Much like a smart thermostat gives you remote control over the temperature inside your home, a smart lock gives you access to lock and unlock your front door from anywhere. Automation features allow you to do things like set individual keypad codes for visitors and unlock your door automatically when you arrive home, and most also work with voice assistants like Alexa , Google Assistant, and Siri for hands-free control.
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi is the best smart lock you can buy. The 6-in-1 deadbolt offers an impressive combination of usability, smarts, and strength. Looking for something cheaper? The Wyze Lock(available at Amazon) is packed with features and value. There are plenty of other great door locks on our list, too, so you can tailor your ideal smart security.
Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi Smart Lock
U-tec’s Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi is the best smart lock you can buy right now. The new Wi-Fi version improves on the previous model in several key ways starting with the addition of, yep, Wi-Fi. No more hub needed; now you can control the lock from anywhere via your phone. That’s in addition to unlocking via the numeric keypad, voice assistant, Apple Watch, mechanical key, and even fingerprint reader. If there’s a way to open a door, this thing has it.
The U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi boasts an attractive, compact design—a refreshing change from larger, clunkier-locking locks. It’s easy to install and configure, with detailed instructions and online videos available to help you through each step. Just take note, however, that the onboard Wi-Fi supports only 2.4GHz networks. If your router is limited to 5GHz, keep shopping.
The lock is also missing two key integrations: Amazon Key and Apple HomeKit. But it supports nearly everything else (Alexa, Google, IFTTT, etc.), so you can easily add it to compatible smart-home platforms. You can also add guest users with just a few taps, a handy option for Airbnb owners.
Battery life is one concern, though: U-tec promises three to six months of operation from the four non-rechargeable AAs the lock requires. Some kind of rechargeable battery pack would be preferable to disposables.
The lock delivers in nearly every way that matters; it performed just about flawlessly during testing. Despite a few limitations, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi is an easy smart lock to recommend. It looks good, installs easily, and offers just about every unlock option imaginable: smart, digital, and mechanical alike.
Wyze continues to impress us with its incredibly affordable smart home products. Coming off the heels of Wyze’s surprisingly good security cameras, the Wyze Lock offers a solid feature set at a great price. It uses your existing deadbolt and keyhole, so your front door will look the same to outsiders, packing all the smarts in a simple panel attached to the inside of the door.
That means you won't have to re-key anything. Wi-Fi connectivity requires a separate bridge you need to plug in near the lock, though it's bundled in the package. An optional mount-anywhere keypad is also available for numeric codes, though it's sold separately. On one hand, this is nice, because you can buy only what you need and skip the rest—but it also amounts to a bit more work than something like the Encode for those who want the full package.
Thankfully, the Wyze Lock's installation is quite easy, and even first-timers should have no problem installing the deadbolt. The mechanism is smooth and responsive whether you're locking it by hand, through the app, or through the geofencing feature, which uses your phone's location to unlock the door as you arrive home. You can also share access with others through the app, either long-term or on a recurring schedule. (We had to re-share after the other person made their account, so it wasn’t foolproof, but we got it working with minimal fuss.)
The Wyze Lock also uses an interesting auto-sensing feature that can tell whether your door is ajar or not without the need for stick-on sensors. It worked well in our testing, though stick-on sensors may be more reliable for some folks—albeit with added complexity. The Wi-Fi bridge worked flawlessly, which isn't a given, allowing us to lock the house from afar with the app or using voice assistants like Alexa. While we wish it were built-in to the lock itself, the performance is on point, provided you have an outlet near your door.
That's ultimately the main downside of the Wyze Lock—it works incredibly well and comes at a killer price, but it's less attractive than pricier models, and extra pieces like the Wi-Fi bridge and stick-on keypad do require a little more forethought in terms of where everything goes. That said, the Wyze Lock provides such a smooth and hassle-free experience for the price, it's easily one of the best locks you can buy.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Offers geofencing, virtual keys, and optional keypad
Editor's Note: The Schlage Encode Plus Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt is currently out of stock.
The Schlage Encode Plus Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt is the best smart lock for Apple HomeKit. It stands out among many other smart locks by supporting one, er, key feature: Apple Home Key, which leverages iPhones and Apple Watches for proximity-based locking and unlocking. Just hold either device near the keypad, and presto: the deadbolt slides in or out of your door frame. The Encode Plus replaces the previous-generation Schlage Encode, which left out any support for HomeKit smart homes.
