Best All-Around Smart Deadbolts (2019 Review)

Nothing is more important than keeping your home safe. Every time you leave the house there is always that question, “Did I remember to lock the doors?” These smart deadbolts make sure you always know the answer. Nothing beats the peace of mind of knowing your deadbolt has locked behind you or being able to check the status of your locks with an app. Advanced features such as allowing multiple users, only allowing certain users access at certain times, activity logging, and more will make you wonder how you ever lived without it.

After reviewing dozens of the most popular locks, we present to you some of our favorites.

The 5 Top-Rated Smart Deadbolts

Editor's PicksDeadboltRating
Best Standalone DeadboltSchlage Encode 4.5
Best Keyless Touchscreen DeadboltYale Assure (YRD256) Connected by August4
Best Automatic Locking DeadboltAugust Smart Lock Pro + Connect 3rd Gen4
Best Deadbolt for Nest UsersNest x Yale Lock with Nest Connect5
Best Biometric DeadboltLockly Secure Plus Smart Deadbolt4.5

* Ratings were taken from Amazon at the time of publication and subject to change.

Best Standalone Smart Lock – Schlage Encode

Key Features

Overall the Schlage Encode one of the best smart deadbolts on the market. This lock comes in two distinct styles sure to look great in your home. The Century provides a more modern approach while the Camelot trim looks a little more classical. Aside from being one of the most aesthetically pleasing locks, it also functions as a completely standalone product. Where most smart locks use Bluetooth to pair with your smartphone, the Schlage Encode uses WiFi. This gives it the ability to connect to your home network for remote monitoring and access. This level of connectivity allows this deadbolt to function without a hub or any other smart home technology. It is slightly more expensive than some of the others, costing approx. $250 at the time of this writing, but it was found to be very reliable and hold up over time.

Thanks to its small interior chassis, installation is a breeze, taking an average of only fifteen minutes and requiring nothing more than a Phillips head screwdriver. Schlage has incorporated their own “Snap n Stay” technology freeing both of your hands during installation. This lock also happened to be one of the quietest locks that we reviewed. The Encode was a large improvement over the Schlage Sense and Connect. That doesn’t mean that this lock isn’t sturdy though. This deadbolt has a nice solid feel and offers a BHMA Grade 1 certification – the highest security rating for a residential lock. The Encode also carries a three-year electronics warranty on top of its limited lifetime warranty on mechanical issues and finish.

The ability to use WiFi as opposed to Bluetooth gives the Encode many advantages over its competitors most notably its compatibility with a wide array of third-party vendors. The Schlage Encode works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Amazon’s Cloud Cam, and Ring security products (via Amazon Key). If you are frequent Amazon shopper, you’ll love this lock’s compatibility with Amazon Key. Simply hook up a compatible security camera and Amazon will deliver your packages on the inside of your house, preventing them from being stolen. The only player left out seems to be Apple’s HomeKit. This WiFi connectivity comes as a double-edged sword, however. Although it gives you unparalleled levels of connectivity, it takes its toll on battery life. The four AA batteries used to power the Encode will need to be replaced about every six months. Fortunately, the Schlage Home app and the touchscreen itself will warn you when your battery begins running low. If it still manages to go dead, you will be able to use the key backup and don’t have to worry about not being bale to get back in. Replacing the battery is easy as can be seen in the following video.

If you’re not quite ready to integrate this deadbolt into your smart home, the touchscreen keypad allows you to come and go without the need to mess with your phone or use voice commands. Up to 100 access pins can be set in the app, allowing guests to come and go. Access for each pin can be limited to certain time windows, ensuring nobody can come in at a time they aren’t supposed to. The activity log will you keep you updated on which passcodes used the lock and at what times. There is also a built-in alarm used to alert you of potential security breaches at the lock. In addition, an auto-lock feature will lock the deadbolt after a preset time interval ensuring you never again have to wonder if you locked the door before you left. It was a little challenging locating the programming instructions but thankfully you will only need to do this once.

For these reasons, the Schalge Encode was voted our top smart deadbolt overall. If you are just entering the world of home automation or a seasoned pro looking for ultimate connectivity, you are sure to enjoy the Encode.

