May 3, 2018 - Integrate your home with the best smart home gear the universe has to offer. Typically around $140, it’s more expensive than most, but it also offers much more convenience. The Best Smart Locks. 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. Setup of the lock is on a par with that of all the other locks we’ve tested and involves fully removing your existing deadbolt to replace it with the U-Bolt Pro. 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. Although we greatly prefer the feel of the keypads found on Schlage locks, the Yale Assure Lock SL’s other features, reliability, and overall aesthetics make it a far better buy for most people. (Yale also makes a version of this model with a keyway, which we do not recommend—see How we tested for more details.). We also considered the physical robustness of each lock and, where applicable, the keyway. And when paired with a smart-home system such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, or Samsung SmartThings, they can tell other smart devices to turn on or off, or even spark a series of automated actions among a few devices—for instance, having your lights turn off and the heat or AC kick on when you arrive home and unlock the door. Forget to unplug the iron this morning? (We’d also point out that everyone now lives in a ubiquitously connected world, and everything from your utilities to the entire global financial system is fully internet-connected.) It’s a bulky lock and has none of the streamlined fit and finish of the Yale, but the tactile nature of the keypad buttons and the manual deadbolt are satisfying, and we appreciated the added security of the higher ANSI grade. The Schlage Connect is a low-cost option for anyone who already uses a Z-Wave hub. 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. With these smart features installed, the Yale lock still stands above the competition and is the kind of lock we’d include in our guide to the best smart locks. He also raises sheep and has a dairy cow that he milks every morning. In the company’s favor, it has a growing line of products, and in our experience it replied quickly to a customer service request and responded to questions about its security practices and policies with detailed information. In tests, we looked for the models with the simplest programming process and the most customization of the options, like volume and the timed auto-lock setting. Like the Connect, the Sense has a terrific keypad and top-quality ANSI Grade 1 hardware, but over many years of testing, it has suffered from Bluetooth range issues that make it unreliable when we’re trying to connect to it remotely—despite being within spitting distance of both our Wi-Fi beacon and an Apple TV acting as a hub. The Encode doesn’t have the smart-home chops of the Yale Assure Lock SL and is compatible only with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so if you hope to have a smart lock as part of a comprehensive smart-home array, our top picks are better options. We’ve spoken to locksmiths, security experts, and manufacturers. We were pleased with the performance and looks of the Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen Deadbolt (YRD226), a former alternative to our top pick (the YRD256). Put Amazon's Alexa to work for you with these great smart-home devices. Technically, the U-Bolt Pro provides six methods of triggering the lock (including shaking your phone when you’re in front of it); however, the most useful and, we think, the most likely to be used are the fingerprint and door code methods. 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. To our taste, the glass touchscreen of the Yale Assure Lock SL (YRD256) Connected by August offers an inferior experience compared with the keypad of Schlage’s line of keypad locks. By Wirecutter | Earns commissions. To use a code, you push the button with the Ultraloq logo, enter your unique PIN, and push the logo again. We chose test models with a trigger or lock/unlock method that was quick, reliable, and quiet—and one that didn’t require directly using a smartphone app to lock or unlock the door, because we’ve found that, functionally, using a phone is no faster or barely more convenient than using a physical key. There is no longer a need to give someone a key (that could be copied) or to hide one under the mat. The Schlage lock allows an unlimited number of virtual keys through its native z-wave integration. 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. Leave Your Keys Behind With the Best Smart Locks We spent more than three months researching all of the top-rated smart locks currently available and put 10 leading … Apr 28 2016 Of all the tested models, the Schlage BE365 is the least streamlined. A large proportion of today’s best smart door locks don’t necessitate the complete removal and replacement of all your existing hardware. The true distinctions emerged in firsthand tests, when we could look beyond the spec sheets and see what it would be like to live with these. This feature makes the Yale a nice stepping stone if you like the idea of an electronic lock and feel you may want to upgrade to a smart version at a later date. So, in a way, the Schlage is like a traditional deadbolt, but with an added keypad option. But still, a dead battery is a possibility if the warnings are ignored or if the lock is on a rarely used second home. Since it has neither a keypad nor a fingerprint reader, to unlock your door you need to access the companion app on your smartphone or enable the auto-unlock mode to trigger when you arrive home, the latter of which presents a potential security risk if the lock misfires. Other models, specifically the Kwiksets, were much harder to program and included taking apart the interior portion of the lock to access a programming button and tiny switches. 