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Are you looking for a smart lock for your home? We’ve got you covered.
Keeping our homes safe and secure is essential for our peace of mind.
Traditional locks do the job, but there is always room for improvement and additional security measures.
The latest smart technology now includes high tech smart locks, which give you far greater control over security in your home.
We’ve compiled this complete guide to buying a smart lock, as well as reviews of the best smart locks on the market right now.
Here’s a sneak peek at our top 3:
|Compatible with Alexa?||Yes||Yes (with hub)||Yes|
|Requires Hub for Integration?||No||Yes||Yes (included)|
|Connections||Z-Wave and WiFi||Bluetooth and WiFi (with hub)||Z-Wave and WiFi|
|Stand-Out Feature||Built-in Alarm||DoorSense technology||24/7 activity tracking|
Let’s take it away…
- 1 What is a Smart Lock?
- 2 How Does a Smart Door Lock Work?
- 3 Smart Lock Features
- 4 Best Smart Locks of 2018
What is a Smart Lock?
Honestly — connected smart locks are no stronger than a conventional lock, and no more likely to keep invaders out of your home, but what they do offer are some very useful and convenient features that allow you to step up security around the home.
The best smart lock will allow your life flow more smoothly with features like remote locking and unlocking, programmable lock timers, tracking who is entering and leaving the property, and virtual ‘keys’ for when a friend, service, or family member needs access to your home.
Read on to find out more about how smart door locks work to help you…
How Does a Smart Door Lock Work?
Most smart locks require a physical installation of a new, battery powered lock on your door, but certain models can simply be fixed over your existing lock.
Once the smart lock is in place, it can be activated (unlocked or locked) from a distance via an app, or with a simple swipe using a special access card or fob in front of the lock itself — ideal for when you’re overloaded with shopping bags and don’t want to fiddle about with keys.
The most high tech smart locks feature touchscreens with pin codes for entry or even fingerprint scanners.
Smart Lock Features
Operated via a simple Smart phone app, Smart locks use a Bluetooth, Z-Wave or Wi-Fi connection to control the locks in your home from a distance as long as you have access to an internet connection.
That means that you can lock or unlock your door from a distance to allow people access, or when you are at home and you are already snug in bed you can check via your phone that everything is locked up tight without having to get out from under the covers.
It’s worth noting that Bluetooth connections only works within a smaller area, whereas a Wi-Fi connection can be used at any range as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection.
However, Bluetooth uses less battery power than Wi-Fi, so your Smart lock won’t run down so quickly.
Z-Wave connections require a hub in order to function if you’re going to be operating the lock using a Smartphone, and has a range of about 120 feet.
The best smart locks incorporate security cameras so you can see who is approaching your property and choose whether or not to give them access without having to open the door manually.
Many smart locks send alerts and create activity reports to keep you informed as to who is entering or leaving your home, and at what times.
Some smart door locks do away with the need for traditional keys completely, whereas others keep the option to be manually locked or unlocked using a key if needed.
Will a Smart Lock Work For Me?
The type of door you have will determine whether or not a smart lock will work effectively.
If your door is difficult to lock or unlock — for example if it needs to be pushed shut or pulled open at the moment of locking to engage the bolt — a smart lock may not function properly.
Similarly, if your existing lock mechanism is stiff and difficult to turn, or if the bolt doesn’t extend fully into the doorjamb you may encounter issues when trying to use a smart lock.
Best Smart Locks of 2018
Using Z-Wave connection technology to integrate with your other smart home devices, and compatible with Amazon Alexa, the Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot touchscreen deadbolt with built-in alarm can be locked with the press of a button and opened by entering a personal pin code on the touchscreen pad, or it can also be opened using a traditional key.
It’s possible to create and store up to 30 unique pin codes at any one time, so each member of the family can have their own code if required.
This smart lock is designed to replace your existing door lock rather than fit over it, so it does requires installation.
As well as being touchscreen operated, the lock can be operated from a distance via a Wi-Fi connection using a smartphone or computer.
It features three different alert modes with alarms for different types of activity — including tampering and forced entry — and can send activity alerts directly to your phone.
This Smart lock also benefits from in indicator light to tell you when the batteries are running low and can be set to lock automatically after 30 seconds.
- Touchscreen is fingerprint resistant to deter criminals
- Very strong lock and bolt motor
- Range of 2 styles and 6 different finishes to suit your decor
- Can store multiple access codes
- Schlage are renowned for their customer service
- Can be operated remotely via WiFi
- Integrates with Amazon Alexa
- Has an inbuilt alarm
- You’ll need a home automation hub in order to integrate it with Alexa and your other smart devices
- Requires installation
The August Smart Lock fits over your existing deadbolt and uses your existing keys, and features a thumb turn internal lock.
