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It’s easy to sleep at night when you’re not worried about someone breaking into your home. Smart locks provide that peace of mind, while transforming your home into a house of the future.
With a smart lock, you can use your phone or your voice to lock and open your front door remotely, assign temporary entry privileges to guests and house workers, and interconnect your front door with other smart home devices. You don’t have to make extra copies of your keys and keep track of who has them. At night you can go straight to bed, quickly confirming on your smartphone that the door is locked, instead of having to go check yourself. Best of all, smart locks relieve you from the nightmare of getting locked out.
Due to their enhanced security and tech features, smart locks cost significantly more than a traditional door lock, with prices ranging from $100 to $250. To buy the best smart lock for your home, it’s important to know which features are important to you. Learn about smart locks in our buyer’s guide below and browse our top picks for the best smart locks of 2018.
Best Smart Locks
Editor’s Choice – August Smart Lock Pro + Connect, 3rd Gen Technology
Best Budget – August Smart Lock, 3rd Gen Technology
Best Bluetooth Only – Kwikset Kevo (2nd Gen) Touch-to-Open Bluetooth Smart Lock
Best for Apple HomeKit – Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt
The August Smart Lock Pro + Connect offers everything you want out of a smart lock. As a deadbolt style lock, the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect promises easy 10-minute installation—and you can continue using your existing door and keys.
The August mobile app offers a clear locked/unlocked status on the main screen. Additional screens display detailed reporting and activity logs, letting you know when your door was auto-locked, manually locked, unlocked, and by whom.
Their DoorSense technology tells you whenever your front door is closed and locked, and automatically locks or unlocks as you approach the door from either side with your phone. Alternately, you can verbally command it to open or lock using your voice, thanks to integrations with Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant. You can also provide others with keyless access by sending a digital key to their smartphone.
The August Smart Lock Pro + Connect stands out for its compatibility. It works with Bluetooth, wireless, or Z-Wave technology, so you get to decide how you want to connect your smart lock. The wireless hub is small and can be plugged into any electrical outlet. The sleek design looks good on any door, and the lock is available in dark grey or silver.
The August Smart Lock comes in silver and black, with a retrofit design that replaces your existing deadbolt, allowing you to keep your existing keys and easily install the smart lock.
Using the August app, you can provide permanent keyless access to guests or specify time periods, and track everyone who’s entering and exiting using the detailed activity logs. The August Smart Lock will automatically unlock as you approach the door, as long as you have your phone on you. Plus, their DoorSense technology uses a magnetic sensor to automatically lock the door when it’s closed, or lock it within a 30-minute period if you haven’t done so yourself.
The August Smart Lock is basically everything provided by the Pro + Connect version, without the remote functionality. If you decide you want more functionality later on, you can always purchase the August Connect Wi-Fi bridge.
The Schlage Z-Wave Connect Deadbolt smart lock comes in three styles and seven finishes, so you’ll have your choice of options to find the best look for your front door. The smart lock uses Z-Wave technology, so it’s best for homeowners who already have an existing Z-Wave hub to connect their smart lock to the internet.
The Schlage Z-Wave Connect Deadbolt includes a built-in alarm with three settings: activity, tamper, and forced entry. All three have different sound alarms so you can instantly identify potentially dangerous activity at your front door. You’ll also receive a notification on your phone. The Schlage’s built-in alarm provides additional peace of mind for restless sleepers. Go to bed knowing that not only is your door secure, but if someone tries to break in, you’ll be instantly notified.
The app also informs you whenever the battery is getting low, supplemented by a yellow battery indicator that appears on the touchscreen.
You can store up to 30 personalized key codes at a time, for guests, residents, and workers to enter using the touchscreen keypad. The touchscreen is fingerprint-resistant, so evil doers won’t be able to guess a user’s code. You can also lock and unlock your door remotely through the Schlage web or smartphone app.
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.
The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt is a Bluetooth smart lock that works for iOS and Android users. However, if you own an Apple TV, dedicated iPad, or other Apple HomeKit device, you can configure the lock to use your home WiFi. That means you can grant remote access to guests from your phone, or unlock your door using voice commands through Alexa or Siri. Android users can purchase a separate Schlage Sense Wifi adapter to enjoy the same functionality.
In the Schlage mobile app, you can see the lock/unlock status of your home at any time, and assign up to 30 user codes, clearly identified by name. Users can use their phone for keyless entry or tap in their entry code on the touchscreen.
At 3 years, the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt offers one of the best smart lock warranties, which is 2 years longer than most. It comes in nickel or black finishes.
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.
Do you have a few more questions about how smart locks work? Review the following FAQ to make an informed purchasing decision.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.