The FoldyLock Compact is, we believe, the second-best folding lock option. WeGotServed.com Sleeker and more secure… with an extended range of third-party integrations.Terry Walsh. The BE365 has a keyway, so there is a traditional backup if the battery dies (or the key can just be used like a normal lock). In our tests, we found using the app to control the lock and create codes—both while we were standing in front of it and when we were away from home—to be quick and easily understandable to anyone who has used a smartphone app. You don’t need to carry your keys anymore, whether you’re popping out for a quick run or you’re off to work for the day. Sharing access with other people is as simple as telling them a code of your choosing, which you can restrict or delete as necessary using the August app—no need to force guests to download an app or register for anything. Smart locks are the superheroes of the species, with special powers that make life more convenient (and a little more fun). The only close competitor in this department is the Kwikset Obsidian, but that lock doesn’t compare with the Yale in most other areas. The Wyze Lock currently integrates with Alexa, which enables you to lock the door using voice, and Google Assistant support is planned. The code doesn’t retract the deadbolt automatically, like on the Yale and most of the others. *At the time of publishing, the price was $250. During that time we used the locks during everyday activity, but we also methodically triggered the locks up close using our smartphone via Bluetooth, as well as over our home Wi-Fi network, and then again remotely by connecting via cellular signal. He spent 10 years in high-end construction as a carpenter, foreman, and supervisor. A unique feature of the Yale is that it can be upgraded to a smart lock with the installation of a small module on the inside portion of the lock (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, HomeKit, Z-Wave, or Z-Wave Plus, depending on your system and needs). None of them work perfectly. That capability is appealing, and along with the nicely designed hardware—which also includes a built-in impact alarm—it makes the Encode one of the easiest models to install and one of the simplest smart locks to use of those we’ve tested. The Wyze Lock’s auto-unlock feature makes it more useful but also potentially more dangerous, and we’ve seen several early reports of owners having their door unlock at unwanted times—but also seeing it fail to unlock, which means they have to drag out their phone, open the app, and then trigger the lock (or just use a key). The whole process takes about four seconds. Though remote access isn’t as crucial as with other locks—anyone with the numerical code can open it—the ability to receive notifications is handy. The Schlage B60N is our pick as the best deadbolt for most people. That feature allows you to enable smartphone alerts so that you’ll know if someone leaves the door open accidentally. Unfortunately, Schlage only includes the bare minimum programming instructions with the lock. Jon Chase is an editor leading smart-home coverage at Wirecutter. We strongly recommend following the guided instructional video in the companion August app because doing a step out of order or incorrectly can hose your installation, and then you have to start from scratch. You can rekey it to any Kwikset home key, and you need to lock the padlock before opening it, … Some models include a little magnet, which you install near the lock, to determine when the door is closed or open; that ensures you don’t lock the deadbolt when the door is left ajar, which is helpful. Installation of these locks is simple if it’s replacing an existing deadbolt and the holes are already drilled. The Schlage Sense, a HomeKit-enabled model virtually identical to the Schlage Connect, is a previous pick. This keypad smart lock allows for quick exit or entry without needing to carry keys (or even a smartphone). Yale recommends changing the lock’s battery once each year. Currently the Wyze Lock works with its companion app but can also pair with Amazon Alexa, which lets you use voice commands to lock the door; you can also use Alexa to unlock the door if you program a PIN code. For homes, there are two main categories of smart locks. A smart lock lets you go key-free and control your lock from afar. Like our top pick, it connects to your Wi-Fi network (via an included plug-in Connect bridge), allowing you to control the lock and manage access codes remotely. We initially would forget that step and wait for the lock to open, only to have it time out. We began our selection process by narrowing the field based on security ratings and manufacturer reputation. The thumb-turn housing is thinner than that of any of the other models we tested. I’ve been testing smart locks, as well as a wide range of smart-home hubs and accessories, since 2015. The Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt is a trimmed and toned update to similar previous picks, the Schlage Connect and Schlage Sense, but with the clever ability to connect directly to your Wi-Fi without the need of a plug-in adapter. That meant avoiding unknown brands with rudimentary websites and no apparent phone number. We wanted a recommendation that would have good availability, reliable customer service, and a credible warranty. We tested it on an internal door for several