Pros

  • Standalone product – no adapter/hub needed
  • Easy installation
  • Includes an app for locking/unlocking
  • Very quiet performance
  • Compatible with Google, Alexa, Ring, Amazon Key
  • Automatically locks after a chosen time period
  • Logs events for easy viewing

Cons

  • Not compatible with Apple Homekit
  • Very expensive
  • Spotty WiFi could be a problem
  • App can only be controlled by one person

Best Keyless Touchscreen Smart Deadbolt – Yale Assure (YRD256) Connected by August

Yale Assure SL Smart Deadbolt with Smartphone App

Key Features

The Yale Assure SL is a simply great smart deadbolt. The outside of the lock comes with a gorgeous keyless touchscreen in your choice of three colors. The design manages to work well with both newer modern homes and those with more traditional styling. On the inside, you will find a larger metal housing and a compartment for four AA batteries which power the deadbolt. The lock is rated BHMA Grade 2 certified and the components of this lock are built solidly and robust. Yale stands behind their design with a limited lifetime warranty for their deadbolts. The keyless touchpad provides another layer of security by ensuring no unintended entry by bump locks or lock picking techniques. While some worry about a physical key as a backup in the case of dead batteries, the Yale Assure SL solves this problem by allowing a 9V battery to be held to terminals on the underside of the touchpad. The battery will power the lock temporarily, allowing you to enter your passcode and unlock the deadbolt. Hopefully, you shouldn’t have to worry about this problem as Yale has low battery warnings in the smartphone app as well as on the physical touchpad itself.

Yale Assure Deadbolt using 9 Volt battery as backup
Yale Assure Battery Backup

The Assure SL manages to connect to a range of other devices using removable network modules. The lock can be connected to Apple’s HomeKit using the iM1 HomeKit module. The Connected by August module is a little more pricey but gives you access to WiFi and Bluetooth networks allowing you to interface with Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, and the August smartphone app. There is also a ZigBee version that works with Echo Plus and Xfinity Home as well as a SmartThings module to connect with Samsung SmartThings, Wink, or Ring. You can always hold off on a module too and get one later. At first, the idea of additional modules seemed like a drawback, but after spending some time thinking about it, we consider it to be a benefit. The additional flexibility is great if you ever decide to switch tracks and move from one home hub to another. By providing options you are less likely to be cornered in one end of the market and more freely allowed to expand as you wish.

Programming the Yale Assure Deadbolt is simple as well. Up to 250 unique pin codes when a network module is installed. If you opt for the skip the network module the lock can still hold 25 codes, which should be enough for nearly every household. Unfortunately, you cannot assign time slots for individual pins or create temporary expiring codes. The only way to restrict access now is by deleting the individual passcodes. This drawback can always be fixed with a minor update however and we remain hopeful. Privacy mode can be enabled from inside the home. With this feature, even users allowed access will be unable to unlock the deadbolt from the outside. As an additional layer of security, an auto-lock feature can be enabled causing the deadbolt to secure itself after a certain time period.

The lock operated really smoothly and does a good job of handling both digital commands from the touchpad and smartphone app, as well as a manual operation by turning the deadbolt from the inside. The touchpad functions admirably even while wearing gloves. The screen itself remains dark and unlit until the screen is touched. The backlit numbers will last over long periods as opposed to the printed numbers which tend to wear and rub off with use. The touchpad even includes voice prompts alerting you when you’ve taken too long entering a pin or when the lock has been placed in privacy mode. The only real downside we can think of is the unnecessary step of pressing the checkmark to confirm your passcode entry. Aside from this small detail, the touchpad is one of the best that we have reviewed.

Pros

  • Easily integrates with other products
  • Quick installation
  • Quiet operation
  • Compatible with Google, Alexa, Ring, HomeKit
  • Autolock feature included
  • One of the best touchpads available

Cons

  • No way to limit access codes by time windows
  • A little pricey

Best Automatic Locking Deadbolt – August Smart Lock Pro + Connect 3rd Gen

August Smart Lock Pro and Connect Module

Key Features

When you think of smart deadbolt locks, the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect should be the first thing that jumps to your mind. The auto-unlock feature on this deadbolt will make you feel like you’re in the future. As you walk up, the lock will auto-unlock letting you in. If that’s not enough, the lock will then lock itself up again never leaving you to wonder if you remembered to lock that door.

