The world has progressed to such an extent in the past few decades that it has become hard for many of us to imagine our lives prior to the evolution of various technological devices.
Think about it. How did you survive without a smartphone?
While these technologies have made our lives easier in one way or another, no invention has come as close to being beneficial as a smart lock.
These locks have made our lives quite easy and secure. After all, now we don’t need to worry about whether we left the doors of our house unlocked. Now, all you need to do is use your smartphone to make your house secure.
Best Smart Lock 2018 Reviews
There are various products available in the market. However, not all of them manage to offer the required features.
Therefore, I have tested an array of smart locks and listed down the ones which are found to be the best. For those of you who are having difficulty choosing the best smart lock, I hope this guide will bring you the clarity you need.
|August 2nd Gen|
(Winner of the list)
|Yale Deadbolt||Yes||N/A||Z-Wave, ZigBee|
|Samsung SHS||Yes||Mobile||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi|
|Danalock||N/A||Mobile||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave|
|Schlage Z-Wave||Yes||Mobile||Z-Wave, ZigBee|
|Lockitron Bolt Bluetootha>||N/A||Mobile||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi|
The Smart lock Buying Guide
1. 2nd Gen August – Best Smart Lock With Camera
If so, you might find the 2nd Generation August Smart Lock to be an excellent addition to your home security.
The feature which led to this product to be on this list is its promise of an easy installation. While I rarely found most of the other locks that I came across to follow through with this promise, the August Smart Lock certainly does.
The product achieves this by being battery operated so that you don’t need to worry about any wirings when installing the product. Let’s face it, complex wirings are what takes up a major chunk of any installation process.
Another distinct feature of the product is its ability to send warning messages to the users via an app when the battery of the smart lock decreases below a dangerous level. I find this service to be the best characteristic of this lock since it ensures that you are never caught off-guard.
Since the lock can be installed on the interior side of the door and still be opened from the external side, this product proves to be very difficult to be tampered with. Therefore, unless you want a person to enter your house, I highly doubt they can.
Furthermore, since the smart lock does make no changes to the hardware of the external side, you can use your regular key to enter the house as well. Hence, for times when you forget to bring your phone along, you can still enter your house.
- It converts your smartphone into a smart key and renders the need to remember any pins or codes unnecessary.
- You can share locking codes with your guests or friends but still have the final control over the access and how long it lasts.
- Since the lock is powered using batteries, it is always on even if your house has a power outage.
- It’s a little pricey.
2. Kwikset Kevo – Top Smartphone Door Lock
This is because it is considered to be a big name in the home lock niche. With its touch-to-open Bluetooth smart lock, it has successfully dominated the smart lock market.
The product is equipped with the ability to be opened with both Bluetooth and radio frequency identification. This means that customers are provided with the option of either opening the locks from their smartphones or using a key fob that accompanies the system.
Additionally, the smart lock is compatible with iOS and Android alike. This allows the smart lock to extend its services to the masses. You can also alter the settings to allow unlocking of the door when your synced smartphone comes into proximity to it. Hence, you will always be provided with an unlocked door upon your arrival without compromising the security of your house.
While most smart locks can only be operated from one smartphone, this product offers you the chance to add two devices with full access. Moreover, you can provide eKeys to your guests as well.
One of the things that make me cynical of smart locks is the fact that they put you in a compromised position if the synced smartphone is lost. However, this is not the case with this lock since it is accompanied by a lost phone option that resets the access system so that people with eKeys can no longer unlock the doors of your house.
- It is easy to calibrate and install.
- It is compatible with a learning thermostat, which means you can use it to control your home’s heating system. For instance, the system might come into play when the door is locked.
- The product comes with a physical key for those members of your house who are not particularly tech-savvy.
- The performance of the product is excellent, and it is known to last long.
- The customer service is excellent and responds to complaints readily.
- The price of the smart lock is quite high.
- The quality of the LED lights included should be improved.
- The red blinking light that signifies that the batteries of the product are working is a source of annoyance.
3. Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt – Supports Amazon Alexa Vocal orders
I found the fact that the lock was compatible with Amazon Alexa an appreciable feature.
I will admit that I am quite a lazy person. Rather than improving myself, I tend to look for devices and ways that will complement my laziness. Let’s just say that this product is flexible enough to be perfect for people like me. This is because the product can be synced with various smart house settings.