months, and we love how quiet it is. Most smart locks can now trigger other smart devices as well as automated actions, such as turning lights on or off or changing the mode of a thermostat. The white numbers are small, and with the sound off it may be hard to tell if your key press has registered. For some people, especially those who live in urban environments, the risk is just not worth taking, and so opting for another smart lock may be the best route. Here are a few ways a smart lock might be a useful addition to your home: Smart locks, especially keypad models, are perfectly suited for rental-property and vacation-home owners, such as Airbnb hosts, who tend to have to deal with frequent key exchanges (in fact, with some locks, Airbnb now offers to automate code creation for guests). The fingerprint scanning has definitely improved since we first began testing, though. Still, for everyday use it works well, and the fingerprint reader was flawless. Nov 11, 2020 - 5 Recommendations. A smart lock lets you go key-free and control your lock from afar. Then, when you arrive home, you push your finger onto the reader, and in half a second or so a ring around the scanner lights up green and the lock opens with a gentle whir (or it turns red, which means you have to rescan). Our pick, the Yale Assure SL Connected by August, is sleek and simple enough for most anyone. We also tested the Schlage BE375, which shares the manual thumb turn with the Schlage BE365. With this lock, the keypad only unlocks the ability to use the deadbolt, it does not withdraw or extend the deadbolt itself—you still need to twist the thumb turn manually. Similarly, smart locks can be a useful tool for small-business owners who want to keep tabs on who might be coming and going through their doors when they aren’t around. And although we appreciate its clever token system for letting owners create and share new PIN codes remotely without having the lock ever connect to the internet, that also means you can’t control it remotely or get notifications when the lock is triggered. (Yale also sells a version with a built-in keyway, which we do not recommend—see How we tested for more details.) When not in use, the touchscreen stays blank and is activated by drawing a few fingers across it or tapping it with the back of a hand. That convenience comes with a price, though, as smart locks cost considerably more than their non-smart counterparts. Fortunately, even limiting our search to models priced reasonably (under $200, approximately), we had multiple options from three established companies: Yale, Kwikset, and Schlage. It’s a keypad model that is completely keyless, and you can trigger the lock using a code or an app. Wyze now has a Bluetooth keypad, which we haven’t yet tested. Pecking in your key code is simple, and the mechanism is among the quietest we’ve tested. If this is a new installation and you’re concerned about drilling through a door, we recommend a lock installation kit like the Milwaukee 49-22-4037 (which we used for our own testing). This attractive smart lock is a product of Nest and Yale. It also offers wide compatibility with other smart-home devices. It has a security grade of 2 and is the only model that uses voice prompts during programming, eliminating the need to constantly refer back to the directions. In our tests, we could trigger the lock astonishingly fast—in a few seconds—over a cell signal, and in just five to 10 seconds on Wi-Fi. One extremely important note: The Yale Assure Lock SL has no keyway—should its electronics ever fail, the battery die, or its mechanism jam, you could be locked out of your home and would have to destroy the lock to get in. Our thinking has been that, depending on your environment, the actual security risk may be negligible, especially if the lock is set to auto-lock after a short period. His work has been featured in various print and online publications, and on television. Smart locks are both the most useful and, theoretically, the most potentially risky smart devices you can install in your home. To add or delete codes or change any options, the cover needs to be removed from the interior portion of the lock, which requires taking out two very small set screws, which are just begging to be dropped (we lost one). The Schlage models don’t have this feature at all, and the Kwikets can only be set to 30 seconds. He currently has over 35 smart devices installed in his home. Locks are graded on their ability to withstand brute-force entry attempts based on criteria devised by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Once you’ve secured it to your door, you pair the lock to the Wyze app and then plug in and pair the included Wi-Fi adapter, which acts as the wireless go-between for your smartphone and lock when you aren’t within close proximity. We love and recommend the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro, a small, attractive deadbolt that be triggered in multiple ways, including via fingerprint reader or keypad. Amazingly, the Wi-Fi doesn’t seem to especially tax the batteries, which in our tests lasted several months without fail. Here are the criteria: Security grade of 2 or higher: As a basic requirement, all of the locks we considered had an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) security grade of either 1 (the highest) or 2 (out of a possible 3). You have to go to the FAQ page on