 One of the perks of going with the August Smart Lock Pro is that it will hook up to your existing deadbolt. This lock is compatible with an incredibly wide range of existing deadbolts so you shouldn’t have to worry too much whether it will fit on your door. August makes the installation of the Smart Lock Pro about as easy as it can get, even including adhesive tape to hold up your existing deadbolt. Just tape your existing exterior deadbolt so it doesn’t fall, remove the existing thumb-latch, attach the mounting plate and appropriate adapter, and attach the lock. All together you should be up and running in under 10 minutes. These instructions can be found in the August smartphone app as well as on their website.

The August Home app will allow you to unlock the door from your phone as well as give others permission so that they may unlock the door on their own phones. Inside the app, you can schedule what times people should be able to unlock the deadbolt as well as view an activity log of who has opened the lock and when they opened it. Adding another layer of security is the August Door Sense sensor. This sensor will ensure your door is fully closed and locked and will alert you if not. From the Home app, you will also find options for integrating other devices including your Nest thermostat, Nest Cam, Airbnb, HomeAway, Logitech Pop, Wink, and Xfinity Home.

The Smart Lock Pro’s autolocking feature is one you will fall in love with right from the start. By using your phone’s location, the lock will automatically unlock as you come near it, and automatically lock as you go away. There are going to be times when you don’t have your phone, however. August’s answer to this was the Smart Keypad. This is a keypad you can mount outside of your home. It connects to your Smart Lock Pro allowing you access your home with a pin for the times you don’t have a key or your phone. Unfortunately, the Smart Keypad isn’t included and will cost extra to include.

What is included in this package is the August Connect. This device will connect to your Smart Lock Pro allowing you to lock your deadbolt remotely and giving the Smart Lock Pro the ability to integrate with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and other WiFi connected devices. Simply plug it into an outlet and you’re good to go. If you decide to skip the Connect module, your lock will still work with Apple’s HomeKit as well as Bluetooth and Z-Wave Plus devices. If you have a 4th gen Apple TV you can still get access to the WiFi features by ensuring it is within Bluetooth range of your Smart Lock Pro. The added connectivity of Z-Wave Plus is a nice add-on allowing this smart deadbolt to integrate with the largest selection of security systems.

August Connect Module inserted into power outlet
Simply plug Connect module into a power outlet

Voice commands give you the option to simply ask Siri, Alexa, or Google to lock your door. Although anybody can lock the door, if somebody wishes to unlock the door, they will be asked for a passcode. The lock will also automatically lock after a user-specified amount of time. If you’re like me and find yourself constantly asking if you remembered to lock the door, you will enjoy the new piece of mind this lock gives you.

There were some issues with the previous generations but August looks to have fixed those. The response time is much quicker and the overall manual operation a lot smoother. When it comes to the downsides of this lock the biggest there aren’t many. The additional keypad is the biggest complaint as well as requiring a separate Connect module for every individual lock.

The August Pro Smart lock is for those who want the freedom to simply walk up to their door and have it unlock for them. No more need to fumble around in your pocket for keys (although that still is an option). When it comes to automatic locking and unlocking based on your location, you’re not gonna find one better than August’s Smart Lock Pro, but you will end up paying a little more upfront for that luxury

Pros

  • Compatible with many security systems
  • Quick installation
  • Autolocks and unlocks as you approach
  • Compatible with Google, Alexa, Ring, HomeKit, Nest, and more
  • Works with existing deadbolts
  • The August Home app is very well done

Cons

  • Must purchase keypad seperatelyif you want one
  • Need a Connect module for each lock

Best Smart Deadbolt for Nest Users- Nest x Yale Lock with Nest Connect

Nest x Yale Smart Lock Touchpad

Key Features

If you are already a Nest user you no doubt will know how great their ecosystem is. Even if you’re not already a Nest user and are just getting started, you don’t want to pass this lock by without a closer look. The Nest product suite includes doorbells, thermostats, security cameras, and smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. It only makes sense that you would pair up with Yale and make a smart deadbolt.

The Nest x Yale continues with Yale’s keyless styling. The touchpad replaces you’re your existing deadbolt and comes in three colors; polished brass, oil-rubbed bronze, or satin nickel. As with most smart locks, compatibility is always a concern.  The Nest x Yale Lock works with most doors with the exception of glass or sliding doors. It will also not work with Mortise locks or multi-point locks. Before dropping any of your hard-earned cash, verify it will fit by measuring from the edge of your door to the center of the deadbolt hole. If that distance is greater than  2.75 inches (70mm), it won’t fit.

