The Best Smart Locks For Different Situations

The best reason to have a smart lock is that you never have to worry about losing your keys or locking yourself out ever again. Some smart locks have fingerprint scanners. Some operate through an app on your phone. Some have both. You can customize your smart lock with different passwords and fingerprint storage for people in your circle of trusted family and friends. Even cheap smart locks have the ability to track who’s come and gone, too, providing you with extra security. And, you won’t ever have to leave a key under the mat or a flower pot again. Lots of folks say, “We have the best smart locks.” We know that it’s not about which lock is best. Rather, it’s about which lock is best for you.

The best smart locks for all situations

Best Smart Locks for Home

You need a lock for all situations, and the D100 Zigbee starts off by giving your nine different options for unlocking. For you and your family, permanent passwords are the best option because you don’t have to remember more than one. For visitors, near-field communication is the best option because the person just has to use a mobile phone with the appropriate NFC software to be able to enter. You control it. Also, the D100 has a large rechargeable battery for long life between charges. And, if you ever happen to run out of charge, the lock can be opened with a regular key as well. We’ve also written about the best HomeKit door lock for those of your invested in the HomeKit ecosystem.

Best Smart Lock for Apartments

The U100 is sleek and subtle but still provides terrific security through its collection of features, most notable of which is that it’s easily integrated with other smart-home technology, such as Alexa or the Apple Home App. Voice command is a nifty tool when securing your apartment because it’s instantaneous. You don’t even have to move. You can store up to 50 fingerprints in the lock, making it among the best smart locks for apartments. The U100 is tough too. As a Grade-3 lock under BHMA standards, it will last for at least 350,000 openings and closings and will also withstand at least two blows of 60 foot pounds. For comparison, the United States Army considers a blow of 36 foot pounds to be fatal in most cases.

Best Smart Lock for the Front Door

The N100 Zigbee has a doorbell function that makes it just right for protecting your front door. As well, it will last for at least a half-million openings and closings. You can set it up to be in constant communication with your phone so that you can control the security even when you’re far away. Like other locks we offer, it conforms to BHMA’s Grade 3 and IP65. That means that in addition to withstanding two blows of 60 foot pounds, it will also withstand a water jet of up to 12.5 liters per minute. The safety works both ways with this lock because it’s got an internal manual release that you can use even if the rest of the lock is out of power for whatever reason.

Best Deadbolt Replacement Smart Lock

The U100 delivers peace of mind through its internal gyroscope, which automatically locks the door whenever it’s shut. You won’t have to unload all your groceries in the foyer. Just push the door shut with your hip and be safe in your home. There’s no time-consuming delay to lock the deadbolt manually. Further, the U100 combines the fingerprint scanner with the numerical keypad, making it a handsome member of your security team. The scanner reads your print in less than half a second, and it only misses 14 scans per 1,000 entries and exits.

Best Inexpensive Smart Lock

The N100 Zigbee smart lock has nearly all the same features as its more expensive cousins while still costing about a third of what the others cost. Like the D100, it has near-field communication technology for use with compatible phones and other devices. You can assign both permanent and temporary passwords, and the fingerprint scanner is every bit as accurate is that of the more expensive locks. It even scans slightly faster. Perhaps its best feature is the concept of programmable “scenes.” Let’s say that one parent likes the air conditioning at 68 and the lights on low while the other parent likes it at 73 with bright lights. Based on which fingerprint is scanned, the N100 will communicate with other systems in the home to “set the scene.”

Best Smart Lock With Fingerprint Reader

All Aqara smart locks with fingerprint readers are among the best of their type. They’re accurate. They’re programmable. They’re durable. Most of all, they’re well-made and attractive. There are differences between the various models, however, and the U100 is slightly ahead of its compatriots. The extra password slots allow you to assign temporary passwords for folks who will only rarely need access, such as Airbnb guests, once-a-week cleaning staff, or contractors and repair people.

Smart Lock FAQs

What’s Better Than a Smart Lock With a Camera?

The U100 is fully compatible with the G4 Video Doorbell. With it, you can see who’s ringing the bell even when you’re not home. The doorbell will stream to either Google-based or Amazon-based smart displays. Because the G4 supports facial recognition, you get extra peace of mind even if you aren’t able to answer the doorbell while out of your home. The G4 provides local storage on a microSD card for the relevant images.

What’s Better Than a Wi-Fi Smart Lock?

You have to be careful when using Wi-Fi and Zigbee at the same time because they both operate on the 2.4 gHz band. Generally, the Zigbee network will be the one that suffers. Wi-Fi comes with three channels: 1, 6, and 11. And, to make sure that the Zigbee network will work properly, you might have to assign it to channel 11 because if you don’t, the sidebar lobes of the 801.11g/n signature will drown out the Zigbee signals even if they don’t actually carry Wi-Fi transmissions themselves. The U100 smart lock is not only the best Wi-Fi smart lock, but it’s also more secure than others because of this connectivity to the hub. Because of its small size and square shape, the U100 is also the best smart lock for sliding doors.

Features to Look for in a Smart Lock

  • The lock needs to have multiple ways to lock and unlock it. It should also have a manual release so that if it fails, you can still get out of your home in an emergency.
  • It should be controllable from an app on your mobile phone, and it should have battery life of at least eight months’ duration on just the required AA batteries.
  • Your smart lock should be durable, too, and stand up to not only continuous use but also powerful blows. It wouldn’t be much good if a simple kick would dislodge it. It should be made from the highest-quality components for long-lasting performance.
  • Compatibility is also important. You’ll want your lock to work with whatever home automation platform you have settled on. Thankfully Aqara locks offer wide compatibility. We’ve written about our homekit compatible locks before.

How Much Do Smart Locks Cost?

The least expensive smart locks cost about $100 while the most expensive can cost $500 or more.

Where to Buy Smart Locks

Check out our Where to Buy page to find a local online or instore retailer in your market.

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