Do you wish for your house to lighten up by itself when you enter it? Would you love a hot cup of coffee as soon as you set foot in your sanctuary? Well, the Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt manages to do all of these tasks along with many others. All you need to do is configure the settings and voila! Your life will become easier than before.
One of the most beneficial features for me is the fact that you can store over 250 pins in the lock system. This is ideal for all the forgetful souls out there.
Even if you forget the pin of your lock, you can put in another backup code, and even a backup to the backup if that makes any sense. I am sure it will to all those who have been locked out of their emails and phones for forgetting their passwords.
When it comes to compatibility, the smart lock manages to be usable with an array of home security systems ranging from Honeywell and Alarm.com to Elk and Control4. Moreover, the lock is compatible with both Z-Wave independent and ZigBee networks. Such vast compatibility ensures that the product is usable regardless of what security system you have.
- The Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt does not use bandwidth to connect to phones, tablets or PCs.
- Even if you are devoid of internet access, you can still use the traditional key to unlock the door.
- The privacy mode of the lock is perfect for locking people out when you need some alone time. All you need to do is to say the magic words, and the system takes care of the rest.
- The setup system of the product is marked by ease owing to the inclusion of a programming procedure that is guided by voice instructions.
- The product is expensive.
4. SoHoMiLL YL 99 – Best Affordable Door Lock
The lock allows you to set a total of up to 10 codes for unlocking the door, one of which is the master code. This master code has the control over all other passwords and can be used to change them.
Hence, if you wish to provide your family with a code without having to compromise on your privacy, you can give them a user pin and change it when your need ends.
Since it does not include the extra features, the manufacturers of the product have instead focused on ensuring that the lock enhances the security of your hose by many folds, and it has managed to do just that.
Some locks in the market are made only for left-hinged doors, while others only work on right-hinged doors. Such locks are tricky to buy because it’s just another thing we as consumers have to keep in our mind. However, with this product, you don’t need to strain your mind about whether your door is left or right-hinged. Why? Well, this is because the lock is universal and can be installed on all kinds of doors.
- The major benefit of the SoHoMiLL keyless lock is its simplicity. You don’t need to sync it to various devices. Instead, all you need to do is remember a few codes and you are good to go.
- The quality of the product is exemplary. Since it is made of heavy-duty metal, you don’t need to worry about durability.
- The lock is highly affordable.
- The low battery warning embedded in the product is convenient since it keeps you in the loop about when the battery of the product might die.
- The lock is immensely easy to set up and can be installed without any professional help.
- The locks tend to accumulate rust easily when exposed to moisture.
- You can only store a severely limited amount of codes.
- It is not as high tech as you might want it to be.
5. Samsung SHS P718 – Best Smart Lock 2018
When you hear Samsung, you imagine the product to be high quality as well as a leader in terms of technology. After all, Samsung was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon of turning the devices around us into smart systems. I found that this digital door lock was successful in upholding the legacy of Samsung.
The feature that attracted me toward this specific lock, rather than any other similar product in Samsung’s portfolio, is the fact that the SHS-P718 offers the ability to link with Samsung Smart Home systems. This means that you integrate your door lock with systems like security sensors and video cameras. This feature creates a holistic home security system which increases the safety provided.
Additionally, you can use the Samsung app to access information like who checked into the system whilst you were away. Remember, only people you authorized access to can unlock the system. Still, it is good to know who has been entering your house when you are not there.
For those of you who want to provide this fingerprint access to your siblings and loved ones, you will find the 100 fingerprints option to be convenient. You will have control via the app about whose fingerprint can be used to access the lock system, and you can take back this access whenever you want to.
The digital lock also makes a point of providing convenience by understanding that some people tend to remember a pin with given numbers. For example, I can only remember pins which have five digits in them. This lock can have a pin with as low as four digits and as high as twelve digits.
However, one of the key features of this product is also one which makes its usability selective to a certain kind of door. The design of the smart lock is such that it can only work with handles rather than doors which feature a knob. Hence, if your doors have knobs, you might want to get them changed to handles if you think the product is worth it.
- It offers the choice of giving a lot of people access without compromising on security and your role as the controller.
