After buying the 10 most promising smart locks on the market and testing them side-by-side for more than 150 hours, we've found the best models for people who constantly need to remotely let dog walkers or cleaners into their home, or that manage a number of different vacation rentals. Our tests cover everything from remote management and keyless entry to overall security and installation difficulty, so we can help you find the perfect lock, no matter your needs. We can also help you decide whether you even need a smart lock, or if you might be better off with a "dumb" keypad lock.
ANSI Rating: Grade 1 | Use Existing Deadbolt or Full Replacement: Existing
REASONS TO BUY
Integrates into your current deadbolt
Works with most smart home hubs
REASONS TO AVOID
No hub included
Number pad costs extra
The August WiFi Smart is an exceptional smart lock that's very easy to use. It easily connects to nearly any smart home system, including Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, any hub using Z-Wave technology, and your smartphone. Handy geofencing capabilities will unlock your door hands-free when your phone comes into its range, saving you from pulling anything out of your pocket or purse to enter your home. August's app, which is visually pleasing and user-friendly, allows you to create new codes and schedule when they are valid. Installation takes very little time, as this lock integrates into your perfectly matched deadbolt, letting you keep your same house key. Helpful instructional videos make set up a breeze, and an ANSI grade 1 ensures your new lock is one of the toughest on the market.
If you're just setting up a smart home, the August WiFi Smart doesn't include a hub to get you going. And if you've enjoyed keypad entry and are hoping to have that capability with your new smart lock, the August number pad is an additional purchase — not included with this lock. Even with those minor complaints, this model is hands-down our favorite of all the smart locks we've tested.
ANSI Rating: Grade 3 | Use Existing Deadbolt or Full Replacement: Existing
REASONS TO BUY
Includes its own hub
Replaces just the interior portion of your deadbolt
More affordable than most
REASONS TO AVOID
Limited smart home hub compatibility
Unimpressive ANSI grade
The Wyze Lock is a solid budget-friendly smart lock that performs well in all the ways that matter. It's a great option for a standalone smart device or a first step into creating your smart home, as it comes with its own smart hub and integrates easily into the Wyze ecosystem of smart devices. If you already own an Alexa or Google Nest, this affordable lock pairs easily with them also. The Wyze app shows you an activity log of who has accessed your house, making it easy to feel in control of your space. This lock replaces just the inside part of your deadbolt, allowing you to keep your same house key. This ensures that even if the batteries die while you're away, you can still get into your home.
If, however, your home is already set up with Apple HomeKit or another Z-Wave hub, the Wyze Lock won't pair with it. While you can easily share access codes via email, there's currently no way to share them over text. And anyone looking to use the code you've sent them must first download and set up the Wyze app. The deadbolt of the Wyze Lock earns the lowest ANSI grade for security — though this grade, Grade 3, is widely considered to be adequate for most residential security. All in all, there's a lot we like about this all-inclusive, high-value smart lock from Wyze, and it's a great choice for many people.
ANSI Rating: Grade 3 | Use Existing Deadbolt or Full Replacement: Full Replacement
REASONS TO BUY
Easy sharing of access codes
Simple keyless entry
Connects to WiFi and most smart hubs
REASONS TO AVOID
Low ANSI grade
Not the easiest to install
If you're looking for a smart lock with all the smart features you could dream of, the Schlage Sense with WiFi Adapter is the lock you seek. It's compatible with all smart home hubs except Zigbee, so whether you sync your devices through Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, or Google Nest, the Schlage Sense will work seamlessly. It also connects directly to WiFi, making pairing with your phone that much easier. Creating, sharing, and monitoring access codes for your home is exceptionally easy with the Sense, using the app, sending mobile codes, or via email. You can also schedule hours for certain codes to work, and an activity log lets you keep track of who's gaining access to your home.
The Schlage Sense has the lowest ANSI grade for security — though, as we've mentioned before, Grade 3 devices are still considered good for standard home security. More disappointing is this model's lack of geofencing, which would allow it to unlock itself as you approach. We appreciate that it comes with a keypad, though. And while the Sense is a chore to install on your door, you only have to do it once. All in all, if you crave a lock that's loaded with smart features, the Schlage Sense is an excellent choice.
We meticulously researched more than 45 models to find the best smart locks. Over the past several years, we have continued to purchase the best and most promising models to test side-by-side. We installed them on doors to evaluate the process, pairing them with our phones and smart hubs to see how easily they are to get up and running. We evaluated their smart home compatibility, ease of sharing access codes, and activity logs. We tested their keyless entry options, considered their ANSI security grading scores, and tested each model's auto unlocking features. We installed them in our homes, living with each model to discover all their hidden conveniences and annoyances.
