August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
Yale Assure Lock with Z-Wave
Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is a Homeowners Top Pick
We know that you prioritize your home’s safety and security, which is why we’ve endeavored to provide you with the best pick on the market. When we looked into the August Wi-Fi smart lock, we were impressed to say the least. Don’t just have to take our word for it, the consumer reviews on this smart lock speaks volumes as well.
However, if you need a bit of convincing, how about we start with the easy installation process? The August smart lock is connected the moment you take it out of the box. It doesn’t need any additional steps to connect to Wi-Fi, so you get full remote access and voice control instantly. In fact, it is an upgrade to your existing deadbolt, so all you really need to do is to attach it to your deadbolt from inside your door. It further allows you to continue using your existing keys if that’ll put you at ease.
With an auto-lock and unlock feature, there’s no need to fumble for your keys or your phone to unlock your door, as it automatically unlocks the instance you land on your doorstep. it further locks once the door closes.
Reviews: Best Smart Locks of 2020
- August Wi-Fi Smart Lock – Best Overall
- Yale Assurance Lock with Z-Wave – Best Affordable
- Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt – Also Great
- Kwikset 99390-004 Halo Wi-Fi Smart Lock – Best Compact
- CANDY HOUSE Sesame Smart Lock – Also Great
1. August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
The great thing about this option is that since your deadbolt is secure, you can still use your existing keys to get into your house if the need ever arises. Furthermore, the August smart locks deliver easy connectivity to your doorstep, as it simply connects to your Wi-Fi straight out of the box.
It requires no additional bridge to connect to Wi-Fi, so you can get remote access and voice control instantly. Speaking of voice control, this smart lock is compatible with all three voice assistants, so you can voice a command and have your door locked or unlocked in a second.
2. Yale Assurance Lock with Z-Wave
To this effect, it features a beautifully designed deadbolt that comes with a touchscreen keypad so you can input your 4-8-digit pin code. It even allows you to create up to 250 temporary pin codes to share with trusted family and friends. In addition, the deadbolt incorporates one-touch locking as well as a key option. So, you can opt to use one or the other as it pleases you.
Coming with two spare keys, the Yale Assurance smart lock offers you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have multiple options. Compatible with Alexa, you can control this smart lock by simply voicing your instructions. It is also compatible with the Ring smart doorbell for seamless door operation.
3. Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt
It equally offers a low battery indicator which fills you in once it’s time to replace the batteries. Then there’s the built-in WiFi for easy connectivity and which is incredibly easy to install; all you need is a screwdriver. On top of all that, it can hold up to 100 access codes that you can distribute to family and trusted guests. Even more, it’s easy to control with your voice using Alexa.
More Smart Locks that Are Worth a Look
We found a few more…that didn’t quite make the top three but had enough good qualities that we think they’re worth considering as you shop around.
4. Kwikset 99390-004 Halo Wi-Fi Smart Lock – Best Compact
The lock itself sports a touchscreen exterior with a keypad that is there for you to input the code to that either locks or unlocks your door. There’s also the provision for you to create up to 250 access codes to be used by your family and trusted friends. The great thing is that it gets cooler than that. These smart locks work alongside the Kwikset app; all you need to do is download it to your smart device.
More so, the app makes it possible to unlock your door using your phone, even when you’re not at home and also keeps tabs of event history so you can access logs that tell you how often your doors are being locked and unlocked. And to ensure that your home is always secure, it sends you a push notification in the event that you left it unlocked. Even better is the fact that you don’t have to rush home to lock it, simply use the app.
Making it an even more convenient option is the fact that it’s compatible with Alexa. You’ll equally like the fact that it’s available in a sleek black color that will undoubtedly suit any home décor.
5. CANDY HOUSE Sesame Smart Lock
Furthermore, the smart lock works using a WiFi access point as well as an app that you can install on your phone. Both of these features work together, enabling you to remotely control the locks on your door. It equally incorporates an auto-lock and unlock feature, as such, it’s easy for the smart lock to detect your location via the GPS on your smartphone.
Thanks to this handy feature, it automatically unlocks the moment you reach your doorstep and, in turn, locks the moment you leave the house. Additionally, it offers shared access so your family and friends can equally lock and unlock your door for a limited amount of time. You can track this activity using the app since it keeps a history log of your door activity. Furthermore, it comes in four different colors that match both your door and hardware. So, you can bank on the aesthetics being on the same level as its functionality.
