Which Smart Front Door Lock Should You Buy?
Whether you want to add smart capabilities or simply make it easier to keep track of packages delivered to the stoop, there’s a smart front door lock for you. But how do you know which one to buy?
Some models connect to your home Wi-Fi for remote access and integration with other smart home devices. Others use a hub that plugs into your wall.
Key by Amazon
In an effort to cut down on porch pirates, Amazon has pushed landlords around the country to let its delivery drivers unlock apartment-building doors with a mobile app. The service, called Key by Amazon, helps delivery people make their rounds faster and reduces stolen packages, which cuts costs for Amazon. The app enables delivery workers to open the door, crack it enough to slide the package inside, and then close it. The driver then confirms the door is relocked before leaving.
A compatible smart lock and a Cloud Cam home security camera are required for Key by Amazon. You can purchase the Amazon Key Home Kit that includes a Yale smart lock and a Cloud Cam for $250 or connect your own compatible lock to the service. You can control your smart lock and the cameras from the Key by Amazon app or via Alexa.
You can use the app to grant access codes smart front door lock on a one-time or recurring basis, which you can then activate during an in-home or garage delivery. These access codes can be used by anyone with an Amazon Key account, including designated service providers such as house cleaners and dog walkers. The Key by Amazon app also lets you monitor in-home and in-garage deliveries with a live video feed from your Cloud Cam.
One of the best smart deadbolts on the market, Schlage Connect has many impressive features. This smart lock comes in a variety of styles and finishes including satin nickel, black, bright chrome and aged bronze. It’s ANSI Grade 1 rated, so it can handle a million opening and closing cycles and withstand 10 strikes of 75 pounds. Installation is easy, daily use is simple, and integration with smart home hubs is seamless.
You can also create up to 30 unique access codes for guests. This is great for letting in babysitters, housekeepers, or friends. You can even monitor who’s coming and going from your home with instant alerts. For example, if someone tries to tamper with the lock or forcefully open it, you will receive an alert that sounds a 90-dB siren.
Another feature that sets this lock apart from others is its Apple HomeKit compatibility. This makes it easier to integrate with your smart devices and use Siri voice commands to control the lock. The downside of this is that the lock cannot work without a stable WiFi connection.
The Schlage Connect also has a longer battery life than Schlage Encode or Schlage Sense, and it can work independently of your home’s internet. This makes it a good choice for those who don’t want to be connected to the internet all the time. You can also follow your battery level on the app to ensure you never run out of power.
August WiFi Smart
August is one of the most popular smart lock makers on the market, and its best-selling Wi-Fi Smart Lock bundle offers all the convenience and smarts you need. It’s easy to install, invisible from the outside, and lets you keep your keys. You can open it with the app, a key code, or Auto-Unlock, which unlocks your door when you are within range. It’s also easy to update if you need to add or remove users, and it works with existing deadbolt thumbturns.
The bundled Smart Lock replaces the traditional knob and lever, and the sleek satin nickel design is visually appealing. You can set up the door with a schedule, grant access to guests through e-keys or recurring calendar events, and see a history of manual, automatic, and remote locking and unlocking. You can also receive push notifications and set up smart alerts for when the lock opens or closes manually or automatically, by a specific user, or is left ajar.
The August app is well organized and easy to use. The initial setup process is step-by-step, and includes diagrams, photos, and video elements to help you through every part of the installation. The smart lock also integrates with the company’s battery-powered doorbell cameras, like the View, for additional security. The only downside is that this version requires CR123 batteries instead of AAs, which are less convenient to find and replace. The suggested battery life is three to six months.
Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro
If you’re looking for a smart lock that fits any US smart front door lock standard door, Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro is the way to go. It installs within minutes with four screws and no drilling. It’s easy to use, with a simple smartphone app and intuitive design. The device is also a smart home hub, with integrations for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
The U-Bolt Pro replaces your existing deadbolt and operates like a traditional one with an interior thumb turn, but it offers a lot of smart features. You can unlock it via a fingerprint sensor, a numeric keypad, a smartphone app or even a physical key. The app lets you add and manage users, set access schedules and monitor activity. There’s also an anti-peep feature that adds random digits to the beginning and end of your code, to protect it from prying eyes.
Other notable features include Auto-Lock and Door Ajar Timing. The former lets you lock or unlock the door based on your location, while the latter lets you receive notifications if the door has been left open for a customizable time. The lock is IP65-rated for dust and water resistance, so it won’t be damaged if you accidentally get it wet. There’s a micro USB port for emergency power, and the device is protected with two layers of data encryption.