the company’s website to get the full programming instructions (PDF). We’ve installed locks, tested them, and even picked them to arrive at the best recommendations. More important, connecting your front door lock to the internet adds at least a theoretical new way for thieves to infiltrate your home. One especially important buying tip: If your door has a mortise lock, with the latch and bolt in an integrated unit, or a door handle and latch that are a single unit, none of the smart locks we reviewed will fit (we hope to test some soon). Our regimen included countless entrances and the experiences of a family of users (including two kids). A smart lock lets you go key-free and control your door from afar. Their ability to add or delete multiple user codes comes close to a smart lock’s versatility, but using these doesn’t require any kind of connected device. We rarely missed a number or hit the wrong one, even while wearing leather work gloves. With the exception of the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro, which is not ANSI-graded, all of the locks we tested were at least Grade 2, and some—the Schlage models—were Grade 1. The other electronic locks are “as is,” so an upgrade to smart technology requires the purchase of an entirely new lock. Our goal was to find a lock that offered the best balance of convenience, security, and useful smarts while requiring as little technical complexity, ongoing management, or troubleshooting as possible. It is significantly larger because it contains a complete door-lever mechanism, but otherwise it worked wonderfully in our tests and was also noticeably quieter than typical smart locks we have tested in the past, emitting just a brief whir. Our experience with the smart locks we tested was largely positive, though we should note that every smart lock we’ve ever used has had instances where it didn’t function correctly or required troubleshooting of some variety—an inevitability to be aware of when you’re choosing to install one of these devices in your home. After 40 hours of research and interviews with locksmiths and security experts, the Schlage B60N deadbolt is the best door lock for most homes—it’s tough, secure, widely available, and … We’ve spoken to locksmiths, security experts, and manufacturers. Of all the tested models, the Schlage BE365 is the least streamlined. In assessing the physical hardware, we took a close look at the ease of installation and the feel and quality of the various components. The Best Smart Plugs and Power Strips for 2021. Most make it possible to securely grant access to your home—to not only family and friends but also renters, tradespeople, and even mail carriers or package-delivery workers. In order to access the U-Bolt Pro remotely, and to receive notifications when it locks and unlocks, you need to purchase and install the plug-in Ultraloq Bridge, which we highly recommend—we think those features are a large part of why smart locks have value. Does this device contain inactive or active but unadvertised hardware such as cameras or microphones? If you only lock the door at night—or you’re the sort of person who leaves the house without forgetting anything, then drives off and returns only once that day—it might be a good option. Still, it remains our chief method of triggering the lock. That means you get only one chance to unlock it via touch, otherwise you need to break out your phone and use the app to unlock and relock your door again. The main downside to any modern … It’s keyless convenience but stops short of device connectivity. The U-Bolt Pro is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but unlike the Assure Lock SL, it doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit or Samsung SmartThings. This initial step keeps the screen constantly smudged, so fingerprints don’t just sit over the code numbers. We also restricted our selections to models that you can monitor and control remotely via smartphone, regardless of whether that involves pairing them with a separate hub or gateway device (which typically is a separate purchase). A smart lock lets you go key-free and control your lock from afar. The Lockly Vision is another smart lock that includes a built-in doorbell. All of the smart locks we tested can integrate somewhat with other smart devices, though not as much as other smart-home gadgets due to security concerns. For the latest round, we installed each test unit in one of a few modern, factory-made doors and tested it for at least a week, in most cases for several weeks or even months. It functions almost identically but also has built-in Wi-Fi, which enables you to connect to it remotely without having to rely on a plug-in hub. The Schlage has the highest security rating, but it’s not as automated as the others. An extremely similar model, the Yale Assure Lever (YRL256) Connected by August, works almost identically and fits single-hole doors that lack a deadbolt. The Yale Assure Lock SL (YRD256) Connected by August is fast, quiet, and completely keyless, and in contrast to many keypad models, its sleek, slim, glass-and-metal housing is stylish. The downside is that the keypad is difficult to use and it’s easy to miss a button, which in our testing forced us to start over with the code. In the plus column, they make entering and leaving your home far more convenient by freeing you from having to carry keys (and in some cases