The Best Smart Locks of 2017

By Nick Schmiedicker

While no one's doubting the effectiveness of a standard door lock, there's a lot to be said for the latest smart locks. Popular manufacturers like Kwikset, Schlage, and Yale have already jumped on board to offer high-quality locks that come loaded with useful features. You'd never know how useful virtual keys or auto-unlock can be until you've tried it. After months of testing and living with nine popular smart locks, I'd recommend the Schlage Sense (available at Amazon for $219.00) .

They all managed to pass the test of locking and unlocking my door, but there were clear distinctions when it came to the smart features, so much so that there are four things you should know before you buy a smart lock. It doesn't matter if you rent or own, use an Amazon Echo or Google Home, I've found the perfect smart lock for you.

Updated July 18, 2017

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Schalge Sense
Credit: Schlage
The Schlage Sense was easy to install, had the fastest lock/unlock times, and works flawlessly with Apple HomeKit.
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  • Editors' Choice

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt

Best Overall Best for Apple HomeKit

There's a lot to love about our top pick, the Schlage Sense. For starters, thanks to an interactive step-by-step guide in the app, it's incredibly easy to install and troubleshoot any issues that could come up. It's easy and intuitive to use, had the fastest average lock and unlock times (about two and a half seconds), and comes jam-packed with useful features.

Not only is it able to store and remember 30 unique passcodes, but it comes equipped with built-in alarm sensors that will issue an alert if it senses an attack. It's also Apple HomeKit compatible, which means you can ask Siri to lock/unlock your door and even have remote control if you own an Apple TV as well. But, that's also the biggest downside. There isn't an Android version of the Schlage Sense app. This is an iPhone lock through and through.

Still, if you own an iPhone and have already taken steps to fill your home with Apple HomeKit compatible products, the Schlage Sense is a standout smart lock that should be on your radar.

August Smart Lock
Credit: August
The August Smart Lock blew our tests out of the water and is compatible with nearly every system out there.
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  • Editors' Choice

August Smart Lock

Best for Alexa Best for Google Assistant

A very close runner-up to our best overall lock was the August Smart Lock. It's one of the most well known smart locks out there and has earned a well-deserved reputation for being a standout smart product.

It works with both Android/Google Assistant, iPhone/HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa. With it, you can use virtual keys to hand out temporary access, enable auto-lock and auto-unlock based on the proximity of your phone, and a history log of who comes and goes. But maybe most importantly, the August uses your existing deadbolt mechanism, meaning installation is a breeze and gives you that extra bit of peace of mind.

The only downside is that if you're interested in using the August with your Amazon Echo, you'll have to invest about $80 into the August Connect. With this bridge, you'll be able to move your August from Bluetooth over to WiFi, which gives you control over your lock via your phone no matter where you are. Alternatively, the Connect is what lets you use your Echo to control your lock via the August Home skill.

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  • Editors' Choice

Candy House Sesame Smart Lock

Best for Renters

Purchasing a smart lock is all well and good if you own your home, but what about renters whose landlords won't let them change the locks on their door? Turns out, there's nothing to worry about. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Sesame Smart Lock from Candy House Inc. is the perfect smart lock for renters.

It all comes down to the installation. The Sesame affixes to your door over your existing cylinder deadbolt lock thanks to adhesive strips. From there it's a simple matter of using your phone's Bluetooth to pair with your lock (that sports military grade encryption) and you're good to go. You (and your landlord) can use the same keys to lock and unlock your door, but you'll also be able to control everything right from your phone.

The Sesame was also one of the faster smart locks, taking an average of three seconds to lock and unlock (some of the other models tested took upwards of 10 seconds). At about $150, it's also one of the more affordable locks on the market today. Even if you don't rent, it's still a fantastic smart lock at a fantastic price.

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Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock 2nd Gen

The Kwikset Kevo Touch-to-Open is another great lock that was impressively easy to setup and use. A step-by-step guide in the app provides easy and clear directions on installation, which should only take about 10 minutes if you have a screwdriver handy. After that, it's a simple matter of using your phone—or a tap from your finger—to lock and unlock your door.

That's right, I said tap from your finger. The Kevo Touch-to-Open, like its name implies, allows you to tap the exterior plate when your phone is within Bluetooth range to lock and unlock your door. In my testing, I found that it wasn't 100 percent reliable, sometimes lighting up with nothing happening. It consistently worked from the app, though, and had one of the faster lock/unlock times compared to the competition.

If you want the full and best possible experience, you'll have to pick up the Kevo Plus in-app upgrade. It'll set you back a cool $100, but will let you remotely lock your door no matter where you are and check the status of your door right from your app. That's a lot to pay, but you're getting a lot of convenience for it.

Kwikset premis

Kwikset Premis

The Premis is the ideal Kwikset lock for anyone with an iPhone and an established HomeKit household. Through the iOS-only app, you'll be able to lock/unlock your door, check a history log of who's come and gone, send virtual keys, and even unlock your phone via Siri. The included touchscreen keypad lets you create up to 30 unique codes that could be permanent (for your family) or temporary (for visiting friends or Airbnb guests). Plus, if you own a 3rd generation or later Apple TV, you can control the Premis remotely.

It didn't have the fastest unlock/lock times, but it also never stretched past 5 seconds, which isn't something that can be said for all of the locks we tested. Still, if you're looking for a HomeKit compatible lock that performs exceptionally well, I'd recommend our number one pick, the Schlage Sense.

Kwikset kevo convert

Kwikset Kevo Convert

The Kwikset Kevo Convert is a simple way to keep your exterior lock and keys, and instead replace only the interior deadbolt mechanism. Much like the Kevo 2nd Gen, the Kwikset app will guide you through an interactive installation process that should leave you with a fully functioning lock in about 10-15 minutes. It's a bit more affordable than a full assembly smart lock, while keeping all of the same benefits.

The bad news is that in our testing, the Convert took upwards of 10 seconds to lock and unlock the door. That might not seem very long, but try saying that when it's 90 degrees outside and you're stuck waiting for your lock to let you inside.

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Schlage Connect

Best for Smart Home Hubs

The Schlage Connect is a great app if you're smart home is already set up with a Z-Wave-compatible hub like the Wink Hub 2, which we used to test the lock. It has a touchscreen keypad for multiple, unique codes, improved security through built-in alarms and sensors, and can even work with your Amazon Echo—with the Wink skill activated.

Unfortunately, our tests found that working through two systems, in this case Wink and Alexa, will pretty severely delay any app commands and cause a higher chance of the app crashing, at least for Wink. The Connect was another lock that sometimes took up to 10 seconds to engage and lock/unlock my door.

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Yale Assure Lock with Bluetooth

I had a lot of high hopes for the Yale Assure Smart Lock, but unfortunately, it didn't meet my expectations. Not only was the installation a hassle, but the lock/unlock times weren't very good and it dropped the connection to my phone frequently. That combined with an unintuitive app resulted in a smart lock that just didn't stack up to the competition.

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Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt With Z-Wave

Likewise, the Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt with Z-Wave didn't perform to the expectations set by previous locks in this list. It suffered from the same headache-inducing installation as the Yale Assure but was saved by the same Wink app we used for the Schlage Connect. While the app was the exact same as the one we used with the Schlage, it frequently dropped our connection to the Yale lock.

Once everything was setup, it did unlock and lock the door in an average of five seconds—similar to most of the other locks we tested. Unfortunately, it's just not worth the hassle when there are other, better smart locks to choose from.

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