- Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Ring Doorbell, Skybell, Nest Learning Thermostat, select Honeywell Thermostats, Android Wear, IFTTT
- Retrofit deadbolt style
- 4 AA batteries included
- 1-year warranty
From the outside, the Kwikset Kevo Touch-To-Open Smart Lock looks like any other lock, but with a glowing blue ring around the keyhole. This helps it blend in like a traditional door lock, while making clear to any possible intruders that this is unmistakably a smart lock. The lock comes in gold, silver, and Venetian bronze finishes.
This Bluetooth-connected smart lock prepares to unlock whenever it senses your iOS, Samsung or Android device (smart watches included!) is nearby. However, it doesn’t actually unlock until the moment you touch the door, even if you still have your phone in your pocket. Once your phone is inside the home, the lock will not unlock from the outside.
In the Kevo app, you can create eKeys for other users, enabling you to track the comings and goings of anyone who has access. You can assign users different access roles, including Anytime, Guest, and Scheduled.
While the smart lock works on Bluetooth only out-of-the-box, you can upgrade to remote unlock features and Alexa voice commands by purchasing a separate Kevo Plus WiFi hub. The Kwikset Kevo Touch-To-Open Smart Lock integrates with a range of popular smartphones, smart watches, smart home devices, and even smart thermostats like Nest and Honeywell.
Smart locks come with a range of technological features that make them smart, safe, and secure. Familiarize yourself with the top features below so you can determine which ones are must-haves for you.
- Lock Style: Smart locks mainly come in one of two varieties: deadbolt locks and lever locks. A deadbolt smart lock only includes the keyhole (and possibly a keypad), so you’ll keep your existing door handle. Lever locks include the door handle and the keyhole (and possibly a keypad) all in one unit. Deadbolt smart locks are the easiest to install, as you’ll only need to replace the deadbolt mechanism in your door.
- Connectivity: Smart locks use one of three technologies to work: Bluetooth, WiFi, or Z-Wave. WiFi-enabled smart locks can be more expensive, because they offer you more flexibility. As long as your home internet connection stays up, you can grant or deny access remotely from your phone. With a Bluetooth-only smart lock, your phone will have to be in range in order for you to make any changes. The benefit of a Bluetooth connection, however, is that it doesn’t eat up any of your home internet bandwidth, and you typically won’t need to connect using a hub or another smart device. There are also Z-Wave smart locks, which connect to your home WiFi network using a Z-Wave compatible hub, allowing you to enjoy the same remote functionality of a WiFi smart lock.
- User Permissions: Many smart locks allow you to assign different access privileges to multiple users. For example, everyone who lives in your home can have permanent access, while your dog walker is only able to open the door during their assigned walk time with your dog. Often times, these access privileges exist in the form of a digital key. You define the user’s access privileges and send their smartphone a digital key through the app. Then their smartphone communicates wirelessly with your smart lock to grant them entry.
- App: Much of the beauty of smart locks comes from your ability to grant and deny access even when you’re not at home, through the lock’s mobile or web browser app. The app will also send you push notifications to alert you whenever someone is at the door, or if there is a potential break-in attempt. If the smart lock doesn’t come with an app, you can usually sync it with your smart home hub (like Alexa, Wink, or Apple HomeKit) to issue verbal commands and assign user permissions.
- Voice Commands: Part of what makes smart devices so smart is their ability to be controlled by voice. Using the lock’s mobile app or your synched smart speaker device, you can tell your lock to open or lock the door. You don’t have to fumble with your keys whenever you enter or exit, so you can go places faster and make your life easier. In many cases, as long as you have your phone, you don’t even need your physical key. At night, you don’t have to manually double-check that all the doors are locked, shaving a few minutes off your bedtime routine. Instead, you can simply confirm with Alexa from the comfort of your bed.
- Integration: Smart locks become even smarter depending on the number of technology integrations they include. Many smart locks work with smart assistants like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and IFTTT, as well as smart home systems like Nest, and video doorbells. These integrations allow you to issue voice commands from more areas in your home, but they also enable you to set up trigger actions. For instance, if your smart lights start dimming according to your sleep schedule, you can trigger your smart locks to confirm the doors are locked at the same time. If your smart smoke alarm goes off, it will automatically unlock all the doors in your home and turn on your smart lights so you can get out as quickly and as safely as possible.