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. We initially would forget that step and wait for the lock to open, only to have it time out. 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). 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 Yale also offers the most customization. If these added features are appealing to you, we have a guide to smart locks. The Schlage B60N is our pick as the best deadbolt for most people. The Schlage has a higher security grade than the Yale, but it lacks a few features (like language options) and is also a little fussier to program. The thumb-turn housing is thinner than that of any of the other models we tested. It’s made up of Hardened molybdenum that makes it more resistance to sawing and cutting compared to cheaper locks. Unlike our other picks, which have a keypad or fingerprint sensor (or both), the Wyze Lock requires that you use an app to unlock it, which for everyday use isn’t much more convenient than using a key (Wyze has introduced a wireless keypad, which we plan to test). It’s pretty, and the fingerprint reader works well, but you can’t readily share access to your home like you can with keypad models (you’d need to register a fingerprint for every visitor). This slick doorbell can alert you to people, packages, animals, and cars going by. He spent 10 years in high-end construction as a carpenter, foreman, and supervisor. Codes can be added or deleted at any time. 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 fine option, though notably it’s a lot larger than our other picks, it doesn’t integrate with as many smart-home platforms, its included Wi-Fi adapter is a clunky mess, and its app is far too confusing to use for setting up PIN codes. One clever security feature lets you choose to press a string of random numbers before and after you enter your actual code, so that someone observing you won’t be able to see the code and memorize it (unless the observer can memorize long strings of numbers—in which case, use the fingerprint reader). Though we’re confident that the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro is the best pick for most people, several of the other models we’ve tested would certainly satisfy those with specific needs. In addition, you have the convenience of creating individual codes for guests or family members and customizing when they are active, from always-on to recurring times or a set window—a great option if you have a housekeeper, a pool maintenance person, a babysitter, and so on. A Wi-Fi adapter, which also enables Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, is available but removes HomeKit compatibility. As a result, you should install it only if you have ready access to another entrance to your home. A top name in locks for almost a century, Schlage successfully combines trusted security and the latest smart technology with this top-quality model. 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 … 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. We noted how loud each lock was and how the buttons felt and responded to our fingers, with and without gloves on. At $140, the Yale is on the upper middle end of the price range. Our top pick, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro, is small and attractive, and can be used in multiple ways. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Jon Chase is an editor leading smart-home coverage at Wirecutter. While they differ from one another in the keypad/touchscreen style and the backup option (one has the 9-volt terminals, two have the keyway), the guts and functions are all similar. An electronic lock opens via a code entered into a keypad or touchscreen. Grade 2 is 800,000 open/closes and five strikes from 75 pounds of force. Nov 11, 2020 - 5 Recommendations. When you think about it, keys are irritating—they’re bulky, you’ve got to keep track of them, and your keychain just picks up more and more of them as time goes by. For the previous version of this guide, we researched the different rating systems from foundations such as ART and Sold Secure, and we spoke to professional bicycle thieves. The Schlage has the highest security rating, but it’s not as automated as the others. © 2021 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company, but you may not be able to have a smart lock trigger automatically unless you first input a code, Yale Assure Lock SL (YRD256) Connected by August, Yale Assure Lever (YRL256) Connected by August, Our pick: Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro (with Bridge), Runner-up: Yale Assure Lock SL (YRD256) Connected by August, Also great: Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt, Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen Deadbolt (YRD226), owners having their door unlock at unwanted times, Building a Smart Home With Apple’s HomeKit, The Smart Home Devices the Wirecutter Staff Uses, The Best Smart Home Starter Kits to Buy Black Friday 2020. 