Which Smart Front Door Lock is Best?
A smart front door lock removes the need for a traditional key, letting you operate your deadbolt with a password, app or fingerprint scanner. But which models are best?
The Wyze Lock offers the best bang for your buck. It’s easy to install, stylish and integrates well with your existing deadbolt. Its nifty geofencing capabilities are a nice touch, too.
Control from Anywhere
Chances are you’ve forgotten your keys or locked yourself out on more than one occasion. With a smart lock, you can control your door from anywhere. Simply open the app, enter your code, and unlock. You can also grant temporary access to guests or trusted service professionals with the option to revoke virtual keys at any time.
The best smart locks will work with most popular home-automation systems, such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Some of these smart front door lock smart locks will even let you use your voice to lock the door. Others have integrations that allow you to do more than just lock the door; some will arm your security system, turn off lights, or adjust your thermostat.
If you don’t have a smart home hub device, a good solution is to buy a smart lock that has Wi-Fi built in and can connect to your existing network. You’ll still need a separate hub for other smart home devices, such as a security system or a smart speaker, but it will give you the full remote-control capability that you want from your smart lock.
One of the best options for a smart lock that doesn’t require a hub device is the August Smart Lock, which works with most major platforms and comes in several finishes. This lock fits right over your current deadbolt, so it’s a great choice for renters or homeowners who don’t want to make permanent changes to their doors.
Unlock with a Code or Biometrics
There are plenty of smart lock options out there, and each takes a different approach to keyless entry. Some use a number keypad that let you enter without a smartphone, while others allow you to add custom access codes for family members and other visitors. Some even include fingerprint scanning to unlock with a single tap.
You can also get a smart lock that integrates with your home security system, so you can monitor and control the lock from your phone or tablet and have it notify law enforcement or your home security company if the door is opened by someone unauthorized. Some models have extra features that help protect your home even further, like a back-lit keypad to prevent fumbling in the dark or an anti-theft bump guard to make it harder for criminals to jam a standard key into a deadbolt and break into your house.
Mobile alerts can be a great feature to have in a smart lock, particularly if you have kids who might forget to lock the door or if you want to keep track of when your guests are arriving and leaving. Look for a model that lets you create a variety of temporary virtual keys and set schedules so you can be sure your house is secure even when you’re not there.
Save Money on Lock Replacements
A smart lock lets you remotely control who has access to your home, and can be a godsend when you forget that you locked the door or need to let in a housesitter or pet walker. You’ll also never need to worry about giving your kids or a friend a key again, or having them leave your keys somewhere, and you can keep track of who comes and goes in an app on your phone.
Some models offer backup means to get in if you don’t have your smartphone with you, or the batteries run down. For example, Yale’s Real Living locks have external posts where you can attach a 9-volt battery to give you enough power to open the lock from the outside. Others still allow for a traditional key cylinder in the event of an emergency.
The best smart locks integrate seamlessly into your existing hardware, with no exterior changes. Those include the Kwikset SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt, which doesn’t even connect to your Wi-Fi or require a hub. It adds a numeric keypad and designated lock button smart front door lock to your existing deadbolt, letting you give family members and house or pet sitters codes instead of distributing extra physical keys. Other options, such as the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect, replace your existing lock’s back and interior hardware but add a motor that you can operate with your phone and support Wi-Fi directly or through a compatible gateway device (like a smart home hub). You’ll also find retrofit smart locks, such as the Level Lock+, which uses the interior portion of your current lock to conceal the smarts inside.
Keep an Eye on Your Home
The best smart lock systems allow you to be completely ‘in the know’ about your home security. For example, you can see who has come in and out through the door and even if the door is open when you’re not home. This peace of mind is priceless, and it’s becoming a must-have for many homeowners.
You can also set up guest codes to let workers, babysitters and pet sitters in with just a tap on your smartphone. This can save you time and the hassle of finding a key, and it’s especially useful if you have multiple people coming in and out at different times. Some smart locks also offer geofencing, which lets you set a radius that will automatically lock the door once your phone leaves the range.
You’ll want to look for a smart lock that works with your other smart home devices. This can be accomplished through Bluetooth, Zigbee or Z-Wave, and most models also have a standard plug that allows you to connect to a hub device like the Samsung SmartThings or Amazon Echo or Apple HomePod Mini. Some smart locks are compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, allowing you to lock your door simply by using voice commands.