached to your garage door controller. We were happy to see Asante provided two very long wires for two garage doors in their package. Depending on how far your controller is from the garage door opener's motor —or if you don't have a wall mount and the on/off switch is in the motor casing in your ceiling — you'll need these long pieces of wire. In our case, the long wires made it more simple for us to run the wires from our controller to the camera, which was plugged underneath our Liftmaster garage door opener's motor.
Our camera setup was quick and easy too. The Asante camera can be placed anywhere in the garage, as long as you have long enough wires. Most smart garage door openers require you to be located within a certain distance of your garage door opener's motor because the devices connect to your motor via a wireless signal. Not Asante. Since it's wired into our garage door controller, it can connect with the motor from anywhere — as long as it's powered on. For our test garage, we found a location in the garage where we could everything happening inside. If anyone broke in through garage door, we would be able to see.
As mentioned before, the Asante Camera includes night vision, which is very good, and can see up to 22 feet — better than most devices which cap out usually at 16 feet. The images are clear — but there is a slight delay because of the video moving to the cloud before coming back to your tablet or smartphone. During our test, we saw a three second delay before movement was detected and shown in the app. We were also surprised that the camera did not have motion detection. If someone was to break in to your garage — but without opening your garage door — the camera would see it but you wouldn't get a notification. For that, you need to mount an additional motion sensor inside your garage. That is not ideal.
Asante did give us an Asante Garage Door Sensor to test as well. This device helps keep track of your garage door's activity, sending notifications — including text messages, emails or banners to your Asante smartphone app. The sensor is placed on the inside of your garage door — preferably at the top center part of the door, on the supplied mount — which keeps track of your garage door's status. You attach the sensor to the sensor mount with a 3M sticker, which is included. Just make sure to pull the tab from the battery inside the Asante sensor so it's powered.
Overall installation process took us about 60 minutes from start to finish.
How does Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera differ from other Smart Garage Door Openers?
GearBrain has tested many smart garage door openers, and here's how we think Asante stacks up to one of these smart garage door openers — the Chamberlain's MyQ. When testing the Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera, we found there is a fair amount of differences between these two connected devices:
The cost of Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera is $199.95 and the Asante Garage Door Sensor is an additional $29.95. Currently, Asante is offering 25 percent off ($149.96) on its website of the Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera. Both are available at Amazon, The Home Depot, B&H, Smarthome.com, Frys and on the company's website.
We think the Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera is a good smart garage door opener. Its one of the few we have tested with a camera and Wi-Fi extender. Both are key components when looking to install a connected security device in your smart home. The camera is well-built and easy to setup. We also like how you can strategically place your Asante camera anywhere inside your garage. It's not limited to placing it within a 6-foot radius of your garage door opener motor, like other best of breed smart garage door openers.
However, there are improvements we would like to see, plus certain challenges we want to point out with this product. First, the installation process might be challenging for some people, especially those who are not handy or comfortable working with electrical wiring.
Second, the Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera doesn't integrate with any other smart home products. The company does have a line of connected devices they sell under the Asante name, including an irrigation controller kit, smoke detectors and door sensors. But, they don't integrate with home security systems or any of the new smart speaker assistants, like Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Asante doesn't have IFTTT applets either. Therefore, if you're looking for a smart garage door opener that integrates with another best of breed connected device or system (i.e. a motion detection IP video camera), you need to look elsewhere.
Overall, if you're not concerned about your garage door opening working with any of the smart home systems, but still want a security camera in your your garage, then definitely consider the Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera. Keep in mind, though, that you will need to do some wiring when installing this device — and motion detection is not included.
Pros: IP camera, Wi-Fi extender, no monthly fees, night vision, push notifications and battery life.
Cons: lack of smart home integrations, installation might be challenging, no video motion detection, no recording features and low FOV.
Credits: Thanks to Chris McCoy for letting us test Asante Garage Door Opener with Camera in his garage.