We selected the best smart lock by prioritizing security, ease of use, installation, and hands-free options for unlocking doors. This meant that remote entry features are important, especially if they can be integrated with smart home assistants like Alexa or Apple’s HomeKit. This feature helps you streamline your experience so you’re not toggling between apps, and also allows you to control your smart lock from anywhere in the world.
Because of those priorities, we selected the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect Wi-Fi Bridge as our best smart lock. It supports integration with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Zwave, can be easily installed on your door in minutes, and still allows you to use your existing key to lock or unlock your door, should you choose to do so.
Award: Our Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: A WiFi-based smart lock that works with a range of smart home assistants to remotely control access to your home from anywhere. It can install in minutes and can be attached to your existing locks and keys, giving you choice between remote and keyed access at any time.
Read Full Review: August Smart Lock Pro Review
The August Smart Lock Pro + Connect WiFi Bridge is our top pick because it offers the best of both worlds for those new to the world of smart locks, in a user-friendly, easy to install design that takes only a few minutes to set up. The lock works with your existing door hardware, allowing you to continue to use your physical keys to bypass the smart lock features if you choose to do so.
The August Smart Lock comes with a proprietary app that offers enhanced functionality such as DoorSense to alert you if you didn’t fully shut your door after entering. You can also take advantage of geofencing technology to automatically lock or unlock your door as you approach it. You’ll also love that you can create guest keys and customize their expiration length to provide temporary access to friends, relatives, or even vacation rental guests.
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: A simplified keyless entry smart lock that features keyed entry while offering keypad access without the risk of a wireless network breach. A six-digit keypad with backlighting can be set with up to eight unique entry codes making it easy to use and negating the requirement for a smartphone.
Read Full Review: Kwikset 909 SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt
A lot of people are leery of keyless entry smart locks because of fears over network security and data breaches. There’s a good reason to be concerned, but our honorable mention pick can put those fears to rest as the Kwikset 909 SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt doesn’t rely on WiFi or Bluetooth. Instead, this battery-powered smart lock relies on a six-digit keypad with a lock button. Simply program the lock with up to eight separate codes and you’re good to go.
The keypad is backlight with a green light for easier use in the dark. Plus, you can still use a physical key with this smart lock. The clean metal hardware is designed to create an upscale look and is easy to install since everything you need comes in the kit. Vacation homeowners will appreciate the SmartKey technology that lets you rekey your locks in three simple steps.
Award: Best for Vacation Rentals
WHY WE LIKE IT: Accessibility and choice are the best ways to describe this lock that lets you control access via WiFi or Bluetooth. Plus Yale’s Assure Lock SL supports a wide range of smart home assistants and can be seamlessly integrated into vacation rental platforms like Airbnb and Home Away.
Read Full Review: Yale Assure Lock SL
If you manage short-term rentals, you know how annoying it is to have to either retrieve keys from vacationers or reprogram codes. The Yale Assure Lock SL is designed with rental owners in mind. It integrates seamlessly with Airbnb and Home Away via August so that you can reset the codes and manage check-in and check-out remotely. This Assure SL Lock can be accessed through either Bluetooth or WiFi and can be paired with a wide range of smart assistants including Alexa, Siri and Apple Home, as well as Google Assistant.
Other enhanced features include DoorSense to warn you when an entryway isn’t fully closed, and geofencing to unlock doors as you approach them, and auto-lock to guarantee that you never forget to lock the front door again (also thanks to August). This lock still features a keypad to allow you to manually enter a code unlike our #1 pick and unlock a door if you don’t have the auto-unlock features programmed in your app or are out without your phone. If your battery dies you can use a 9V battery with your personal pin to unlock your door.
Award: Best Value/Fingerprint Reader
WHY WE LIKE IT: Multiple entry options are why we’re making this choice our best value smart lock. Being able to choose between remote access, keypad code, fingerprint, knock/shake to open, or a physical key to unlock this door makes it ideal for even the most tech-averse users.
