If you’ve ever lost your keys, locked yourself out of your house, or dealt with unwanted guests, a smart lock can be the solution. A smart lock is a device that allows you to lock and unlock your door using your smartphone, voice, fingerprint, or even your face. But before you rush to buy one, it’s important to consider a few things. Not all smart locks are created equal, and some may not work with your door or existing lock. Here are some tips on how to choose the best smart lock for your Smart home.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Smart Lock
Most smart locks can replace your deadbolt and have built-in Wi-Fi, making them compatible with smart home systems like Amazon Alexa, Google Nest, and Apple Home Kit. However, it’s important to ensure compatibility with your existing smart home system or consider purchasing additional devices like hubs or bridges. Some smart locks come with a bridge device, while others rely on existing smart home interfaces like Amazon Echo Show or Apple HomePod. Make sure you check the specifications of the smart lock to ensure seamless integration with your home’s Wi-Fi.
How Do I Access a Smart Lock?
There are several ways to unlock a smart lock. Some locks have keypads or touchscreens where you can enter a code, while others use biometrics like fingerprint recognition. Some smart locks allow you to unlock the door using your smartphone or enable geofencing, which automatically unlocks the door when your cell phone is nearby. Some locks may also come without a keyhole, making them unpickable. Choose a smart lock with the access method that suits your needs and preferences.
Can You Hack a Smart Lock?
Smart lock manufacturers have implemented safeguards to prevent unauthorized access. While no system is completely immune to hacking, reputable brands offer built-in security measures like encryption and two-factor authentication. It’s important to choose a smart lock with these security features and keep the lock’s software updated to minimize the risk of hacking.
Before purchasing a smart lock, ensure that your door and existing lock are compatible. Some smart locks require you to replace your entire lock, while others can be installed on top of your existing deadbolt. Check the measurements of your door thickness, backset, and bore hole to ensure compatibility with the smart lock you’re interested in. Additionally, check if your existing lock is compatible with the smart lock’s app or hub. You may need to purchase a separate hub or bridge to connect your smart lock to your home network or smart home system.
Consider the features you want from your smart lock. Do you want to unlock your door using your voice, fingerprints, or facial recognition? Do you want to grant temporary access codes to guests or service providers? Do you want to monitor who enters and exits your home? Different smart locks offer various features and levels of security. Some smart locks use encryption, biometrics, or two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access. Others come with built-in cameras, alarms, or tamper sensors for added security. Look for features that align with your needs and preferences. Don’t forget to check the battery life, warranty, and customer reviews of the smart lock you’re considering.
Consider your budget when choosing a smart lock. Prices can vary widely, ranging from less than $100 to over $500. The cost depends on the brand, quality, design, and features of the smart lock. While you don’t want to compromise on security and convenience, it’s important to find a smart lock that offers the best value for your money. Take into account installation costs, maintenance costs, and potential energy savings when making your decision.
The Best Smart Locks
If you’re looking for specific recommendations, here are some smart locks that have received positive reviews:
Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro WiFi:
A compact and versatile smart lock with multiple unlocking methods including fingerprint recognition and keypad. The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro WiFi is a versatile smart lock with precision hardware and a pleasing low-profile design. This model has Wi-Fi built in, so it doesn’t require a plug-in Bluetooth bridge like our previous pick, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro. You can unlock the U-Bolt Pro WiFi six different ways, including with a numerical code, using an app, through a physical keyway, and—the pièce de résistance—via fingerprint.
A budget-friendly option that can be installed with an existing deadbolt and has features like a built-in door sensor. If you are a renter and not allowed to change your locks, or if you simply don’t want to change yours for any reason, the Wyze Lock is a low-cost yet full-featured model that connects easily to an existing deadbolt.
The hardware installs quickly, and in our testing it consistently worked well and was whisper-quiet. The package includes a tiny puck-like plug-in Wi-Fi adapter to enable remote access and smartphone notifications. The Wyze Lock offers some impressive features, such as a built-in door sensor that alerts you via a chime and a smartphone notification when someone has left the door open or ajar.
Wyze also sells the Wyze Lock Keypad, a small brick with number buttons that connects wirelessly to the Wyze Lock so you can trigger the lock without relying on an app or geolocation. In our tests the keypad has worked flawlessly, so we recommend it as an upgrade.
Ultraloq Latch 5 Fingerprint:
A smart lever lock that replaces a doorknob and offers fingerprint recognition for quick unlocking. Most front doors have a deadbolt in addition to a doorknob or lever, but for those who don’t have a deadbolt on their door, we recommend the Ultraloq Latch 5 Fingerprint smart lever lock. It’s a full replacement for a doorknob or lever, and like our top pick, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro WiFi, it has a keypad, a fingerprint reader, a hidden physical keyway, and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for remote access via an app.
The Latch 5 is substantially chunkier than any of our other picks, and the touchscreen isn’t as responsive or comfortable to use as other picks’ keypads. Still, the fingerprint reader works well and quickly, the lock mechanism issues a brief and quiet whir, the lock is simple to manage through its app, and because it’s lever-based it’s especially helpful for anyone who has mobility issues, such as difficulty turning a knob.
These smart locks offer a range of features and price points, so you can choose the one that suits your needs best.
Choosing the best smart lock for your home involves considering factors such as compatibility, features, and price. By doing your research and comparing different options, you can find a smart lock that meets your needs and enhances your home security. Don’t hesitate to leave any questions or comments below!
How does a smart lock work?
A smart lock uses electronic components and wireless technology to lock and unlock your door. It can be controlled using a smartphone app, voice commands, fingerprints, or other biometric data.
Are smart locks secure?
Smart locks offer a high level of security with features such as encryption, biometrics, and two-factor authentication. However, it’s important to choose a reputable brand and follow recommended security practices to ensure the highest level of protection.
Can smart locks be hacked?
While no system is completely immune to hacking, smart locks have built-in security measures to protect against unauthorized access. It’s crucial to keep your smart lock’s software up to date and follow best practices for securing your home network.
Can I still use a physical key with a smart lock?
In most cases, yes. Many smart locks allow you to use a physical key as a backup or for compatibility with existing lock systems.
Do smart locks require a Wi-Fi connection?
Not all smart locks require Wi-Fi. Some use Bluetooth, Z-Wave, or Zigbee to connect to devices. However, Wi-Fi is often necessary for remote access and smart home integration.