- Smart locks provide keyless access, improved security, and customizable options for home security.
- Smart locks can be controlled remotely, allowing you to grant temporary access codes to guests and receive notifications when someone enters your home.
- Some of the best smart locks on the market include the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, Wyze Lock Bolt, ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi Smart Lock, and Schlage Encode Plus.
Technology has tremendously simplified our life. We no longer have to waste time on chores that take too long or are easily forgettable, like hiding a key under a rug for guests to access your home. Annoying, right? You might wonder how we got by without technological innovations like smart locks.
Smart locks capabilities are beyond ordinary locks. They provide an exceptional home security experience using customization options. Some of their perks include keyless access to your home using fingerprint readers and smart home integration. But why would you purchase one when your standard lock works just fine?
Let’s explore the major benefits of smart locks to bring you convenience and improved security today.
More Secure than Ordinary Locks
It is without a doubt that smart locks are more secure than ordinary locks. Combining cutting-edge authorization, authentication, and encryption technologies into your security system helps reduce risk.
In the most basic way, smart locks eliminate the risk of someone swiping your house keys from under your mat as they do not require a key to access the building. More physical keys lying around usually mean more entrance methods to your house. With a smart lock, you’ll use a passcode and biometrics to unlock. So, having several key copies and spares is unnecessary.
A typical lock can be jammed with a simple paperclip. So, manufacturers have integrated technology that eliminates tampering, making smart locks “unpickable” according to industry standards. Also, a smart lock with a four-digit passcode provides 10,000 possible combinations, which minimizes the likelihood of a burglar obtaining the correct combination. Besides, modern smart locks can send notifications to your phone when someone attempts to key in an incorrect passcode, alerting you to a potential break-in.
Another feature that makes smart locks great is that you can set notifications on your phone to remind you to lock your door. Further, some locks automatically lock when you leave your house for some time, like the August Home Wi-Fi Smart Lock.
The idea of smart locks is convenient, and their main attribute is their ability to lock and unlock without requiring a traditional key. Instead, all you have to do to disengage the lock is to key in your passcode. Other mechanisms to unlock these locks include fingerprint readers and electronic keypads; some also feature built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. So, there’s no need to constantly worry about losing your keys or a stranger accessing them. Other features of most smart locks include voice control, remote access, and scenes. Scenes allow you to send commands to your smart lock and other linked smart home gadgets based on one or more triggers.
Looks Better than Most Locks
Undoubtedly, smart locks look better and fancier than traditional locks. A cylindrical, key-operated, and mechanical lock does not come close to a sleek keyless entry lock with a touchscreen. Smart locks are designed with clean edges, sleek lines, and modern finishes that blend seamlessly with contemporary spaces. Moreover, they are compact for a minimalistic look, contrary to the bulky design of traditional locks.
Some smart locks, however, are oddly shaped, but this isn’t always the case. Most smart locks appear stylish and minimalistic, giving your exterior a premium look. If you prefer the design of an ordinary lock, some, like the Kwikset – Kevo, look like a regular deadbolt from a distance but spruce things up with its tap-to-unlock feature.
- Touch-to-open deadbolt
- Featuring SmartKey Security
- Venetian Bronze
Grant Remote Access Securely
Most of us are used to hiding our keys under a doormat or the plant pot outside our house. This can be tremendously risky. Similarly, leaving work to let in your guest can disrupt your day.
A smart lock comes in handy. You can conveniently use the lock’s app to generate and assign temporary access codes and restrict the times guests can access your home. For instance, you can create a code that allows your dog walker to access your space between 11 am and 12 pm on Mondays and Fridays. For your family or people you share the space with, you can generate access codes that allow unlimited access. The cherry on top is the ability of smart locks to notify you whenever someone uses the code to enter your house. You’ll know who went in and at what time.
It is inconvenient having to drive back home from work because you forgot to lock your door. While it may not happen often, this is one of the significant downsides of traditional locks. With smart locks, however, you can lock your door from anywhere via the lock’s applications. Most locks also have an auto-lock feature that automatically locks your door if you are away for some time or when your phone isn’t on the premises. If you ask us, that’s pretty convenient.
The 4 Best Smart Locks to Buy Today
In an increasingly digital world, smart locks are sought after to ease the security of our homes. However, if you are looking for a smart lock for the first time, you might get confused with the many options that are designed differently.
Let’s find out the best smart locks on the market today.
#1 Best Overall: August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is our ultimate best overall smart lock if you don’t want to ditch your old keys.
The August Lock is the perfect retrofit lock, compatible with most single-cylinder deadbolts. You can continue using your keys since the August Smart Lock only replaces the thumb turn of your existing lock.
This lock has a lot to like, including Wi-Fi support obviating the need for a module or extra hub. And when you walk near your door with your phone, the lock will auto-unlock. Again, the built-in Wi-Fi support allows the lock to integrate well with your smart home as you can use voice assistants, such as Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit.