- The touchscreen is excellent and gives the product a digitalized vibe.
- The lock can fit over door handles, so you don’t need to do a lot of changes to the hardware of your door.
- It is too expensive.
- You can’t use it for doors with knobs.
6. Schlage Sense – Best Smart Lock for Android
Schlage Sense Smart Lock has been able to achieve the correct mix of simplicity, advanced technology, and quality. It is not as overtly digitalized as the other options, but it has all the features which deem it to be a smart lock.
One of the things that give it a techno vibe is the inclusion of a touchpad to access the door. Previously, I have used locks that have actual buttons on them, and let me tell you that those locks do not last long. By opting for a touchscreen display, Schlage has been able to extend the life of the lock. For those of you who look for durability in their products, rest assured that you will be satisfied with the performance of this product.
Further adding to Schlage’s ability to provide comfort to its users is the fact that the lock can be accessed with the help of a backup key. This means that those of you who have a knack for forgetting passwords and codes at times, you can still manage to unlock your door.
Yet another distinct feature of this product is the various warranties that accompany it. Schlage comes with a three-year electronic and a lifetime mechanical warranty. This greatly reduces the overall cost of the product in the long run. It also speaks volumes about the durability of the product. After all, why would a company provide a lifetime mechanical warranty if it knows its items are bound to experience damages?
Are you afraid of whether the lock will fit on your door? Well, you don’t need to worry about this issue. This is because it is known to fit perfectly on standard doors, so unless you have a fancy customized door in your house, the chances are that you can use this smart lock.
Moreover, this battery-operated smart lock tends to give off low battery warnings and the battery itself is known to last long.
- The built-in tamper alarm embedded in the smart lock ensures that no intruders are able to hack the system.
- The smart lock is easy to install.
- You can control the lock with the Siri voice control.
- The lock is compatible with Android and iOS devices alike.
- If you wish to control the lock with a remote, you require an Apple TV.
- The Bluetooth range offered by the product is very less.
7. Danalock – Bluetooth Low Energy Smart Lock
Many of you might be looking for sophistication in their home décor. Not all of us prefer to have flashy locks. Those of you who crave for elegance in every item they purchase will find the simple black design of this product to be satisfactory.
This lock can be operated in a variety of ways. You can unlock it manually using a key, operate it via Bluetooth or use the touchpad present on the product. The Bluetooth smart connect is the most convenient option of the lot. I found that this lock connected to my phone across an impressive range which was neither too near nor too far.
One thing I noticed during my search for smart locks was how most of the products offered limited guest keys to users. However, this smart lock allows you to send unlimited e-keys. However, this doesn’t mean you will be handing them over access to various features of the lock. Only you will have control over the settings, and you can use this power to provide your family with either full or limited access to your security system.
You can check the daily login of different guests along with other information regarding the lock with the help of the Danalock app that can be operated both on your phones and on web browsers. On top of these benefits, the product does not demand that you remove your existing hardware of the door. Instead, it works well with all types of installed deadbolts.
- The installation process is marked by ease.
- The aesthetics of the lock are pleasing to the eye.
- The act of rotating the lock is very hard.
8. Schlage Z-Wave – Comes with a Built-In Alarm
I found yet another Schlage product worthy enough to be on this list. This is because this smart lock does not merely serve to make your house secure, but it extends its services to cars as well. All in all, you can protect anything which features a door.
I loved the sleek design of this product. Rarely any other product on this list matched the level of slimness that this smart lock succeeds in delivering. Let’s face it, no one is a fan of bulky big locks. They ruin the aesthetics of a given door. With the elegant yet modern design of this lock, you will not have to worry about that.
One flaw of most touchscreens is the fact that they begin to exhibit finger marks on the numbers that are consistently used. This greatly undermines the security provided by such locks since it means that the intruder will be able to narrow down the possible codes as per the finger marks. Schlage guarantees that this situation does not arise, and it does so by making its touchscreen resistant to fingerprints.
This Schlage lock is also equipped with Z-Wave technology, which gives users the chance to manage remote-related functions as well as sync the lock to home monitoring systems.
When it comes to security, Schlage Connect has been successful in delivering one of the highest residential safety features available. The lock itself has a quality construction to make sure that the lock does not get unusable anytime soon.
