These days, many people are turning to “smart home” solutions, ranging from thermostats to electronic assistants, to light and door control. This week, I reviewed the Danahome Danalock V3 smart lock. The is V3 a sleek looking deadbolt replacement that relies on your smartphone to open and control it. The unit comes only in a brushed steel color, so likely won’t match your door hardware in color, if you’re picky about that sort of thing.
Setting up Danahome V3 smart lock
Out of the box, the Danalock V3 is fairly quick to set up. Once you’ve installed the 6 CR123A batteries, the instructions will guide you through the process of installing the app and then setting up the lock by using a paper clip or SIM card tool. It’s an odd process, but not a complicated one. Inserting the pin to hit a small button puts the lock into pairing mode and essentially gives the lock a series of instructions that it will use to talk to your phone. After completing that process, you can control the lock with your smartphone using the app.
How to install the Danalock V3 smart lock on your door
The installation of the lock should take about 10-15 minutes, depending on what kind of hardware you have in place already. There are number of backing plates that should work with whatever type of deadbolt you have, as well as a plastic insert which will allow you to use your existing door hardware (there are 3 different adapter-inserts, again depending on which type of deadbolt you have). You’ll tape the front part of your deadbolt in place, and remove the back part, which is replaced by the V3. This allows you to still be able to unlock the deadbolt with the original key, which is actually pretty convenient.
The V3 also has an electronic assist, meaning when you go to throw the deadbolt from the inside, you just need to give it the slightest of pushes, and it does the rest for you.
Using Danalock V3 smart lock
Once in place, the V3 can be controlled from the app, which, aside from doing the job of locking and unlocking the deadbolt, isn’t very robust. There is a tracking feature so you can see who locked and unlocked via the app, but it doesn’t do much else. But maybe it doesn’t need to?
Danalock V3 smart lock security & operation speed
The lock uses WPA512 security, meaning it’s quite unlikely anyone would be able to hack the lock.
I had no issues locking or unlocking the deadbolt, even remotely. The unlocking movement happens pretty much instantly, and I had no issues with any delay, though you’re at the mercy of your Wi-Fi/remote connection. Additional family members would also need the app as well as the ID for the lock (uploaded to the app via QR code). Sharing lock codes worked fine for our family.
You can add either a “permanent guest” (this person always has access to lock, but can’t add other users), or a temporary guest, where you set a time window, so you could give the babysitter access between x and y, but not “every wed between 2-4” (at least as far as I can tell.)
You can also use Siri to lock or unlock the door, but you do need an AppleTV for this function to work; this is what lets your phone talk to the door. When I asked via the iPhone for Siri to open up, it worked great.You can also check the status of your lock on your Apple TV if you like.
Overall review of Danalock V3 smart lock
I’m not certain that the smartlock made things that much easier for me, though I can see how it would be useful if you have a need to remotely lock and unlock your door.
Danahome claims that having your phone within range of the lock will allow it auto unlock, though I wasn’t able to make the lock do this. This could be an issue, depending on how your setup works, and how close you end up getting to your door. It also creates the issue of “what do I do if I don’t have my phone, or if it’s dead”. While one can still use the original key, I suspect people would stop carrying one once the smartlock was in use.
Danalock V3 sells for around $300, which is on the higher end of smart lock pricing, so it’s definitely not for everyone. But if you do need to keep tabs on who’s coming or going, or you have folks like contractors,a housekeeper, nanny or the like coming and going and you’d rather not have the keys being passed around, the Danalock lock is a good choice.
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