Best smart locks
If you are looking to replace a broken door lock or you want to upgrade your current one, then you may want to consider getting a smart safety lock. Becoming more popular in recent years, you may not have seen a lock that you like, but here is a simple guide that you can follow to help you find the best for you as well as five of the best smart locks that you can get right now.
How to choose the best smart lock.
The lock type
There are mainly two different lock types when it comes to smart locks: those that replace the deadbolt itself and those that replace the deadbolt and doorknob. Since there are several types of doorknobs, locks, and latches, there are just as many designs for smart locks, but not all of them may fit your door.
It is always a good idea to check your handle, latch, and lock type before buying a smart lock and check to see if your door is compatible with the lock. If you are buying a lock online, they usually list their sizes on the page, but if you cannot find them, try looking at the manufacturers’ website.
Keypad vs phone key
The most popular smart locks are designed to be unlocked with two main ways: by a keypad that is built into the lock or by a setting on your phone. Because of this, if you are considering getting a smart lock but do not have the money or desire to get a smartphone that can work with the lock, you may want to consider getting a lock with a keypad.
On the other hand, if you already have a smartphone and are on it quite often, then it can be more convenient for you to get a lock that is activated through your smartphone.
If you decide to go with a lock that is smartphone compatible, then do not worry about having to install a program onto your phone. Most are linked with either Bluetooth or wifi. The only real worry you may experience is if your phone gets broken or the battery dies.
Most locks that are sold online also come with the option of having the lock professionally installed. This may be best for you if you are unable to do the installation yourself, do not have someone who can do the installation yourself, and/or are concerned about possibly damaging your door or the lock in the process.
The installation can cost nearly as much as the lock itself, depending on the brand/model. However, if you do not have the time to look for a handyman to do the installation, it can be simpler and more convenient to just order the installation while you are buying the lock.
For those of you who are worried about how the lock will look with your door handle or against your door, set your mind at ease knowing that many smart locks come in a variety of colors. The most popular are black, white, nickel, bronze, and chrome, making it more likely to match with whatever door and/or door handle you have.
Although, the locks that are just deadbolts tend to come in just black or white, which can make it harder to match your door handle that is brass, nickel, or chrome.
What are the advantages of a smart lock?
Smart locks can be especially useful if you are the type of person who easily loses their keys or have several keys on your key ring and you are looking to lighten the load. Regardless of how it unlocks, keypad or smartphone, a smart lock can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to unlock your door.
But possibly the best advantage that a smart lock has over a regular lock is that they are tamper-proof. This means that if someone were to try and input an incorrect key or physically break the lock, a loud alarm is activated. The alarm then continues to sound for several minutes or until the correct key is inputted.
If there is a break-in attempt, you do not have to worry about changing the keypad since many are reprogrammable.
Things to look for that differentiate them.
Other than their design and appearance, one factor that you may want to take a closer look at and think about is the type of technology the lock uses. If it is a lock without a keypad, then it can be connected to a phone through Bluetooth or wifi, or it can be activated through z-wave.
To give you a better idea, z-wave technology connects through short radio waves instead of relying on the internet. Many home security systems use z-wave technology in their motion sensors, door and window sensors, and the control unit/hub. If you are worried about the range of the device, it may put your mind at ease to know that most z-wave devices have a range of around three hundred feet or so, if you were thinking of connecting your smart lock to other devices, which is possible for some models.
What is the best way to use a smart lock?
It is a good idea to test the lock before you install it, if possible. If the lock is controlled through a keypad, make sure you can properly program, change, and input the code. If it is controlled through a smartphone, make sure your phone can properly connect with the device first.
Top 5 smart locks
1. August Smart Lock Pro + Connect, 3rd gen technology
One of the most popular models out now, this is also one of the smallest smart locks since it is only meant for a deadbolt, not a deadbolt and a handle. The small round lock connects to the Wifi bridge which gets plugged into an electrical outlet. The lock comes in two colors, dark grey which looks very close to black and silver, but both colors come with a white Wifi bridge.
With the app, you can not only open your door, but you can also check the log that the app keeps of when the door is opened or closed, who opened or closed the door, and what time all door activity happens. However, to use the app with the lock, you will need to have an android that is at or higher than a 5.0 or an iPhone that is at or higher than a 9.0.