This smart door lock operates using Bluetooth, which keeps the remote operating range to a maximum distance of around 40 feet, and you can unlock or lock your door as well as check the lock status within that range from your smartphone.
It also has an automatic lock or unlock feature, and can track activity so you know who is entering or leaving your home, as well as granting temporary access to guests or visitors.
The 3rd Generation August Smart lock interfaces with Nest Smart software, and apps are available for Apple and Android Smartphones.
To use this smart lock from a distance beyond the Bluetooth parameters it is necessary to purchase the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge which turns it into a Wi-Fi operated device which uses geolocation to lock or unlock your door from any distance.
An indicator tells you when batteries need replacing.
- Easy installation – no need to change original lock
- Simple to use
- Can be voice activated with Amazon Alexa or Google Home devices via the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge
- Stylish design
- Clear activity data
- Allows for keyless entry
- Equipped exclusively with DoorSense that tells you the door is completely closed and locked
- You’ll need the WiFi Bridge if you want to integrate it with your other devices and connect over WiFi
The most recent, top of the range August smart lock, the August Smart Lock Pro, has all the great features of the above smart lock but with some excellent additional features.
The aesthetic design is different too, resembling a round hockey puck, and the package also contains the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge which needs to be plugged in separately nearby — so if you’re looking for truly remote control over your smart lock there is no need to purchase this separately.
Like its predecessor, this smart lock incorporates DoorSense technology which senses whether or not the door is completely closed before engaging automatic locking.
The smartphone app is easy to use and provides highly customizable locking and access options, and is compatible with Z-Wave and Apple HomeKit Smart home technology.
Here’s a look at how it works with Siri:
- Quiet operation
- Can be voice activated using Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant
- Simple installation
- Tracks activity 24/7
- Uses DoorSense automatic locking
- Comes equipped with the August Connect WiFi Bridge
- Customization options for access
- Comparatively expensive
The oldest and simplest of the August smart locks, the 2nd Generation model nevertheless has some great features.
These include potential voice control via Siri with the purchase of August Connect Wi-Fi bridge, the ability to fit over your original deadlock, Bluetooth and Homekit connectivity, plus automatic locking and unlocking.
It does however lack the excellent DoorSense feature of the 3rd generation models.
If all you need is a simple Bluetooth operated smart lock with automatic locking and unlocking, then this 2nd Generation is a good option at a significantly lower price.
- Good value for money
- Fits over your existing deadbolt
- Easy to set up and use
- Sleek design
- Siri and Alexa voice control available if you buy the additional August Connect WiFi bridge
- No intelligent DoorSense to sense if the door is open or closed before locking
- Necessary to purchase additional Wi-Fi bridge to use at a distance
This smart lock from Yale can be operated either by using the touchscreen to enter a pin code, manually with a key, or via the smartphone app.
It’s compatible with Z-Wave, SmartThings, and Wink smart home technology.
Designed to replace your existing lock, this smart lock has a streamlined, modern design with a back lit touchscreen, and the motorized lock is powerful enough to function even with misaligned doors.
When paired with Z-Wave, it is possible to use this smart lock remotely to lock and unlock your door, create pin codes, view access history and receive notifications from anywhere.
This smart lock is also tamper resistant and weather resistant.
- Stores up to 250 different pin codes
- Easy to install and set up due to voice guided installation
- Powerful, motorized lock that can work even with misaligned doors
- Amazon Alexa compatible when you have a compatible home automation hub
- Touchscreen is backlit and easy to read
- Choice of 3 different color options
- No notification when battery is running out
Three entry modes are available for the igloohome Smart Lock Deadbolt 02, including pin code, traditional key, or via a Bluetooth key on your smartphone, and it is equipped with a thumb latch to lock it from the inside.
Installing this smart door lock requires complete replacement of your existing deadlock.
This smart lock is battery operated and features notifications to tell you when the battery power is getting low, but also benefits from a jump start feature should you somehow find yourself locked out of your home due to dead batteries.
Apps are available for both Android and iPhones, with which you can set up and manage pin numbers or Bluetooth keys, which can then be shared with other people.
Automatic login is operated via the touchscreen keypad.
- Sleek, modern design
- Multiple forms of entry
- Can store up to 285 unique pin codes
- ‘Jump start’ feature in case of emergency
- No internet connection required for it to work
- Easy to track access
- Doesn’t integrate with other smart home devices
- Only works with Bluetooth
Which do you think is the best smart lock?