Are you tired of misplacing your keys or losing your keys? Does your home need multiple keys? Are you worried about whether your children reach home? Are you afraid of burglars? The solution for all of these fears is a Smart Lock.
Smart Locks are an innovation in home security. You need a smart lock for a smart home. While houses are made smart with voice commands and Wi-Fi, doors need to become smart with smart locks. Smart locks allow you to lock or unlock your door with one click on your mobile or a voice command to a home assistant or entering a passcode. Smart locks can solve it all.
Smart locks allow you to lock and unlock doors from your mobile app. You can give specific passcode to a specific person to let them in and receive notifications when they enter or exit. Some smart locks can even detect your proximity and unlock themselves. You can even check, lock or unlock your doors with voice commands. If paired with Doorbell Camera then you can allow delivery person or guests inside your home from wherever you are.
What do you look for, when you are buying a smart lock? Well if you are not so sure, let us help you find the best fit for you.
Access codes for everyone
Many of the smart locks have different passcodes for different people which helps you handle it easily. To stop a particular person’s access just delete his passcode and be done. If you have a single passcode for everyone, then it needs to be changed every time you wish to remove someone’s access. Multiple access codes make it easy to add access and remove access for a person.
One-tap to unlock
Usually, smart locks provide more than one way to open the door and invariably there will be one tap open. Just one click on the mobile app can lock or unlock your door. If it is Bluetooth based, the range may be limited, but with Wi-Fi locks, you can lock or unlock your door from literally anywhere. You can also check whether your door is locked or not.
Sensing the fingerprint
Some smart locks even provide you fingerprint access, making it easy to unlock doors. This is also helpful when you are unlocking the door in front of guests or visitors without fearing they might look at your passcode.
Smarter ways to unlock
Many of the smart locks live up to their name with a smarter way to open the door known as proximity unlock. These devices unlock the door recognising your arrival without you even actually touching the door. This makes it easy for you to enter when your hands are full of groceries or baggage. Some smart locks will unlock when you shake your mobile in front of your lock even though your mobile is locked. Some smart locks open with voice control and some with a key card. Some smart locks even have a mechanical key to unlock for an emergency override.
However some of these might be counter-productive. If you leave your mobile near the door by chance, then the proximity unlock feature unlocks the door and leaves it that way. If someone gets your mobile, they can enter your home without even unlocking your mobile, if your smart lock has proximity unlock or magic shake feature. These comfort come at the cost of security and it might even be better to avoid them.
Mobile Application and Alerts
Many Smart locks integrate with a mobile application and provide live updates whenever your door is locked or unlocked. With different passcode locks, you can even know who entered and who left and when they did. The mobile app allows you to unlock and lock your door from anywhere for most of the smart locks.
Smart locks run on batteries. It is advisable to look for emergency overrides before buying them to make sure you won’t be locked inside your home if you don’t have replacement batteries.
Integrate with smart homes
Smart locks are made to integrate with specific smart homes. So, it is essential to look at the compatibility of a smart lock with your smart device before buying it. Most of the smart locks integrate well with Google and Alexa.
Integrate with smart doorbell
You can integrate a smart lock with doorbell camera and make it better. You can allow guests inside your home with your mobile while you are away. You can create a passcode instantly and allow a delivery person in and remove that passcode once he places the package and leaves.
Made for easy installation
Most of the smart locks are easily installable and does not require any professional help or equipment. Even then some of the companies offer free help or paid help for installation. Since tutorials for installing every kind of smart locks are available on the internet, these might not be necessary.
Choosing the right one
Last but not the least is that we need to choose lock depending on the existing door lock type and its dimensions. There is no meaning in purchasing a lock that doesn’t fit your door, existing lock and the latch.
Best Smart Locks in the market
Having looked at features and working of Smart Locks, now let us look the best Smart Locks in the market and compare and contrast them.
Image credit – Yale
Combining the Technology of Nest and experience of Yale comes the product Nest x Yale lock. It exceeds expectations of a smart lock and doesn’t disappoint at all. You can lock and unlock your door from anywhere using your mobile. There is also an option for auto-lock. The best feature is that you can have different passcodes for different people and the ability to add or remove them from your mobile anywhere, anytime. If a delivery comes when you are away all you need to do is create a new passcode allow them in and once they leave, just remove it.
Image credit – August
August Smart Lock Pro is truly a smart lock as it opens the door on its own when you approach the door. Though it has features which allow you to use your mobile or Apple watch to open the door, it also has this special feature of proximity unlocking i.e., unlocking when it recognises that you are approaching. It integrates with Alexa, Google, Siri, Homekit and Z-wave plus. Biometric verification is also available with Wi-Fi Lock operations. It is also worth noting that it has security features such as Two-factor authentication and Two-layer encryption.
Image credit – Ultraloq
Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro comes with 6 ways to open your door. These are fingerprint sensing, code, mobile phone, mechanical key, auto-unlock and magic shake. Though it is a smart lock, it has a mechanical key under for people who like traditional ways. Fingerprint sensing and auto-unlock are also helpful ways to unlock. The highlight is that it can be opened by shaking your mobile (locked) in front of the lock to open it. It has dual data encryption for security and micro USB for emergency charging.
Image credit – Schlage
Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadlock is a smart lock with mechanical lock embedded. You can use traditional keys as well as passcodes. Notifications on mobile every time the door is locked or unlocked, helps you know who is entering and who is leaving your home. These locks work on battery and connect directly to your home Wi-Fi. It integrates well with Alexa, Google, Key, Schlage and Ring. These devices are available in two styles and two colours to match your liking.
Simplisafe Smart Lock is a simple smart lock with high-security features. It notifies you whenever someone locks or unlocks the door and when there were five wrong PIN attempts. With 15 wrong attempts, your house will be locked for thirty minutes. With the monitoring plan, it also calls you and informs the police of a break-in. You can lock or unlock your door from your mobile and also with the timer it can lock automatically. You can have unique one-time access codes for guests. Easy installation is one special feature available on any SimpliSafe device.
Comparing the Best ones
|Product||Nest x Yale lock||August Smart Lock Pro + Connect||Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro||Schlage Encode||SimpliSafe Smart Lock|
|Type||Touchscreen deadbolt||Touchscreen deadbolt||Touchscreen keypad||Touchscreen deadbolt||Touchscreen|
|No. of Keycodes||20||220||120||100||1|
|Smart home compatibility||Nest||Alexa, Apple, IFTTT||Alexa, Google, IFTTT||Google, Alexa||Alexa|
|Notifications and alerts||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Warranty||None||1 year||1.5 years||3 years||None|
|Installation||Interior & Exterior||Interior||Interior & Exterior||Interior & Exterior||Interior|
Having looked at various locks, It is time for you to choose the one that fits your needs as well as your door. While tech companies bring these smart products to market, we bring these writings to you, both to make your life more secure and comfortable.