Smart Home Locks of 2021 (Pricing & Features)
This chart provides a better idea of which best keyless door lock to look for online or in stores. Be sure to take some time to review the different smart locks and compare the most important factors, such as price or warranty.
|Providers||Price||Alerts||Connectivity||Contract||Installation||Integrations||Mobile App||Touchscreen||Warranty||Weight||Guest Access||Voice Activation||Geofencing||Touchpad||Best For|
|1. Nest||$279||Yes||Wi-Fi||No||DIY||Yes||Yes||1 yr||7 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Google Assist|
|2. Yale||$229.00||Yes||Wi-Fi||No||DIY||Yes||Yes||1 yr||2.5 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Apple HomeKit|
|3. August||$250||Yes||Wi-Fi||No||DIY||AmazonApple||Yes||No||1 yr||14 oz||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Guest “keys”|
|4. Lockly||$279||Yes||Wi-Fi||No||DIY||Amazon, Google||Yes||Yes||N/A||1.3 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Renters|
|5. Wyze||$99||Yes||Wi-Fi||No||DIY||Amazon, Zigbee||Yes||Yes||1 yr||14 oz||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Outdoor|
|6. SimpliSafe||$99.00||No||Wi-Fi||Yes||DIY||Amazon, Google||No||No||1 yr||15 oz||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Smart tech|
|7. ADT||$125||Yes||Wi-Fi||Yes||DIY||Amazon, Google||Yes||No||1 yr||3.5 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Remote entry|
|8. Samsung||$139.00||Yes||Wi-Fi||Yes||DIY||Amazon, Google||Yes||No||1 yr||N/A||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Convenience|
|9. Schlage||$246.00||Yes||Wi-Fi||No||DIY||Amazon, Google, Ring||Yes||No||1 yr||2 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Wi-Fi connect|
|10. KwikSet||$183.00||Yes||Wi-Fi||No||DIY||Amazon, Ring||Yes||No||1 yr||1.4 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Smart homes|
Bluetooth vs. Z-Wave Door Locks
When shopping around, it’s easy to get confused or overwhelmed by all the options. Below is a closer look at the two most common types: Bluetooth models and those that are Z-Wave compatible.
A Bluetooth smart door lock is one of the most widely available types of locking systems in 2021. They work for many different households and individuals because they’re easy to use.
The Bluetooth technology will provide a stable connection all around the house, as well as a few hundred feet away. A potential issue is losing connectivity at longer distances.
- Dependable connection
- Variety of price points
- Widely available
- Not suited to longer distances
Z-Wave Smart Locks
Households that have a smart hub can simply hook up a Z-Wave lock. Once it is synced, it’s very easy to control it remotely or through a mobile app. The trouble is that the more technological benefits it has, the harder it is to set up. In other words, people who don’t have a smart home may have issues implementing this electronic door lock.
- Easy to sync to a smart hub
- Remote access
- Stable connectivity
- Installation and usability issues
Smart Lock Ownership vs. Renting
Once a person finds the best smart lock for their purposes, they have another decision to make. This choice depends on whether they are renting their home or if they own their property. Keep in mind that if someone is renting an apartment, they have fewer options. Some locks require professional (or simply more in-depth) installation.
Others will require customers to completely replace the original locking mechanism. So, these individuals must choose a lock that can integrate with the existing unit. Homeowners have more choices, including more smart locks.
How to Install a Smart Lock
Setting up a smart lock doesn’t have to be a huge chore. Even though some products require professional installation, most devices don’t. It can be as simple as taking it out of the package and putting in a few screws. To make it less stressful, here is a general overview of how to install one of these locks.
1. Remove the Existing Locking Mechanism
To start, turn the deadbolt knob so that the lock is extended fully. To make it easier, attach some tape to hold the mechanism in place. This way, all the parts won't fall to the ground while unscrewing the plate. Be sure to completely detach the strike plate and keep the pieces in one place.
2. Install the New Smart Lock
At this point, it should be easy to insert the new lock into the empty slot. Just be careful not to smash or crush any of the small parts or any wiring.
3. Add the Keypad
If the electronic door lock includes a keypad or digital panel, be sure to install it. Fortunately, this is pretty easy, and most models are designed for self-installation. The biggest thing to pay attention to is the wiring.
4. Download the Mobile App and Complete the Registration
Now, the last step is to download and install the accompanying mobile app, if there is one. Most locks include this type of remote access. It takes just a few easy steps to set up a smart locking system, so don't be intimidated.
Smart Lock-Specific Technology
When looking around for a smart door lock, remember that there are quite a few aspects to consider. While it’s not always possible to find a device that includes all these characteristics, it helps customers to identify the top qualities they want.
1. Advanced Fingerprint Sensor
One of the best smart lock characteristics is fingerprinting technology. It is still a bit difficult to find devices with this feature, but it’s worth it. Besides allowing for keyless entry, it adds another layer of safety and secure identification.
2. Temporary Passcodes
Many smart locks let clients program in special passcodes or PIN numbers. This comes in handy when a guest or friend wants access to the property.
Afterward, the owner can remove the passcode from the lock's program so no one can sneak in later.
3. Door History & Remote Notifications
This is another unique smart lock feature that people might not find everywhere. Still, it is a huge asset and can help families feel more protected. They can access a log of when the door opened and unlocked, all from their smartphones.