However, there’s a caveat Apple users need to consider, and that’s the need for an Apple home hub like an Apple TV, iPad, or HomePod Mini. If you don't have one, you won’t be able to use the lock’s remote-access features. And, even if you do, the only geofencing option is woven into Apple HomeKit, which frustratingly requires manual intervention whenever you arrive home or depart. Alternatively, you can bypass setting the lock-up with HomeKit and use the Schlage app for iOS and Android (sans hub).
The Encode Plus has a keypad with support for up to 100 custom codes but lacks versatile features like a fingerprint reader. Other less expensive smart locks, like our No. 1 pick, come with a fingerprint reader—an extra feature that makes for easy entry when your hands are full. The keypad can be hard to operate for some, as there’s no tactile feedback and a dim backlight.
The good news is that the lock is very easy to install, and also to connect with Alexa, Google, and Siri voice assistants. It also works with Amazon Key. Plus, Schlage backs the physical components with an impressive lifetime warranty and the electronics for three years.
Schlage offers the Encode Plus in two different styles and colors. If you like the look, and you’re already vested in Apple’s ecosystem, the Schlage Encode Plus is the best smart lock for HomeKit.
Hi! I’m Rick Broida, and I’m a freelance tech writer charged with testing smart home gadgets (among other things) here at Reviewed. The previous rounds of testing were done by Whitson Gordon, a former tech freelancer for Reviewed, and Sarah Kovac, former editor of our smart home section here at Reviewed.
We use a piece of an actual door for the installation process. We assemble each one, noting which had newbie-friendly instructions, and which ones made us want to pull our hair out.
Once each lock is installed, we test the accompanying mobile app on Android and iOS, over Wi-Fi and cellular data (when applicable). We rated each one on lock/unlock speed, app interface, connection reliability, responsiveness when used with voice assistants, ease of installation, and more.
We paid special attention to ease of use and reliability. After all, if you're spending the money to upgrade to a smart lock, it needs to work well. Every time.
Our tests proved that not all locks are as smart as you'd think, and when it comes to your home's security, it might be better to opt for a reliable, easy-to-use lock over one that's loaded with potentially confusing and unnecessary features.
What You Should Know About Smart Locks
Can You Use a Physical Key With a Smart Lock?
Digital keypads are great when you don't have a spare key to loan the dog walker or babysitter, and also for those times when you lock yourself out of the house. Some smart locks even come with fingerprint sensors for super-quick unlocking, or geofencing so your house unlocks automatically as you arrive home. Ultimately, these are what make smart locks "smart," and will probably be the main ways you unlock your door.
However, most smart locks also come with traditional keys that you can use to lock and unlock the door as you normally would. It's a good idea to key the spare key on your keyring (or in a safe place where you can easily access it) in case something goes wrong—like you lose power or the batteries in the smart lock die (though many will notify you well before this happens). In addition, you might want to consider a lock that shares compatibility with the other locks in your house.
Can a Smart Lock be Hacked?
Yes. Like any smart product, it's possible to hack into a smart lock. Cybersecurity should be a consideration, but you should also consider the many ways a smart lock offers more security than a "dumb" one.
While possible, the odds of someone having the know-how and motivation to hack your smart lock are going to be much lower than the odds of a door accidentally left unlocked, a burglar finding your spare physical key hiding under a rock, or a burglar using that rock to smash a window. A smart lock prevents many unfortunate scenarios that can result from the vulnerabilities of a dumb lock.
A smart lock can auto-lock your door, ensuring it isn't left unsecured. It eliminates the need for spare/hidden keys and therefore lowers the likelihood one will be stolen, lost, or copied. And depending on the product you choose, your fingerprint or phone will be all you need to get in your house—no more fumbling for keys.
While the device introduces some risks, it eliminates others and adds a lot of conveniences. Just make sure the password to your smart lock isn't "password," and you're likely to come out ahead over a standard deadbolt.
Smart Assistant Compatibility
Whether you use Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, it’s important to make sure the smart lock you choose works with your preferred smart assistant. It may seem obvious, but not all smart locks play nice with certain voice assistants.
