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When it comes to outfitting your home with a home security system, the first place you think to protect is the front door. It’s the most easily accessible entry and exit point of your house, which leaves it vulnerable. You can install a video doorbell, which will allow you to keep an eye (literally) on every person who walks up to your door, but it’s also wise to get a smart lock.
These locks, which replace your existing deadbolt, can send you an alert when they’ve been opened. If you’re not expecting someone to enter, you can quickly respond to the alert by contacting family and friends who have a key, or the police if necessary. Smart locks are the perfect pairing for an indoor security camera, so you see who entered your home.
Smart locks also serve three other important purposes. First, they allow you to enter your home if you’ve forgotten your key. Second, they allow you to let people you trust into your home if they don’t have a key, like kids getting off a school bus, or a neighbor taking in a package left on your porch while you’re away. Finally, you can make sure your front door is locked after you’ve left your home without having to turn around.
Installing a smart lock requires some tools, and you’ll need to feel comfortable taking on a DIY project, but you should be fine if you follow the instructions. If you want to add an extra layer of protection to your home, and feel like indoor and outdoor security cameras aren’t enough, you should install a smart lock.
What Are the Best Smart Locks?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best smart lock for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Key backup: Every smart lock we’re recommending can also be opened by a set of keys. You don’t have to exclusively rely on an app or smart home speaker to lock and unlock your door.
Battery Power: Some smart locks require you to run wires from the inside of your home to power them. All of our picks run on battery power, and will send your phone an alert when they need to be replaced.
Keypad: Some of the smart locks we’re recommending have a keypad, which gives you an additional way to get into your home. If you anticipate needing multiple people to have access to your place, but don’t feel comfortable giving out keys (which can be lost or stolen), this is an especially important feature.
Smart home integration: All of the smart locks in our guide can be connected to a smart-home hub like Amazon’s Echo. Once they’re paired, you can lock or unlock your door by using your voice, which is easy and totally hands-free.
1. Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt
Schlage’s Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt offers multiple ways to lock and unlock your door without compromising security.
This lock comes in two pieces: a deadbolt, and a keypad, and Schlage says the only tool you need to install them is a screwdriver. While the lock operates on battery power, you will need to connect the keypad to the dead bolt with a power cable.
Once it’s in your door, you can set up the Encode WiFi Deadbolt in the Schlage Home app (iOS and Android). The app can be used to lock or unlock your door, and create up to 100 unique keypad combinations, which you can give to people you trust. If a stranger tries to unlock your door, it’ll trigger the Encode WiFi Deadbolt’s alarm, and you’ll receive a notification that something is off. The lock will also send you a notification when its lithium ion battery is low.
The Encode WiFi Deadbolt can be connected to a smart-home hub like the Amazon Echo if you’d like to lock or unlock your door using your voice. This smart lock also supports Amazon Key, a service that allows Amazon delivery drivers to enter your home to deliver packages. You do not need to sign up for Amazon Key to use the Encode WiFi Deadbolt with an Echo.
If you want a smart lock that’s easy to install, looks good, and works well, Schlage’s Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt is a great choice.
2. Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen Deadbolt
There are many configurations of Yale’s Assure Lock, but we’re going with the version that features both a touch keypad and traditional keyhole.
Yale says you can install this smart lock in minutes using a screwdriver on “standard doors,” which it classifies as being between 1-3/4 inches to 2-1/4 inches thick. Make sure to measure your door before attempting to install this smart lock. Once it’s connected, you’ll need to plug the August Connect WiFi Bridge into an outlet, then continue the setup process inside the Yale Assure app (iOS and Android).
Yale’s lock uses the August Connect app, allows you to lock and unlock your door, and create code for the its touch pad. You can create permanent, scheduled, or temporary codes, which gives you a lot of flexibility. Permanent codes are the best choice for trusted friends and family, while scheduled and temporary codes are better for people who may only need to get into your house once. You can assign a name for each code, so you’ll know who has entered your home.
The Assure Lock’s standout feature is that it can automatically unlock your door when you get close to your home, and lock it when you leave. The smart lock supports WiFi and Bluetooth, so it can sense when your phone enters and exits your local network. Yale doesn’t mention whether its Assure Lock supports Amazon Key, but you can connect it to an Amazon Echo, which allows you to lock or unlock your door with your voice.
If you’d like a smart lock that makes it easier for you to enter and exit your home, and gives you finite control over who else can, Yale’s Assure Lock Touchscreen is a great choice.
3. August Smart Lock Pro
August is one of the most well-known names in the security space and its Smart Lock Pro is a simple looking but ultra secure choice.
The only tool you’ll need to install this smart lock is a screwdriver, but it works a little differently than the other picks in our guide. The Smart Lock Pro is the only recommendation we’re making that doesn’t have a keypad. The Smart Lock Pro gets installed on the inside of your door, and uses the same deadbolt so the outward-facing part of your lock looks the same. In fact, you can use your existing keys with the Smart Lock Pro, so there’s no need to make new ones.
Once it’s on your door, you’ll need to connect the lock’s WiFi Bridge (included) to an outlet, then continue the setup process in the August Connect app (iOS and Android). Because it uses the same app as Yale’s Assure Lock, the Smart Lock Pro supports most of the same features. You can lock and unlock your door at any time, and create guest keys that can be used for a limited amount of time, on a recurring basis, or single-use.
You’ll receive a notification each time someone enters your home, and a technology called DoorSense will continuously check whether or not the deadbolt is locked or unlocked. Like Yale’s Assure lock, the Smart Lock Pro can detect when you’re entering and leaving your home, and open or close when appropriate. Finally, you can hook August’s Smart Lock Pro up to an Amazon Echo, which enables you to control the lock using only your voice. The company doesn’t say whether or not the Smart Lock Pro supports Amazon Key.
If you don’t want a smart lock with a keypad, or want to continue to use the physical keys you already have, August’s Smart Lock Pro is our recommendation.