The best smart locks make forgetting your keys far less of a nightmare, as they let you unlock or lock the door with your smartphone, or thanks to integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit, with your voice too. So in the same way you might ask your voice assistant to switch off the lights and turn off the TV, you can also ask it to secure your front door - making heading off to bed a lot quicker.
The best smart locks on the market are not only super effective, but they also look like designer furnishings that lend a touch of style to your front door. There’s a wide variety of different types available too; including traditional-looking locks that don’t appear smart from a first glance to touch screens that do away with the keyway entirely. The key here is to find which smart lock works well for you, your door, and your home.
Many of the best smart locks will also integrate with other smart security products including the best home security cameras and the best video doorbells to ensure that you don’t even need to get your key out of your pocket when you arrive home.
We've put together this guide to the best smart locks on the market. But, unlike these products, you don't need a special code to access our expert advice about which lock is right for you.
UPDATE: Apple recently announced that iOS 15, the next version of the iPhone operating system which is due to be released in late 2021, will offer a digital keys feature. If you have a HomeKit compatible smart lock, you’ll be able to store a digital key in the Wallet app and unlock your front door with just a tap. You’ll even be able to share these digital keys with other Apple IDs in the same way you might lend them a physical key when they’re checking in on the dog, or moving the post if you’re on holiday.
The Nest x Yale lock integrates with other Nest smart home products, such as the Nest Learning Thermostat and its range of home security cameras including Nest Cam Outdoor so this device extends well beyond your front door.
Setup is often a sticking point when it comes to smart locks, but the Nest x Yale lock is easy to install and connect to your internet (if you spring for Nest Connect, that is). The lock features a keypad on the outside, so you punch in a code to enter your house, rather than insert a key. This is great if your keys are shoved way down in your pockets or purse.
One neat feature is one-touch locking, which allows you to lock your door just by pressing the Yale logo. To unlock with the same method, you press the logo again, then follow a few more steps before your door is opened to you. There's also the option to have the Nest x Yale lock at a pre-set time, especially helpful if you often forget to lock your door at night.
The Next x Yale lock is available in Satin Nickel, Oil Rubbed Bronze and Polished Brass, so no matter what your style is, you should find something that fits.
Read the full review: Nest x Yale Smart Lock
The Schalge Sense is another easy to install and use smart lock, though its size runs a bit on the bulky side.
You can lock and unlock your doors straight from the app, or by entering codes on the keypad. There's a deadbolt on the inside portion of the lock for when you want to lock the door from inside your home.
Using the app, you can create and delete codes, convenient if you want to generate codes for house guests. However, to use this feature, you will need to do so over Wi-Fi or via the lock's built-in Bluetooth. In our own testing, we used the app to lock our front door at night, after we'd already gotten into bed and under the covers.
The app leaves something to be desired, and you'll need patience to deal with dropped connections from time to time.
The Schlage Sense works with Apple's HomeKit, so you can control your lock using devices like an Apple TV, iPad or HomePod speaker through the HomeKit app.
The lock also supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, allowing you to use just your voice to unlock and lock the device.
Read the full review: Schlage Sense Smart Lock
The August Smart Lock Pro is one of the best looking smart locks on the market, though from the outside, you would never know it's there.
That's because your deadbolt looks exactly the same on the exterior (in fact, it's the same one you've always had), while the August Smart Lock Pro puck sits on the inside. This makes for a discreet lock that still lets you use your existing keys, if you so choose.
Using the August app, you can see whether your door is closed and locked. If you've left the house and are approaching it again, the device will automatically unlock when you're 20-30 feet from your door, granting you easy, keyless access.
Conversely, the lock will automatically bolt into place if you leave the house in a rush, and you can check that your door is secure using your smartphone.
You can also send keyless codes to visitors or anyone who is dropping by your home on a regular basis, and track who is coming in and out of your door. Finally, you can control the August Smart Lock Pro with the voice assistant of your choice: Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant.
You will need a Wi-Fi bridge in order to unlock the full potential of the August Smart Lock Pro, and a device called the Connect is included when you purchase the lock.
Read the full review: August Smart Lock Pro
The Kwikset Obsidian is a great-looking smart lock. It hugs tight against the door for a low profile, and has a glassy sheen that adds a touch of elegance to any door. It's completely keyless, with only a touchscreen for entering access codes. You can create up to 16 logins for family and friends.
The lock also includes a patented Kwikset safety feature called SecureScreen that basically prevents someone from seeing where you've touched the screen to input your code (it generates random digits that you have to press before entering your actual entry code).
This is to prevent someone from simply looking at where your fingerprint smudges are and copying the code that way. The Kwikset Obsidian stands out from the smart lock crowd in more ways than one.
It may look like a straight-forward lock, but that's the appeal of the Ultion Smart – at first glance, it appears like a traditional lock, one that wouldn't appear out of place on any old door.
But the Ultion is packed full of tech, from voice-activation to geo-locking, even working with an Apple Watch as its key. And there's still the option of using a real key, too, should your connectivity fail. For home rental owners, like AirBnB users, it's compatible with a wireless keypad for PIN access as well.
The Ultion SMART Bluetooth model is available to purchase for £229, whilst the Zigbee/Z-Wave model costs £259 and the Apple HomeKit version is £259.
Find out more at the Ultion Lock website.
How do smart locks work?
Smart locks are keyless devices that connect to your home Wi-Fi and can be opened by your smartphone, some also come with a keypad so a code can be entered to unlock it too. Most smart locks work with voice assistants such as Alexa or Google Assistant so you can use your voice to unlock them too.
Some smart locks replace your existing lock completely, so you’ll need to be confident with DIY if you want to install them yourself, while others simply fit over the existing lock and require far less DIY.
Many of the best smart locks can be used with smart home hubs, such as the best smart speakers and smart displays, to create home automations. For example, you can secure your smart lock and arm your home security cameras with one command, or at a certain time if you’re leaving the house, or perhaps going to bed. It’s worth noting that not all smart locks will work with all voice assistants and smart home hubs, so if you already have an established smart home, check a device is compatible before you buy.
Are smart locks safe?
Like any internet-connected device, there is a risk that smart locks could be hacked. However some good security practices will help minimize the risk. If there’s a default password on the smart lock, always change it and opt for a unique password, avoiding duplicating passwords from other accounts, and using a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Ensure it doesn’t contain personally identifiable information either. Make sure you home Wi-Fi also has a strong secure password and the firmware for smart lock is up-to-date and smart locks
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