Security begins at the front door, and smart locks are a great way to add a big dose of technology to this main method of keeping your home safe.
Instead of completely ditching your key, smart locks provide users a number of other ways to control access to their home with a smartphone. The technology can also interact with other smart home devices and systems like Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.
If you feel overwhelmed by the number of smart lock choices, don’t worry. We’re here to help. Along with a quick primer on the technology, we have five smart lock recommendations depending on your specific needs.
Why Use a Smart Lock?
If you’re not familiar with smart locks, they are similar to other smart home technology available like thermostats and light switches.
Along with the usual deadbolt on the exterior, cylinder, and other parts on the interior of your door, the smart technology takes power from replaceable or rechargeable batteries.
Some options allow you to keep your existing deadbolt, meaning you won’t have to worry about a new key, while others replace the entire locking mechanism.
Once set up, smart locks offer a number of advantages. Along with being able to lock and unlock a door from across the room, or even across the globe, you can quickly and easily share access with friends, family, and many others.
Many smart locks allow you to give a digital key that expires after a specific time set by the user. That’s perfect to allow a maid, handyman, or others one-time access to a home. And it’s definitely much safer than placing a spare key under a rock on your front porch.
Other advantages of smart locks include smartphone notifications and the ability to view exactly when your door was locked and unlocked.
And just like with any technology, there are some downsides to consider as well, including smart lock security and the risk of the technology eventually becoming obsolete.
August Smart Lock Pro + August Connect
If you’re looking for the best smart lock available on the market, it’s hard to go wrong with the combination of the August Smart Lock Pro + August Connect.
Unlock many other smart locks, the August option only takes the place of your interior door hardware. That makes it much easier to install, and you won’t have to switch out keys. With just a Phillips screwdriver, you should be able to install the smart lock in just 10 minutes.
Once that’s done, you’ll have more than a few ways to access and control the lock. With the app, users can view a 24/7 feed of the lock and door. It’s also quick and easy to give lock access to other users.
A unique feature is the special DoorSense technology. The integrated sensor will tell users that their deadbolt is engaged properly and that the door is truly closed. That feature allows the lock to instantly activate when the door shuts.
Thanks to the August Connect module that plugs into an open electrical outlet, the lock can be operated away from a home network. It even allows the lock to integrate with both Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa smart home protocols.
Along with making it easier to control in your existing smart home setup, you can create a number of different automations with other devices.
Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt
If HomeKit compatibility is your top priority to integrate a smart lock with other devices, the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt offers a number of great features.
While you’ll need to replace all of the lock hardware, it does offer a great addition for non-technical users. Thanks to the 10-digit touchscreen on the exterior, you can program up to 30 different codes that can be organized with the companion iOS app.
With an Apple Home Hub, which can be a HomePod, Apple TV, or iPad that remains at home, you can operate the lock from anywhere. The four AA batteries can provide a year of power under normal use.
For Apartments or Rental Homes:
Friday Labs Smart Lock
Adding smart home technology, especially a smart lock, when living in an apartment or rent home can definitely be problematic. But the Friday Labs Smart Lock is hoping to provide a worthy option in those situations as well as for homeowners.
Claiming to be the smallest retrofit lock on the market, it uses a rechargeable battery for power that lasts anywhere between three to six months with normal usage. To help better blend in with your decor, there are a number of different colors of interior lock shells to select from.
For Amazon Shopping Fans:
For anyone who can’t get enough of shopping on Amazon and all of its wide-ranging services, Amazon Key might be for you.
Only available to Amazon Prime members (the many benefits of Prime) in some select areas, the Amazon Key kit includes both an Amazon Cloud Cam and a compatible smart lock from either Kwikset or Yale. If you make the purchase, Amazon will also have a professional install the system for free in your home.
A major plus of the system, as you might guess, deals with package deliveries from Amazon. When a delivery is on the schedule, you’ll receive a notification the morning of, just before, and right after. The Amazon employee will receive one-time access to place your package inside. The high-definition camera records a clip of the delivery for live viewing or to watch later.
While there are some privacy implications with the service, it could be useful if package theft is a problem in your neighborhood.
All of the compatible smart locks can be controlled with a companion app and can be locked or unlocked from anywhere.
If price is your number one concern when looking for a smart lock, the Lockitron Bolt is one of the best smart locks you can buy.
Using Bluetooth technology, users can customize the Bolt to automatically unlock when you return home and are a certain distance away from the lock. Another option, Tap to Unlock, will buzz your smartphone when returning home. Three taps on the screen will unlock the door.
If you want to add Wi-Fi functionality later to access the lock from anywhere, you can also buy an optional bridge.
Final Thoughts on the Best Smart Locks
Just like other smart home technology, smart locks take a familiar part of everyday living and makes it easier and quicker to use.
As you can see, there is a smart lock available for pretty much any situation. And as smart home technology becomes more widespread, more users should be able to take advantage of what a smart lock has to offer.