Read Full Review: Ultraloq UL3 BT Review
The Ultraloq UL3 BT Bluetooth Enabled smart lock makes the list as our best value selection because of the multiple access options you can use. Choose between remote access via the proprietary app, keypad code, fingerprint scanner, knock to open for Apple and shake to open for Android devices, and finally a physical key to manually unlock the door. For fingerprint users, you can scan and save up to 95 unique fingerprints for the door to remember.
This smart lock promises up to one year on one set of three AA batteries will warn you when the batteries are low, and relies on Bluetooth 4.0 to reduce energy consumption. The hardware is designed to work for both right and left-hand entries. You’ll also appreciate the anti-peep touch screen keypad that randomizes digits before entering your real code.
Award: Best for Apple Users
WHY WE LIKE IT: Until Apple rolls out its own smart lock, diehard Apple fans will like this VOCOlink smart lock which is designed to only work with Siri or Apple Home. Manage up to 30 users and corresponding codes, or use remote access with the proprietary LinkWise app to lock and unlock your doors.
Read Full Review: VOCOlinc Smart Door Lock Review
People who prefer the Apple ecosystem tend to be very particular about integrating any outside brands into that world. The VOCOlink Smart Door Lock is a third-party smart lock that at the moment, only supports integration with Apple’s Siri assistant or Apple Home. That issue aside, you’ll enjoy that even though this smart lock is Bluetooth based because it’s designed to work with Apple Home, you can remotely control your locks from anywhere in the world provided you have an iPad, AppleTV or Home Pod near your door.
The smart lock relies on either keypad or remote lock/unlock functionality through Siri for access, with the keypad supporting up to 30 unique codes. The codes can be four to eight digits long and you can customize their validity period. This lock is designed to replace your existing deadbolt, runs on Bluetooth 4.2 technology for low energy consumption, and requires four AA batteries (which last 4-6 months). But you can still use a physical key to control this lock.
Award: Best For Simple Use
WHY WE LIKE IT: If concepts like knock to enter and fingerprint entries are overwhelming, you’ll appreciate this keypad entry-based smart lock from Schlage. While you have the option to upgrade to WiFi controlled voice access, you can also program up to 30 codes for simplified access through the keypad.
Read Full Review: Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt
For some people, they just want a smart lock to provide easier access, but they don’t necessarily need all of the bells and whistles. The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt is the perfect medium for someone ready to upgrade to something more advanced than a physical key but isn’t interested in fingerprint scans or complicated smart home integrations.
Schlage’s solution is a straightforward keypad and proprietary app that lets you manage up to 30 users with unique access codes for each person. While this particular model can be programmed for remote access via Apple Home, Siri, and Alexa integrations, you need to buy the Schlage Sense WiFi Adapter to do so. If you’d rather not have to purchase a Wi-fi adapter, check out the Schlage Encode Smart Lock. The Schlage Encode has WiFi and works directly on its own. However this does make it incompatible with SmartThings or IFTTT.
Award: Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: First-time smart lock users — especially those who aren’t particularly tech-savvy — might not be ready to make a major investment. This simple August Smart Lock relies on their proprietary DoorSense technology to lock and unlock doors when you’re within proximity and features auto-lock that can be programmed to within a specific time of the door closing.
Read Full Review: August Smart Lock Review
First-time smart lock installers might not be ready or interested in some of the pricier or more advanced models in our list. The August Smart Lock is a streamlined option that features a simple Bluetooth-based locking mechanism based on your proximity to lock and geofencing. However, this is a smart choice if you’re testing the waters of smart lock technology and are open to upgrading in the future.
Even though they require separate purchases, you can upgrade this lock by adding on the August Smart Keypad or August WiFi Bridge to enhance functionality through access codes and remote entry. Note that even though the August Smart Lock advertises remote access and Alexa integration, you can only use those features when you upgrade to the WiFi bridge.
Smart locks have been on the market for a while, but with the increase in smart and connected homes, the locking technology has come a long way from its original form. At the bare minimum, if you’re thinking about buying a smart lock, you’re doing so because you don’t want to fumble with keys. So, the primary factor we considered was access — how many ways can you unlock the door that won’t require using keys? You have a range of options, but the models we selected have the most common choices you’ll see when you head to the store.
