If a more secure home is the reason why you’re looking to add smart home technology to your home, a smart lock is a no-brainer. The best front door smart locks these days offer a variety of functionality to keep your family safe. They allow you to set codes for each family member and even temporary codes for visitors and delivery drivers. Some even use fingerprint technology for added security.
Many unlock as you approach your door and will lock themselves if you forget to when you leave. In many cases, smart locks integrate tightly with your video doorbell, allowing you to unlock it while speaking to whoever’s at your door. You only need a deadbolt, which most modern doors have.
There are two types of smart locks: we refer to them as deadbolt replacement and deadbolt retrofit smart locks. Deadbolt replacement smart locks are just like it sounds: a complete replacement for your preexisting deadbolt. Retrofit models replace the latch inside your door or fit over the latch, turning your preexisting deadbolt into a smart one.
Smart Locks FAQ
Below we’ve answered some of the most common questions on smart locks that we hear from readers.
How do smart locks work?
The smart lock is a Wi-Fi-connected lock, often with Bluetooth technology built-in. These technologies work together to allow you to unlock your front door without having to reach for the key, and Wi-Fi allows for remote access to your lock and gives temporary access to your home when you’re away.
How secure is a smart lock?
The modern smart lock is as secure as the traditional lock, but just like you’d not give out your existing keys to just anyone, you should protect your virtual keys just the same. When choosing a PIN, make sure it’s not easy to guess. Use the fingerprint reader instead of a PIN if it supports it. If you use a mobile app to unlock your smart lock, ensure your device is locked with a passcode, and preferably fingerprint or face identification.
Can smart locks be hacked?
Any network-connected device can be hacked. However, smart lock manufacturers have by and large spent a lot of time making their smart locks secure and as hack-resistant as possible. However, you can reduce your risk of being hacked by fully utilizing your smart lock’s security features and choosing complex passwords and PINs.
Can Alexa/Google Assistant/Siri control my smart lock?
Yes, voice control is an option with most smart locks. And that’s not all that can control it: your smart doorbell may be able to integrate with your smart lock, allowing you to unlock the door through the doorbell’s app with just a tap. Most smart locks support Alexa and Google Assistant, however not all support Apple HomeKit, unfortunately.
Is my door compatible with a smart lock?
Smart locks are compatible with most modern doors with a separate deadbolt. Some models replace your existing deadbolt altogether, while others fit over the inside portion of your deadbolt, making your existing deadbolt “smart.” Older doors where the deadbolt and latch are all a single piece are incompatible with smart locks: you’ll need to replace the door, unfortunately.
Does my smart lock need Wi-Fi to work?
It depends on the manufacturer. While many smart locks use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect you to your lock, some use Bluetooth only and won’t require a Wi-Fi connection. These smart locks are cheaper. However, you lose the capability to control them remotely.
Best Front Door Smart Locks
There are many options for smart locks, but we’ve rounded up the seven best front door smart locks below. All of our options are great choices to help keep your home secure.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock has everything you need built-in to the lock itself, including connectivity. The original August Smart Lock required an optional connectivity module for remote access. All the major platforms are supported, including Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant, and geofencing automatically locks and unlocks your doors when you leave and come home. Want to really make your smart lock hack-proof? Use biometric identification (face, thumbprint) to let your August Wi-Fi Smart Lock know it’s actually you at the door.
August Smart Lock Pro
The August Smart Lock Pro is the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock without Wi-Fi connectivity. With Z-Wave functionality, you can connect it to your smart home using most smart home hubs. The Wi-Fi connectivity is supplied through the August Connect module, also included in the package. We’d recommend the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock unless you already have a hub.
August Smart Lock
The August Smart Lock is quite similar to the August Smart Lock Pro in functionality, although it comes in a different form factor, and doesn’t support Apple HomeKit. Perfect for renters, you just slip the August Smart Lock over your existing deadbolt and you’re ready to go. This smart lock also comes with the August Connect module so you can use the lock’s remote access and auto-lock feature.
Nest x Yale Lock
Yale is a trusted name in locks, and Nest’s smart home devices are pretty popular. This smart door lock is a collaboration between the two companies, and the Nest x Yale Lock seamlessly connects with the Nest Secure security system to keep your home safe. You can create temporary codes to allow guests access to your house, and a PIN pad allows for keyless entry. If you’re looking for voice control, keep in mind the Nest x Yale Lock only works with Google Assistant.
Sifely Keyless Entry Door Lock
Sifely is a name that many won’t be familiar with, however, the Sifely Keyless Entry Door Lock is one of the most popular smart door locks on Amazon. This one is different as it replaces your entire door lock assembly, both the deadbolt and the doorknob. But you get a ton of functionality in return. You can lock and unlock by PIN, fingerprint, key fob, app, and even a traditional key. If you’re an Airbnb host, this is probably the best smart lock for you, as these codes can be generated remotely, and with the entire door lock and doorknob replaced, this one will be much harder to break into.
Ultraloq U Bolt Pro
The Ultraloq U Bolt Pro is another lesser-known smart lock with great reviews and tons of functionality — at a price often much cheaper than its competitors. You can lock and unlock the Ultraloq via PIN, smartphone, fingerprint, or mechanical key, or unlock when you’re nearby, and voice control is available via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. If you’re looking to save a little money, watch for a sale on this lock.
Wyze continues to impress us with its low-cost smart home devices, and the Wyze Lock is no exception. It fits over your existing lock, and will automatically lock (and unlock) the door as you enter and leave your home. Amazon Alexa support is available, and if you own a Wyze Cam, you can set it to record after the door is unlocked, so you always know who is coming in the door.
Choosing the Best Smart Locks for your home
Unfortunately, not everyone can use a smart lock on their current door. Most of us living in homes built in the past few decades will have separate deadbolts. Older homes will not. If you cannot, opt instead for a good video doorbell. However, if you can, which style is best comes down to budget and whether you’re comfortable with doing it yourself. (it’s a fairly easy job).
As a general rule, retrofit smart locks are cheaper and easier to install. You do lose some functionality, however — as your phone is your key. With replacement smart locks, since the whole assembly is replaced, you’ll often gain a keypad or fingerprint scanner on the outside — this way, you don’t always need your phone to operate your door.
Replacement smart locks do take a bit of DIY experience, but not anything many of us couldn’t handle. Most installs require no changes to the door itself. If you’re looking for the top end in functionality, all the best smart locks are replacement locks, so keep that in mind.