Expert Assessments: How Locksmiths Enhance Home Security

Smart locks have revolutionized home security, offering convenience and peace of mind to homeowners. In this article, we delve into the benefits, considerations, testing methods, and comparisons of smart locks. Discover how locksmiths enhance home security through the use of smart lock technology.

Key Takeaways

  • Smart locks provide convenience and peace of mind to homeowners.
  • Consider design, security, and means of entry when choosing a smart lock.
  • Testing smart locks involves installation, performance, and condition evaluations.
  • Explore other smart locks like Kwikset Halo for alternative options.
  • Control smart locks remotely via smartphone for added security.

Benefits of Smart Locks

Ease of Installation

One of the magnificent benefits of smart locks is their ease of installation. Unlike traditional locks, many smart locks require no complex wiring or special tools, making them a convenient option for homeowners. Installation typically involves a simple setup process that can often be completed with just a screwdriver.

The straightforward installation process not only saves time but also reduces the need for professional help, which can be a significant cost saver.

Here are some common reasons that make smart locks a popular choice:

  • Easy to install
  • Compatibility with various smart home devices
  • Features like Auto-Lock and Auto-Unlock

While the installation is generally user-friendly, some models may require additional modules, such as the August Connect, to fully integrate with home automation systems like HomeKit or Alexa.

Security Features

Smart locks are revolutionizing home security by offering features that traditional locks can’t match. Keyless entry systems eliminate the need for physical keys, reducing the risk of lost or copied keys. With customizable user codes, homeowners can grant temporary access to guests without compromising overall security.

Robust, commercial-grade padlocks are now being integrated into smart lock designs, enhancing their physical durability. For example, a popular model features a die-cast body with a Boron Carbide shackle, known for its resistance to cutting and sawing. The addition of shackle seals and dial dust covers further protects the lock from the elements, ensuring long-term reliability.

The integration of advanced security features in smart locks provides not only convenience but also a significant upgrade in protecting your home.

While smart locks bring a plethora of connected conveniences, it is essential to consider their security aspects critically. As highlighted by a recent CNET article, years of testing have identified the best smart locks for ensuring the highest level of security and convenience at your front door.

Compatibility with Smart Home Systems

Smart locks are not just standalone devices; they are a crucial part of the broader smart home ecosystem. The better smart locks should be able to work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit, which allows you to seamlessly integrate them with other smart home devices. For instance, a simple voice command like "Siri, Goodnight" could ensure that your lights are turned off and your doors are securely locked.

The integration extends beyond convenience to security. If you have a home security system, some smart locks can be configured to lock automatically when you leave home, adding an extra layer of protection.

Connectivity is key for remote control and monitoring of your smart lock. Most smart locks come equipped with Bluetooth, Zigbee, or Z-Wave radios, which are low-power options ideal for such devices. However, these typically require an additional hub or bridge to enable remote access. Here’s a quick comparison of popular smart locks and their compatibility features:

Smart Lock Model Connectivity Options Compatible Smart Home Platforms
Yale Assure Lock 2 Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave Plus Alexa, Google Home, Homekit
Level Bolt Bluetooth Alexa, Apple
Lockly Secure Plus Bluetooth Alexa, Google (with adapter)

Considerations for Smart Locks


When selecting a smart lock, the design plays a crucial role in both aesthetics and functionality. Smart locks come in a variety of styles to complement your home’s decor, but it’s essential to consider more than just appearance. The compatibility with your door material and thickness is vital to ensure a seamless installation and operation. Storm doors, for example, have specific requirements that must be addressed.

The right design balances visual appeal with practical considerations, such as ease of use and installation requirements.

Here are some key design considerations:

  • Ergonomics of the lock mechanism
  • Visual indicators for lock status
  • Integration with existing door hardware
  • Resistance to weather and tampering

Remember, a smart lock should not only look good but also offer the reliability and security you need for peace of mind.


When evaluating the security of smart locks, it’s crucial to consider their resilience against unauthorized access. Smart locks should offer a high level of protection to ensure that homes remain safe from intruders. One aspect to look at is the ANSI door lock grade, which assesses the strength and durability of locksets.

The ANSI grading system is an industry standard that helps consumers understand the security level of their locks. Grade 1 is the most secure, followed by Grade 2, and Grade 3 being the least secure.

It’s also important to consider additional security features such as built-in alarms, auto-lock capabilities, and the ability to track access logs. These features can greatly enhance the overall security of your home.

