Security

Go Beyond Security: The Top 5 Smart Locks for 2017

(Last Updated On: July 14, 2017)

Smart locks go beyond just security.  So if you are planning to get one for your home, know the featuresyou need.  There are different kinds of smart locks, such as those with or without keypads and those that offer an optional keypad like the August Smart Lock.

Keypads are great if you want to give other members of your family or friends their own codes so that they could enter your house on their own.  But these locks might take up a bigger space.  There are also smart locks with a built-in alarm, which is great to deter would-be burglars from forcibly opening your lock.

There are also locks that need a smart hub so that you would be able to open themusing your smartphones, and some would have their own mobile app, too.

What are the best smart locks you should be checking out for 2017?

1. Kwikset Smartcode 916

Kwikset Smartcode 916 Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt looks like your traditional lock but has a touchscreen on top of the key hole.  The capacitive touchscreen allows you to enter your house just by keying in your pass code. No more fumbling for keys.

It also features one-touch locking and can accommodate up to 30 user codes.  You have a master code that would allow you to set your preferences, add user codes into the system, and delete codes from it.  It uses 128 bit encryption technology as well as the SmartKey technology.

As far as security certifications go, it is BHMA grade 2 certified, and it has UL certification for its 20-minute fire rating.

You would also appreciate how it protects you from lock bumping with its side locking bar.

Installing your Kwikset Smartcode 916 is very easy.  It takes just minutes to install everything, using only a screwdriver.  It also fits most standard doors without the need to bore more holes.  Plus, Kwikset offers you different finishes such as lifetime polished brass, satin nickel, and Venetian bronze.

The design is also eye-catching, sleek and modern.  It looks robust and secure, and it is very apparent that Kwikset spent a lot of time in the design. More importantly, it is relatively smaller than most other smart locks, so it takes up a smaller space.

When it comes to smarts, the Kwikset Smartcode 916 works well with Z-Wave devices.  That means that you can remotely unlock or lock your Kwikset, set up multiple pass codes for different people, and even have a set schedule for when these locks would work.

You can give a pass code to your cleaning lady that would work only during daytime hours, and you can strictly enforce curfews for your teenagers!  You can also connect your Kwikset Smartcode 916 to ZigBee hubs.

2. Schlage Sense

Schlage Sense is a smart lock that works with Bluetooth and has a touchscreen display that you can control with your iPhone or iPad provided you also have Apple TV.

It has a very modern design and you can choose from either the Camelot or Century style.  It also comes in a variety of finishes, allowing you to choose the best design for your doors.

To unlock the door using the keypad, you simply have to press the Schlage logo and key in your pass code.  If you enter the correct pass code, you will see a green check mark, but if you enter it wrong, you will be greeted by a red X mark.

Schlage Sense allows you to go keyless, while also allowing you to give out 30 pass codes to friends and family.  Installation is easy, as well, with helpful videos that can teach even a beginner how to properly set up the deadbolt lock.

Schlage Sense works only with iOS devices, which can be a bit of a bummer for those who have Android phones.  You would need the mobile app in order to make the process of setting up and programming the Schlage Sense easier.

The mobile app also gives you a log of when the locks were opened and by whom, as well as the status of the lock.  It also makes remotely opening or closing the lock possible.

If you have the Apple Homekit, you can use Siri to lock or unlock your doors.  More than this, Schlage Sense can also integrate with Philips Hue, ecobee3, and Canary.

Nevertheless, it is very secure as evidenced by its Grade 1 certification from the BHSA and ANSI.  Having the ability to remotely control your lock either via Bluetooth or integration with Apple TV is also a big plus, on top of having a mobile app that keeps things simple.

3.Yale Real Living Touchscreen Deadbolt

The Yale Real Living Touchscreen Deadbolt has a modern, sleek and sophisticated look.  It talks to you and has very easy-to-use controls.

The Yale Real Living Touchscreen Deadbolt functions the same way other smart locks do and it needs Z-Wave to work with other devices.  With Z-wave, you can remotely control the smart lock using any mobile device.

The touchscreen lights up, making it possible to easily enter your pass code at night and you can have as many as 25 codes for your friends and family.  Setting up the device is very easy as it actually talks to you while helping you through the set up process.

The lock has unique features that you would love.  For instance, it has a privacy mode that would disable all codes.  You can set it to automatically lock after a set time once you close your door.

To protect yourself from would-be intruders who might try several codes to get in, you can limit the number of attempts allowed to get the pass code right.  After this many incorrect tries, the lock will shut down.

Yale Real Living Touchscreen Deadbolt has a Grade 2 BHMA rating and features a standard pin and tumbler lock, allowing you to use a key in getting in.

However, Yale Real Living Touchscreen Deadboltis very bulky and can take up a lot of space.  That would hardly matter, though, with its sleek design.

The only disadvantages that you should consider are the facts that the auto lock feature works even when the door is ajar and that it is relatively more expensive than other smart locks with a list price of more than $300 (although lower prices are available on Amazon).

4. August Smart Lock

Compared with the first August Smart Lock, the second generation has a better design, a straightforward user interface, and better performance.  It also installs easily and can integrate with Apple Homekit and Nest.

August Smart Lock looks good with its circular shape.  Unlike the first three smart locks we have reviewed here, August does not have a touchscreen display and is not designed for new doors.

Instead, you retrofit it to your existing deadbolt.  Installing it is very easy.  If you have a compatible deadbolt, you would not need anything more than a screwdriver and around 15 minutes of your time.

August Smart Lock has a companion app for both iOS and Android devices.  The mobile app allows you to remotely lock or unlock your August Smart Lock through Bluetooth.  You can also send virtual keys to other people.  If you need to remotely open your smart lock beyond Bluetooth range, you can buy the August Connect.

