Your efforts to make a smart home don’t have to be limited to the indoors. In addition to home security cameras, you can beef up your home security and your house’s overall smarts with a few strategically placed smart locks.These smart locks may take a little more work to install than a smart light bulb or a smart home speaker, but they can offer some serious convenience and peace of mind. Smart locks often replace the deadbolt in your door, giving you a new lock that’s not just smart but also strong. Once installed, they can offer any number of features depending on the model.Some smart locks let you lock and unlock remotely, or check to see if you remembered to shut and lock the door on your way out of the house. Some will let you unlock them with your smartphone, a fingerprint, a code, or a key. If you’re really crafty, you could even potentially find a way to pair it with a home security camera with facial recognition to automate unlocking when your camera recognizes you. With all these features in mind, have a look at our top picks and see if any look right for your home.
TL;DR These are the Best Smart Locks:
1. August Smart Lock Pro
Best Smart Lock
Auto lock/unlock: Both via Bluetooth Power: 4 AA batteries Remote access: August app (Connect Wi-Fi Bridge required) Smart Assistants: Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant (Connect Wi-Fi Bridge required)
August makes a variety of smart home products, and its advanced Smart Lock Pro is one that you’ll want for your door. It’s a sleek unit that can install with many single-cylinder deadbolt setups, so you may be able to keep your current keys and deadbolt hardware. And, from the outside, no one would even know you’ve got a smart lock installed. You’ll know though, and you’ll be reminded every time you come and go as the August Smart Lock Pro can lock and unlock automatically for you.The August Smart Lock Pro can also pair with a Wi-Fi bridge to enable some more advanced features. When the lock is connected to a bridge, you’ll be able to control it remotely or use voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant to control it. The August Smart Lock Pro can also track activity, letting you know who comes and goes, and know when. If you need to let guests in but don’t want to be on call to open the lock remotely for them, the August Smart Lock Pro supports guest access that you can set up for friends or family, giving them access once or for a predetermined period of time.
2. August Smart Lock
Best Budget Smart Lock
Auto lock/unlock: Both via Bluetooth Power: 4 AA batteries Remote Access: August app (Connect Wi-Fi Bridge required) Smart Assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant, Home Away Simplisafe (Connect Wi-Fi Bridge required)
While it isnt the most expensive one on this list, the August Smart Lock Pros price tag is still understandably a bit out of some peoples range. Luckily, its little-ish sister and by little-ish, we mean a shorter stack of features will save you quite a bit of cash. The August Smart Lock isnt just one of the cheapest ones on this list, but its also heavily discounted on Amazon.The best part is that it boasts most of the features and capabilities that the Pro offers, with and without the Connect Wi-Fi Bridge. Without the bridge, this smart lock has the auto Bluetooth lock and unlock function, lets you create and schedule temporary keys for expected visitors, and lets you use your phone as your key.
With the bridge, it allows remote access and delivers activity notifications. Really, the only two things missing from the Pro are the Z-Wave Plus certification and HomeKit compatibility. Then again, its price also jumps considerably when you get the bridge. If you dont need remote access and notifications, this is the best option for your limited budget.
3. Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt
Best Smart Lock for Alexa
Auto Lock/Unlock: Lock only Power: 4 AA batteries Remote Access: Schlage Home and Key by Amazon apps Smart Assistants: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
While August Smart Lock Pro may win the best all-around pick, the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt may just be the best value pick. That is, if youve got a bit more money to shell out, and youre an Amazon Prime member and Amazon Alexa user. Versatile and feature-rich, this smart lock allows four different types of access: through your phone via the Schlage Home or Key by Amazon app, by voice via Alexa, via access codes, and with a key. And, thats all without any additional accessories, adapters, or even hubs.Using the apps, you can lock/unlock your door remotely, set up the auto lock function, create up to 100 lock codes that can be permanent, temporary or recurring, and track the smart locks activity. In addition, thanks to Key by Amazon, youll never lose a package again as it allows Amazon couriers to put your packages safely inside your home.
As for the keypad access, the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt boasts a capacitive touchscreen that offers convenient one-touch locking. Another feature worth mentioning is the low battery indicator, which serves as your advance warning. Perhaps most important of all, however, is its own built-in forced entry alarm, which notifies you if someones trying to break into your home.
