When Deadbolts Have Brains: The Top 3 Smart Locks for Smarter Homeowners
Smart locks are not all that new. Way back in human history, sometime between the Bronze and Iron Ages, man invented the first ever lock-and-key device. Archaeologists unearthed it centuries later within the ruins of the ancient, middle-eastern city of Assyria, discovering that the inventor had used nothing more than a simple wooden pin –secured by a post and turned by a key – to protect his valuables.
But in our modern times, with the aid of technology, we’ve advanced so much further with the security of our locks. After beginning with wood, we evolved the locking device over and over again using metal, then magnets, and today, we’ve enhanced our locks even further by implanting computer chips and wireless capabilities into them – allowing us evermore security and peace of mind, even from afar. Because just as the thieves have grown smarter and more resourceful, so must our locks and theft deterrents to compete with them.
So, for the sake of your smarter security, we’ve gathered three of the best smart locks currently out on the home security market. Below, we’ve showcased the respective benefits, eases, and utilities of each of these advanced locking devices, all in the name of making the Assyrians proud of our progress.
The Smartest Locks You Know
Smart locks today use a variety of different technologies to keep you and yours secure. Utilizing everything from access codes (keypads), to proximity detectors (key fobs), to smartphone-enabled controls (an app paired with Bluetooth) these smart guys are almost incomparable to the wooden locks of old.
Though a little more bulky and a little more old-fashioned in appearance, the Schlage Camelot lock packs a castle’s worth of security. Not only does it deliver ANSI Grade 1 durability – the highest residential security rating possible – but it also boasts an anti-pick shield that protects against lock tampering, a fingerprint-resistant touchscreen that mitigates prints and smudges to ensure that wear and use patterns remain undetectable, and a built-in alarm that senses movement of the door and alerts homeowners with an audible chirp.
As if that weren’t enough, this deadbolt also has a brain. Not only can you program up to 30 different access codes – meaning that everyone from the kids to the pet sitter to the housekeeper can have his or her own code – but the chip inside the lock will send you a text whenever the door is opened or closed, keeps a running log of the activity, and can even grant or limit access for codes to certain times or days. And with its built-in Z-wave technology (that means no subscription fees), the smart lock connects to your home automation system and lets you lock or unlock your door from afar via the web or your smartphone.
Remember when you had to pull your jangly bundle of keys out of your pocket every single time you wanted to lock or unlock your car? And then remember when keyless entry came and changed everything? Well, that’s the same idea that’s at the core of the August Smart Lock for your home, which first garnered interest and demand via Kickstarter.
Tap into the Bluetooth-only device by downloading the August app – just make sure to keep the 4 AA batteries inside fresh – and then you can control your lock from within the standard range of 32 feet. (Controlling the lock with your phone when you’re out of range requires either a compatible third-party hub or August’s new $50 Connect accessory, which you’ll need to buy separately.) On the flipside of that coin, August’s auto-unlocking feature, which opens automatically once you leave and then come back within 100 yards, is one of its finest and most flawless.
But what really sets the August Smart Lock apart is that it’s supremely easy to install. Since it integrates seamlessly with more than 100 common and already-in-use deadbolts and keysets – which kind of makes this the smarter, cyborg upgrade of your basic lock – anybody with even the most elementary of mechanical skills can start using this smart lock in just 15 minutes. And since it only mounts on the interior side of the door, no criminal will ever be aware that you have installed a lock smarter than them.
Of all the smart locks we’ve compared, this one – by far – maintains the sleekest appearance. It’s also unassumingly smart, meaning that some of this lock’s best features are its least noticeable, which is even better for catching any criminals off guard.
The Kwikset Kevo’s crisp, clean look – unlike that of the more conspicuous, space-age-y smart locks – isn’t likely to draw unwanted attention to your front door. In fact, you can only really tell this lock is special when you touch it. When that happens, a ring of LED lights illuminates and spins around the lock, each color indicating to the user something different (either the fob or smartphone is nearby, access has been granted or denied, it’s being locked, or there’s an error). The simplicity really is beautiful here.
And with Kevo’s Touch-to-Open technology, you can easily leave your smartphone or key fob in your pocket or purse upon nearing the door, give the lock a double-tap, and then you’re in – all without the hassle of dropping everything just to get inside. In the end, the Kevo is the kind of device that makes us reimagine how technology can easily integrate into our daily lives, pushing us forward to a safer and smarter future all the while.
So as you’re deciding which smart lock is the best upgrade for your home, keep in mind what retired North Carolina Deputy Police Chief Glen Mowrey likes to say, “Burglars are criminals of opportunity. They’re looking for the least resistance.” But by outwitting these criminals – by giving them no easy opportunity to pilfer your stuff – these smart locks stand as your last line of resistance and already have your security safely in hand.