Selecting the most secure smart lock for your home
Are you tired of carrying a house key with you everywhere you go? Have you spent one too many occasions digging for your keys while wrestling with shopping bags?
Smart locks are an efficient way to remove these hassles from your life by using a code to conveniently keep your home secure. They feature a range of other handy features, such as bioinformatic unlocking and voice compatibility.
Not only do smart locks allow you to access your own home with convenience, but top models like the Yale Assure Wi-Fi Smart Lock also allow you to set personalized codes for all of your most trusted guests so you can stop risking your home’s security by hiding a key under the mat.
Key considerations for smart locks
Smart locks are primarily connected via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Bluetooth-enabled smart locks allow you to control the lock with your phone whenever you’re within range, which is typically between 40 and 300 feet from the lock. Some locks allow you to use a setting that automatically disengages the lock when you walk within range without even requiring that you remove your phone from your pocket.
Locks with Wi-Fi connectivity allow you to control the lock via your laptop or phone using a Wi-Fi connection. This allows you to control your lock remotely, such as from work.
Some smart locks boast easy installation, allowing you to install them similarly to installing an ordinary lock.
A retrofit smart lock uses the existing cylinder and deadbolt hardware attached to your door for easy installation that takes less than 20 minutes.
Some smart locks will require replacing the existing hardware on your door with a new deadbolt and strike plate, which will take a bit longer to install but still shouldn’t require drilling any new holes.
If you’re already using a smart home system, select a smart lock from a manufacturer that offers integration with the other devices in your home, such as your Alexa or doorbell camera.
What to look for in a quality smart lock
One of the most desirable features in a smart lock is the ability to engage and disengage the lock by typing a code into a touchpad, rather than with a physical key. This saves you the hassle of carrying around a bulky key and can also enable you to give guests access to your home with an individualized key code. This comes in handy for occasions like hiring a pet sitter or hosting family.
Your smart lock’s mobile app will allow you to control your lock remotely, add new users and set access schedules that enable set users to access your home at certain times.
Voice command functionality on a smart lock allows the user to disengage the lock by speaking a set phrase within range of the lock.
An activity log displayed in the mobile app will enable you to keep track of when users entered and exited your home.
Some smart locks allow you to enable geofencing in the mobile app. Geofencing uses your phone’s location to detect when you enter and leave a perimeter around your home. This allows your smart lock to lock and unlock automatically when you arrive and depart.
If you have a tendency to forget to lock the door, selecting a model with auto-locking effectively saves you the stress of this security hazard. Auto-locking allows you to set your lock to automatically lock after it’s been left unlocked for a specific amount of time.
Push and text notifications
Be notified immediately when someone accesses your home. Notifications will alert you when someone disengages the lock, so you’ll know when your kids arrive home from school, for example, or keep track of when a contractor arrived in your home.
A tamper alarm will alert you if someone attempts to enter your home by forcibly pulling your smart lock’s keypad off the door.
Higher-end models may include the capability to use a fingerprint instead of, or in addition to, a key or password.
How much you can expect to spend on a smart lock
Smart locks range in price based on which features they include. A basic smart lock will cost as little as $100. For a mid-range smart lock with essential features like a mobile app, expect to pay up to $200. Smart locks that cost up to $300 and more will include advanced features like biometrics and video cameras.
Smart lock FAQ
Q. Do I need to worry about the battery life on my smart lock running out?
A. Check your smart lock’s battery regularly according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Bluetooth smart locks tend to have a very long battery life, whereas Wi-Fi smart locks will use up battery faster. Your smart lock should include a mechanical backup key, which you can keep somewhere handy, for instance, inside your car or hidden in a lockbox, to ensure you’re never locked out, even if your battery runs out.
Q. What if I lose the physical key that comes with my smart lock?
A. As is the case with a regular lock, a locksmith can typically replace the key mechanism for your smart lock and provide you with new keys without damaging your smart lock.
What’s the best smart lock to buy?
Top smart lock
What you need to know: The Yale Assure is a chic smart lock with an array of functions at a reasonable price.
What you’ll love: This highly integrable model is compatible with Google, Alexa, Airbnb and Apple Homekit, among others. You can create multiple digital keys for guests like family, friends and dog sitters. It also includes auto-lock and unlock functionality.
What you should consider: Some users have reported suffering spotty connectivity.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top smart lock for the money
What you need to know: This is a smart lock with a sleek design and multiple options for disengaging at an unusually competitive price.
What you’ll love: The security features include code hiding technology and a lack of a physical keypad to prevent key bumping. Bluetooth and touchpad access are included.
What you should consider: If you wish to connect to this smart lock using Wi-Fi, you’ll have to purchase an additional device.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This model by Samsung is a well-made smart lock with basic alarm features.
What you’ll love: This lock offers the security features smart lock users look for, with tamper-proofing and alarm functions. It includes both key card and password unlock options.
What you should consider: It lacks many of the features of more modern smart locks, such as remote access, and has a slightly dated design.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Evelyn Waugh writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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