4. Nest x Yale Lock
Best Foolproof Smart Lock
Auto Lock/Unlock: Lock only Power: 4 AA batteries Remote Access: Nest app (Nest Connect or Nest Guard required) Remote Assistants: Google Assistant
If youre more of a Google Assistant fan, then the Nest x Yale Lock is for you. This smart lock is intelligent inside and out, with that elegant, minimalist design and clever features that make it foolproof. If youre one to lose your key constantly or forget to change batteries on your electronic devices often, this is a match made in heaven.The Nest x Yale Lock is keyless so you wont have to worry about losing those keys or getting them copied without your permission ever again. It does have three ways for access via the Nest app, with a passcode, and through voice control (only for locking). Its also tamper-resistant that is, you will immediately get alerted as soon as someone tries to get in without the right access code.
Finally, if you ignore the battery low and battery critical warnings, and end up with a dead device, you can actually hold a 9V alkaline battery to the terminals at the bottom to quickly charge the device with a 9V battery to unlock it. Its a temporary fix, but one that will get you inside to do a proper battery change.
Our only gripes about this smart lock are that it only works with Google Assistant, and it needs Nest Connect or Nest Guard for remote access through the Nest app. However, if youre already invested in Nest devices or Google Home, then its the perfect smart lock for you.
5. Level Touch
Best Smart Lock for Apple HomeKit
Auto Lock/Unlock: Yes Power: 1 CR2 battery Remote Access: Level Home (with Apple HomeKit hub) Smart Assistants: Siri (Apple HomeKit hub required) and Siri
Many smart locks can add some serious bulk onto your door, but the Level Touch boasts being the smallest smart lock ever made. And, it just takes one look to see that it’s significantly more compact than the competition. There’s no big keypad or chunky housing to hold several large batteries. Instead, the Level Touch is about the same size as you’d get from a typical deadbolt, and it’s powered by a single CR2 battery that fits within the bolt itself and can last for up to a year.With the Level Touch, you’ll be able to unlock your door with just a tap on the metal housing. You can also unlock the door with programmable key cards, traditional keys, and the Level Home app. You can also create special access for guests. You can go even further with an Apple HomeKit hub, which adds support for automation, voice controls through Siri, remote control of the lock when you’re away from home, and notifications of lock activity.
6. Lockly Secure Plus Smart Lock
Best Smart Lock with a Fingerprint Reader
Auto Lock/Unlock: Lock only Power: 4 AA batteries Remote Access: Lockly mobile app (Wi-Fi Hub Secure Link required) Smart Assistants: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant (Wi-Fi Hub Secure Link required)
Fingerprint login and access are all the rage these days, with more and more laptops offering the capability, which we must admit is a pretty nifty one. If youre looking for the same feature for your front door or your office, make sure to take a look at Lockly Secure Plus Smart Lock first. Not only is it among the most highly rated fingerprint smart locks out there, but its also among the best smart locks (period).It boasts many of the bells and whistles that the other top smart locks feature, including locking/unlocking through your phone, access alerts, one-touch lock, and access codes that work even when the device is not connected to your Wifi. At the same time, it brings a few of its own extras to the table: namely, a high-quality capacitive fingerprint sensor that can store up to 99 unique fingerprints, and the At Home Safe Mode that lets you disable the touchscreen from the inside so no one else can come in.
If you want remote access, bear in mind that you will need the Secure Link Wi-Fi Hub, and it isnt cheap at $80. That on top of the cost of the smart lock might burn a whole in your pocket if youre on a budget. Fingerprint readers dont exactly come cheap, at least not right now, so thats to be expected.
7. Yale Assure Lock SL
Best Minimalist Smart Lock
Auto Lock/Unlock: Auto Relock Power: 4 AAA batteries Remote Access: With smart home integration like Samsung SmartThings Smart Assistants: Alexa, Bixby, Wink (Hub Required)
You can count on Yale to make svelte smart locks, so if the Nest x Yale Lock is a bit out of your budget, the Yale Assure Lock SL with Z-Wave can save you a few bucks. You get the same smart, minimalist look at a much cheaper price as well as even more versatility when it comes to smart home integration.This keyless smart lock will easily connect with most top smart home systems like Samsung SmartThings, Alexa, Wink and Ring Alarm. Without smart home integration, you simply use its backlit touchscreen keypad for entry, One-Touch Locking and the Auto Relock to secure the door from intruders, and create as well as manage up to 250 unique access codes for family and friends. With a hub, you can lock and unlock your door remotely, and receive activity notifications. Finally, this smart lock also allows you to use a 9V battery for temporary access if you ever get locked out due to dead batteries.