If you have a connected home that relies on a smart assistant like Alexa or Apple Home, you want to focus on smart locks that can be easily integrated into these ecosystems. One of the biggest benefits to this is that it streamlines your experience and cuts down on the total number of individual apps that you have to manage. Instead of toggling between multiple apps, after the initial smart lock installation and setup with your preferred smart assistant system, you can simply control your smart lock through that assistant’s app.
This can be a big benefit as you’re relying on WiFi rather than Bluetooth and can control your smart lock from anywhere in the world. We prioritized models that natively offered this type of integration rather than requiring separate upgrades. But we do have a few simplified models that give you the choice to upgrade and are a great way to test out smart lock technology without being overwhelmed or spending above your budget.
For people who aren’t fans of connected homes, there are still a variety of access options open to you. The most common include keypad or code-based access and Bluetooth. If you prefer to be truly hands-free, Bluetooth is your best choice as this option will automatically unlock your door when you and your phone are physically within a specified proximity of your home. Look for options like geofencing to narrow down that range and program your lock to automatically lock when you leave the premises as well.
Specifically for code access, we focused on the total amount of codes that could be programmed into a smart lock. It’s not just about how many codes you could create, but how easily you could add or remove users, if you could create guest codes, and if you could create expirations for them. This is a key feature especially for short-term rental property owners who need to constantly update and control access. In particular, we highlighted the Yale Assure Lock SL as the best choice for rental property owners because it connects with AirBnB and Home Away and can be integrated with their check-in/out process.
Finally, we targeted choice as another major feature. Most of the smart locks on our list offer more than one way to gain access, from voice control to touchscreen keypads — including manual entry with a traditional key. Having this final option is critical if your smart lock’s battery dies. However, most smart locks offer longer battery life and highlight aspects like relying on Bluetooth 4.2 technology for lower energy consumption. Ultimately, the type of smart lock you select will be dependent on your comfort level with technology and your budget.
And some are actually decent...
While it’s nearly impossible to stop a very determined hacker from breaking into your home’s network to gain access to your sensitive information, there are things you can do to reduce this risk. The security concern around connected homes comes from people who don’t protect their router. Don’t rely on the factory pre-set password that was issued with your router. Instead, change it to something different, and don’t continue to use that same password for everything else in your home or with your digital accounts. Another option is to install a VPN to help further encrypt and protect your network.
Even if you’re intimidated by technology, the physical installation process for a smart lock isn’t that much more complicated than if you were installing a traditional lock. Some smart locks can be fitted over an existing cylinder or deadbolt. But if you’re hesitant to manage this on your own, most licensed locksmiths can handle a job like this in very little time.
Absolutely, this is one of the biggest benefits that you can get from upgrading the exterior locks in your home to smart locks. Beyond keyless entry, a smart lock can be programmed to work with a whole host of smart home technologies. Depending on your preferred service, you can connect a smart lock to a variety of platforms ranging from Alexa to Nest or Google Assistant to streamline access and minimize the total number of apps you need to manage. There are also advanced smart security systems with high-tech cameras and sensors that are designed to integrate into a connected home. You can also configure your smart lock to work in tandem with other existing devices such as video doorbells to grant access to visitors. And if you’re the type who keeps a consistent schedule like clockwork, you can create full programs to unlock doors, turn on lights and adjust your thermostat through apps like IFTTT. For smart homes already integrated with Nest, the Nest x Yale Lock with Nest Connect is an excellent example of this and offers a secure alternative to the standard deadbolt lock. Just remember to take into consideration that Nest works best with Nest compatible devices, and as such, the Nest x Yale Lock is not compatible with other smart home systems (Homekit, Amazon Alexa Google).
It’s understandable that if you’ve spent the bulk of your life using physical keys to lock and unlock doors, you might be a little leary of keyless entries. While the incidence of people being locked out of their homes through uncooperative smart locks is low, there’s a remedy to address this concern. Look for smart locks that still feature a traditional cylinder lock. This will allow you to use a physical key to bypass the technology in the event of a malfunction. Although this requires that you always have your key with you as a backup measure.