Things to Consider Before You Buy
How do smart locks work?
As you may have noticed, smart technology has become quite the rave in our contemporary society. One component of that is the smart lock and it’s becoming increasingly popular. But in the case that you don’t know what a smart lock is, it is a keyless door lock that allows you to lock and unlock your doors. Think of all the times that you’ve lost your house key and had to call a locksmith to break through the lock. A smart lock ensures that you don’t have to deal with such an inconvenience ever again.
These mechanisms use your smartphone as a remote control. Even more, they work with apps that you can easily download and use to lock and unlock your doors. However, there are many smart lock brands that come with physical numerical keypads attached to the lock. Using those attachments you simply need to input a unique code to lock or unlock your door. The entire system is very easy to operate and it gives you more control over access to your home.
The set up equally works using Bluetooth or by connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi network. This is what enables it to receive the code or the command from your smartphone. One major selling point here is that it can further be integrated with other smart devices in your home, like your smart speakers or your smart security system. Then, all these smart devices can be connected to a smart home hub making it even easier for them to work in tandem.
How do you install a smart lock
It’s not hard to install a smart lock in your home, all it takes is some patience and the right instructions. Here are some basic steps on how to install a smart lock:
Remove the old lock: Before you even attempt to install your smart lock, you first need to take out the old lock. Luckily, a standard lock is fairly easy to remove, but be sure to remove it from the inside of your home so you don’t get locked out. There are usually two screws holding the lock in place, grab your screwdriver and take them out. Once that’s done, open the door so you can access the front side of the lock. At this point, you’ll notice that the key assembly has come loose, simply pull it off.
Put together the smart lock: It goes without saying that you need to take the smart lock out of its packaging. A typical model comes with an indoor attachment, an outdoor piece, and some batteries. First things first, secure the indoor piece by placing it over your door’s bolt. Now, here’s the thing, make sure the indoor piece is secured as close to the center of your door’s bolt as possible. When that’s done, secure the outdoor piece of the lock. It comes with a long thin bar and some electrical wiring. Simply secure these bits to the indoor attachment in the next step.
Connect wires: The last step requires you to connect the wires. The outdoor piece and the indoor assembly piece often come with wires. You’ll notice that the indoor piece has channels that you can run the wire through to prevent pinching. Connect both wires and once that is done, place the interior lock on the door and have it secured with screws. The final step is to insert the batteries, and that’s it, you’ve successfully installed your smart lock.
Do I really need a smart lock?
You may be wondering if you really need a smart lock. It’s natural to wonder what really makes it worth the money you’re about to shell out. Well, here are some really interesting benefits of having a smart lock:
Lock and unlock your door from any location: When you own a smart lock, your smartphone acts as your key. So, there’s really no limitation as to when and where you can lock and unlock your doors. It’s really quite simple with these devices, all you need to do is log on to the app. Then you can conveniently unlock your door from any location.
No need to hide a key: With a traditional lock, you may need to make several copies of your key to hand out to friends and family who frequent your home. You may even need to hide a spare around in case you get locked out. To prevent the risk of having several copies of your key floating around in circulation, you need a smart lock as it only requires that you have a smartphone with the corresponding app.
Wave goodbye to lost keys: Losing a key is an experience that everyone dreads. When you get home after a long day, the last thing you want to do is spend your evening trying to locate the nearest locksmith. Well you can wave goodbye to that God-awful feeling because with a smart lock, all you have to do is key in your code or unlock the door using the app.
Smart alert notifications: When you’re in a hurry to leave the house, it’s possible to be halfway across town before realizing you didn’t lock your door. With a smart lock, you don’t have to rush back home or go through the day with your heart in your throat. You see, most smart locks send push notifications to your phone. So, if you ever forget to lock your door, so that you can simply lock it with the tap of a button.
Know who’s coming and going: Some smart locks allow you to create up to 30 different temporary access codes for people you don’t mind giving access to your home. It could be anyone ranging from your babysitter to your best friend. The smart lock system keeps a record of every code and when it has been used, so you’ll never be left in the dark when it comes to who’s eating your porridge or sleeping in your bed.
Best Smart Locks FAQs
Do I need an automatic unlock and locking feature?
