Smart locks are often considered one of the most important additions to a smart home. On top of unlocking the door without a key, you can also track the comings and goings of all visitors to your home. Most smart locks will also allow you to assign special privileges to different people like friends, family members, or service personnel. There are also a few smart locks that can be commanded by voice and other outlier features that are maybe a little ahead of the curve.
What to Look For
When shopping for a smart lock one of the most important considerations is of course, the price. Paying for a smart lock is a lot more expensive than paying for a traditional lock after all and nobody wants to pay the same amount for the same thing. That’s why it’s important to figure out exactly which features are important toward your goals and then comparing those desired features between different smart lock brands.
There are “budget” smart locks out there, but they have pretty limited features and in our opinion aren’t really that smart. For the most part if you’re looking for the ability to control your lock from your phone and have other features like push and email notifications, voice control, or tamper alarms then you’ll probably have to spend somewhere between $200 and $300.
Most smart locks are going to have their own proprietary mobile app and have a feature where you can unlock the door with a simple tap of an icon on your phone. They usually have more robust features that allow you to set things like access schedules and temporary access codes. These types of features are already seen in almost all vacation rental homes across the country.
There are some smart locks that still run on Bluetooth which will have a pretty short range and is not ideal. Most smart locks these days however will connect directly to your homes Wi-Fi and will be controllable from virtually anywhere. While this does raise some security concerns, most smart locks are starting to make outside connectivity an optional feature that can be disabled or enabled at will.
As far as voice unlocking goes don’t get too excited, it doesn’t actually recognize your voice or anything, but you can tell your phone to open and it will send that command to your door. It is still essentially the same thing and can be very handy, especially if all of your hands are full and you can’t get your phone out. Another cool feature you can use with your phone is the geofencing features. Geofencing basically detects your proximity to the lock via your cell phone and automatically unlocks the door when you get near.
Installing your Smart Lock
Smart locks are generally designed to replace standard door locks and have the same standard pre-drilled holes so you don’t have to worry about drilling any holes in your wall. Then it’s really just a matter of placing the mounts and then screwing it in. It most likely won’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes. The hardest part of installing a smart lock is integrating into your smart home features and getting the apps set up how you want them and that’s not really all that difficult.
There really are an almost unlimited amount of possibilities when it comes to smart home integration. You’ll likely want to take advantage of the IFTTT functionalities of your smart lock and integrate with your security system. Having a smart lock integrated with home security like Protect America is an intimidating and formidable combination to any would-be burglar. Throw in a camera or two and you might as well keep your money under your mattress.
Best Smart Locks for 2018
For the best smart locks we’re going to be comparing price, features, and usability. Obviously there will be other factors to consider, like battery life, but most of the top end smart locks are going to have hashed out most of the negative bugs in their product, so this review will mainly focus on features.
1. August Smart Lock, HomeKit-enabled
The August Smart Lock is by far the best in the business and in our opinion is the best looking too. This smart lock just does everything a little bit better than the competition. Their app preforms better and is easier to use, the lock is easier to install, and it integrates with more third party systems.
2. Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth Deadbolt
The cool thing about the Kwikset Kevo is how they handle the geofencing capabilities. The lock will detect the presence of your cell phone and then when you wish to unlock the front door, you simply tap the lock with a finger. The lock has a ring light around in key hole and when the lock is tapped it will light up and indicate when it is done unlocking, making a pretty impressive display.
The drawback of the Kevo is that it might not always work. Every now and then you might find yourself having to tap it a couple times before it unlocks. Not a huge problem, especially considering that it doesn’t happen very often, but if someone who doesn’t have the physical key and it refuses to open that could cause a lot of issues.
Smart Lock Home Security
For integrating your smart lock to your home security system, the August lock is going to be by far your best option. That’s why Protect America not only integrates the August Lock into their security system, but they also sell August locks on their store. If you’re in need of some home protection you can talk to an expert security consultant today or get a free quote!