Moreover, the lock comes with a built-in alarm that is audible enough to alert you when there is any sort of activity on the door. You can limit this alarm to only warn you when it is tampered with or when someone tries to make a forced entry.
- The lock is compatible with Amazon Alexa which means you can operate it via voice commands.
- It can store a maximum of 30 personalized user codes.
- The instructions of the installation process were comprehensive and the procedure itself was easy.
- The packaging can be improved.
- It drains a given battery very quickly.
9. Lockitron Bolt – Automatic Smart Door Lock
There is a high probability that you haven’t heard of this smart lock or the company. This is because it is fairly new in the market. However, from what I have heard and experienced, it might be a force to be reckoned with if it follows through with its promise of quality.
While this list has been dominated by premium items, this newbie lock has been successful in offering all the needed features at a highly affordable cost. There are many of us who wish for a cost-effective home security system, and this one might be a good place to start.
Moreover, the design of the product is quite modern. It is the perfect blend of high-tech and stylish. This might act as a great addition to your home décor. The colors beige and white are likely to complement most door colors.
The lock features a complete keyless design which is the heart of any smart lock. Since the smart lock is to be installed on the interior side of the door, it is safe from being exposed to intruders and is likely not to be tampered with in your absence.
What I was a fan of was the fact that the smart lock unlocked automatically when you come to your house. This has made coming home after grocery shopping less of a nightmare since you are no longer required to fumble for keys as you try to balance various shopping bags. Free-hand and keyless entering is surely the future.
Most other locks come with a separate set of keys. However, this brand makes the effort of making a bolt which fits your current traditional key to give you a backup. Furthermore, the Lockitron app lets you stay informed about who enters your house.
- It has a low price.
- The Lockitron Sense feature gives a whole new meaning to hands-free access.
- The quality of performance is satisfactory.
- Since it is new to the market, long-term performance cannot be gauged.
- The features are very basic.
10. Ultraloq UL3 BT – Keyless Door Lock with Fingerprint
No other smart lock has managed to offer access in such a variety of ways as Ultraloq has. Are you one of those individuals that prefer versatility? Well, if you are, this lock will be perfect for you.
This lock is one of the first ones in the market that allow users to enter via a keyless entry, fingerprint, code, smartphone, a traditional key and merely knocking the door. The last access is only available if the owner or the controller of the lock allows it.
Moreover, the touch keypad is equipped with an anti-peep feature so that even if someone is trying to look at your code, they won’t be able to. Additionally, you can view the enter logs through the app.
The lock comes with a door handle that is weatherproof. Therefore, regardless of how much it rains or how hot it is, the handle will not develop rust. Similarly, the lock will not get damaged. The product is also equipped with a low battery alarm that will notify you when the battery gets dangerously low.
Furthermore, it comes with an 18-month electronic and lifetime mechanical warranty. This means that you can easily claim warrant if the product needs some repairs or gets damaged, thereby making the purchase cost-effective.
- The battery life is long.
- The installation is easy enough to be done by yourself.
- The packaging is satisfactory.
- The Bluetooth function needs improvements.
What is a smart Door Lock
Smart door locks are secure electronic locks that open and close your door with your specific authentication only. They are arguably more convenient and secure than dumb locks since you have full control including remote and physical access. If you are buying a smart lock for the first time, you are definitely upgrading to the highest technology in home security. No one will enter the premises without your knowledge and authentication.
You can use a fob key, pin or fingerprint to unlock the door. You can also sync with your phone to use Alexa, Google assistant and other IoT platforms for app and voice authentication. This allows a full connection to all smart devices in the house. You can open a specific door or multiple doors simultaneously.
Some locks on this smart lock buying guide can be installed on the inside reducing vulnerability to forced entry as compared to dumb locks. With the extension for keys to family or other authenticated persons, you can still allow family members, friends, and maintenance to open the door while retaining the integrity of the lock. With web app-controlled smart locks, you can also add and remove users as you wish.
Some smart locks are Bluetooth triggered for proximity convenience. The lock opens automatically once you are within range of your house. You can still use your phone to open the door if you need someone to access the house when you are away.
These smart door locks will give you email and app notifications on the state of the lock and tamper notifications. If the batteries are low, you will have enough time to replace before any failure. With these great features, Smart door locks are more costly than your regular lock. Lower range models cost about $100. However, to accommodate more keys and stronger features, you need to spare at least $200.
