Open sesame: The best smart locks for your not so humble abode

Open sesame: The best smart locks for your not so humble abode

Keys are what your granddad used to open his front door
The best smart locks

Smart locks are not perfect. They're expensive, they're probably easier to hack than pick and there is that rather large question mark about what happens when they crash - because you just know they will. In fact, have a bit of a think about whether you want to give up on your good, old fashioned keys at all. This will help.

Still with us? Good, now that we've ditched those losers that don't believe in the future, let's take a look at the best smart locks around right now and why these are the few that you need to consider.

Kwikset Kevo

best smart locks

The Kwikset Kevo, made by Unikey, is pretty much the gold standard of smart locks for the time being. It doesn't necessarily have the best features at the most favourable price point but it's reliable because it's been around long enough for most of the bugs to have been ironed out already. The only bad news is that it's only available in North America.

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One of the big pluses, though, is that you can self-install it which keeps the cost down to a fairly reasonable $220. It also has a rather nifty touch to unlock feature which means that you don't even need to pull your phone out of your pocket to open the door thanks to Bluetooth proximity sensing.

Like all the best smart locks, you can grant eKeys to guests and tradesmen and such, although there is a cost for that service if you want anything more complex than a 24 hour free pass. The fact that it looks fairly normal from the outside is a definite bonus and it comes with a keyhole as well just in case there's any luddites in the family. Throw in some interesting tie-ins with Nest and you've got yourself something that looks a lot like a winner.

$220, | Amazon

Yale Keyless Connected

best smart locks

A name you can trust is a very good thing when it comes to something as delicate as home security, and that's very much the play with the Yale Keyless Connected. Not only is it key-free, it's also (if you want it to be) free of smartphones too, which might even make it a little safer still.

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Instead of using the app, you can opt to open this smart lock either with a key fob / card, or with a pin code. You can change your code any time you need and give out different combinations for temporary access too. It also happens to be alarmed which should give any code-crackers a bit of a fright.

$200, | Amazon

Lockitron Bolt

best smart locks

The Bolt is the second generation product from Lockitron which should add a certain peace of mind that the company has learned from any first mistakes that it may have made. It works wirelessly with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, meaning that you get all the low-power of the proximity opening experience, plus the ability to remote unlock your house for anyone that decides to surprise you at an ill-advised time.

The really big sells, for us, with Lockitron are that it's by far and away the cheapest on the list and it's very easy to add and remove guest access as you need through the app. On top of that, it looks pretty good and it's got one of the best developer communities out there behind it with out-of-the-box support from Android, Google Glass, Pebble and, of course, iOS.

Lockitron is much easier to install than most smart locks because it's a more like-for-like lock replacement that requires no calibration and, thanks its KeyMatch feature, you won't even need to change keys as well.

$99, | Amazon

Mul-T-Lock ENTR

best smart locks

Something of the Rolls Royce of smart locks, the Mul-T-Lock ENTR's most eye-catching feature is that it's biometric. Yep, the future is here; your door will open by fingerprint ID. Do we need to write any more? Well, probably given that that extra little bit of wizardry comes in at a bonus $200. Instead, you could go for the standard PIN pad at $100 but where's the fun in that?

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You get all the mod-cons with ENTR such as access using a smartphone as well as a fob plus you can dole out temporary access using your app or a PIN code as required. Best of all, it's probably the most solid of all locks with its three-barrel multi-lock technology as the name suggests. It's too hardcore to work on some of the plastic doors out there but you're fine with anything made from wood or metal.

Sure, this one ain't cheap once you've upgraded your way to full biometrics but it's invisible from the outside and super-smooth to use; maybe the smartest smart lock of the lot.


Noke Padlock

best smart locks

A bit different this one as it's obviously not designed to go on your front door. Instead, this Kickstarter success story is a connected padlock that could be just what you need for a side gate or shed.

Made with zinc, steel, and a boron hardened shackle for an attractive, water resistant and highly durable solution, the Noke uses Bluetooth to sync up with your smartphone, meaning no fumbling about for keys with your cold, wet hands. It's weather proof and you can even give contacts temporary access to open up whatever it is guarding.

$69, | Amazon


best smart locks

Standards are an awkward thing when it comes to smart home installation and the reason it's well worth considering Danalock is because that's something that this company has thought about beyond all the others. A Danish product - which in itself adds a certain cachet, if not the promise of good design - it comes in SKUs to fit all kinds of European and North American doors along with the wireless standards to match. There's Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the Z-Wave smart home type depending on your poison.

Installation is said to be easy - although comparisons could be drawn between the man who fits his own lock and the one who defends himself in court - it's really quite cheap and there's all the activity logging, remote access and temporary eKey control that you would need; all without having to pay any kind of service. Well worth your consideration.

From $159, | Amazon

RemoteLock Deadbolt 500i

best smart lock systems

RemoteLock's Wi-Fi smart lock options give you both that keypad PIN entry plus mobile phone access in one. On the surface, that's not hugely different to some of the others on this list but what's really impressive is the level of granular control you get with those temporary keys.

Those eKeys come in the form of a generated code for the keypad and they're so specific that you can issue one for your cleaner, for example, that only works between 10am and 2pm on a Tuesday. Or you can grant an access combination that only works for a single entry which might be good for a tradesmen - provided that they don't need to go back out to their van for some tools, of course.