a smartphone, too). “They’re not for someone looking to automate their entire life,” Leimer told us. If these added features are appealing to you, we have a guide to smart locks. This grading is based on testing involving durability, security, and finish. We were also able to successfully copy our fingerprint and use a Play-Doh mold of it to gain entry to two of our test locks: the Eufy Secure Smart Lock Touch and the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro. ... Wirecutter is a list of the best … For our tests we were able to control the lock by voice using Alexa and an Echo device, as well as using Siri via an iPhone, but we had issues getting Google Assistant to cooperate. Installation is easy enough, though it requires both a regular-size screwdriver and a mini Phillips-head screwdriver (which is annoying to discover mid-installation). This slick doorbell can alert you to people, packages, animals, and cars going by. This full-motion mount will let you extend your TV up to 15.2 inches from the wall. It’s a very good lock, but simply not as good as other picks. At this writing I have four smart locks installed in my home, as well as three smart thermostats, five smart bulbs, five smart switches, two smart outlets, two smart smoke detectors, two smart water valves, a smart security system, a smart doorbell, two smart cameras, a smart noise detector, six smart speakers, and a smattering of sensors. By Signe Brewster This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. It doesn’t offer remote access, which isn’t essential; however, it has the largest internal housing we’ve ever seen and a similarly large external one, so we’d recommend looking for one of the many other smaller devices available. If you’re looking for a low-profile, no-fuss lock with a foolproof keypad and the ability to connect to Wi-Fi without requiring a plugin adapter, we like the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt. (Most smart locks, in contrast, use battery-friendly Bluetooth and then connect wirelessly to a plug-in adapter that allows them to connect to your Wi-Fi and accept remote control.). We think that if you aren’t interested in using a smart lock to trigger or automate other smart devices (or if you’re content with the Alexa or Google Assistant ecosystem), the U-Bolt Pro is the lock to get. Smart home starter kits are a quick and budget-friendly way to get started with—or expand—a smart home system that will just work. But still, a dead battery is a possibility if the warnings are ignored or if the lock is on a rarely used second home. The capacitive keypad is nearly identical to those on previous picks from Schlage, the Sense and Connect, and we think it’s the most intuitive version to use, as the numbers have a textured surface and give ever so slightly as you press them. The best smart plugs and power strips let you control anything you … Its wide, 180-degree field of view and square aspect ratio reduce blind spots so you can see people … This lock would greatly benefit from an included set of complete programming instructions, preferably separate from the installation instructions. Like the Yale lock, the programming is all done from the front keypad. Last, the movement of the deadbolt is much louder than with the Yale, emitting a whine as it moves. We’ve found that the fingerprint reader works better in the spring and summer than in the fall and winter, perhaps due to differences in temperature or relative moisture levels. Also available are useful security settings, such as timed lockouts based on too many incorrect attempted entries, a feature designed to thwart suspicious guessers. Considering that, plus the sheer length and breadth of the support-issue reports and complaints we continue to receive, as well as the expense and extended wait period for the gateway (which is required for remote access), we no longer recommend the Kevo. None of the other models have a voice, and the beep on the Yale is much nicer than the Kwikset harsh digital tone. We specifically looked at deadbolts, but most of the models we tested have handled versions. With 2½-pound increments for the first 25 pounds (and 5 … Convenience: The Kwikset lock requires a bluetooth device or keyfob be carried on your person to use it. That last point deserves special emphasis, as models we’ve dealt with in the past have suffered from some reliability issues. OK! Location recording is optional and used only for certain features like auto-unlock. In the world of smart locks, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro is the closest we’ve come to finding The One: It has lovely precision-made hardware, it offers multiple ways to get into your home quickly (including via fingerprint), it’s whisper quiet, and we think it’s just the right size and style to be at home on any door. A smart lock lets you go key-free and control your door from afar. Like many electronic locks, the Yale has no keyway, so the workaround is that on the underside of the lock are two 9-volt battery terminals. He lives in a very demanding 250-year-old farmhouse and spent four years gutting and rebuilding his previous home. One extremely important note: Because the Assure Lock SL (YRD256) does not have a keyway, if the lock malfunctions for any reason, the door will be inaccessible and you could get locked out of your house. 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