4. Keyless Entry Sensors
Perhaps the most important characteristic of the best smart lock options is keyless entry. Homeowners and renters are so tired of losing their keys, so this makes perfect sense. With the swipe of a card or the push of a phone button, they can access their property.
5. Automatic Locking & Unlocking
Most smart locks use proximity sensors or RFID stickers to sense when someone is approaching. This allows the door to automatically unlock or lock. Not only is this convenient, but it’s useful when homeowners forget their kids.
This feature is specific to August smart locks, but it's still worth looking into. August customers can take advantage of DoorSense, which alerts individuals when their door is left ajar.
6. Phone App Control
The best smart lock will include smartphone access, no exceptions. In today’s day and age, individuals need to be able to control their locks from anywhere. It adds convenience, peace of mind, and security.
7. Smart Home Integrations
Finally, the most reliable and technologically advanced smart locks will sync up with an existing smart home system. With this integration, homeowners can control their lights, security alarms, and more from a phone.
What to Look For in Smart Locks
To make it easier to choose the best smart lock, here is a review of the top features to look for. Customers should keep these in mind and decide which are most important to their household.
1. Replacement or Retrofitting
It can be incredibly annoying to have to replace an existing locking system. If this is something individuals want to avoid, they should look for a smart lock that can fit on top of the original lock.
2. Alternate or Backup Entry
Without a doubt, a smart lock must include some other form of entry besides a key. Many models opt for a smartphone app that allows users to control the lock remotely.
3. Proximity Sensors
Also referred to as "geofencing," this feature can sense when the door is left ajar. For people who are quite forgetful, look for a Wi-Fi deadbolt that can send phone alerts when the door is open.
4. Bluetooth Connectivity
Speaking of Wi-Fi deadbolts, pay attention to its connectivity. Most of these models work with Bluetooth technology to provide a strong and stable connection. This is also a low-energy option.
5. Identity Biometrics
The idea of the smart lock is evolving every year. Now, some models include biometric markers to identify homeowners and guests. Most of the time, it uses fingerprint tracking to determine if the door should unlock or remain locked.
6. RFID Stickers
While businesses are more likely to use RFID stickers than homeowners, it's worth mentioning. These stickers can be used as a sort of ID card or key fob, allowing smart locks to unlock without keys.
Many smart locks eliminate the need for keys. They do this through electronic keypads. Customers can program in an access code or PIN, keeping their property and family safe.
8. Wi-Fi Connectivity
This is something to consider if the customer has an existing smart home system. It is best to look for smart locks that sync up with a central hub. Wi-Fi connectivity will keep everything working smoothly so the devices can communicate with each other.
9. Backup Power
Smart locks should have some kind of power backup. This is usually a set of batteries that allow the device to kick into action when the Internet connection goes out.
10. Guest Passcodes
Being able to set temporary passcodes into a smart lock is one of the most convenient features. This way, babysitters or friends can access the property, but only temporarily.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Smart Door Lock?
This type of lock is different from the traditional locks in that it allows for keyless entry. Individuals can access their homes either through their smartphone or an RFID card.
During the day-to-day, these locks work in much the same way as a typical one. The difference is in how secure and convenient they are. Many of these products include an electronic keypad or digital panel for passcodes.
Are Smart Locks Worth It?
Yes, most customers would agree that these locks are worth the price. Keep in mind the best smart lock for one household may be different for another. Therefore, there is some variation in pricing as well as availability.
The most important thing is that families decide which features they want and what their budget is. Prices can vary from $50 or so to several hundred dollars.
Can Smart Locks Be Hacked?
Even the best smart lock can be hacked, but this is highly unlikely. These types of locks are designed to be hard to break into and dismantle. For example, most of them are keyless and don’t even rely on a physical key or card.
Instead, they use passcodes, many of which can be temporarily programmed into the lock. Therefore, it is hard to hack into the system because the passcodes are constantly changing.
Do Smart Locks Need Wi-Fi?
Yes, most of these types of locks require a Wi-Fi connection. That said, most of these products do have a battery backup just in case the Internet goes out.
Keep in mind that households should have a strong Internet connection to ensure all the devices sync up properly.
How Much Do Smart Locks Cost?
There isn’t one price, just as there isn’t one type of smart locking system. That said, people can expect the best smart lock options to cost anywhere from $100 to over $300. It depends on the model, the technology involved, and how many elements the device has.
Also, some of these devices sync with smart security systems, so keep that in mind. Individuals shouldn’t go out of their way to pay for one of these if they don’t have a smart home system.
How Are Smart Locks Powered?
Most of them work via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology. This ensures a stable connection that syncs with the owner’s smartphone. The mobile app is a great way to control the locks as well as view door history and set up passcodes.
Of course, these aspects depend on the lock and the person’s budget.
What Happens If I Lose My Smartphone?
If this happens, all may not be lost. Most of these locks come with a set of keys, just in case. Others include RFID stickers, key fobs, or a passcode.
So, even if the customer does not have their smartphone, they might not need it. This is why many 2021 models come with digital keypads. People can punch in the PIN and access the door this way.
There’s a Lock for Every Home & Budget
At the end of the day, there are several different companies that are offering plenty of great options in 2021. In other words, there is not a one-size-fits-all smart lock that is best for everyone.
Instead, individuals should look at their budget and what features they want and need. The odds are that they will find a device within their price range.
Finally, these products are well worth the upfront investment because they make life easier and safer. If you have experience using a smart locking system, tell us about it in the comments below.