Smart Locks: What to Look For

2016-04-04T21:11:54+00:00 April 4th, 2016|Gadgets, Security|
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Smart locks are arguably one of the most convenient smart home comforts. They can automatically detect your presence via the Bluetooth connection in your smartphone (or a Bluetooth keyfob) and unlock your doors for you with a code, a touch, or simply by approaching the lock. Select smart locks also allow you to send electronic keys to your friends and family that only grant them access during times that you specify. Some locks can even connect to a larger home automation system.

A smart lock has three components: a locking mechanism, a small motor and a wireless transceiver. The locking mechanism is usually a deadbolt lock, but can also be a doorknob. The motor, typically powered by AA batteries, turns the locking mechanism. Finally, the wireless transceiver sends and receives information from a secure mobile app or smart home system. As long as a lock has all three of these parts, it qualifies as a smart lock. The following are five of the best smart locks around right now:

August Smart Lock


The August Smart Lock is one of the top selling locks on the market. August senses your approach and automatically unlocks your door. It’s smart enough to know when you’re coming and going, and also smart enough not to unlock the door if you’re just passing by it while inside your house. This smart lock discreetly replaces the interior portion of compatible deadbolts in about ten minutes, leaving exterior hardware unchanged. August provides secure, safe, keyless access to your home with iOS and Android smartphones. The base model of the August lock is Bluetooth-only, but the optional August Connect ($49.99, coming soon) is available to add additional Wi-Fi features like real-time unlock alerts and remote buzz ins. August is powered by 4 AA batteries, and sends your phone low-battery alerts as needed.

The August Smart Lock is currently available in Dark Grey, August Red, Champagne and Silver colors on Amazon.com for $249.99.

Danalock Bluetooth Smart Lock


Danalock is a retrofit lock that is easy install on most doors. It replaces the mechanism inside of your existing dead bolt lock and uses standard attachments. The company claims to have the highest level of encrypted security available in a smart lock. Danalock can be configured to sense your approach, making it unlock the door automatically when you are near it. You can also send others limited or unlimited access keys to your home, vacation house, or office while keeping track of who enters and when. Danalock can be operated by hand, touch button, app, or a traditional key. The lock is available online for $129.00

Kwikset Kevo & Kevo Plus


The Kwikset Kevo doesn’t look much different than the average deadbolt, until you see the ring of blue lights around it. The Bluetooth lock replaces your existing deadbolt and works by touch. You don’t even need to take your phone out of your pocket or purse; just touch your lock, it will recognize your phone and unlock the door. Kevo comes with 2 physical keys, 2 electronic keys (eKeys) and free unlimited 24-hour guest keys. Extra eKeys are available for $1.99 through the Kevo app as an in-app purchase. Receive notifications of lock activity and manage the lock and eKeys with the Kevo mobile app.

Kevo Plus is an upgrade that will be available to new and existing Kevo customers. The upgrade kit enables the Kevo to connect to your home’s WiFi network and the Internet, meaning you’ll be able to remotely unlock the door and get real time updates on who enters your home. The Kwikset Kevo is available in Lifetime Polished Brass, Satin Nickel and Venetian Bronze finishes on Amazon.com for $219 each.


Lockitron Bolt


The Lockitron Bolt is the least expensive lock on our list. Lockitron is Bluetooth only and replaces your existing deadbolt lock. for just $99 it offers the basics; sensing your approach and automatically unlocking for you when you arrive home. You can also add the optional $79 Lockitron Bridge for Wi-Fi functionality, which will allow the device to deliver real-time alerts. The Lockitron Bolt is currently available in a Quicksilver finish, and the website says a modern gold option is coming soon. order at lockitron.com.



The OKIDOKEYS Smart-Lock is designed to work with a single-cylinder deadbolt, the most common lock in use in U.S. homes today. Like most of the other smart locks on the market, you can lock and unlock your doors by using any bluetooth enabled smartphone. You can also enhance the capabilities of your OKIDOKEYS system by adding the OKIDOKEYS wireless Smart-Reader. When paired with an OKIDOKEYS Smart-Lock, users and their guests can gain access to their homes with any mobile phone (including non-smartphones) or OKIDOKEYS Smart-Tags, available in several designs to fit with each family member’s lifestyle. The Smart-Lock retails at $189.99, and the Smart-Reader retails at $99.

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