Installation of the lock is painless but may require a little more effort than some of the other locks we have looked at. This deadbolt comes with detailed instructions that break the process down and will help get through installation seamlessly. After mounting the lock and inserting the four AA batteries that are required, you will be greeted by a welcome message and prompted to enter a master code. Now might be a good time to test the lock by leaving it unlocked and closing the door. The lock should rotate freely and easily. If there is any resistance refer to the installation manual for help.

Once the lock is installed, you can open the Nest app and connect your new smart lock to your existing Nest products. The lock will connect to your WiFi network using the included Nest Connect Module. If you already have a Connect Module within range, you can purchase the Nest x Yale without it. The Nest Connect will give you the ability to lock and unlock your door while you are away as well as receive activity logs when the lock is used.

Nest x Yale lock with Nest Connect Module

This lock includes an autolocking feature that will secure the deadbolt after 10 seconds, one minute, or five minutes. The deadbolt manages to work perfectly with Nest’s Home/Away Assist feature but unfortunately, it does not have a way to unlock the deadbolt when you arrive. Even when using facial recognition on a Nest doorbell, you won’t be able to unlock the deadbolt due to security concerns. The lock is compatible with Google Assistant but does not have Z-Wave or ZigBee connectivity. Still, with the voice commands from Google, and the ability to automatically turn off your Nest Secure alarm system when the door is unlocked, this lock manages to make us forget about these other issues.

Sharing pins with friends and family is really easy too. Like most of the smart locks out there, passcodes can be created and distributed. Access can be allowed or restricted at certain times to keep your home secure. The touchpad is a nice feature as it allows you to share access with friends and family without them needing to download the Nest app.

Since this lock is keyless there is always the concern about the battery dying. The Nest x Yale handles this by alerting you to a low battery on the touchpad and beeping when you use the touchpad. If you continue to ignore these warnings you will be notified again when your batteries reach critical levels. Like some other locks in Yale’s lineup, the Next x Yale has two terminals to underneath to connect a 9V battery. If you do happen to ignore the warnings a little too long (I’m definitely guilty), this quick connection will save you from being permanently locked out.

If you currently use the Nest ecosystem and use Google Assistant, the Nest x Yale is a great choice for a smart lock. It integrates nicely and is a high-quality lock. If you don’t already use Nest and want to avoid being tied into one ecosystem, you are probably better off taking a look at something like the August Smart Lock Pro or the Schlage Encode.

Pros

  • Design looks great
  • Nest app is one of the best
  • Autolocks after specified time
  • 9V battery backup
  • Limit visitor access to certain times

Cons

  • Not compatible with HomeKit or Alexa
  • A little pricey for included features

Best Biometric (Fingerprint) Deadbolt – Lockly Secure Plus Smart Deadbolt

Lockly Secure Pro fingerprint lock

Key Features

The Lockly Secure Plus is a great deadbolt full of impressive features like its fingerprint sensor with up to 99 individual entries, its algorithmically based passcode, adding an additional level of security not seen elsewhere, and well… It’s price. This lock does not come cheap. The base model of this lock comes in at $250 at the time of this writing. Although other locks reviewed above have been in this price range, they have included a Wi-Fi module for connectivity. Not Lockly. If you wish to add connectivity to platforms such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, you will be required to shell out another $80 on a Lockly Secure Link WiFi Hub. All together you’ll be in for $330 which albeit, is on the upper end of the price range, does include a fair number of features.

Moving on from the pricing we can begin to focus on the aesthetics of the lock. It really is a beautiful lock with a very fresh clean look. It comes in three colors including Venetian bronze, matte black, and satin nickel. In my opinion, the matte black blows the others away. As with most smart deadbolts, there is both an interior and exterior housing. The exterior housing is made of metal and feels great. Very sturdy and looks to hold up well. The interior housing, however, is made of plastic. I get that the interior side doesn’t need to be as durable but I would have really liked to see metal for a deadbolt in this price range.

The installation of the lock is fairly easy. Lockly sends you a very detailed guide that is easy to follow. They even send you templates, just in case you are not replacing an existing deadbolt. With a little bit of patience and a Phillips screwdriver, you should be able to complete the installation without too much trouble. If you are installing the Secure Link WiFi Hub as well, simply connect the small USB device to the wall module. That’s it! Once the module has been plugged into the power outlet it should begin working. Be sure to note that the module must be placed within 10 feet of the deadbolt. The easiest way to continue setup is through the Lockly app. This isn’t required as the lock can be set up manually, but using the app is the recommended way and makes things a little simpler.