Many smart locks work with both Alexa and Google Assistant, but that’s not always the case with Siri. To avoid any surprises or headaches, look for a model that’s compatible with the smart assistant you use the most. Compatibility information can be found on the product’s page or the exterior of the product’s packaging.
There’s always a potential privacy risk involved when you use internet-connected devices at home. To help safeguard your smart home, there are some steps you can take.
First, look for devices that offer two-factor authentication, which sends a code to your mobile device to verify it’s you. That way, if someone tries to hack into your account, you will receive an alert and can quickly take care of the problem. Many devices also allow you to activate email or other push notifications in the settings to alert you if someone has logged on.
Additionally, make sure to use a unique, strong password composed of multiple characters, numbers, and letters for each of your smart home accounts. Data breaches feel like the norm as of late, making it all the more important to use different passwords across multiple websites and apps.
Alfred is a lesser-known player in the smart lock space, but they made one of the best locks we tested this time around. Not only was the lock reliable, triggering every time we commanded it from the mobile app or with our voice, but it's rather versatile as well. Their DB2-B model offers a keypad on the front for numeric codes, a standard key lock hidden under a little door, and a geofence-based one-touch unlock, allowing you to unlock the door by touching your finger to it after returning home.
Having used a similar lock in the past, this is a convenient way to unlock your door—and Alfred's one-touch feature works in conjunction with geofencing. Once you re-enter the 250-foot radius around your home, you'll be able to unlock your door just by touching the keypad. This geofencing requirement can make the feature a bit fiddly for some users, as geofencing requires location permissions and battery optimization to be set a certain way on Android phones—not to mention it requires an always-on notification, which is rather annoying.
The lock's design is a bit large, but still sleek and attractive, with three colors to choose from (black, chrome, and gold). The lock itself connects to your phone over Bluetooth, though you can buy a separate Wi-Fi bridge or Z-Wave module for remote access and integration with other smart home platforms. (You'll need one of these if you want to control it with Alexa or Google Assistant.)
While we love that Alfred offers both Wi-Fi and Z-Wave bridges, the addition of a separate bridge introduces extra variables that can complicate things for many users. While Alfred's bridge worked very reliably in my experience, we tend to be wary of separate bridges since I've had them introduce frustration before—see some of the locks below—particularly if your house is laid out in such a way that there aren't any outlets near the front door.
I much prefer built-in Wi-Fi, particularly when recommending a product to less tech-savvy users. (Oh, and Alfred's bridge is rather unsightly, requiring a cable to plug it in and a weird plastic hanger, rather than a simple module with attached prongs). Still, it's a fantastic lock, and if you're willing to deal with the extra complexity, the Alfred DB2-B is one of the most versatile and reliable models we tested.
If you like the idea of unlocking your door with your fingerprint—which is easily the quickest and most convenient way to get inside your house, short of geofencing—check out the Kwikset Halo Touch. It eschews the keypad for a fingerprint sensor that's quick to engage and very reliable (though notifications that the door has finished locking were a bit delayed in our testing). Its built-in Wi-Fi means you can use Alexa or Google Assistant to lock your door as well, though it doesn't contain any location-based features.
Kwikset also offers the ability to share virtual keys with other users, and add their fingerprints to your door. It isn't quite as versatile as a numeric keypad (since you can offer a code to anyone without them needing the app or being present), but if your primary concern is getting into your own house easily, a fingerprint is incredibly quick and easy.
August’s latest Wi-Fi lock refines the design that put August on the map. Its round locking mechanism replaces your deadbolt knob without requiring you to remove the deadbolt itself, or the keyhole on the outside of the door.
Its design looks a little ugly compared to the more traditional-looking locks on this list, but its built-in Wi-Fi means you can control it from anywhere, and the location-based auto-unlock feature worked flawlessly in our testing. Virtual keys worked similarly well, though we found that invites didn’t work properly unless our invitee already had an August account, which is easy enough to workaround.
We also found the iOS app slightly more confusing to use if you had more than one lock, and the lock seemed to prefer Wi-Fi over Bluetooth—the opposite of most locks—which means there’s sometimes a weird lag when you’re close to the lock and it switches from one to the other. Still, you'll rarely need to use the app when you're standing in front of the lock, so we're okay with this quirk for how reliable the Wi-Fi connectivity was.
