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How to choose a smart lock and the best smart lock choices

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Erin L

Erin L

weiser premis kwikset smart lock apple home kit

Smart locks may not be the most interesting pieces of consumer tech, but they are one of the best for security and convenience: They can mean you’re free to head out for a jog without a dangling key ring, easily provide access to guests, or let you double check that you locked your door from anywhere on the planet.

Many smart locks are made by trusted companies like Schlage, Yale, and Kwikset, so you can have confidence that your home will be secure.

If you’re looking to purchase a Smart Door lock, you might be asking yourself: what is the best smart home lock on the market? Which smart locks have deadbolts? Which smart home lock is the safest?

We answer all your questions in the article below:

Things to consider when choosing a smart lock

Most smart locks are direct replacements for your deadbolt, which means installing one is relatively simple. All have built-in Wi-Fi and may be compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Nest, Apple Home Kit, or all three. If you’re using Z-Wave, there’s also locks out there that will be compatible with that smart home protocol too.

When choosing a smart door lock you will want to find one that is compatible with whatever smart home system you already have running. If you don’t have much in the way of smarts in your house, chances are high you are going to need something like a hub, bridge, or other Wi-Fi connected device.

Some locks include a bridge device in the package, while others rely on existing smart home interfaces. In some cases this will be an Amazon Echo Show device, Google Nest Home Hub, or an Apple HomePod or Apple TV. Read the specifications on your new smart home lock to ensure are bringing home will actually be able to talk to your home’s Wi-Fi.

How do I access a smart lock?

There are almost as many ways to unlock a smart door lock. Some use a keypad or touchscreen and allow you to punch in a number code, some used biometrics like a fingerprint, while other snart locks for homes let you use your smartphone to unlock the door, or you can even enable geofencing, which will automatically unlock the door when your cell phone approaches, and lock it when it detects the phone has left a small geographic area.

Some have an emergency key, and some don’t have a keyhole at all, making all these smart door locks “unpickable.”

Can you hack a smart lock?

Companies have thought of this; and as a result have built-in safeguards to prevent nefarious characters from accessing your home. Back in the day, a prowler could simply shout trough an open window, “Hey Siri, open the front door,” and that was that. But technological improvements mean this is now a lot less likely. Even so, since smart door locks are computers and computers all have vulnerabilities, it pays to choose a reputable brand with two factor authentication.

What’s the best smart lock?

Similar to buying an outfit, picking the finest smart door lock relies on how you want to use it. You should also think about how confident you are in the security of the installation. Some locks, like the August smart lock, are quite simple to install and simply slide over the back of your existing deadbolt, making them an excellent option for people living in rentals. Others require you to place replace both the front, back, and core elements of your deadbolt, making the job a bit more intimidating for some. Of course you can always call a professional locksmith for assistance as most of them these days are quite adapt at installing many different types and styles of smart lock.

One other option to consider is a smart lock that is built into the door knob or handle. These can be a simple upgrade for some thing like a bathroom or storage room, and can mean you don’t need to drill extra holes.

Here are some of the coolest, safest and best smart door lock models (and one bonus entry with some James-Bond-level tech on board)

Best smart locks

Weiser Premis

weiser premis kwikset smart lock apple home kit

I installed Weiser Premis back in 2018, and it’s still going strong in our home. You can check out my full review of Weiser Premis, but it’s been reliable, easy to use and it performs admirably. We can open the door with a keycode, physical key, or using the Weiser app on a smartphone. Plus I can generate special keys for delivery people or visitors, and Grant access only during certain parts of the day if I want to. With a special security feature that randomizes the digits you press on the keypad, this makes it hard for a thief to potentially see fingerprint smudges your passcode.

Schlage Encode Plus Century Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt with WiFi

This smart lock is compatible with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit, and iOS devices, making it one of the simplest smart locks to install. This smart lock has built-in Wi-Fi, meaning it connects to your home network without additional bridges or fiddly programming. There’s a good chance there’s already a Schlage lock on your door, so replacing the old deadbolt with your new smart lock won’t be too tricky.

The lock comes in two trim lines, the more traditional “Camelot” and a mid-mod “Century” model. The keypad is “fingerprint resistant,” making it harder to guess which keys you press more frequently. This popular lock might be tricky to track down during the global chip shortage.

Google Nest x Yale Wi-Fi Smart Lock

Yale is another reliable lock brand; you’ll get an easy setup with your Google Nest system. Using the Nest app, you can control entry and set up passwords from anywhere. A unique feature is the ability to create entry schedules as well. You can also set the Google Nest X Yale smart lock to notice when you’re away and lock up automatically.

There is no physical key for this particular lock. Yale says eliminating the key makes the lock unpickable (make sure your batteries are topped up, so your lock doesn’t lose power and leave you stranded outside). While Apple and Amazon connectivity are out, the lock does feature Bluetooth for control of basic features from your phone.

August Smart Lock

August smart lock pro review how toAn affordable and easy to install choice, the August Smart Lock uses Bluetooth and the August app to control the usual features. Bluetooth only works at close range, so guests will also need the August app. If you would prefer Wi-Fi, you can purchase a Wi-Fi bridge separately, or go for August’s package what has one included.  August is a great choice for folks who are too intimidated to remove and replace their deadbolt, for renters, or for anyone who has an oddly sized door or hardware. We reviewed the August Smart Lock Pro and found it easy to install, easy to use and highly capable and secure.

The August Smart Lock uses your existing single-cylinder deadbolt, which means you can keep your keys and use the original door hardware; if you’re renting, this might be a perfect solution). It also means no keypad taking up space on your door.

Kwikset Obsidian Keyless Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt

Another affordable option from a reliable lock brand, the Kwikset Obsidian lock, is an especially good choice for those who rely on their Alexa systems or use a Z Wave smart home/ security system. If you aren’t using some kind of smart-home integration, this wireless gate lock functions as a simple, reliable, and un-pickable keyless entry system. You’ll be able to have the lock recall up to 16 separate entry codes- plenty for most.

The Kwikset Obsidian wireless gate lock has a clean and minimal design. The “Secure Screen” feature of this lock helps prevent criminals from guessing your entry code: Before you enter your code, the lock will guide you to enter a series of random digits so your fingerprints will be evenly spread out across the surface of the keypad, and if anyone does happen to be watching they won’t be able to discern the key code either.

If this seems a bit frustrating for quick entry, this feature might be best for folks who prioritize serious security. On that note, since this lock is keyless, you’ll be glad to know it has a thoughtfully designed backup battery to keep it running.

Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro WiFi Review

Bonus Cool Spy Offering: Stepping outside of the big names in locks, consider the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro WiFi for some of the coolest features in smart locks, and Z-Wave integration if you’re keen on that. If you’re looking for a fingerprint door lock in Canada at a reasonable price point, this is your lock.

With all the usual Wi-Fi features, the Ultraloq also has six different ways to open your door: Use the app, the keypad, the physical key, your Apple Watch, “Magic Shake” to wave your phone at the lock, or use fingerprint ID. Behind the keypad is where you’ll find the secret door. A small number of customers have had difficulties during software installation and upgrade processes, but this is to be expected from any smart gadget.


**A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

Enjoyed reading this article? View more detailed Smart Home Tech Reviews on our website.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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