Three Things to Look for in a Smart Lock

Put the safety of your home at your fingertips.

Person holding a smart lock for the home
Unlock your door with the push of a button.Unsplash/Sebastian Scholz

You know that feeling when you’re miles away from home, it’s too late to turn back and you can’t remember in the rush of getting out the door if you actually locked it? And what about that call in the middle of the night because a family member forgot their key and needs you to stumble out of bed to let them inside? Or, that constant nagging over who exactly has a key to your house and is it time to change the locks? Upgrading to a smart lock can take away some of those fears. By making your key “digital”—you have the control to lock and unlock your door from anywhere in the world, the ability to change access whenever necessary and never need to worry about rummaging for keys with full hands again. With a variety of options in the mix, here’s what to consider if you’re ready to make the smart lock switch.

Wyze Lock WiFi and Bluetooth Enabled Smart Door Lock, Wireless & Keyless Door Entry, Hands-Free Voice Control, Home Security Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Fits on Most Deadbolts, Includes Wyze Gateway
Features door position detection, letting you know if the door has been left open.Wyze

Battery life is a key component of your smart lock as the majority operate on either multiple AA alkaline batteries or a rechargeable lithium-ion cell. It’s important to note what types of alerts you’ll get when the battery is low—be it on the app or lock itself—so you’re not left in a lurch. Most smart locks go by “cycles”—the total number of physical locks and unlocks—to give a baseline of how long the battery will last. The average is anywhere from three months to a year, depending on the type of lock and overall functions.

August Smart Lock Pro + Connect with Wi-Fi Bridge, Silver. Zwave, HomeKit & Alexa Compatible
Features keyless access and ability to keep track of who comes and goes via your phone.August Smart

The option to assign a “guest key” through your smart lock is an important function if you often need to grant people access to your home when you’re not there—such houseguests or babysitters. Usually the “guest key” is sent via a text or email code through the smart lock app, and allows your visitors wireless entry capabilities for a finite period of time. Another feature to look for is the ability to track who comes and goes within the app or via alerts, giving you peace of mind that the sitter did make it home with the kids or relatives arrived from the airport.

Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt with Camelot Trim in Aged Bronze
This lock is compatible with Alexa and can manage up to 100 unique access codes for friends, family and guests.Schlage

Voice control capability is especially important if you find yourself frazzled when running in or out the door with kids under foot, packages in hand or both. Voice control capabilities vary—some smart locks only allow you to lock the door when you’re inside your home while others have upgraded to an unlock command with a spoken PIN code.

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