A smart lock is perhaps the most logical place to begin building a smart home. It allows you to control access to your house while letting you track who comes and goes. It also serves as a stopgap by automatically locking the door for forgetful family members. Today’s door locks do much more than lock or unlock the door remotely. They allow you to program codes to grant temporary access to family members, friends, contractors, and housekeepers. They will lock themselves when you forget to, have cool technology such as fingerprint recognition, and can be controlled via a smartphone, keypad, or your voice.
With so many different options available on the market, choosing the right one for your home can be an overwhelming process. This guide will review what features you should consider when shopping for the best smart lock while reviewing some of the top models on the market.
— Best Overall: August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
— Best Budget: Wyze Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart Door Lock
— Best with Fingerprint Reader: Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Smart Lock
— Best Design: Yale Assure Lock SL Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt
— Best for Landlords: RemoteLock Smart Lock
How We Chose the Best Smart Locks
I used a variety of criteria to review more than 15 different smart locks for this guide. Connectivity was key, so I only chose locks that are able to connect to your home network in a variety of ways, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or via a smart home bridge or hub. Today’s smart locks should also work with a home’s network, so I only chose models that support voice activation with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Homekit.
I also favored front door locks with useful additional features, such as auto unlocking and locking and geofencing, which automatically locks the door when you leave the home’s perimeter. The locks I chose also have robust apps that allow you to schedule and control access for friends, family, contractors, and housekeepers while recording a viewable log of who comes and goes. Finally, since smart locks require installation, I stuck with models that homeowners with minimal skills and tools could capably install in under an hour.
Related: Equip your home with the best smart home devices.
The Best Smart Locks: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Smart Lock Overall: August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
Why It Made The Cut: An ingenious design that makes it easy to install coupled with Wi-Fi connectivity and compatibility with a variety of platforms makes the August the best smart lock overall.
— Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
— Product Dimensions: 2.8 inches L x 1.8 inches W
— Auto Lock: Yes
— Easier to install than most any other lock
— Automatic lock for forgetful occupants
— Sleek design
— Batteries don’t last long
Easy installation coupled with an affordable price makes August Lock the top choice when it comes to automating the lock on the front door of a home. Instead of replacing an existing lock, the August fits over most existing deadbolt lock switches, eliminating the need to trade out the old deadbolt.
While there was little for August to improve upon with the most recent version of its smart lock, improve it has. One gripe from the previous iteration of the Smart Lock was its lack of Wi-Fi support. This fourth generation of the August door lock has an integrated Wi-Fi radio, so unlike earlier versions of the August, it doesn’t require a bridge to connect to your home’s network. The August also supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit and a whole host of other devices and platforms.
The August, once a bulbous mass on the door, has gotten smaller with each new version and this one is the most compact yet at nearly half the size of the third generation model. This version also adds cool auto locking and unlocking features. It will automatically lock the lock after a certain amount of time or automatically unlock it as you arrive home. If there is something to gripe about with the August, it’s its battery life. The two CR123 batteries that power it last just three months.
Best Budget Smart Lock: Wyze Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart Door Lock
Why It Made The Cut: With its affordable price and easy installation, this front door lock is one of the best budget smart locks we could find.
— Connectivity: Wi-Fi with bridge (included)
— Product Dimensions: 2.5 inches L x 2 inches W by 5 inches H
— Auto Lock and Unlock: Yes
— Fits existing deadbolt lock, making installation easy
— More affordable than other smart locks
— Can alert you if door is left ajar
— Requires a bridge (included)
— Bulkier size than similarly designed smart locks
With most front door locks costing upwards of $200 or more, at $130, this door lock from Wyze represents one of the more affordable ways to add a smart door lock to your home. Similar to the August smart door lock, the Wyze includes a unit that fits over the interior part of your existing deadbolt lock, though it’s notably larger at 2.5 inch by 2 inches by 5 inches.
The smart lock connects to a bridge that plugs into an outlet near the front door and works with Alexa and Google Assistant. It includes features similar to other smart door locks, including a setting that will unlock the door when your smartphone is in close proximity and an auto lock feature that prevents the door from accidentally being left unlocked. The Wyze app allows you to schedule and share access with friends, family members, and maintenance workers and view a log of who comes and goes.
