Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve covered the best universal remotes, bidets, and USB hubs, here we’re covering the best smart locks, as reviewed on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Best smart locks with remote access
“If I could give six stars, I would. My wife and I own a small business that includes a summer rental home. We have traditionally used a keyed deadbolt lock and have problems with who should and should not have a key. I installed this lock in place of the deadbolt. I also installed a Z-Wave hub so that I could access all of the locks features remotely from anywhere. With the lock installed and working with the app, I proceeded to set up users that would have access. A four-, six- or eight-digit code can be assigned to the lock depending on how much security one requires. I have given each of our regular users their own access and we will now be able to assign access to individual renters with the ability to turn off their access when they check out. With the app, I also see a record of every time the door was locked/unlocked, by who and at what time. I can lock and unlock from my phone as long as I have internet access both for the app and at the dwelling. Oh yes, there is a key included also. I am planning on adding additional lock in the other buildings soon!”
“I’ve been using two of these locks, one in New England and one in Florida, for the past year. Both locks have worked flawlessly, both locally and remotely. The Florida lock even survived Hurricane Irma. Being able to let repair people into our place remotely, without giving out the code, was a huge plus, as was being able to verify that the door was re-locked after they left. Integration with Wink Hub 2, and therefore with Alexa, is excellent —has worked perfectly since Day 1. One feature that I didn’t think about much in advance but that has proved to be valuable is that you can setup remote alerts so you get a notice on your phone any time the lock is unlocked. Super handy for knowing that the kids and parents arrived home safely.”
“This lock has revolutionized my family’s way to secure our home. Everyone in my house has been set up with the August app and can remotely open or lock our front door with the connect bridge. We’ve setup auto-unlock as we arrive in our neighborhood and it’s drastically changed how we go in and out of our house. Being able to leave house keys behind is a simple yet huge blessing when you just need to step out real quick to grab something from the store or run a quick errand. On top of that, iPhone users can use Siri to control the lock status while Android users can check the door status or remotely lock it. We’ve also set up the auto-lock function with a three-minute timer. Without the connect bridge, you’re limited to Bluetooth range to lock or unlock the deadbolt so I highly recommend the bridge if you don’t think you’ll need one. It’s a great little investment for the smart home of tomorrow whether you have a bunch of devices set up or this is your starting point.”
“Been searching for a smart lock that works with Apple HomeKit to keep our smart home under one ecosystem. The instructions are clear and installation was quick (about 15 minutes), and this is coming from someone who never changed locks. We can easily monitor the lock from our phone whether the lock is engaged or not. I’ve used the keypad a few times already and I was able to open the lock without any instructions (intuitive setup). The lock has small profile and looks great. Very happy with the purchase.”
“This is a great lock with a lot of really nice features. I’m a big fan of the crazy pin setting that rotates the numbers randomly so that your code input is never the same, which makes it harder for people to determine what your code is. Another great feature is the auto lock, with varying time settings. Having Bluetooth connectivity is great as well, since you can open your door with your phone if you don’t want to use a code. It also has the ability for one-touch access that alerts you when you get close to the lock for massive simplicity. The lock looks really nice as it has a very sleek design. I almost forgot to mention the ease of code programming and e-key sharing, which takes no time at all and is all managed and done on the app. (You can do it manually on the lock if you want as well). I highly recommend this lock — it is awesome.”
The best keypad electronic locks
“I looked at a lot of different options for a lock for my clinic that would let me allow people to get in for a one-time instance and allow me to easily get in all the time. I looked at things with Wi-Fi, virtual keys, etc., but finally settled on this simple [key]pad only option. My concern was all of the frustrations I read about in the review of the other products regarding their Wi-Fi and keying options. It seems like I made a good choice, because this unit is ideal for my use. It was super easy to install and I didn’t need anything but a screwdriver. It is very sturdy and I feel like the clinic is very secure when it is locked. I have a code that I use, and I have assigned ones to all of my staff so if we have turnover I can just delete a single code and not have to replace the whole lock. I also have programmed a couple of one-time codes that I can give out if I want to be able to let someone in without having to go up to the building. Once they use the code I just erase it and add another one for the next time. All-in-all, I can recommend this unit for anyone looking for an easy way to access a door and allow others to do so, without the need to change locks every time you change staff or give someone a key.”
“Great product!!! Very easy install. Programming was really simple. Follow directions step-by-step and pay close attention to the important prompts. Less than 30 minutes total time to install and program. I really like the fact that you can use up to six separate codes as well as make a single-use code. My favorite perk is the auto-delay lock. If someone comes in or leaves and forgets to lock the door, it will auto-lock after 30 seconds. (You can change the auto-lock time if you wish.) It’s an excellent deadbolt lock and looks great.”
“Let me first start out by saying I always love things that feel and look and operate a notch above average. So, when I needed a door lock — I bought the Mercedes Benz of door locks. The fact you can easily fit this lock into a standard setup is what makes this door knob surpass those slightly fancier (and much more expensive) deadbolt systems. I’m also very impressed with the weight and feel of the door lock. It’s very secure and I don’t doubt it’s safety, not even for a second. Yes this device does use batteries. And yes, it is possible to have the batteries die. But fear not! They have already planned for this possibility. The system is set up to beep differently at you when it’s running low on juice. But, even worst-case scenario — included is a backup power kit (just don’t lock it in the room). Everyone who sees this lock at my house has wanted one.”
“Quality! Quality! Quality! Sturdily built to withstand any burglar. The psychological statement this makes to an intruder is ‘if they have these kind of locks, they probably have an armed alarm system too — better pass up this house and try a house down the block.’ Installation was not difficult. It’s made very well. It works flawlessly. I LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! I’m able to program up to six different entry codes, one for each relative and neighbor. Technology that works extremely well. We also bought all new Kwikset door knobs for every exterior door in our house. Great products! Buy it!”
Best biometric smart lock
“My friend who is running an Airbnb recommended this smart lock to me, and I’m impressed by the ease of installation and the speed of fingerprint recognition of this smart lock. Different with some other fingerprint-reading devices I’ve used, the lock can recognize me and my family members immediately and accurately. I can also use my smartphone to unlock the door remotely which enables me to run my place as an Airbnb someday and I don’t even need to pass keys to my guests. Nevertheless, the design of the lock also surpasses its competitors. It looks totally natural and stylish on my door.”
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