With an auto-lock feature, your door unlocks automatically once you come home. It equally locks automatically once you’re out that door. As an extension of that, you really don’t need to fiddle with your phone or even punch in your access code. The auto-lock feature uses your phone’s location to know exactly when you’re out of the door. It does the same whenever you’re approaching your house too and, as such, unlocks on cue.
To execute this properly, it uses GPS, Bluetooth, and Geofences to accurately depict your location. In a nutshell, using the GPS on your phone, the smart lock is able to detect when you’ve left home. In the same way, once you enter the geofence near the smart lock, it begins to scan for your phone via Bluetooth. Once a Bluetooth connection has been established, your door simply unlocks.
An auto-lock feature is a really smart and convenient way for you to use a smart lock. For instance, if you live with family or friends who pretty much get home at the same time as you do. The tech is developed so that multiple actions cannot be performed at the same time. However, in the case that your phone gets stolen, an intruder can easily gain access into your home as opposed to when you have a smart lock with a keypad instead.
Is a remote-control feature necessary?
You may be wondering if you absolutely need to get a smart lock with a remote-control feature. Sure, a smart lock with a keypad works just fine, so, what’s the big deal? You see, while a remote-control feature might not be completely necessary, it sure does come with a lot of useful benefits that you’ll come to appreciate, some of them are:
You can make sure your door is locked: A remote control feature on your smart lock allows you to lock your door no matter where you are. This is especially useful if you have kids who get back from school before you close from work. The remote feature gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your kids are safe and secure inside your home.
Conveniently allow guests in your home: Let’s say you’ve taken a trip out of town but someone’s going to house-sit for you. While giving them your smart lock access code is an option, it may not always be the safest route to take. With a remote-control feature though, you can simply control the lock and the unlock mechanism using your phone. This way, you can let your house sitter in without sensitive information, like your keypad code.
Check on status of your locks: Another great thing about a remote-control feature is that it allows you to check on the status of your locks when you need to. Using the smart lock app downloaded on your smartphone, you can log in to check if you left your front door unlocked. In fact, a lot of smart locks with remote control features send you notifications when your door has been left unlocked. Armed with this information, you can easily lock it from whatever location you are.
Easy access control: You no longer have to worry about getting locked out of your house when you have a remote feature. Since your phone acts as the access control to your smart locks, all you need to do is tap a button on your screen and you’re in.
How important is it to have a backup key feature?
Picture this, you’re on your way home, you get to your front door and take out your phone from your pocket only to realize that your battery is dead. First things first, panic sets in seeing as no one else is coming home for the next few hours. So, it dawns on you that you’ve been locked out. This scenario is not unique, in fact, owners of traditional and smart locks can relate. But, can it be avoided?
While a remote-control smart lock is quite a cool addition to your smart home, you need to have alternative options. That’s where a backup key feature comes in. One great way to go about this is by opting for a keypad feature. A lot of smart lock brands incorporate a keypad with their locks. Using this, you can set up a unique access code that offers you more than one way to open or close your door.
Having a smart lock that offers you both keypad and remote-control access is especially beneficial as it ensures that you enjoy the convenience that comes with operating your locks using your phone. But, you can also rest easy knowing that you have a backup plan if your smartphone becomes indisposed.
What do I need to know about battery life?
At this point, it’s important to note that smart locks run on batteries. So, you can’t expect them to run smoothly without a little pick me up, or changing once in a while. In a nutshell, your batteries will need to be replaced in order to have your locks working properly. That being said, there are different types of smart locks, and their battery life typically depends on whether they use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Z-waves for connections.
Bluetooth: Bluetooth smart locks are the most common models on the market. For that reason, it’s no surprise that they are usually quite cheap and easy to install. Even more, when it comes to power, Bluetooth smart locks are as good as it gets. Obviously different brands of smart locks have different battery lives, but the average battery life for a smart lock that operates using a Bluetooth connection is about 12 to 24 months. Note that this depends on the lock and the frequency of use.
Wi-Fi: WiFi-enabled smart locks are well-known for being the most advanced type out there. In fact, they happen to be loaded with tons of impressive features. In terms of price, although they are not as affordable as Bluetooth smart locks, they are reasonably priced considering their range of performance. Their batteries tend to last between 1 to 3 months and that can be quite the hassle.
