The best smart locks in 2021

Last updated: 16. February 2021

We researched some of the best smart locks in 2021 including August, Yale, Schlage, and more. Get ready to forget your keys and join a modern world.

Smart locks are a godsend for many, but what exactly are smart locks? Or more precisely, what makes them “smart“?

The idea is simple: make your old-fashioned locks more secure, more modern and easier to use. Smart locks offer great features we didn’t even know we needed. Such as giving temporary access to friends or guests. Letting us back into our homes when we forgot our keys (say goodbye to locking yourself out!), and giving us more control over who is coming and going to our houses.

While the idea is great, there are a few things to look out for. You don’t want to just let anyone walk in from the street, so let’s take a look at some of the best smart locks on the market and find out which one suits your needs best!

(image credit August)

What makes a good smart lock?

Smart locks need to be convenient, but most importantly they need to be secure. This means great encryption, but also great features. Being connected to the cloud means that you can be notified when your door is opened, even if you’re not at home.

Make sure to look out for features that suit your needs. A smart lock may not be the best place to try and save some money. Sometimes paying more really does mean you get something better!

Do you have any other smart home devices? Some smart locks can connect to them to work better together in an “overall security plan” sort of way. A great example would be to use a combination of smart doorbell, cameras, motion sensors (if not included in other devices) and of course, a decent smart lock.

Look for features you will be able to take advantage of.

  • Does it have an app compatible with my phone?
  • Does it play nice with other devices I already own?
  • Can I use Alexa / HomeKit / Siri / Google Voice etc with it?
  • Does it send me notifications?
  • Can I set up guest codes?
  • Can I set up that codes auto-expire after a given date/time?
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What are currently the best smart locks?

1. August Wi-Fi Smart lock (best overall)

(image credit August)

A great deadbolt solution with built-in WiFi and an open-close door sensor. Whilst being much smaller (45%) than the previous generation, features like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa for voice control and smart home integration are a great plus. You’ll also get unlimited user access and codes, as well as being able to log every action that happens at your door. 

Being connected to WiFi enables remote access to lock and unlock your door from an iOS or Android device, even when you’re not at home. It even works with your Apple Watch should you want it to!

2. Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt (best for simple setup)

(image credit Schlage)

The Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt might not come with all of the bells and whistles other smart locks come with, but it does have one major thing going for it: It’s simple to install and use.

Another thing this lock has going for it is a built-in alarm. If someone tries to tamper with it, a loud alarm is a great deterrent. On top of that, this nifty lock has a hidden talent: It supports Amazon Key. This lets Amazon delivery people place your parcels safely inside your house.

3. Yale Assure Lock SL (best design)

(image credit Yale)

The Yale Assure Lock SL is a great smart lock. It has many features that let it fight it out with other heavy weight smart locks, such as Alexa, Google Assistant etc. compatibility. It also has a great design, making it a sleek addition to your door.

The only reason this smart lock doesn’t rank higher, is that there is no manual key option. Key-code or app are your only options. So if the battery runs out you are left with touching a 9V-Battery to contacts on the under side. This gives it a quick boost of energy to hopefully let you back inside.

Final thoughts

Smart locks are great, but don’t forget that the first and most important function is security! Make sure to use PIN codes when using voice controls. Don’t give access codes to anyone you wouldn’t give a physical key to. Set codes to expire where available. Enable auto-locking features so the door locks automatically when you close it.

In conclusion, smart locks are amazing. Just make sure to set them up properly and do your research!

Max Page

Max is a travel & tech geek who loves to dive deep into topics. Trained in the travel industry and having served time in a British boarding school, he loves to find new tools, tech, products and places to visit. Max also used to work in the women's underwear industry, but that is a story for another day.

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