Who Should Get a Smart door lock
Everyone needs to walk around easy and light at some point. When jogging or out at the Jim, you no longer have to carry bulky bunches around. With a high-quality smart door lock, you have control over home access and security. You also get the freedom from frequent metal detector disruptions and other disturbances associated with traditional locks. With the convenience provided, everyone needs a smart door lock. Here is a look at the other reasons why you need a smart door lock.
1. To connect with other smart home devices
Smart door locks a basic part of any IoT device connectivity. If you need your AC, lights and other electronic switched on when you open the door, a smart lock is the best way to go. Brocken, lost and duplicated keys can be costly and a nuisance. With e-keys, you are totally in control of the safety of your property even when you are away. Smart door locks are also the best way to maintain security and watch over vacation and rental homes.
2. If you forget or lose keys frequently
Forgetting keys at home, work or on public transport is a big problem with traditional locks. A smart lock will respond to touch or app and you can always add more keys or change the phone if you lose the synced phone. You still retain the authority over all e.keys even if one key is compromised, you can change or remove it for security. This is way safer and convenient.
3. For a vacation or rental home
Absentee homeowners make the largest portion of break-in victims. If you have a rental home or a vacation home, a smart lock key offers all the security and monitoring you need. Some of the locks in this guide are also installed with cameras to record any activity that takes place at your premises. You can give e-keys to the other users and temporary visitors with controlled access.
4. For your children and staff
Monitoring the movement of your children is the most important role of a parent. With a smart lock, you will identify who came home and at what time. You can also monitor the activities of the nanny and maintenance staff that come around your house.
5. If you live in an insecure neighborhood
Some models can be set to send notifications and 911 stress signals directly if tampered with. Smart door locks are also difficult to breach. No one can make a copy of your key. You can also install the lock internally to keep the bad guys out of the house.
6. If you have temporary guests
Smart locks allow you to let in the mailman, maintenance staff and other people you may want to grant temporary access in your house. You can remotely open the door for them or give them a temporary key that lasts as long as you set it. This way, you still keep your home safe while keeping all your j=home activities running.
How we Picked these Smart Door Locks
These are the basic factors we considered in picking the best smart locks
1. Easy installation
The market has two main models, ones that require minor changes to you deadbolt mostly the latch while others involve a full change of the deadbolt to maintain maximum integrity over the deadbolt strike. Both locks are secure and can be remotely controlled. You don’t have to be techy to actually install these smart locks. With a screwdriver and the guide, you can set up the new smart lock on your door within 1 hour.
2. Remote control
Our focus on the smartphone-controlled locks is because this way, you have a close look at every bit of the lock. The apps for these locks are compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones. We focused on apps that don’t require too much time and tech knowledge to operate. You can actually lock and unlock with a simple tap. Smartphone controlled locks will need you to have a constant Internet connection. You may also need a connection to a third party service that stores data and controls key storage. Each of these locks has all the necessary set up needed to work after installation.
Bluetooth controlled locks work within the proximity distance. The lock responds to your device when you are home. You can also connect the lock to your Alexa or Google voice service and control it with your device. The price difference between remotely operated smart locks and other models is also small which is why these features really provide the value for your money.
3. Smart home integration
We understand the importance of smart home systems to security and convenience. Home kit or Smart things are a necessary component of every modern home and we picked locks suited just for that. Once connected to your home router, you can connect any devices for voice or app control.
4. Lock independence
Connectivity to the hub is important in providing the full service of your smart lock. However, the lock needs some degree of independence and we accounted for this too. Your lock is able to work independently when removed from the box whether you have a system or not. Connection to your doorbell, HVAC system and thermostats is partly included in these smart locks but you can access the basics without them.
5. Customer reviews
We checked Amazon review for each of these locks checking for any complaints from each review. We also conducted a thorough research on consumer selection, Cnet and other consumer welfare analysts for the rating on the locks. Shoppers from all retail platforms are in agreement with the quality of these locks and that is why we recommend them for the best smart door locks for any home.
6. Expert Analysis
Buying a smart door lock is a huge investment that affects every aspect of your day to day life. As a result, we employed the consultancy service of major lock dealers from cloud 9 security and a team of two other New York based security system dealers. We gave them the details of each lock sample for certification to ensure we recommend reliable locks only.