Amazon Alexa Google Assistant? Choosing a smart assistant to transform your home can be a long term investment, especially if you're planning to purchase a variety of multi-functional smart home devices for every room. That's why it's important to know which AI assistant is the better choice. It can be challenging to decide between Alexa and Google since they are roughly priced the same, and both offer similar features. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Alexa Google, Alexa Google Assistant... Your mind is probably jumping back and forth, trying to determine which AI to invest your money in. And to tell you the truth, the decision honestly depends on what you're looking for in an AI assistant. When it comes to smart home devices such as Wi-Fi smart locks, both Alexa and Google let you control access to your home remotely from your mobile app and will automatically unlock when you're within range. Depending on the device, you may also use simple voice commands, a touchscreen keypad, or a fingerprint reader to unlock the door. To determine which assistant suits your requirements, it's best to research all the smart devices you're interested in purchasing and find out exactly what features they offer when connected to either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Some people may get confused with terms like WiFi and Bluetooth. They might even end up thinking they’re interchangeable terms: Bluetooth Wi-Fi. After all, they are both methods that provide wireless communication between devices. However, they are different. Bluetooth is primarily used to connect devices without cables over short distances (less than 30 feet) and can connect smartphones directly to other Bluetooth compatible devices such as headsets, printers, or smart locks. Whereas WiFi provides high-speed access to the internet. It offers similar functions to Bluetooth, such as wirelessly connecting laptops to printers. However, the connection works via access to the internet and can operate over a much larger area (300 feet).
What Are Smart Locks?
Smart locks are pieces of technology that allow you to lock and unlock a door using options beyond the traditional key and key hole.
You may be able to open a smart lock with a key pad where you'll enter a numeric code, with a key fob where you'll press a button, a fingerprint scan, or a RF, Bluetooth, or WiFi signal that automatically comes from your smartphone or key fob. You can check the status of the door and lock it remotely through an app, should you have forgotten to activate the lock when you left home. With some smart locks, you can even determine who has accessed the lock and at what time of the day.
What Price Should You Expect To Pay For A Smart Lock?
You can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $400 for a smart lock for your home. If you're considering smart locks for business, you may end up spending more, depending on what types of features you want, such as individualized entry codes.
Which Are The Leading Smart Locks Brands?
The August smart lock units look great and have plenty of cutting edge features, causing them to be featured in our best five smart locks list.
Some of the Yale smart lock options make use of Z-Wave and Zigbee technology, giving them compatibility with a variety of smart home systems that you can control through a smartphone app.
Kwikset smart locks look a lot like regular keyed locks, which some people appreciate. Other leading smart locks brands include Lockitron, Schlage, and Haven.
Read our smart lock reviews to find the best smart locks so you know want to look for and avoid when purchasing these new home improvement products. If you’re like us, then you feel it’s time to move beyond deadbolt locks and spring-loaded locks and switch to smart locks when considering door hardware and locks.
With smart home technologies continuing to grow in popularity, you may be ready to move from the idea of smart lighting systems and smart thermostats to best smart locks.
Similar lock technologies have proven popular with automobile owners, who rarely have to use an actual key to lock or unlock the car door. When you're ready to make the move to this type of technology, read through our smart lock reviews to find the information you need to make a smart and safe choice. Also, make sure to read our top smart home automation reviews to learn the do's and don'ts of this emerging market category.
What Are The Key Smart Lock Features To Look For?
Some people like the idea of a smart lock because it's controllable through a smartphone app. So if a family member is coming home early, you perhaps can open the lock for them remotely.
If you want the same convenience you have with an automobile smart lock in your home smart lock, look for one that will unlock automatically whenever your smartphone or key fob is within a certain distance of the door. This is great for entering the home with you're carrying several items, versus fumbling for keys.
What Mistakes Should You Avoid When Buying A Smart Lock?
Don't assume that a smart lock will necessarily protect your home better than a keyed lock. The build quality of the strike plate, the dead bolt, and other parts of the smart lock hardware play just as important of a role in preventing someone from kicking in the door as in a traditional keyed lock. Think of the smart lock as being more convenient than a keyed lock, rather than necessarily being safer against a determined burglar.
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