Once installed, the Lockly Secure Plus deadbolt can be unlocked in a variety of ways. Unlocking can be accomplished using the fingerprint scan, via the app, using their keypad with their patented PIN Genie technology, voice commands through Alexa or Google Assistant, or for the nostalgia factor, a regular key.

The fingerprint scanner on this lock works great. Simply place your finger on the sensor and the lock quickly opens up. Instead of an optical sensor like most fingerprint scanners, Lockly uses a capacitive reader to form an image of the fingerprint. This additional security measure prevents the possibility of somebody “lifting” your fingerprints from somewhere and using them to gain access to your home.

Lockly also took additional security measures in their design of the keypad. Their PIN Genie technology groups numbers into four circles each containing three numbers. These numbers are all rearranged every time the lock is attempted to be open using the touchpad. The numbers can also be duplicated making it even harder for peeping toms to figure out your code. For more info on their PIN Genie technology, see the video below.

The voice features provide another convenient way to interact with your lock. The addition of the WiFi module allows you to check the status of the lock using Alexa or Google. You can also unlock the lock using Alexa via voice commands after you set up a four-digit pin for security. The deadbolt can also be locked and unlocked using Lockly’s smartphone app. The app uses WiFi to let you control your lock from anywhere. Another great feature they have included is the ability to Bluetooth instead of WifI when in range. This means if your WiFi connection were to go out, you can still connect to your lock via Bluetooth. The key provides an additional method for entry and there are also two terminals located underneath the lock where you can connect a 9V battery should your battery ever need to be replaced.

Like most smart locks, passcodes can be created and distributed to friends and family as well as control the access period for them individually. The app also logs activity so you can always see who has used the lock and when. Using the included auto-lock feature you can set the deadbolt to lock after five seconds to five minutes.

It’s clear that Lockly is going to great lengths to make this a very secure lock. They are leading the smart lock field with their patented PIN Genie and advanced fingerprint sensor. The only qualms we have with this smart deadbolt is the price. If however, you are looking for next-level security and prefer the convenience of a fingerprint sensor, you aren’t likely to find a better, safer deadbolt than the Lockly Secure Plus.

Pros

  • Heavy focus on security
  • Fingerprint sensor w/ up to 99 entries
  • Solid build quality
  • Battery and physical key backup
  • Easily manage guests % visitors

Cons

  • Features come at a premium

NOTE: If you are planning on purchasing both the deadbolt and the WiFi hub, Lockly now sells them in a combined bundle called the Lockly Secure Pro. This bundle comes with both the WiFi module as well as a door sensor alerting you if your door is ajar. You can get all this for $300 in the bundle, saving $30 from buying separately.

Who Should Buy a Smart Deadbolt?

Most people who end up using purchasing a smart deadbolt typically find themselves asking how they ever lived without one. The advantages of a deadbolt for security are numerous and locksmiths support this idea by stating your home isn’t truly secure unless you have a deadbolt installed. In 2017, the FBI reported 1.4 million burglaries with 57.5% of all burglaries involving forcible entry. The biggest problem isn’t that most people don’t have deadbolts, it’s that they don’t use them consistently.

Doorknobs are for convenience, deadbolts are for security

Eric Ball – Locksmith at Broad Ripple Lock in Indianapolis

Most of the smart deadbolts nowadays prevent this oversight by automatically locking after a specified time period. You won’t ever have to worry if you remembered to lock your door after leaving the house.

A smart deadbolt lock can benefit in ways other than security as well. Many smart deadbolts on the market today allow for the creation of individual pins. These pins can be used to give family and friends access to your home without the need for a physical key. Codes with limited access can be given to the dog walker or house cleaner, further increasing the security of your home by reducing the number of keys. When somebody no longer needs access, simply delete the pin.

These benefits really start to add up and create a noticeable impact on your daily routines. Some people will get a lot of benefit from using the passcodes on their Airbnb property. Others might enjoy connecting the lock to their smart home ecosystem and being able to monitor it on the go. One thing is for certain though, smart deadbolts can help put your mind at ease. You already have enough to worry about, you shouldn’t have to worry if your home is secure.