How we tested these Smart door locks
We would not rely on words for our recommendation so we made a lab to test each of the locks recommended. With a 2 inch thick wooden boar, we installed each of our locks. Kwikset Kevo was installed on our office door and it didn’t need many trials. We then went ahead to collect all the components that your home would include to get the best from a smart door lock. Here is a look at the measures we included in the testing to ascertain the best locks. We then went ahead to test all aspects of these locks including automation, manual operation, geofencing, integration, and durability.
ANSI Certified Robustness Standards
American National Standards Institute Recommends 5 75 pound latch Strikes and 800,000 functional cycles for all grade 2 locks. Before publishing these articles we did a physical test to ascertain the integrity of these locks on these standards. Yale, August, and Kwikset models all passed the tests, Schalge models are able to withstand an excess of 800,000 cycles making them a suitable option for commercial premises as well. The other models are ascertained Grade 2 locks and our tests proved their integrity.
The wink hub is one of the most common smart home hubs and we relied on it for connection of the smart locks. We did mock tests for both distance, LTE connection, Bluetooth, and auto-lock/ Unlock. With testing of all actual home lock operation scenes, we checked the speed and consistency of performance for each lock. With the help of our expert consultants, we also attempted a mock break-in on each of the remote-controlled locks to determine vulnerability on WPA 2 router connection.
With the connection to both Android and iOS smartphones, we tested each remotely controlled app in extensive mock scenes. We tested the number of keys for each lock and the extent of each master key. With Bluetooth 5, we tried out the proximity sensors of Kwikset, August and Samsung Bluetooth 5 connectivity from 50 meters and they all checked out. All the phones received notification for vicinity, tamper attempts and low voltage notification on all the related instances of mock tests.
The greatest concern with GPS, WIFI, and Bluetooth triggered auto unlocks is the vulnerability to human error. Your latch will release the door at the trigger despite the time or condition once set. This can unlock your door at night or leave your door unlocked if you approach your house and turn back for some reason without going in. We encountered a condition of an auto-unlock late in the night responding to a router restart. This is common if your connection was off and then turns on once you are in the house.
Like all other smart devices, we understand malfunctions never out of the question. With the normal tests, there was no malfunction from the devices except a little slow response on Bluetooth from Danalock and Ultraloq beyond 40 meters because of BT4. We then tried manual options for all the locks according to the guides. Our reviews explain how the manual options can come in handy if the lock malfunctions.
We handed our findings for evaluation by our expert consultants to seek their opinion. While the concern of regular hacking was raised by Cloud 9 experts other experts seemed to agree that the risk was manageable.
Our expert said smart locks are weaker than conventional key locks as they can be hacked by any bad guy walking by. However, with a strong app password and a secure home Internet network, this possibility is no higher than that of someone hacking your phone. The chances are quite low. Traditional locks can be smashed or be penetrated with a key duplicate, events highly prevented by smart locks.
The experts agree that with the alerts and access records, smart door locks are safe and they can deter burglars better than traditional locks. Our experts, however, agreed that locks alone are not enough to deter stubborn burglars. They all recommended an alarm system and strengthened window and doors for maximum security.
What to consider when buying a smart lock
1. Other smart home devices
August 2nd Generation connects directly with Apple home kit. Kevo will connect to a Ring or Skybell smart doorbell. Each these locks have specific features for smart devices from specified companies. Your purchase should be guided by the devices you intend to connect your devices on. Once you select a smart lock with compatible devices, your IoT connectivity will be complete to achieve the best possible smart home automation.
2. The app
This is the most important part of any smart door lock brand. Operating the app should allow you quick access through the lock. The app has to be simple to operate and accommodate all possible users in your home. Some locks like Kevo will require every e-key owner to install the app on their phone. Techy apps may prove difficult especially if you need to allow children in.
The best app for a smart door lock should keep records of all entries. This is necessary for monitoring all access through the smart lock. The app should also give you notifications and updates on all critical events including low battery voltage, vulnerable points or breach attempts, e-key usage and other important events. Allowance for built-in alarms other emergency signals is a great addition.