Wyze also has a unique feature that alerts you not only if the door is unlocked but also if the door is ajar, a useful feature if you have young children who like to make a run for it from time to time.
Best Smart Lock with Fingerprint Reader: Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Smart Lock
Why It Made The Cut: This is one of a handful of locks that offers fingerprint recognition technology making it our choice for the best smart lock with a fingerprint reader.
— Connectivity: Wi-Fi with bridge (included)
— Product Dimensions: 3 inches L x by 3 inches W by 1.2 inches H
— Auto Lock and Unlock: Yes
— Unlocks with fingerprint, code, smartphone or key
— Small profile
— Works with Google Assistant and Alexa
— Short range to wireless bridge
— Fingerprint sensor doesn’t always work
As if being able to lock and unlock your door remotely via an app or even with voice commands wasn’t enough, the Ultraloq adds spy thriller security to your with fingerprint recognition. The lock looks similar to the previous version of the Ultraloq, only it includes a programmable fingerprint sensor in the middle that uses fingerprint ID to unlock the lock. Keeping the theme of futuristic technology, the lock and fingerprint reader are backlit with green light.
In addition to using your fingerprint, you can also punch in a code on the 10-digit keypad or unlock the lock via an app on a smart device. And, the lock will also auto lock after a certain period of time or auto unlock if your phone is in close proximity. If all else fails, there’s a mechanical key lock override.
The Ultraloq lock works with most platforms, including IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Alexa and has built-in WiFi that allows you to operate it from anywhere in the world via an app. Similar to other smart locks, you can program numerous codes and set them to work only at specific times, such as when the housekeeper or repair guy is scheduled to work in your home.
Keep in mind that this lock comes with a bridge that you must plug into an outlet that’s within 15 feet of the door to ensure a reliable connection with the lock, which can be an issue depending on the location of outlets in your home.
Best Design: Yale Assure Lock SL Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt
Why It Made The Cut: With its touch screen, sleek look, and three finish options, this is one of the most attractive smart locks we found.
— Connectivity: Wi-Fi
— Product Dimensions: 2.8 inches L x 1.8 inches W
— Auto Lock and Unlock: Auto lock
— Supports a broad range of platforms
— Attractive sleek look with touch screen
— Audible keypad
— No override key if batteries die
Many smart locks tend to be bulky, which can detract from the looks of a front door. With its sleek looks and touchscreen keypad, the Yale SL is one of the more aesthetically pleasing door locks on the market. And, since it comes in three finishes, it works with virtually any door style.
The Yale’s keypad lights up when you touch it and emits a low chirp, letting you know it’s ready. If you wait too long, the lock says “time expired,” letting you know you’ll have to start again. The Yale SL works with multiple smart home platforms, including Google Home, Alexa, HomeKit, and SmartThings. This means you can control it via such digital assistants as Amazon Echo and Google Nest or via a smartphone app.
Just keep in mind that there are no manual controls for this lock. You’ll either need to type in the code manually or use an app. This makes monitoring battery life crucial. (You can touch a 9-volt battery to connections on the lower part of the panel in a pinch if you’re locked out). The Yale will hold up to 250 keycodes, each of which can be programmed to work only at certain times or days or for single use.
Best Smart Lock for Landlords: RemoteLock Smart Lock
Why It Made The Cut: The ability to operate and program this lock via Wi-Fi from virtually anywhere in the world coupled with its battery saving features make it a worthy choice for rental property.
— Connectivity: Wi-Fi
— Product Dimensions: 5.2 inches L x by 3.2 inches W x 1.5 inches H
— Auto Lock and Unlock: No
— Supports vacation rental platforms
— Long battery life
— Can add and remove access for guests remotely
— Requires a paid subscription to access its full slate of services.
Back in 2014, RemoteLock, then called LockState, released one of the first Wi-Fi-enabled smart locks on the market, allowing homeowners to control their locks from virtually anywhere on the planet. Since then many other companies have released their own Wi-Fi enabled door locks, but RemoteLock remains one of the best smart locks for those with rental property.
The latest incarnation of the company’s RemoteLock continues to offer Wi-Fi connectivity and works with a broad range of vacation rental platforms. One of the features that makes this lock so conducive to rental use, is its battery saving technology. The lock can be set to a battery-saving mode that enables it to better conserve its AA batteries, which otherwise might last only a month or so.