Z-Waves: Z-wave smart locks combine the tech advancements of the Wi-Fi smart lock with the longevity of the Bluetooth smart locks. So, it’s obvious why they are the most expensive of the three and can be complicated to set up. However, with a Z-Wave smart lock you can connect to plenty of other smart devices in your home. Furthermore, these locks usually last between 12 to 18 months before needing a battery change.
How secure are smart locks?
One of the most common questions asked about smart locks is whether they are safe. People are often wary of the security which internet-connected devices offer. Seeing as their family’s safety, along with that of all their valuables are on the line, so it’s a very reasonable question.
If you’re thinking of getting a smart lock and wondering if it is safe, another question you might want to ask is, how safe are the traditional locks that you already use? If you think about it, standard deadbolt locks are not very secure. Home invaders and burglars probably learn how to pick locks in ‘Home Invasion 101’. Also, it doesn’t take a lot of skills or time to learn. So, now you know this, why not opt for a smart lock? Smart locks are incredibly superior and typically require a key code that would take ages to crack. Further, it could only possibly be cracked assuming the home invader is highly skilled as a hacker, which let’s be honest, is rarely ever the case. Even more, smart locks offer remote-control access that allows you to control your locks using your smartphone. So compared to traditional locks, it’s safe to say that smart locks are the more secure option.
What happens if I lose my smartphone?
So, you’ve lost your smartphone. Yup, the same smartphone that acts as the remote control for your smart locks. First, note that there’s no need to panic, you’re not locked out forever. But before we get into that, I would like to give some quick advice. When getting a smart lock, select one that has a backup key feature, like a keypad, so in the event that you lose your phone, you can still get into your house using a unique access code.
Now, let’s assume that you don’t have a lock with a backup key feature, what’s the way out? Most smart lock brands have websites you can log into using the email you registered your lock with. Once you’ve logged in, a verification code will be sent to your inbox and you can use that to regain access. As soon as you’ve been verified, search for ‘lost phone’ on the site. This stellar security feature allows you to log out of all the apps connected to the lock. All in all, the thief won’t be able to get into your home once that’s done.
Lastly, you’ll need to download the smart lock app on another smartphone. Once you log in that phone can be used for remote control.
Are all apps compatible with Android and iOS devices?
A lot of smart locks come with apps that you can download on your phone. Thanks to this handy feature, your phone can act as a remote control. To download the app, you’ll definitely need to go to the App Store if you own an iOS device or Google Play if you’re sporting an Android device. Most smart lock apps can be downloaded on devices that use either operating systems, however, the setup and the overall look of the app may be different on each operating system.
Will smart locks work for any door?
Before you actually purchase a smart lock, you need to make sure your door is compatible with a smart lock. The goal of smart locks is to ensure that your deadbolt automatically locks and unlocks, however not every door works properly. Test your door out because when you lock and unlock your deadbolt, it should typically be in a smooth motion. If you need to apply force or to push/pull your door before it locks, then your smart lock may not function correctly. Seeing as you won’t be there to push or pull the door, the mechanism will do it’s best and register the job as done.
You would also need to check if your lock can fully extend into the jamb, as your smart lock will always attempt to extend fully. The great thing is that both of these door related issues can be fixed. So, thoroughly check your doors out and fix whatever deadbolt and jamb problems before installing your smart lock.
How We Picked the Best Smart Locks
Backup key feature: All the selected smart locks here come with a backup keypad function. Thanks to this handy feature, being locked out isn’t on the table even if you lose your phone.
Battery life: If one thing should be obvious by now, it is the fact that battery life differs from brand to brand. We carefully selected our best smart locks taking this into consideration and only presented you with locks that can support you for the long haul before requiring a boost.
Guest access: Our smart locks all come with keypads and also allow you to create temporary access codes for trusted family members and guests. With this, they have access to your home, even when you’re out and about.
Compatible with smart devices: We specifically picked smart locks that are compatible with other smart devices. Once you go smart, you really can’t go back, so it’s good to have options that work well with other devices.
Reliable auto lock and unlock: Our best smart locks are extremely reliable when it comes to their auto-lock and unlock feature. With this level of convenience, it’s not necessary to push any buttons. Just rest assured your door will lock and unlock when you need them to.