The other important bit of the app control is device sync options. Alternative device sync allows you to use your master key on multiple devices. This helps in case you lose your device or for some reason, it is not available when you get home or need to allow someone in remotely. Autolock and auto-unlock in the app are also so very important components of the app.
Most of the locks in this guide connect on both Bluetooth and wifi. This is very important for both emergency and long distance connectivity. This allows you to access your house even with a poor Internet connection.
4. Third party access
Some locks have limited 3rd party allowances. For Kwikset, you can only allow to free users, every key after the first two attracts a $2 fee which makes it quite expensive. Yale allows you to allocate codes to users without an extra cost making it more suitable for large families. You have to also consider the number of other people that need to get into the house and whether their keys need to be permanent or temporary. Yale and Schlag allow you to set these permissions for more convenience.
5. Simple installation
While this may seem simple, with the high-cost smart door locks attract, you really don’t want to spend more money to install. The process should be as simple as possible and you don’t have to be techy to install. A little guide and maybe some Google search should allow you to install and operate your smart lock. The simplest locks to install are the ones that change only a part of your deadbolt. Complete deadbolts such as Yale take longer but they are still reliable with easy access.
6. Compatibility with your door
Smart locks that require partial modification such as Kevo needs to be installed in the same direction as your deadbolt lever. An error in the installation will lead to malfunction. If it is totally incompatible, a complete deadbolt assembly like Yale will come in handy.
7. Quick access
Convenience is the biggest selling point for smart door locks above regular dumb locks. The time it takes to open the door and the ease of access for all authentication should always be at the top of your priority. Whenever you approach your door or need to allow someone inside, a simple tap or voice command is always an easier choice as compared to spending 5 minutes locating and getting past app security to open the door. The options of punching in a code on arrival is also good. You have to test the lock and the app to ensure it delivers your ultimate convenience.
How are smart locks a better choice
Lock and key systems have been advancing over the years. Smart door locks have been coming and they carry all the advantages that bridge the shortcomings of dumb locks. Convenience and improved security is a product of advanced features that provide a quick secure response with least effort.
Smart locks keep a record of every key used. This role allows you to track all lock opening activity and trace the person that did it. This is good for home security as well as parenting. You can tell when your children come home, who frequents late night exits and more of such records. This advantage stands out against our traditional dumb locks whose key use cannot be tracked.
Smart door locks also allow multiple keys for the same lock. While you only have one key for your traditional lock, if one key is compromised, you have to buy a new lock. Smart locks allow you to set and generate new keys for your lock. You can set temporary and permanent keys as you wish. Once you remove privileges, a compromised key is useless. This is why outdated hotel room key cards are totally useless as the new key is generated as soon as you check out.
People being attacked while struggling to unlock a door in some neighborhoods is a common occurrence. Quick access is both convenient and secure. Smart locks allow you to unlock the door remotely meaning you spend less time at the door trying to get your way inside. The little time spent outside make a great impact. It could be the difference between you and an attack by street thieves who.
Smart locks are also highly configurable. The cost of losing a key for dumb locks is extremely high. It compromises the whole lock and actually limits your own access. While controlling the master key, forgetting a key or losing a device has less impact. You can change the keys within a short time and regain full control over your lock.
Visitors and staff are the biggest concern for homeowners as some of them are supposed to come within a set time and they are supposed to have limited access. Smart locks allow you to monitor which doors can be opened and who can come in. You can monitor the time the nanny or maintenance people come in. You can also open your garage door for the mailman and allow them to keep your mail secure without accessing any other part of your home.
Carrying keys around when you go swimming or jogging in the morning is always a problem for many people. Instead of leaving the key under a rock as many people do which leaves the lock vulnerable, a smart lock secures your door with no baggage. You also avoid regular problems with metal detectors and forgotten keys. With these advantages, Smart locks account for all your human weaknesses when it comes to keeping your home safe. They are very convenient for any type of home.
How to install a smart door lock
Installing a smart lock is a very simple task.
You will need.
- A screwdriver
- A measuring tape
- A drill
- 4 pairs of matching screws
With these steps, you will install your new smart lock in under 1 hour.
1. Remove your old lock
You can use your drill and screwdriver to carefully remove the two screws at the interior back of your deadbolt. You should be careful when making the drill to maintain the two holes. They will need to accommodate the new screws.
