Most garage door openers last around ten years, but some outliers are still operating after 25 to 30 years of use. Garage door openers made before 1993 are almost guaranteed to use the oldest, most insecure technology in their remote controls. These dip switch type remote transmitters could be an invitation for would-be trespassers to use a code grabbing device, gaining entry into your home.
How to Tell If Your Garage Door Opener is Leaving Your Home Insecure.
Your old garage door opener may be a vulnerable spot in your home’s security. Depending on the opener’s age, you may be sacrificing security and safety for your family. New garage door openers have all the modern features we’ve come to expect in our ultra-connected lives. They also leave their predecessors in the dust in terms of keeping your garage secure.
Is your opener just outdated, or is it an antique?
Most openers made since 1993 – 1996 have some variety of anti-code theft technology. For example, LiftMaster’s products began offering Security + rolling code technology around this time. Rolling code technology replaced the simple dip switches that most remote controls relied on to set a code.
If you’ve still got a functioning garage door opener that uses dip switches in the remote, we hope you’ll retire it to its long-overdue rest after this. This old technology is the easiest to circumvent, literally leaving the key to your house just outside your garage door.
Old-School Code Grabbers For Old-School Remotes
A code grabber is used to sniff out the dip switches’ settings, allowing a transmitter to open the garage door, just like your remote. Unwanted guests gain access to the garage with no broken glass or signs of forced entry. You may not even be aware that someone has opened the garage door.
What can you do to keep your garage secure?
First, lock the back door. Treat the door leading from the garage into the house just like you would any other exterior door, and keep it locked. Lock the car’s doors when parking outside to prevent easy access to the garage door opener’s remote.
Some openers have a wall button that offers a lock function to block all remotes and keyless entries.
Finally, make sure your garage door is operating correctly. It should fit snugly against the trim when it’s in the down position. Ensuring the garage door opener’s proper operation keeps things working safely and protects against potential intruders. Even though it’s important to be able to reach the manual release, it’s a well known weak spot for thieves looking for a way into your house. If the door isn’t closing tightly, it’s possible to push in the top section and pull the emergency release cord. This disengages the opener motor, allowing manual operation of the garage door.
What you’re missing out on without a new garage door opener.
New garage door openers offer WiFi connectivity and a host of safety and security features. Smartphone apps let you monitor your garage remotely with notifications and even live video. The ability to open and close your door from anywhere at any time is a game-changer. Some models work with Amazon Key for package delivery inside your garage. You can even watch the delivery over the live video feed on the app.
LiftMaster garage door openers use Security + 2.0 for the remotes. This technology ensures each click of the remote uses a new code and prevents access with old code grabber devices.
Motion sensing lights turn on when someone enters the garage. This useful feature is great for families that made frequent trips to the garage, keeping the lights off when no one is there.
Auto-close technology lets you set up the garage door opener to close after a programmed amount of time. This helpful feature makes sure the garage takes advantage of the opener’s automatic garage door lock to protect against forced openings.
Multi-function wall buttons allow users to program remotes and keypads without a ladder to reach the motor’s program button. Lock functions on the wall button block out the remotes with the push of a button.
How to Get a New Garage Door Opener
Our recommendation is to get a LiftMaster or Chamberlain product installed professionally. Most local garage door companies can provide a quote a price that includes a professional model opener and the labor to install it.
For those that don’t mind a do it your self project, it’s certainly possible to install one yourself. Most big box home improvement stores offer options in nationally sold brands like Chamberlain, Genie, and more.