Here’s a quick reference for the ANSI door lock grades:

ANSI Grade Security Level
Grade 1 Most Secure
Grade 2 Secure
Grade 3 Least Secure

Remember, a smart lock is part of a larger home security ecosystem. It should integrate seamlessly with other security measures like CCTV cameras, security safes, and high-security padlocks for comprehensive protection.

Means of Entry

Smart locks offer a variety of means of entry, catering to different preferences and needs. Traditional keys remain an option for many smart locks, providing a familiar backup in case of technology hiccups. Keypads are a popular choice, allowing the creation and management of multiple keycodes, which can be particularly useful for granting temporary access without the need for physical keys.

Virtual keys elevate convenience by enabling the sharing of access codes via smartphone apps, with the ability to control their active periods. This feature is especially handy for homeowners who need to provide access remotely.

For those seeking a more high-tech solution, fingerprint readers offer a quick and secure way to unlock doors without the need for remembering codes or carrying keys. NFC cards and tags, as well as compatibility with devices like the Apple Watch, represent the cutting edge in smart lock technology, allowing for a simple tap to gain entry.

Each method has its own set of advantages and considerations. For instance, while a deadbolt adapter might be easier to install and compatible with existing keys, a deadbolt replacement often integrates additional features like keypads or fingerprint scanners, but may require a more complex installation process.

How We Test Smart Locks

Installation Testing

During our installation testing, we focus on the ease with which a user can set up their smart lock. This process includes unpacking the lock, understanding the instructions, and the actual physical installation. We assess whether additional tools are required and if the lock is designed to fit a variety of door types and sizes.

Ease of use is paramount when installing a smart lock. Our testing protocol involves following the manufacturer’s guide step-by-step to ensure clarity and simplicity. After the lock is in place, we perform a series of tests to confirm that the locking mechanism operates smoothly and integrates seamlessly with existing home security systems.

It’s crucial to test the lock post-installation to verify its functionality. This includes checking the alignment of the lock with the door frame and ensuring the security features are active and responsive.

For a comprehensive understanding, we document our findings in a structured manner:

  • Unboxing and initial impressions
  • Clarity of the installation manual
  • Tools and additional components required
  • Installation time
  • Post-installation operation check

Our goal is to provide a detailed account of the installation experience, which is often the first interaction a user has with their new smart lock.

Performance Testing

During performance testing, our focus is on how well smart locks respond under various scenarios. Responsiveness is key, as users expect immediate access when using their codes, fingerprints, or mobile apps. We assess the speed of unlocking and locking, as well as the reliability of these mechanisms over time.

We simulate a range of conditions, from multiple user entries to extreme weather, ensuring that the smart locks perform consistently and without fail.

To quantify our findings, we record data such as:

  • Average time to unlock
  • Average time to lock
  • Success rate over multiple attempts

This data helps us determine which smart locks can be trusted for quick and reliable access, a crucial aspect of home security.

Condition Testing

Condition testing is a critical phase in our evaluation process, where we push smart locks to their limits to ensure they can withstand real-world challenges. Durability under various weather conditions is a key factor, as locks must perform reliably through seasons of rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. We simulate these conditions to test the resilience of each lock.

Smart locks are also subjected to repeated use testing, reflecting the daily wear and tear they will encounter. This includes rigorous cycles of locking and unlocking, which helps us to assess the long-term reliability of the mechanisms and electronic components.

It’s essential to consider the ANSI door lock grades when evaluating the security of a smart lock. Grade 1 and Grade 2 ratings indicate a higher level of security and durability, which is what we aim for in our top recommendations.

Finally, we incorporate feedback from our continuous use, as mentioned in the snippet, to gauge the lock’s performance over time. This hands-on experience is invaluable for understanding how the smart lock integrates with a home security system and maintains its functionality.

Other Smart Locks to Consider

Kwikset Halo

The Kwikset Halo stands out with its rekeyable lock feature, offering a straightforward security solution for homeowners. It’s praised for its direct Wi-Fi connectivity, eliminating the need for additional hubs. Compatibility with voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant adds to its appeal, making it a versatile addition to any smart home ecosystem.

Installation is described as moderately easy, with clear instructions and well-organized components. Users appreciate the added peace of mind provided by the lock’s theft-deterrent touchscreen. An innovative feature is the integration with the Apple Watch and the FallCall app, which can automatically call EMT services and unlock the door in case of a fall.