Another compatible product from the same manufacturer is the August Doorbell Cam.  Both the Connect and the Doorbell Cam act as a bridge for your smart lock to be able to connect to your Wi-Fi network.

Another option is to use Apple Homekit.  If you have an iPhone, iPad or any other iOS device, you can connect your August Smart Lock to the HomeKit platform so that you could control it along with other connected home devices.  You can even ask Siri to unlock the front door for you.

If you have the need to remotely control your August Smart Lock when you are away from home, you would need Apple TV as a Wi-Fi bridge to do so.

August Smart Lock does not work with SmartThings or Wink.  It does, however, work with Nest, Comcast Xfinity Home, and Logitech Harmony.

The August Smart Lock is a retrofit smart lock that you can use with your current deadbolt.  It gives you the security you need from a traditional lock while also giving you features such as being able to provide virtual keys to other people, auto lock or unlock, and a log of people who enter and exit your house.

It also offers a lot of options for you to remotely unlock your front door no matter where you are, as well as have it work with other devices around the house.

5. Danalock V2

Danalock V2 looks very much like August Smart Lock, and it is also retrofitted into your existing deadbolt.  It is very easy to use and you can use your smartphone.

You can also use either the Twist Assist or userbutton function.  Installation is also fast and easy, plus you can get help from a smart wizard that comes free with the mobile app.

It uses both Z-Wave and Bluetooth.  You can have it work with other connected devices.  For instance, Danalock will be able to turn on all the lights in the living room and in the hallways, once you unlock it at night and then turn off the lights when you leave for work.

Danalock V2 is very secure as it uses the best encryption available now.  You can send unlimited keys to other people, and grant them limited or full access.  You can remotely access your lock and get a log of people who unlocks or locks your front door.

It is more affordable than most of the other locks featured here, but it is also made out of plastic, which may ruin the aesthetics of your doors.

Runners up

The good news about smart locks in 2017 is that there is no shortage of choices.  Some of the other locks that you can consider include:

  • Schlage Connect. Like Schlage Sense, Connect has Grade 1 BHMA certification, making it one of the most secure locks available.  It also has a touchscreen keypad and is very easy to use.  While it does have an auto lock feature, it does not have auto unlock and is not a self-contained smart lock.  It has six available finishes and comes in two design forms: Camelot and Century.  It is compatible with Z-wave devices and has Bluetooth connectivity, but has no native mobile app.

 

  • Kwikset Kevo. Kwikset Kevo has a Grade 2 BHMA certification but does not have a keypad you can, however, use a key fob to unlock your smart lock.  You can give out guest access.  IT does not have both autolock and auto unlock features, and has three finishes to choose from. It works with Honeywell and Nest smart thermostats and Ring Video Doorbell.

 

  • If you are looking for more affordable smart locks for use in doors other than your front door where security is much less a concern, you might want to take a look at MonopriceZ-Wave Electronic Door Lock. One Monoprice Z-Wave Electronic Door Lock sells for $115, but if you are buying two to nine locks, the price goes down to $112.46 each.  It is very easy to use and is the perfect low-cost alternative for interior doors.  It is compatible with Z-wave devices.  However, the lower price means that it does not have all the features and perks that more expensive locks have, such as Bluetooth connectivity, a native mobile app, auto lock and auto unlock.  Most of its features are also accessible only with a smart home platform in place.

Side-by-side comparison: The 5 best smart locks for your home in 2017

The top five smart locks for your home includes some of the most well-known brands in home security.  When it comes to locks, Schlage, Yale and Kwikset are all known heavyweights in the industry and have been in existence for decades.  But that does not mean that newer competitors such as August and Danalock are to be yawned at.

To make it easier for you to decide, here is a table that compares some of their features.There are two retrofit locks among them.  It is difficult to gauge retrofit locks in terms of security because these locks use your existing deadbolts.

As such, it is only as secure as your current deadbolt.  This is the reason why these smart locks do not have a BHMA certification and scores lower on the potential to improve your security on the five-star ratings below.

This is not to say that these locks are not secure, but to say that the security of these locks would depend on your existing deadbolt.

For those smart locks that do have BHMA certification, only Schlage Sense has the highest Grade 1 certification, while Kwikset SmartCode and Yale Real Living has Grade 2 certifications.  Schlage Sense is also the only lock with a three-year warranty on the electronics.

Further, all locks have an auto lock feature, but only Danalock and August have an auto unlock feature.  Other features are listed below:

 

   Schlage Sense Danalock   Yale Real Living August Kwikset SmartCode
Price  $229.00  $149.00  $220.99  $229.00  $189.40
Installation type New Lock Retrofit New Lock Retrofit New Lock
Available finishes 3 1 3 4 3
ANSI/BHMA Grade Grade 1 N/A Grade 2 N/A Grade 2
Keypad
Guest access
Remote access *
Override
Autolock
Auto unlock
Self-contained
Battery life (months) 12 12 12 9 – 12 12
Home automation platform HomeKit Z-Wave; Nest; Harmony Z-Wave Nest; HomeKit; Xfinity; Harmony Z-Wave; ZigBee
Bluetooth
iOS app
Android app
Electronics warranty (years) 3 1 1 1 1
Phone and e-mailsupport
Star Ratings (Five star is the highest)
Improved security 5.00 3.25 4.00 2.75 3.25
Ease of use 5.00 4.75 4.50 4.75 4.00
Support 3.50 3.50 4.00 4.50 3.25
Alerts 5.00 3.75 4.75 2.50 3.00

 

Notes:

* You need to purchase a device that would act as a Wi-Fi bridge.

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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