- Reporting: Some smart locks will also display activity logs in the mobile app, allowing you to see who came and went, at what time, on which days. You may also be able to turn on real-time notifications on your phone, text, or email to let you know whenever someone has entered, exited, or been denied access from your home.
- Geofencing: Geofencing technology uses the GPS in your phone to track your location. Smart locks with geofencing technology allow you to set up a perimeter around your house, and whenever your phone leaves it, they lock automatically. Smart locks also use your smartphone’s location to re-lock the door once you and your phone are inside the house.
- Auto-Lock: Smart locks with an auto-lock feature will automatically lock if the lock remains unlocked for an extended period of time.
- Alarm: Smart locks with alarms will trigger a sound alarm whenever someone attempts to enter your home without a key, or at a time when they’re not allowed. You’ll also be notified on your phone via push, email, or text of the potential break-in.
- Keyless Touchpad: Many smart locks work with keys, just like a traditional lock, but you can also buy smart locks with keyless touch pads to avoid the need to use keys at all. Touch pads can also be helpful if you ever get stuck outside and you don’t have your phone on you, or if you want to assign digital codes to people who don’t have a smartphone. Since everyone has a unique code, the smart lock can identify who has entered your home and inform you in the app. This way you can ensure no one is entering your home at any times you don’t expect them to.
- Battery Life: Smart locks operate on AAA or AA battery power, so they’ll keep working as long as the battery lasts, about a year. The smart lock will notify you when it’s time to replace the battery, to prevent you from getting locked out or your home being left unsecured.
- Metal Finish: Smart locks come in a variety of finishes and designs to suit different style preferences and look good on various doors. Consider the look and design of a smart lock to ensure you’ll like how it looks on your front door. Note that keypads typically take up more space than a smart lock without a keypad.
Do you have a few more questions about how smart locks work? Review the following FAQ to make an informed purchasing decision.
How do smart locks work?
Smart locks replace the traditional lock on your door. What makes them “smart” is their ability to communicate with a wireless device, such as your smartphone, using Bluetooth, WiFi, or Z-Wave technology. Through this wireless connection, smart locks can be locked or unlocked by your voice, automatically lock or unlock when you’re approaching the door with your phone, or assign digital keys to various users to grant temporary or permanent access to your home.
How long will my smart lock last?
As most smart locks are battery powered, they will last as long as your battery does, which is usually around a year. Bluetooth-enabled smart locks last longer than Wifi smart locks, since they don’t have to stay constantly connected to your WiFi. Their functionality only activates when your smartphone is in range.
What are the benefits of smart locks?
Smart locks increase the security of your home, while making your life more convenient. With a smart lock, you no longer have to carry your keys around with you. As long as you have your phone, you’ll be able to enter and exit your home securely.
You can also grant secure access to approved guests, house workers, maintenance staff, and others. This peace of mind continues even when you’re not at home, as your smartphone app will send you notifications whenever someone comes and goes.
Smart locks help you sleep better at night, too, knowing your home is secure from intruders. You can get to bed a bit earlier, using your voice to double-check that all doors are secure as you go to bed, instead of walking around your home doing a manual check.
Are smart locks safe?
Smart locks keep your door locked like a standard, non-smart lock would. From a safety perspective, the advantage of a smart lock is the ability to check that you’ve locked your door—and lock it if you haven’t—remotely. The larger benefit of a smart lock, however, is the convenience and peace of mind they provide.
How do I install a smart lock?
To facilitate adoption, smart lock manufacturers have made their locks as easy as possible to install. Even though they’re high-tech in functionality, the installation process is relatively low-tech.
The lock will come with detailed instructions and illustrations to walk you through the process of removing your old deadbolt and screwing your new lock into place. The smart locks we’ve included in our list are designed to use most of your existing hardware, which speeds this process up. These retrofit deadbolt-style locks use your existing hardware with your existing keys, but add the “smart” functionality.
If your smart lock comes with a keyless touchpad, installation may take a bit longer as you’ll need to remove everything. Either way, installation shouldn’t take you longer than 10 to 30 minutes.
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