The Kwikset Halo’s blend of convenience, security, and smart technology makes it a strong contender in the smart lock market.

Customer feedback highlights the lock’s quick delivery and satisfactory installation process. While some smart locks may offer more advanced features, the Kwikset Halo’s balance of functionality and user-friendliness is often noted in reviews.

Other Smart Locks Listed

While the top-tier smart locks garner most of the attention, there are other options on the market that may align more closely with your specific needs or budget constraints. These alternative smart locks offer a variety of features and price points, catering to a diverse range of preferences and requirements.

Not all smart locks are created equal, and some may offer unique advantages that resonate with your lifestyle. For instance, some models prioritize aesthetic discretion, ensuring that your smart lock doesn’t announce its presence to everyone who visits your home. Others might focus on compatibility with a wide range of smart home systems, or offer specialized features like fingerprint reading for quick access.

When considering these alternatives, it’s important to weigh their features against your personal criteria for security, convenience, and integration with other smart home devices.

Below is a quick roundup of some notable smart locks that didn’t make the top of the list but are still worth considering:

  • Kwikset Halo
  • Lockly Secure Plus
  • Schlage Encode Plus

For a detailed comparison and to find the best deal, it’s advisable to check out the latest reviews and prices, as these can fluctuate over time.

Smart Locks Comparison

Best Overall

When it comes to securing your home with the best smart lock, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock stands out for its ease of use and installation. This top-rated device allows homeowners to keep their original keys while adding advanced smart features.

  • Ease of installation
  • Retains original key use
  • Advanced smart features

In terms of compatibility, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock works seamlessly with various smart home systems, ensuring that you can integrate it into your existing setup without hassle.

The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock’s ability to blend into your smart home ecosystem while offering robust security features makes it the best overall choice for most users.

For those who prioritize convenience alongside security, the option to add accessories like a remote keypad provides additional entry methods, catering to a range of preferences and needs.

Best Value

When it comes to securing your home without breaking the bank, the August Smart Lock stands out as the best value smart lock on the market. With its competitive pricing, starting at just $120.61, it offers a balance of functionality and affordability that is hard to beat.

The August Smart Lock is compatible with Alexa and Google Home, making it a seamless addition to your smart home ecosystem. Although it lacks a built-in Wi-Fi connection, its Bluetooth and Z-Wave Plus capabilities ensure reliable connectivity. For those who prefer physical entry methods, an optional number pad can be added, providing unlimited unique codes for family members or guests.

Despite not having an ANSI/BHMA rating, the August Smart Lock has garnered positive reviews for its ease of use and installation. Its adaptability to existing deadbolts allows for a straightforward setup without the need for a complete overhaul of your door’s hardware.

Here’s a quick comparison of the August Smart Lock’s price across various retailers:

Retailer Price
Newegg $120.61
Amazon $148.97
Walmart $127.38

Remember, while the initial cost is important, the long-term value comes from a lock’s performance and integration into your daily life. The August Smart Lock’s blend of features and price point make it a compelling choice for those looking to enhance their home security economically.

Best for Apple Watch Users

The Schlage Encode Plus stands out as the premier choice for Apple Watch owners, offering a seamless experience for those who prefer the convenience of wearable tech. With a simple tap of your Apple Watch, you can unlock your door, even when your hands are full—ideal for moments when you’re carrying groceries or other items.

Compatibility with various smart home systems is a key feature of the Schlage Encode Plus, ensuring that it integrates smoothly with your existing setup. The lock boasts a high ANSI/BHMA rating, reflecting its robust security and durability.

The Schlage Encode Plus not only enhances the convenience factor but also fortifies your home security with its commercial-grade hardware and alarm system.

Here’s a quick glance at the specifications:

Feature Details
Smart Home Compatibility Alexa, Google Home, HomeKit
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Number Pad Included
Alarm Yes
Codes 100
ANSI/BHMA rating A156.36 Commercial Grade 1

Works with Everything

In the realm of smart locks, the Yale Assure Lock 2 stands out for its exceptional compatibility. It seamlessly integrates with a multitude of smart home ecosystems, including Alexa, Google Home, Homekit, and SmartThings. Moreover, it’s one of the few smart locks that supports the new Matter standard, ensuring future-proof connectivity across devices.

The lock’s versatility is further enhanced by its range of connectivity options such as Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave Plus, and Wi-Fi. This means that no matter your current setup or future upgrades, the Yale Assure Lock 2 is designed to adapt and function within your smart home environment.