The August Smart Lock can also work with a keypad (purchased separately) to allow phone-free unlocks using unique codes. This is handy since the auto-unlock feature can be unreliable, prompting you to keep whipping out your phone. You can also use facial or fingerprint recognition on your phone for extra security.
|Does not entirely replace your existing lock and enables you to use your keys when necessary||Not totally reliable as you might have to whip out your phone every time to unlock the door|
|Built-in Wi-Fi allows it to lock and unlock automatically||Pricey compared to other retrofit locks|
|Compatible with voice assistants like Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit|
|Works with the August app for assigning guest keys, remote control, and viewing activity log|
Best Budget: Wyze Lock Bolt
- Fingerprint sensor
- Backlit Keypad
- IPX5 Weatherproof
- In-App History and Scheduled Access
- UL 20-Min Fire Rated
The Wyze Lock Bolt is the perfect pick if you’re looking for a quality smart lock that’s reasonably priced.
Retailing at around $80, you won’t go broke securing your home or office. The Wyze allows you to unlock your door with a touch of a finger, plus it supports up to 50 fingerprints that unlock within 0.5 seconds in the lock’s app. You can also unlock it using access codes generated by the app.
With anti-peeping, you can type your code without worrying about someone snooping. Add extra digits after or before your secret code, and the lock will disengage. Other smart features include auto unlock and the ability to lock your door from anywhere; you don’t have to leave your bed to lock the door. The lock has an IPX5 water resistance rating, so it’s ideal for outdoors where there are harsh weather elements.
At its price point, it lacks features in premium locks, like Wi-Fi support and smart home integration. However, if you do not care about such smart lock features, this lock will work just fine.
|Water resistance rating of IPX5||Lacks Wi-Fi support and smart home integration|
|Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect your phone to the smart lock||Made of chunky black plastic that isn’t stylish|
|Affordable compared to most locks||Lack of voice controls does not allow you to give commands using your voice|
|Stores up to 50 fingerprints so you can add fingerprints for several family members or work colleagues|
|Fingerprint and secret passcodes can be used to unlock the smart lock|
|Easy to install (takes about 20 minutes)|
Best for Rentals: ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi Smart Lock
- Built-in Wi-Fi door lock
- 6-in-1 keyless entry
- ANSI Grade 1 certified
- Fingerprint ID
- Auto Unlock
- With door sensor
With its fingerprint and code, anti-peep, auto-lock, and ANSI Grade I Certification, the ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi Smart Lock is our top pick for rentals.
The ULTRALOQ allows tenants and guests easy access using a unique code that will only work during their stay. With Wi-Fi support, you can lock and unlock the smart lock from anywhere using the lock’s app. Other selling points of this lock include anti-peep, touch and go 360° fingerprint ID, smartphone, keypad, auto unlock, mechanical key, and shake to open.
Retailing at around $149, it’s also ANSI Grade 1 Certified for maximum security and durability. Furthermore, it supports home integration thanks to its compatibility with IFTTT, SmartThings, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. However, you will be required to purchase the Wi-Fi adaptor and door sensor separately for an extra $40.
|Numerous unlock and lock methods||Have to purchase the Wi-Fi adaptor and door sensor separately, bringing the total cost to around $189|
|Works with several third-party applications|
|Compatible with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, SmartThings, and Google Assistant|
|Built-in Wi-Fi, allowing you to lock and unlock the door from anywhere|
|Installation does not require drilling|
Best for Apple Home: Schlage Encode Plus
- Wi-Fi deadbolt
- Apple Home Key
- With Century Trim
- Matte Black
If you enjoy the Apple ecosystem and are looking for a smart lock that works well with Apple Home Key and HomeKit, consider Schlage Encode Plus.
You can easily lock and unlock the Schlage Encode Plus using your Apple Watch or iPhone. Moreover, the lock works with the Schlage app, providing just about everything the Apple Homekit would.
Like most smart locks with Wi-Fi support, you can control your smart lock from anywhere. All you need to do is connect your Schlage smart lock to your home Wi-Fi network, and you are ready. Thanks to its compatibility with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, you can connect the lock to a voice-enabled device. It is worth noting that this smart lock can function as a traditional lock as it can also be unlocked using a key.
|Works well with Apple Home Key and Apple Homekit, meaning you can unlock and lock your lock using your iPhone||Pricey, retails at around $428|
|Has a built-in alarm that notifies you in the event of a forced entry||Tap to unlock will only work with Apple devices like iPhones and Apple Watch|
|Schlage Encode Plus is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants|
|Installation is easy|
|August Wi-Fi Smart Lock||Compatible with most single-cylinder deadbolts, built-in Wi-Fi, works with voice assistants, premium design||Not totally reliable, pricey compared to other retrofit locks|
|Wyze Lock Bolt||Affordable, stores up to 50 fingerprints, water resistance rating of IPX5, easy to install||Lacks Wi-Fi support and smart home integration, made of chunky black plastic, no voice controls|
|ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi Smart Lock||Numerous unlock methods, works with third-party applications, compatible with voice assistants, built-in Wi-Fi, easy installation||Requires separate purchase of Wi-Fi adaptor and door sensor|
|Schlage Encode Plus||Works well with Apple Home Key and Apple Homekit, built-in alarm, compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, easy installation||Pricey, tap to unlock only works with Apple devices|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Reshetnikov_art/Shutterstock.com.