Most smart locks require a bulky panel on at least one side of your door, if not both. If you want a smart lock that’s truly incognito, the Level Bolt smart lock replaces the deadbolt mechanism inside your door, without any other circuitry necessary—you use the same keyhole and indoor lever you have right now, making for an incredibly sleek setup.
The Level Bolt works over Bluetooth and supports virtual keys. It is compatible with Apple HomeKit, though, and allows geofencing through that or through the app itself. (Though it does have a rather annoying always-on notification when geofencing is enabled on Android.) It’s a fascinating design, and if you’re building a HomeKit-powered smart home, it's worth a look.
Anker’s Eufy brand aims to provide versatile smart home products at an affordable price (see our list of the best robot vacuums). Its Eufy Security Smart Lock Touch works very well, providing an extremely smooth deadbolt mechanism that's easy to set up and use. It's also versatile, offering both a numeric keypad and a fingerprint sensor, though the sensor is a tad slower than other fingerprint locks we tested.
Unlike other Eufy products, though, the Eufy Smart Lock was on the costlier side. And for that cost, you only get Bluetooth connectivity—no Wi-Fi, which means no voice assistant and other automation features. The physical key also uses a non-standard design, so you can’t re-key it to match the other locks in your home and it's a bit on the bulkier side. Ultimately, it's extremely easy and reliable; we just wish it were a little cheaper for the sacrifices it makes over other models.
A discount deadbolt? That’s the initial appeal of the Wyze Lock Bolt, which costs considerably less than smart door deputies from August, Schlage, and U-tec. But do you really want to cheap out on the hardware that’s meant to keep your home safe?
Good news: As deadbolts go, the Wyze is just as solid and secure as any. It’s really pretty, too, with its stylish, industrial-looking matte-black keypad and interior escutcheon. Nothing about it screams “cheap” or “easy to bypass.” So what accounts for the unusually low price?
Unfortunately, it’s the overall lack of smarts. Although the Lock Bolt features a programmable numeric keypad and fingerprint reader, it offers only Bluetooth connectivity. That pairs it with your phone and Wyze’s admirably easy-to-use app, but the lack of Wi-Fi keeps it from integrating with the rest of your smart home. That means no voice commands via Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, no remote access when you’re away, no automation triggered by locking or unlocking.
Speaking of automation, the Lock Bolt lacks geofencing features, including Bluetooth-based ones that would rely on the proximity of your phone. You can set it to auto-lock after a set period of time, and the Wyze app can generate temporary-use PIN codes even when you’re not near the lock. But without Wi-Fi, this deadbolt definitely falls short of the competition.
That said, not everyone needs or wants that kind of connectivity. The Wyze Lock Bolt succeeds quite well on its own merits, so if you just want an inexpensive, sort-of-smart deadbolt for your front door, this is the bargain to beat.
The Lockly Secure Pro has some promising features. It comes in latch and deadbolt versions, and you have your choice of Satin Nickel or Venetian Bronze finish. But this is more than just a pretty lock. The keypad has a unique security feature that helps protect your entry code from would-be lock hackers.
The numbers on the virtual keypad randomly group to make up four buttons. The numbers on each button are different each time the lock is used, so someone watching your hand in an attempt to figure out your entry code will see different movements each time you enter. Pretty smart.
Lockly comes with a Wi-Fi hub, a lifetime limited warranty covering the finish and mechanics, an easy-to-install door sensor, a fingerprint sensor, and a two-year warranty covering the electronics. We loved Lockly's PIN protection and thoughtful features, but locking and unlocking from the app was slow and finicky. Sometimes our phone wouldn't connect to it at all.
After a few app updates, this lock may prove to be one of our favorites. But until then, we'd recommend something a little more simple and reliable, like our No. 1 pick.
Sarah Kovac is an award-winning author and accessibility editor for Reviewed. Previously, she worked with a multitude of outlets such as Wirecutter, TIME, PCMag, Prevention, The Atlantic, Reviews.com, CNN, GOOD, Upworthy, Mom.me, and SheKnows.
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