The lock can be controlled via an app or from a PC. It will track usage with a log of when the lock was locked and unlocked and by whom and allows you to add and remove access for guests remotely. This lock does require a subscription to EdgeState, which starts at $3 per month to grant access to users and guest users and view activity history. Keep in mind that the lock is only rated for indoor use, but you can add an outdoor weather cover if you plan to use it outdoors.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Smart Lock
Connectivity: Smart locks work by allowing you to control your locks remotely via a smartphone, tablet, or digital assistant. But for that to happen, the smart lock must be able to connect to your home network by some means. Whereas just a few years ago most smart locks required you to have a smart home hub or bridge to make that connection, today’s smart locks have built-in Wi-Fi, eliminating the need for a go between. These Wi-Fi-ready locks either have chips built into the lock or use a bridge included with the lock that plugs into a nearby wall outlet. While Wi-Fi connections are popular, keep in mind that they typically burn through batteries more quickly than those that connect to hubs or bridges via Bluetooth, Zigbee or Z-Wave.
Design: A smart lock takes up a prominent position on the front door, so it should mesh with your home’s decor. Most locks come in a variety of finishes, including black, bronze, brushed nickel, brass, and silver. Choose a finish and design that works with your home.
Accessibility: Smart locks offer the user a variety of ways to control the lock, including keypads, fingerprint readers, smart devices, and traditional keys. Some smart locks will open when the user comes in close proximity with a compatible iPhone, making them convenient if you’re carrying an armload of groceries. Locks with biometric readers eliminate the need to remember codes or fumble with a smartphone app to unlock the lock. Many locks also have mechanical keys that serve as a useful backup should the lock’s battery die.
Smart Home Compatibility: Most quality smart locks will integrate with your smart home, allowing you to control the lock through voice control through such digital assistants as Alexa, Google Home, and Homekit.
Q: How secure are smart locks?
A keypad lock is no more or less safe than a standard lock. Since both types of locks have a key lock, it’s possible to pick a traditional or smart lock. While hacking is a possibility with smart locks, reputable manufacturers use end-to-end encryption that makes them very difficult to hack into. That said, a homeowner should also make sure they use secure passwords with up-to-date firmware to ensure the home network the lock connects to cannot be hacked.
Q: Why are smart locks so expensive?
Smart locks can range in price from as little as $100 to $300 or more. Smart locks with a higher price tag typically have integrated Wi-Fi that allows them to communicate directly to an iPhone or digital assistant such as Alexa or Google Home. This ability to seamlessly integrate into a home Wi-Fi network requires the smart lock to have an integrated Wi-Fi chip or bridge that’s located in close proximity, both of which increase the cost of the lock.
Q: How much is a smart door lock?
Smart door locks range in price from as little as $100 to $300 or more. Lower priced smart door locks fit with your existing deadbolt, helping to reduce its overall cost. The most expensive door locks have cutting edge features such as fingerprint recognition and auto locking.
Q: Can a smart lock be hacked?
Any time you have a service that is connected to the Internet, it has the potential to be hacked. Researchers have even revealed security flaws in some popular locks. There are ways to limit the risk. Create a strong password for your smart locks and home network that is difficult for someone to guess. Manufacturers are always updating the software on their smart locks to close security loopholes, so download updates often.
Q: How safe are Yale smart locks?
All Yale locks have an ANSI/BHMA safety rating of Grade 2. While that isn’t as strong as a grade 1 lock, which is typically used for commercial grade locks, grade 2 is suitable for residential use.
Q: Are smart door locks worth it?
As with most new technology, a smart door lock’s worth is really dependent on the user. Those who need to control access to the home remotely for guests, family members, and workers would benefit from having a smart lock. It’s also ideal for those who may forget to lock the front door or those who simply hate fishing around for keys while they’re carrying an armload of groceries.
Related: For added safety, consider the best home security cameras.
Final Thoughts on the Best Smart Lock
A good smart lock should be relatively easy to install while giving you controls and features that make your home more secure. With an innovative design that uses your existing deadbolt and a wealth of useful additional features, August’s Wi-Fi Smart Lock tops the list of smart locks on the market. Those who are looking for a good budget option should consider the Wyze WiFi and Bluetooth Smart Door Lock, which offers similar performance at a much lower price.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.
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