The hundreds of tests we performed on these smart locks are divided into the following four metrics:
Smart Features (35% of overall score weighting)
Keyless Entry (25% weighting)
Security (25% weighting)
Installation (15% weighting)
The testing of smart locks is lead by several of our tech experts: Steven Tata, Max Mutter, and Matt Spencer. Steven and Max have developed their expertise in smart home devices over the past four years. In that span, they've used just about every smart speaker on the market, have lived with more than a dozen different WiFi security cameras in their homes, used an army of top robot vacuums to clean their floors, driven around with more top-ranked dash cams than you can shake a stick at, and now, have used multiple different smart locks on their own front doors. Matt has spent his entire life taking things apart to figure out how they work. His background in engineering drives his analytical skills as one of GearLab's main product testers for hundreds of household appliances and electronics.
We spent dozens of hours testing these smart locks side by side to see which ones do best in what areas. In what follows, we break down our testing and get specific, running through our testing for each metric and the top-performing models. No matter what features you want in a smart lock, we've tested the one for you.
Smart locks have come a long way since the device's inception, what feels like just a few short years ago. While no smart lock is in the same ballpark of price as your standard deadbolt, there is a range of possible prices you might pay — and some extra hidden costs that some smart locks won't function without (like a smart home hub). The best value model we've found is the Wyze Lock. This lock costs less than most of the competition and it comes with the Wyze hub you need to connect all your devices. It also performed above average in our testing, further adding to its resoundingly high value. Though it's more expensive, the August WiFi Smart is another model with high value. It earns a stellar performance across the board and has plenty of features and functionality to please just about anyone looking to upgrade their lock.
What About Key by Amazon?
Key by Amazon is a service that combines a smart keypad lock and a security camera into a system that allows Amazon Prime deliveries to be placed inside your door rather than left on your front stoop. If you've had multiple Amazon packages mysteriously disappear, this system may be a worthwhile investment. You can check with Amazon to see which locks are currently supported by the system.
Smart locks carry a hefty price compared to their traditional counterparts, so they need to offer reliable and useful smart features to be a worthwhile purchase. We used every smart feature these locks offer, side-by-side, to assess both the relative usability and reliability of all of them. This includes features like Bluetooth entry, keypad entry, compatibility with smart home platforms (e.g., Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home), and activity logs. Much of our testing focused on granting third parties access to the lock remotely, as this is one of the most useful and common applications of smart lock technology. Generally, we found models that require using an app to share access somewhat clunky and unreliable. In contrast, those that utilize a keypad and temporary codes for access are much more user-friendly.
The Schlage Sense offers more smart features than just about any other model. It connects with nearly every hub other than those using Zigbee, as well as WiFi. The August Pro + Connect and August WiFi Smart both also connect with all major hubs and those using Z-Wave, just like the Sense, but unlike the Sense, they both require a hub to connect to WiFi. We also ran into a few issues connecting the August Pro + Connect to Amazon Alexa and received error messages every time we tried to get it to allow us to use voice commands. None of the other smart locks we tested connect to Apple HomeKit, though we've heard Apple is working to update their device compatibility, so perhaps more smart locks will work with HomeKit soon.
The only smart lock we tested that connects to Zigbee is the Wyze Lock, which is also one of the few that includes a hub in your standard setup kit. The only other lock to include a hub is the Nest x Yale. The August Smart can operate via Bluetooth without a hub. While this is useful for anyone not needing to trick out their entire home with smart devices, it also rules out any remote features and requires you to actively pair with it in order to operate it without a hub.
All of the smart locks we tested have an activity log to show you who has gained access to your door and at what time, making it easy to keep track of anyone coming and going at unexpected hours. We tested sharing capabilities of each lock as well. While all of them will let you share access through the app, many also let you send a text message and/or an email with a link. The Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot, Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro, and Wyze Lock support email sharing but not text sharing. Conversely, the August WiFi Smart allows you to share codes via text but not email. The Nest x Yale, Schlage Sense, August Pro + Connect, August Smart Lock, and Schlage Encode all support both text and email code sharing.
Taking things one step further, quite a few of the locks we tested allow you to schedule code access times. This allows you to give access to renters for a specific time period or only let your cleaner or dog walker come into your house during the few hours you've agreed on with them. The Nest x Yale, Schlage Sense and Encode, August Pro + Connect, WiFi Smart, and August Smart, and Ultraloq U-Bolt all support this feature, with varying degrees of control. The Schlage Sense stands out in this regard for its ability to easily create temporary, time-constrained codes that could be texted to anyone without them having to download or install anything. We did have one instance where one of those codes didn't work, but in general, they were convenient and effective.