With an unlimited number of codes and a convenient number pad, access control is both flexible and secure. The absence of an alarm is a minor trade-off for the breadth of features offered.

For those who prioritize a universal fit in their smart home security, the Yale Assure Lock 2 is a compelling choice. Its broad compatibility does not compromise on design or functionality, making it a top contender for the ‘works with everything’ category.

An Invisible Lock

The Level Bolt smart lock offers a unique solution for those who prefer subtlety in their home security. It fits entirely inside your door, hidden from view, ensuring that your security measures remain invisible to the outside world. This feature not only preserves the aesthetic of your door but also keeps potential intruders unaware of the advanced lock protecting your home.

The Level Bolt’s design allows you to maintain the use of your traditional keys while integrating smart technology. You won’t have to compromise on convenience or style.

While the Level Bolt is discreet, it requires an adapter for remote control functionality. Below is a quick overview of its specifications:

  • Lock Type: Deadbolt replacement
  • Smart Home Compatibility: HomeKit, Alexa
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Number Pad: None
  • Alarm: No
  • Codes: Unlimited
  • App: Android/iOS
  • ANSI/BHMA rating: Grade 1

Despite its invisible nature, the Level Bolt does not skimp on compatibility, working seamlessly with HomeKit and Alexa. However, it’s important to note that there is no number pad or alarm feature, which might be a consideration for some users.

Best Fingerprint Reader

When it comes to combining convenience with security, the Lockly Secure Plus stands out as the best smart lock with a fingerprint reader. Its ability to recognize fingerprints means you can forget about memorizing codes or fumbling for keys. However, to integrate it with your Wi-Fi network, an adapter is necessary.

The Lockly Secure Plus not only offers a seamless entry experience but also includes a plethora of security features to ensure your home stays protected.

For those seeking a fingerprint reader that can store multiple user profiles, the Yale Assure Lock 2 Touch is noteworthy. It can hold up to 20 fingerprints, catering to families or shared residences. The lock is available in both keyed and key-free touchscreen models, with prices varying based on connectivity options.

Here’s a quick comparison of the two top contenders:

Feature Lockly Secure Plus Yale Assure Lock 2 Touch
Connectivity Bluetooth (Wi-Fi with adapter) Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Apple HomeKit
User Profiles Unlimited Up to 20 fingerprints
Price Range View at retailers $199.99 – $279.99

While the Lockly Secure Plus is lauded for its robust security, the Yale Assure Lock 2 Touch offers versatility with its multiple connectivity options and user-friendly interface.

Others to Consider

While the top-tier smart locks offer a blend of security and convenience, there are other products that, despite not making the cut for the best in their categories, still deserve attention. These alternatives may provide a unique feature or a better price point that aligns with your specific needs.

Other smart locks to consider include models that may have had a feature that didn’t perform as expected or offered limited functionality. However, they could be the perfect fit for your home, especially if you prioritize a particular aspect over others.

For those concerned with home safety while traveling, consulting with a locksmith might reveal additional security measures. For instance, a top-notch safe recommended by a locksmith can secure your most valuable items, ensuring peace of mind during your travels.

When exploring these alternatives, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons, considering how each lock’s features align with your lifestyle and security requirements.

When it comes to securing your home or business, choosing the right smart lock is crucial. Our comprehensive Smart Locks Comparison guide on our website offers detailed insights and reviews to help you make an informed decision. Don’t leave your security to chance; visit our website now to find the perfect smart lock solution tailored to your needs. Your peace of mind is just a click away!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are smart locks easy to install?

Yes, smart locks are designed to be easy to install, but it’s recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.

Do smart locks provide adequate security for homes?

Smart locks offer advanced security features such as encryption, tamper alerts, and virtual keys, enhancing the overall security of homes.

Can smart locks be integrated with existing smart home systems?

Yes, most smart locks are compatible with popular smart home systems like Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit, allowing for seamless integration.

What are the design options available for smart locks?

Smart locks come in various styles and finishes, including brass, silver, and bronze, to blend in with different home decor preferences.

Do smart locks have multiple means of entry?

Yes, smart locks offer different means of entry such as keypads, mobile apps, and virtual keys, giving users flexibility in accessing their homes.

How do smart locks perform under different conditions?

Smart locks undergo rigorous testing to ensure performance in various conditions, including durability, battery life, and connectivity stability.

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