While classic lock-and-key systems have evolved, the underlying mechanism has mostly stayed the same since the first lock was designed over a thousand years ago: a piece of metal with the right form pushes pins inside a lock into the appropriate location, enabling the lock mechanism to turn. It’s been difficult for society to change a system that has functioned relatively well for millennia.
One of the key features of smart locks is giving someone virtual keys to your door, eliminating the need to worry about someone copying your keys. With a virtual key, you can also set a timetable for when it will work and receive notifications whenever it is used. If you have a dog walker or carer, you may rest certain that they will only be able to enter when you want them to.
If you’re currently looking for a new smart lock, you’ll find plenty of tempting options, many of which are worthwhile.
On the most basic level, the best smart locks will assist you in managing access to your property. They’re wonderful for allowing workers, houseguests, and pet sitters in without requiring a key, and they’re a lifesaver when you get into bed and realize you forgot to lock the door. Aside from that, there are many versions with modern features such as touchpad controls, fingerprint scanners, and built-in sensors that can detect if the door is ever left unlocked.
Here is a list of smart locks released over the years, including several of the most recent types.
Level Lock Touch Edition
If Apple HomeKit compatibility and Siri’s voice controls that come with it are a must-have for your smart lock, the unfortunate thing is that you’ll have fewer alternatives than with other platforms. The promising news is that you still have some fantastic locks to pick from, and we recommend starting with the Level Lock.
The Level Lock costs a little lower than other HomeKit locks, at $249 or less in your selection of four finishes, and it has a creative design that puts all of the electronics inside the deadbolt inside your door; this means you won’t have a big thumb-turn on the interior of your door or a gimmick-looking keyhole on the outside, and it also ensures the Level Lock is as silent as smart locks go because the motor that spins the deadbolt is located within your door.
The Level Lock pairs with your phone through Bluetooth, and a distinctive range-boosting technology performed well in our tests, allowing you to securely control the lock from several rooms away, which other Bluetooth locks could never do.
Kwikset Halo Touch
Although smart locks make it simple to unlock and lock your door with a smartphone or keypad, there are times when you want a regular key. However, if you own a rental property and are concerned that an individual has made many copies, this can be a problem.
The Kwikset Halo has a lock that is extremely easy to use. Furthermore, this lock directly connects to your Wi-Fi network, is Alexa and Google Assistant compatible, and has strong theft-deterrent features integrated into its touchscreen. The Kwikset Halo comes in four different finishes – Iron Black, Polished Chrome, Satin Nickel, and Venetian Bronze. You can have it with a touchpad or a physical, backlit keyboard; the latter is around $50 less expensive.
The Level Bolt smart lock differs from all other smart locks in that its mechanism is fully hidden from view once installed since all of its components perfectly fit within your door. Not only do you not have to ruin the aesthetic of your door with a gadget, but you also do not advertise to others that you have a smart lock. Since the Level Lock works with your door’s hardware, you can still use your keys to unlock and lock the door.
The Level Bolt is compatible with HomeKit, Alexa, and Ring but not Google Assistant. Since Bluetooth is built-in, you’ll need a nearby compatible smart home hub to supervise and control the lock automatically.
Lockly Vision Elite
The $500 Vision Elite from Lockly is considered the most costly smart lock, but its plethora of features and flawless functioning make it worth considering. It would help if you also considered that it minimizes the necessity for a video doorbell and has a numeric keypad, a fingerprint reader, and a traditional key cylinder. It’s the most advanced smart lock we’ve seen, but hiding all its functions beneath an attractive exterior is difficult. It’s also quite pricey.
Bosma Aegis Smart Door Lock
The Bosma Aegis isn’t especially attractive, and its octagonal lock is tough to grip and twist at four inches across. With that, this Wi-Fi-enabled retrofit lock is simple to install, performs well, and includes most of the capabilities found in far more expensive competitors. So, while the Aegis could be more attractive, it carries a lot of punch.
The Aegis instantly connects to the Bosma app through Bluetooth, but if you want to link the unit to Wi-Fi, you’ll need to set up the supplied Bosma Gateway, a simple plug-in bridge that has to be firmly installed somewhere between your door and your router.
While many competitors’ smart locks have recently abandoned a separate bridge in preference of onboard, battery-powered Wi-Fi, which minimizes the number of feasible failure spots, Bosma’s approach works effectively.
The only way to test a smart lock is to place it on your door and observe how effectively it functions. The first consideration is the convenience of installation. Anybody who has a screwdriver and a little know-how should be able to install a smart lock on their front door. Most presently require a Wi-Fi bridge to activate smart locks remotely, which adds another layer to the setup process.
It would help if you also skimmed into what other smart home gadgets work with the smart lock. It should be compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing you to lock your door with your voice and query the assistant to verify that the door is locked. Even better, a completely automated smart home is created when a smart lock can communicate with smart lights and security systems.