One of the most convenient features with this lock is that it has an auto-lock and unlock feature for when your phone gets close or far away from the door. Although, this setting can be temperamental due to the app, so you may want to not be dependent on this setting.
- Simple and easy installation
- Is compatible with Google Home and Alexa
- Has automatic unlocking setting
- Must be connected to the wifi to be used with assistants
- The app can be temperamental
2. Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with Camelot Trim
This smart lock is a keypad controlled lock and is also able to be connected with Alexa if you have the wifi adapter that is sold by Schlage. The lock comes in two colors: satin nickel and aged bronze, which looks nearly completely black with a few bronze areas along the edges.
With the app, you can change the key pin, as often as you like, and with Alexa, you can verbally unlock your door. Even so, if you are planning to use Alexa in conjunction with the lock, try to keep it away from windows or areas where you can be heard outside. If your Alexa ‘has good ears’ so to speak, anyone will be able to unlock the door from the outside.
Unlike many of the other smart locks, this lock does not come with step by step written instructions. Instead, the instructions say to watch a video to install, which is relatively simple but may be harder to follow for those of you who cannot mimic a how-to video.
- Compatible with Seri and Alexa
- Sturdy and durable
- Can program up to an eight-digit key code
- Instructions are a video
- Can be a lag between phone and lock
3. Nest x Yale Lock
Another keypad smart lock, while this lock is not directly made by Nest, the maker, Yale, made the lock compatible with most if not all Nest devices. Nest is a device brand for security, entertainment, and management that is made by Google. The main keypad of the lock is always black with white and blue keys, but the border is available in three different colors: oil rubbed bronze, polished brass, and satin nickel.
Like most of the other locks on this list, the compatible app can keep a history log of when the door is opened, closed, and/or locked and allows the user to automatically unlock or lock the door when they get close or far from the lock with their phone.
Unlike some of the other locks, this one can be a little more temperamental, lagging after inputting the code, but the keypad is possibly the most durable out of all of the others.
- Quick and easy to install
- Durable touch screen
- Simple enough for a child to use
- The lock can squeak if not oiled
- The lock can lag after code input
4. Schlage Touch Camelot Lock with Flair Lever
One of the few locks on this list that is attached to a door handle, this lock is keypad operated, which is located right above the door handle which is available in three styles: Accent, Fair, Latitude, and Merano. The touch screen for the keypad is always black with white numbers, like the last model, and the trim is available in five different colors: aged bronze, antique brass, bright brass, satin chrome, and satin nickel.
Despite appearing glossy, the keypad is quite resilient to showing fingerprints, as long as your hands are clean.
The codes themselves are pretty simple to program, but unfortunately, they do tend to stop working after a few months. Luckily, they are easily exchangeable and replaceable. However, due to its design, it is not compatible with thicker than average doors.
- Simple to program
- Can program multiple codes
- Does not leave fingerprints
- Codes can randomly stop working
- Cannot fit in a thick door
5. Schlage Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm
The last item on the list, this lock is a kit that includes a deadbolt keypad, the deadbolt with a built-in alarm, and a handle set, all of which match each other according to the chosen color. It is available in three different styles, left Camelot, right Camelot, and reversible Century, and two different colors: satin nickel and bright brass.
One of the great things about this lock is that there is a keyhole that is completely functioning and not for show. So, if they keypad dies or someone in your family/house always forgets the code, they could still use a traditional key.
The instructions are unclear in certain steps, making the installation a little more complicated if you have never changed a lock or door handle.
- Unlocks and locks smoothly
- Compatible with Alexa
- Durable and sturdy
- Instructions can be vague
- The keypad can stop working suddenly
When comparing all of the features of all of these smart locks, through close consideration, the best would probably have to be the last on the list, the Schlage Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm. It has several choices when it comes to the style and color of the lock, comes with both sides of the lock and door handles, has a built-in alarm, and is Alexa compatible.
Yes, the keypad can act up from time to time, but so do other keypads and even locks that rely on phones/apps. The main reason this won out of the others is that this lock has a keyhole, making the lock still useful if or when this happens.