Important Features to Consider

When purchasing a smart lock you should take note of a few key features. Here’s what to consider when choosing a smart lock:

Existing Smart Home System

If you already have a smart home system this can play a big role in the smart lock you choose. Nothing is more frustrating than getting the lock home and only then realizing it won’t be able to integrate with your existing system in the way you wanted. When shopping for a smart lock be sure to carefully read which devices it is compatible with. You should also know that just because a device is not listed, doesn’t necessarily mean it is incompatible. For instance, if you currently have a system that connects through Z-Wave and your lock connects to Z-Wave, they will be able to talk as long as you have a hub to act as the middle man. Be sure to take the time and now for certain that your next lock is compatible.

WiFI, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, ZigBee

These are the different protocols that smart devices can use. It helps to think of them as different languages. As long as they both speak the same language, they should be able to communicate. If a lock connects to WiFi directly, it will need to be close enough to a WiFi source to maintain a good connection. It could run into problems with spotty WiFi. WiFi is typically used to give the owner access to the lock from anywhere. Just because WiFi is not built-in to the lock itself though doesn’t mean you can’t use this feature. If your lock uses Z-Wave and you have a Z-Wave hub connected to WiFi, you should get all the benefits of WiFi as well. ZigBee would work in the same way although they are not the same language. Your ZigBee device and your Z-Wave device cannot talk to each other directly (again, a hub could be useful here). Bluetooth, like both Z-Wave and ZigBee, is a short-range protocol. Unlike WiFi, these protocols are connected directly to the internet and will usually need to be routed through a hub for remote access.

Family and Guest Access

If you are planning to give access to your home to family and friends you will want to make sure your lock provides an easy way to do that. Most of them do at this point, but it’s never a bad idea to make sure. Check on the number of individuals that can be added too. Some locks can handle up to 250 individual passcodes while others max out at 20.

Convenience

You’ll want to consider how you primarily plan on using the lock. If you are not the type to use voice-control, you won’t want to spend extra getting the smart lock with the widest range of voice control, unless it comes with other features that you are willing to pay for. If you want a lock that will unlock as you approach and secure itself as you move away, make sure that lock you are looking it has that feature.

Security

The whole point of a lock is security, right? It doesn’t matter how many cool features it has if the lock can’t protect your home like it was designed to do. Deadbolt locks offer more security than the simple latches so it’s always safe to start there. Residential locks come in three different grades. Grade 1 offers the highest level of residential security, followed by Grade 2, and finally Grade 3. For residential entry doors, homeowners can use Grades 1 through 3, depending on the level of security they want. The higher security locks use unique pin configurations, hardened cylinders, and other techniques to increase their defense. Most homes are Grade 2 but those really concerned with security typically opt for a Grade 1 lock. Commercial users typically use Grade 1 locks for their exterior doors. Interior doors sometimes use Grade 2, as it is good for light commercial use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions we have seen about smart locks. If you have a question and don’t see it answered, leave it in the comments and we will add it.

What happens if the power goes out and I lose the WiFi signal?

One of the first questions people new to smart locks ask, is what do they do if the power goes out? We understand it can be worrying but the reality is this isn’t much of an issue. Most locks available on the market today have a backup mechanism. Smart locks are usually powered using batteries, so in the event of a power failure, there is nothing to worry about. You may lose the ability to unlock your lock using the phone app if it connects through WiFi. If your lock has Bluetooth functionality however, you will still be able to unlock it if you are within Bluetooth range. Many of the most popular smart locks now also have a key slot as a backup. So even in the event of a total electronic meltdown, the lock will still function just the same as your typical dumb lock.

Can smart locks be hacked?

We’ve all seen in the movies with hackers breaking into all sort of devices with relative ease. Is this true? Is your smart lock susceptible to being hacked? Well… Kind of. It is possible to hack some locks, just as it is possible to pick locks. The good news is a lot of progress has been made in the field of electronic security and it’s only getting better. High grade AES encrypted Z-Wave has yet to be cracked and smart locks using WiFi are using the same SSL encryption your bank is using. If you feel secure in making a purchase online, you should feel secure using a smart lock. More and more locks are also beginning to tie into security systems creating another barrier. Even if somebody gains access, the owner would be alerted of access on their phone and in some cases an alarm will sound. The fact is, that well it is possible to hack a smart lock, it is much easier to break into your lock using conventional methods such as picking or bumping a lock. No lock is perfect however, and smart locks are no different.

