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Open sesame: Smart locks to keep your home secure

Goodbye keys: Six smart locks that will secure your home

The lock on your front door probably isn’t the flashiest aspect of your house. In fact, you probably use it every day without paying much attention to it. These devices keep our homes protected, our families safe, and our possessions secure. Upgrading to a smart lock will give you the added convenience of keyless entry, but it shouldn’t be more of a hassle or easier to pick than an ordinary lock.

More: Kwikset’s touchpad-equipped, keyless smart lock could be wave of the future

A good smart lock should be a combination of security and convenience. While the most important thing is to keep you and your house safe, these products should also be easy to install and use. Thankfully, you can easily integrate many of the smart locks on this list with other smart home products — such as Apple’s HomeKit or the Amazon Echo — and operate them via your smartphone. As a safety feature, Alexa won’t let you unlock your door with a voice, but Siri has been known to do so with an iPad that doesn’t have a passcode. That’s something to keep in mind: Convenience shouldn’t come at the expense of safety.

Below are some of our favorite smart locks on the market, so you can bring your security into the 21st century.

Yale Real Living Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt With Z-Wave  ($165)

yale-touchscreen

Keys are so last century. We put the Yale’s touchscreen lock at the top of this list because it checks all the basic requirements for a good smart lock. It’s easy to install, works with smart home systems such as SmartThings and Honeywell, and the backlit digital keypad eliminates the need to carry around house keys. What else could you ask for? How about the ability to create unique codes for friends and family members, or the ability to lock or unlock your home remotely? This lock from Yale checks those boxes, too, and does so using little more than four AA batteries.

The device’s alarm will also alert you when you’re running low on power, and there’s a 9-volt backup so you never have to worry about getting locked out. Yale makes a variety of smart locks, so if this model doesn’t suit your needs, the company likely offers another that does. After all, some people still want the option to use a physical key instead of a digital display. Read our full review here.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

August Smart Lock ($229)

august-smart-lock

The August SmartLock is another device that eliminates the need to carry a set of house keys. Of course, you’ll still have to carry your smartphone (or a smartwatch) to operate this lock. The second-gen device retains the style of its predecessor, but adds a few cool tricks, including an “Auto-lock” feature. Like similar smart locks, August uses Bluetooth to detect when your phone is nearby. When August senses that you’re moving away from your home, it automatically locks the door behind you. This feature may be a little unsettling if you’re the type of person who checks the lock multiple times before leaving your home, but you can always check whether the door is open or closed using the August SmartHome app. The lock also integrates with smart home systems like Apple’s HomeKit, and pairs with the Amazon Echo, the XFinity Home app, and Logitech Harmony remotes. Read our full review here.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt ($193)

schlange-sense-smart-deadbolt

Schlage is another trusted name in home security and the Sense Smart Deadbolt is one of the company’s best smart locks. The apt-titled lock connects to your phone via Bluetooth, which allows the lock to “sense” when you’re standing at the door (and when someone who isn’t supposed to be is to close to your home). Sadly, however, you can’t control the lock remotely unless you’re using an iPhone. The Sense Smart was designed to work with Apple’s HomeKit, and as such, it can only be controlled remotely via the Apple TV. Schlage recently announced that the device will eventually support Android devices, but this lock was clearly designed with Apple fans in mind.

While this lock may keep Android fans out in the cold, it does offer a few cool tricks for iPhone users. For instance, you can ask Siri to lock or unlock your door, or gain entry to your home via your Apple Watch.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Kwikset Kevo ($229)

kwikset-kevo

No keys. No codes. The only thing you need to unlock the Kwikset Kevo smart lock is your phone… and your finger. The Kevo is yet another smart lock that uses Bluetooth to sense when you’re approaching or exiting your door. Once the device identifies your phone, you simply touch the lock to open the door. Since the access system only works with pre-approved phones, the lock can keep track of who’s coming and going, and can even send you a notification when someone locks or unlocks your door.

The Kwikset Kevo is one of the most capable smart locks currently on the market, but, sadly, you’ll have to pay a little extra to access all the device’s features. It will cost you $2 to send an eKey to a friend or neighbor, for instance, and you’ll have to pay an extra $99 for Kevo Plus, an upgrade that provides you with the ability to unlock your door when you’re away from home and carry out a host other actions. (The Plus also gives you unlimited eKeys, so it’s worth it if you’re using it for your Airbnb.) Kevo users can also buy a key fob for $25, which gives you the ability to control the lock without the use of your smartphone. Read more here.

Buy one now from:

Amazon