2. Install the Latch
You will need to adjust it to the hole diameter. Once the new measurements fit in the hole, fit them in place with the set of matching screws. Using your screwdriver, try the latch from both sides of the hole to ensure it is working.
3. Install the new deadbolt
Once the latch is well fitted, you can install your deadbolt by sliding it through the latch. Before fastening the screws on both sides, you need to ensure the wires are connected and fitted under the latch. With the deadbolt stem extending on both sides, start by fastening the screws on the exterior bracket.
4. Install the electricals
With the interior part of the deadbolt open and batteries removed, install your cables on the terminals and lock all the wiring safely inside the open space. This is important in keeping the electrical system safe from the metallic parts of your deadbolt. You can then reinstall the batteries and test if the system is connecting to the phone. Try all your lock and unlock options to ascertain functionality.
5. Seal the inner deadbolt
Once the smart lock is live, fit the interior piece of your deadbolt and fasten the screws securely. You are done with installation. You can now test your smart lock again to ensure that everything is working.
Are Smart Door Locks safe?
Things to keep in mind
Safety is the primary reason for buying a lock. In this smart lock buying guide, we looked at the strengths of smart locks above traditional dumb locks. However, the safety and convenience of these locks have some flip sides too.
This was the main concern raised by our expert consultants. They identified high-risk points for smart locks as spoofing, plain text passwords, and low-security APK files. These are risks associated with most smart home devices and they can be easily secured using standard security measures. You need to install powerful security on your smartphone and router to strengthen your smart lock.
The locks in this guide have improved security provided by the combination of Bluetooth and Wifi connectivity. This way, your proximity sensors are protected by WPA2 security which is hard to penetrate. With the right security on these fronts, smart door locks are secure from hacking threats.
2. Update errors
The Lock state firmware update crisis in 2017 is the evident proof of this risk. It affected hundreds of locks causing remote access failure. However, these apps will give you a notification if there is an update and you can always contact the manufacturer to confirm the integrity of the update. This was an isolated case that caused concern for most smart door lock owners. The companies responded by doing thorough trial tests on upgrades to ensure integrity. If you encounter any malfunction as a result of a firmware update, the repair costs will be managed by the company.
3. Lost Phones
This is a major concern for some experts but our consultants dismissed this concern. Our Security.Org consultant argued that the probability of losing your phone to someone interested in breaking into your home is low. You need your phone to open the lock, change user privileges and change keys. A lost device means an open gate to everything on your lock. If the phone lands in the wrong hands you can be locked out of your own house. The best thing to do is wipe the device remotely to save your credentials. The locks with third-party hub connectivity in this guide are however easy to access on another device. You can change the master key as soon as the phone is lost to retain your connectivity.
4. Power failure
This is a concern for AC powered smart locks. In case of a blackout, the lock may become totally useless. With alkaline batteries used on Kwikset and other models in this smart lock buying guide, you still retain control with blackouts. The batteries can actually last as long as one year. The app also gives you alerts when the voltage is running low.
5. Lock removal
The locks in this guide are secure from our testing and section procedure but the robustness and installation specifications of some locks raise concerns over the actual security of smart door locks. The robustness of smart door locks is no different from dumb locks. However, some smart door locks limit you to a thumb deadbolt only. Double Cylinder deadbolts are more secure. You can still combine a traditional key lock with a smart door lock if you need more security.
Upgrading to a smart door lock is an upgrade to more convenience and security. This Guide has all the components you need to buy the best smart door lock for your home. If you are buying a smart door lock for the first time or simply getting an upgrade, our collection of recommended smart door locks will definitely give you a lock that specifically fits your home requirements.
Overall, all of the products are excellent in one way or another. The smart door lock reviews have been positive for all products since each of them manage to provide more benefits than drawbacks.
Among these 10 best smart locks, I found the 2nd Gen August to be the winner. This is because this is the only lock that provided me with all the characteristics that I craved in a lock. Whether it be design, security, durability or performance, this lock had it all down to a tee.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the other products are not worth the money. You might find some other product to be the best smart lock for you. It all boils down to what you prefer.
Whichever smart lock you opt for, make sure you do equip your house with such locks. Leave your worries behind as you step out the door. Let the lock do all the work for you.