Again, the other bonus here is that the product has been out and in working use for quite some time, so this is definitely not a beta test. And, again, the annoyance is that you'll need to pay $0.99 each month for the connected service. Boo.

$249.99, | Amazon


best smart lock systems

Sesame is a tricky one. It's everything that's right and wrong with smart locks all at the same time. Right: it's seriously easy to install; easier than all the others, says Sesame. Wrong: it offers far too many kinds of funky access methods to make you feel comfortable.

But, there are two things about Sesame that make it just impossible to leave out. The first is that, apparently, it fits any deadbolt-style lock in the world. And the second? Well, the second is that you can set it so that a secret knock on your door will automatically let you in. Yeah, it's a gimmick, but tell us it's not bringing a smile to your face.

$99 ($149 for remote Wi-Fi control),


best smart lock systems

Haven is a real stand-out amongst the smart locks and that's exactly what its creators were trying to design. Not satisfied with the level of security that the deadbolt systems offer, it works by providing a barrier across the bottom of the door frame which makes it next to impossible to simply kick in.

There's still most of that remote access and temporary key functionality thanks to the dual Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless operation but the feature that we, obviously, particularly like is that you can use all sorts of fitness tracker and smartwatch wearables to unlock it.

What's more, because it doesn't attach to your current door lock system, it's far more universal. Check the products dimensions and recommended clearance on your floor with what you have at home, and away you go.



best smart lock systems

Did you think we weren't going to mention August? Well, we nearly didn't. The trouble with the poster-child of the Kickstarted smart lock world is that it's a bit hit and miss. Not all of its promised features - such as the proximity auto-unlock - quite come off and even the simple Bluetooth locking and unlocking can be a bit slow. In fact, there's plenty out there that have wondered why they bothered upgrading from their key system at all.

So, consider the August not so much as a best smart lock but more as one to look out for. There's plenty of marketing behind it, it's a big name and, hey, at least it's out there learning from its mistakes. In a way that puts it ahead of those who've yet to make it to the shops. Should you buy one now? No. But, in the future, well, there's every opportunity for August to smooth out the bumps.

From $199,| Amazon


  • tacit0ne says:

    I enjoy the look of many of these smart locks, but I would only ever buy a device with an actual key hole.

    What is one supposed to do with a keyless smart lock in the case of a power outage?

  • tacit0ne says:

    I enjoy the look of many of these smart locks, but I will only ever buy one with low-tech key capabilities.

    What is one supposed to do with the fancy keyless offerings in the event of a power outage?

  • nicknicolao says:

    Thanks for sharing all the information about smart door lock system. All the products you have describe above are highly secure and their features are awesome.

    • jdiben says:

      How can you say they're all secure when at least 4 of them don't exists yet and have never been released?

  • animals says:

    A WARNING TO EVERYONE: DO-NOT ORDER THE GOJI SMART LOCK IT IS A SUPER SCAM:They will not send you a lock and will not give refunds SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM

    • Marrkk says:

      Gogi's parent company filed for bankruptcy on December 22.  A lawsuit was filed against them in San Diego Superior Court in November, apparently by one of their suppliers, Room 5; asking for $1,600,000.

  • mjustiniano says:

    Sesame Smart Lock is most probably a scam.

    I am one of 7.500 backers on Kickstarter that have paid them a total amount of 1,5 million dollars to support and receive this product.

    The company Candy House has not given any updates for several months, the product should have been delivered a long time ago, and noone has received the product nor any information about delivery.

    Search for Sesame on Kickstarter and you will see many thousand negative comments that confirm what I here claim, and you will also see the desperate need for an update.

    You should update your article with this information as it is vital for the consumer.

    At least until some backers can confirm that the product is delivered and works.

    Thank you.

  • terrychan33 says:

    I like the article, but why just compare with North America digital door locks?  Korea has digital door locks for over 30 years with hundred of styles, there must be somethings that they are good at.  I'm interested to see a comparison?

    Thank you

    • Marrkk says:

      Samsung Korean locks are now being offered on the web.  However, the one available is not a deadbolt, rather an inside surface mount (lock screwed to the inside face of the door, latch catch to the inside face of the door frame), an arrangement that can be forced much more easily than a deadbolt lock.

  • jdiben says:

    How can you possibly declare these the best smart locks when at least 4 of them don't exist. You even say "let's take a look at the best smart locks around right now". They're not around. You should make it clear that your review is nothing more then a comparison of promises from companies that don't have a product and feature lists from products you've never touched. You make it sound like you've reviewed these products and can provide insight into the best of the bunch.

  • Stu says:

    I'm looking at the Samsung SHS-DP728 lock, it's got Bluetooth, a number pad and biometric sensors, as well as an emergency key bypass

  • Kec says:

    Can I register new user code while the battery is low?

  • leony says:

    sesame i see that is more expensive that u said in article

    its 149 $ and 200 $ with wifi ...

    so is the same price almost august smart lock...

  • Todler62895 says:

    BEWARE!!! Lockitron is pure vaporware with thousands of customers dating back to 2012 as of today still waiting to receive their purchase, now called the Bolt/Bridge, which they paid for in advance but not received, and which Lockitron will not say when and if they ever wil.

  • Todler62895 says:

    BEWARE!!!! Lockitron so far is pure vaporware: Thousands of customers going back to 2012, as of today are still waiting to receive the product, now termed the so-called Bolt/Bridge, they paid for but have yet to receive; and Lockitron refuses to say when and if they ever will.

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