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). He lives in a very demanding 250-year-old farmhouse and spent four years gutting and rebuilding his previous home. It’s a very good lock, but simply not as good as other picks. It’s noteworthy that while a handful of models consistently made reviewers’ short lists, no lock has been a consensus pick. One major concern we have is that, in a very informal and unskilled lockpicking attempt, we were able to unlock the Level Lock in a matter of seconds. None of the other models have a voice, and the beep on the Yale is much nicer than the Kwikset harsh digital tone. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is nearly half the size of the company’s Smart Lock Pro. The first type is an add-on device that replaces the interior thumb turn of your door’s existing deadbolt but not the deadbolt mechanism itself. The Encode is smaller than its Schlage forebears (though not as small as the U-Bolt Pro), and it installs quickly. More than anything, not dealing with an app or periodic Bluetooth failures just to get in through the front door is a welcome relief. This is only a minor gripe and doesn’t take away from all of the elements we liked about the Yale lock. This keypad smart lock allows for quick exit or entry without needing to carry keys (or even a smartphone). . 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 universally recommended. The August Smart Lock Pro + Connect is the HomeKit smart lock pick in our guide to the best HomeKit-compatible devices. The Bridge also gives you the ability to use Alexa or Google Assistant with the lock, which in our tests worked well. July 23, 2019 [ad_1] Our testing pool after a few rounds of security testing. While pressing the numbers, a tone sounds and a voice occasionally chimes in (“Time expired”). Is a username or password required to use this device? The Schlage lock has a keypad that allows you to use a 4-8 digit code to unlock the door. He has been covering technology as a writer and editor since the days before mobile phones got smart. During installation it measures and confirms that you are within adequate range of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, an especially nice touch. 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. The only close competitor in this department is the Kwikset Obsidian, but that lock doesn’t compare with the Yale in most other areas. As a reporter and editor, I’ve been covering technology and trends—and testing and reviewing a wide range of consumer electronics—for two decades at a number of respected national publications. That said, the fingerprint ID remains our preferred way to unlock it, though we sometimes needed to make a few attempts before it would work (mostly due to a dirty, wet, or otherwise obscured fingerprint). The process for scanning a fingerprint will be familiar to anyone who has done it with a smartphone: You repeatedly place, adjust, and reposition your finger over the scanner (you can store two fingerprints per user). 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. The Yale was also the most attractive among those we tested, taking up the smallest footprint and having the lowest profile. For something that may need to be referred to from time to time, folding and unfolding this gigantic sheet to get to the programming section is tedious. John R. Delaney, The Best Smart Locks for 2020, PCMag, April 9, 2020, Mike Prospero, Best smart locks in 2020, Tom’s Guide, April 1, 2020, Nick Schmiedicker and Sarah Kovac, The Best Smart Locks of 2020, Reviewed, April 16, 2020. If you find these sounds distracting, they can be muted. Programming these is much more difficult than with both the Yale and the Schlage. Learn more. The rounded edges and a stylish metallic trim add to the nice look. You can unlock it six different ways, including with a numerical code, in an app, through a physical keyway, and—the pièce de résistance—via fingerprint. It’s also the only lock in our test group with a built-in alarm, a soul-shattering shriek powerful enough to rouse the deceased—you can arm it to trigger if someone attempts to bust the lock or if the door is rammed. Combination Lock, 4 Digit Combination Padlock, Waterproof Gate Lock, Resettable Combo Lock for Locker, Gym, Cases, Toolbox, School, 2 Pack (Black) 4.5 out of 5 stars 448 $7.29 As part of our vetting process, we research all of the security and data privacy practices behind our picks. 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. This is subjective, and the logo on the interior side is a little too noticeable for our tastes, but what can’t be disputed is that the exterior portion of the Yale has the lowest profile and the smallest footprint. If you pop off to a neighbor’s house or the corner store, it won’t work, and you’ll need to consult your phone to open the door. The FoldyLock Compact is, we believe, the second-best folding lock option. For our testing, we installed multiple locks on a single 2-by-10-foot board and used them daily for more than a month. 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