Not too long ago, LiftMaster released one of the first Wi-Fi garage door openers in the indutry – the Elite Series 8550W. Although it’s been a few years since LiftMaster released the 8550W, it still remains a top-of-the-line garage door opener… one reserved for the true garage or smart home enthusiast.
So, what makes the LiftMaster 8550W so awesome and is it worth the whopping $215 price tag?
Let’s take a look!
The LiftMaster 8550W is loaded with features but perhaps the biggest selling point is its Wi-Fi capabilities. Now why would you want Wi-Fi capability for your garage door? Well, there’s a few reasons.
First off, you can literally operate your garage door from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. Kids forgot their keys after school? No problem – open the garage door from your workplace.
And that’s not all.
With the MyQ app, you can check the current status of your garage door – which is perfect for those of us who often forget to close it before driving off!
You could even set a schedule for your garage door to open and close by itself. When would that be useful? Well, you could schedule the door to open up at 6:55 AM, right before you drive off to work. And you could also set it to close at 10:00pm at night before bed – the options are limitless!
LiftMaster Belt Drive
In addition to the Wi-Fi features, the 8850W also has a belt drive. What’s a belt drive? In short, a belt drive is what is used to raise and lower your garage door. Some openers use chain or screw drives but not this one.
If you’ve never used a belt drive on your door, you’ll be in for a real treat. Belt drives are extremely quiet, so if you’re used to a noisy garage door, you’ll be surprised the first time you use the 8850W. In fact, it’s so quiet that those in the home will likely not even hear the door open!
Other features include a battery backup for power outages and a P3™ motor.
No garage door opener would be completely without a set of safety features and the 8850W doesn’t disappoint. Here are a few of the safety options included on all models:
- Automatic garage door locking
- Security + 2.0 prevents unauthorized wireless garage hacking
- Pre-programmed closing so you never have to worry about if you left the door open
- Motion detection system
- Advanced safety sensors help prevent injury and/or property damage during garage door operation
LiftMaster 8850W Reviews
Overall, the reviews for the LiftMaster 8550W indicate that the majority of customers are very pleased with this opener. Reviews include “The latest and greatest in garage door openers” and “Amazing Garage Door Opener”.
We did notice that there were some complaints on the Wi-Fi connection, with more than one customer complaining about the opener having a poor connection to their wireless system.
These issues may be due to the customer not having a fast-enough internet or it could be their router. The 8550W itself can connect to a wireless router using 801.11 b/g/n at 2.4GHz.
However, B & G routers are slower, have limited wireless range, and are now a discontinued type of router. If you plan on purchasing the LiftMaster 8850W, you may want to opt for a wireless N router or AC router, which is the newest type.
If your router is particularly far away from your garage, you may also need t range extender.
LiftMaster themselves have tested and confirmed compatibility with the following wireless range extenders:
- Netgear EX6100 AC750 Wi-Fi Range Extender
- Netgear WN3000RP: N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender
- Netgear WN1000RP: N150 Wi-Fi Ranger Extender for Mobile
- Belkin N300: Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender
Other negative reviews include complaints about the difficulty setting up the wireless. However, this is not necessarily a problem with the 8550W itself. In general, connecting any type of wireless device to your router requires some technical knowhow, so if you think you may have difficulty setting up the Wi-Fi, you may want to consider hiring a technician for help.
The Bottom Line
If you’re in the market for a top of the line garage door opener, it’s hard to go wrong with the stylish and feature-packed LiftMaster 8550W. However, if you plan on using the Wi-Fi opening capabilities, make sure that you have the hardware and internet speed to support it before you purchase this opener.