Basically, you get many of the best features of its more expensive counterpart without the high price tag.
8. Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro
Most Versatile Smart Lock
Auto Lock/Unlock: Both Power: 4 AAA batteries Remote Access: U-Tec App (Ultraloq Bridge Wi-Fi Adapter Required) Smart Assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant (Ultraloq Bridge WiFi Adapter required)
When it comes to versatile access, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Bluetooth Smart Deadbolt is unrivaled. It boasts six ways of access: through your phone via the U-Tec app, with Auto Unlock, using the Anti-Peep keypad, with your fingerprint, by shaking your phone, and with a mechanical key. Thats a lot of flexibility in terms of giving people access.Its tamper-proof, with its Anti-Peep keypad that allows you to punch in a random number of digits with your correct passcode embedded, as well as dual data encryption for the fingerprint ID. Its foolproof, with an external battery you can use when youre locked out. And, it also has IFTTT integration, which syncs it to your other smart home devices.
Of course, it also has all the features that its rivals have, including the ability to create temporary access codes, send activity logs and notifications, and remote access. All those features for less than $200 youre certainly getting a bargain.
How to choose the best smart lock for you
Although the best smart locks generally have the same fundamental features like a keypad and some level of smart home integration, they somewhat differ in extra features and how they do certain things. For example, while most smart locks on this list only offer the auto lock function when youre leaving the house, only a couple offer the auto unlock.Choosing the best smart lock for you, therefore, not only depends on how robust, reliable and secure it is. You must also consider its feature set and make sure that its right for your needs.
Smart locks are always going to be more expensive than traditional locks. However, some of these smart locks are cheaper than others without compromising on features and performance. In fact, some of the most feature-rich locks on this list are actually surprisingly affordable.Consider the cost of installation as well. Most smart locks are easy enough to install yourself, and they come with tutorial videos on how to do it. However, there might be some that are trickier to install, and you might need a bit of professional help, which will only increase the cost.
In addition, check whether or not you need a bridge or a hub to connect it to your existing smart home system and to have remote access. You may have to pay a bit more for that benefit.
Battery power
Most smart locks use four AA batteries, which makes them easy to replace. You must, however, consider how long those batteries last. Some smart locks promise up to 19 months of battery life, while others consume those batteries within three months. It just depends on how power efficient the smart lock is designed.Power failure backup
Many people think that smart locks stop working when theres power or network outage. The truth is smart locks can function independently without smart home integration and WiFi connection. As long as youre within Bluetooth range, these smart locks will let you have access. Smart home integration is mostly just for convenience and remote access so you can tell Alexa to lock the door because you dont want to get out of bed, for example, or so that you can open the door for a friend from your phone while youre at work.
They are also battery-powered so theyre not reliant on your home electricity. However, its when those batteries run out of juice before you get a chance to replace them thats a common cause for concern. The keyless smart locks often let you use an external battery (whether thats a 9V battery or a USB power bank) to give them enough juice for you to unlock them, go inside and replace the battery. Others still have the manual key access available in case of emergency.
Smart home integration
While smart locks do offer smart home integration, theres quite a few of them that dont exactly make it easy. Typically, you cant just pair them with your Amazon Echo directly without the need for an additional step or accessory. Some dont, but many others will require a hub or a bridge.In addition, they might not even be compatible with the smart home ecosystem youre using. There are quite a few, for example, that arent compatible with Apples HomeKit. Others are not compatible with the Z-Wave system. On the other hand, a handful of smart locks work particularly best with HomeKit, IFTTT or SmartThings.
If smart home integration is very important to you, you must do your research to make sure that the smart lock you pick is compatible with your existing smart home system.
Michelle Rae Uy is a freelance tech and travel writer, part-time production editor, and a full-time traveler from Los Angeles, California. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles, London and the rest of the world. Follow her on Instagram @straywithRae.