What happens if batteries die?

Smart locks typically give you plenty of warning before their battery dies. The most common warnings are beeping and a low battery icon is shown on the touchpad or a smartphone app if the lock has that feature. If your lock still manages to die, there are still ways to get in. Many locks use still use traditional keys. If the batteries die, these locks basically convert to regular old dumb locks. Some smart locks have terminals on the underside to allow for a 9V battery to be used as a temporary power source. The battery can be pressed up against the terminals and your code entered as normal. Even in the case of a dead battery, you should never be completely locked out.

Other Smart Deadbolts We Reviewed

Vocolink T-Guard Smart Lock

Key Features

This lock is exactly what you’ve been looking for if you use Apple’s Homekit. The Vocolink T-Guard was made specifically for Apple’s Homekit and works great if that is your main app for controlling your home. As an additional bonus, it is one of the least expensive deadbolts for Homekit.

The keypad works great and makes it super convenient to lock your door on the way out by simply pressing the lock button. You can create separate passcodes for friends or family. The device connects over Bluetooth but can be pretty slow when using the Vocolink T-Guard app or Siri. The app even alerts you when the battery is low. The device uses very little power and batteries should last for at least six months before requiring replacement.

Pros

  • Good price for Homekit specific deadbolt
  • Low power consumption
  • Custom logs
  • Great touchpad with touch sensitivity options
  • Clean styling

Cons

  • Not compatible with other Assistants (Google, Alexa, etc…)
  • Must be careful that deadbolt doesn’t catch when installing (can jam)
  • App could use some improvement

Schlage Sense BE479 V CEN 619

Key features

If you’re looking for a smart deadbolt with a built-in alarm than the Schlage Sense is exactly what you’re looking for. Installation is easy and only takes 5 – 10 minutes. After installation, the lock can be paired to your phone and nearly everything can be controlled from there. You can set the deadbolt to automatically lock after a specified time, turn on or off a quick-lock feature (allowing you to simply press the lock icon to lock the door), and add/delete codes for a variety of users.

The biggest downside of this lock will come to those using Android users who won’t have near the features of iOS users. If you do decide to use this lock with Android devices, you will have to also invest in a Schlage WiFi adaptor or use Android Bluetooth.

If you have an Apple TV, the TV will act as a hub for your device. This can increase connectivity and allow you to control your lock using Siri voice commands.

Pros

  • Includes an alarm in case of a break-in attempt
  • Very low power draw
  • Custom logs
  • Integrates with your Apple TV 3rd Gen+

Cons

  • Best features reserved for iOS users
  • Android users limited to Bluetooth or WiFi adaptor
  • Lock can be loud

ZKTeco AL40B Bluetooth Smart Lock with 5 Mifare Cards

Key features

If you are looking for a deadbolt that can be unlocked using your thumbprint and are not concerned as much with integration, the ZKTeco AL40B Smart Deadbolt is just what you’re looking for. With the ability to unlock using fingerprint, keypad pin, Mifare cards (5 included), phone app, or backup keys (2 included) you can find a way that works conveniently for you. The reversible design allows the ZKTeco AL40B to be used on any door direction while the Schlage 6 pin key provides the security you need.

Installation of the lock is easy. ZKTeco provides numerous videos on how to install the lock as well as a detailed user guide. With up to 100 independent access codes you will never run out of codes for friends and family. The ability to set times certain accounts can unlock the door ensures nobody comes in when they aren’t supposed to. This lock provides 24/7 logging of activity allowing you to review what times each code was used. This smart lock features very solid build quality and responds very quickly to fingerprint readings.

The only complaint we have with this lock is the lack of integration to existing smart homes. The ZKTeco AL40B wasn’t designed to be integrated with Alexa, Google Home, HomeKit, or others, but it would have been a nice feature to have. Overall, if you’re looking for a smart deadbolt that uses your fingerprint you won’t be disappointed with this one.

Pros

  • Solid Build Quality
  • Quickly recognizes fingerprints
  • Up to 100 users with custom access timess
  • Multiple methods of unlocking

Cons

  • Only available in one color
  • Lack of integration for home assistants

Leave a Comment

shares