The Nest x Yale doesn't offer as many options and is only compatible with the Nest/Google smart home platform. We were disappointed that you can't put time constraints on any of the access codes you share. Additionally, you can only share access with those with a Nest account who have the app installed on their mobile device. Even with all those needs met, we still ran into some error messages when trying to share codes for the first time with a new person. All that being said, smart locks tend to be finicky in general, and we still think this lock is a good option for Nest users.
Our least favorite model for smart features and their execution is the Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot. It requires purchasing a separate smart hub to access the lock's smart features, which we found fairly disappointing. Apart from narrow smart home compatibility (this lock can only be used with Alexa and Z-wave platforms), the biggest downside is the lack of access-sharing options. You can only share codes, those codes can only be disseminated from within the app over email, and the codes cannot be given any time restraints. While you can create multiple codes and access a log of their use, unless you need to let multiple different people into your home, this functionally isn't much different than emailing someone the code to a traditional keypad lock.
We evaluated how well each of our locks meshed into the daily routine of locking and unlocking doors to make sure you're not creating two new problems to solve one. Thus, keyless entry testing focuses on how easily each lock granted access to its main user. In a practical sense, we are talking about walking to the door with an armful of groceries and getting in without dropping the broccoli.
We found the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro to be near perfect in its keyless entry, responding almost instantly when using its Bluetooth key and key codes. The only lock faster in its response time is the Schlage Encode, by a small margin. Both these locks also come with a numbered keypad, as do the Nest x Yale, Sense, and Z-Wave Connect Camelot. The OrangeIOT RZ-A (though the OrangeIOT is just a keypad lock and cannot be controlled with your phone in any way). However, the Ultraloq also includes a fingerprint scanner, a unique feature in our review that gives this lock the most keyless options to unlock your door of any model we tested.
Several other models lack numbered keypads but have the option to add one to your system for an additional cost. This is the case for both the August WiFi Smart and the Wyze Lock. All the smart locks we tested can be opened from their associated app, though some had significant lag time during our testing. The August Pro + Connect and August Smart seemed to be particularly laggy and sometimes glitchy, though the Smart is quicker using Bluetooth than going through the app.
The August Pro + Connect was consistently inconsistent in our keyless entry testing. When keyless entry worked, it was flawless — just a couple of taps on your smartphone, and the door is unlocked. However, about half the time, we experienced delays of keyless entry of up to 20 seconds, meaning we opened the app, and it took 20 seconds before it would respond to any of our commands. The lock still has a key option, so you can go old school if the app is particularly finicky, but that defeats the purpose.
A number of the models we tested have geofencing capability, including all three August models (the WiFi Smart, Smart, and Pro + Connect) as well as the Ultraloq U-Bolt and the Wyze Lock. This feature automatically unlocks your door when your cell phone is within a certain distance of the lock.
We assessed the security of these locks in two ways. First, we looked at the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) rating for each lock. This is a rating from Grade 1 to Grade 3 (1 being the best) of how secure the physical deadbolt is. We also evaluated the efficacy of auto-locking features that automatically lock the door, even if you forget to do so yourself.
The August WiFi Smart takes the cake among many impressively secure models. It's one of a small handful of models we tested that earns an ANSI Grade 1, and has an extremely customizable auto-locking feature. Choose from your door locking as quickly as 10 seconds after you close it to as long as 30 minutes, and dial it in at 30-second intervals.
Don't Lock Yourself Out
Autolock features are great, but they also make it pretty easy to lock yourself out of the house if you go to check the mail sans phone (keypad models do give you another option if this happens). We also found that most models will engage the deadbolt, even if the door is open. So, if you've left the door open for a while, you'll want to ensure the deadbolt isn't engaged lest you smash the door frame.
Also bearing ANSI Grade 1 ratings are the Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot, Encode, and the OrangeIOT RZ-A. All four of these locks (including the August WiFi Smart) go above and beyond in the strength of their deadbolts. The Nest x Yale carries an ANSI Grade 2, and the Schlage Sense and Wyze Lock are both rated ANSI Grade 3. However, it is important to note that while ANSI Grade 3 is the lowest security rating given by the American National Standards Institute, it is still widely considered acceptable for most residential usage.
The Ultraloq U-Bolt is the only model we tested that doesn't have an ANSI rating, though their customer service team says it's "modeled after Grade 2". The August Smart and Pro + Connect are retrofitted onto your existing deadbolt, meaning that whatever ANSI Grade your current deadbolt is, that's what these two models will maintain.
Every single one of the smart locks we tested can automatically lock your door after you leave. While most have the ability to change how long to delay your auto-locking function (so you don't lock yourself out rolling the trash bin to the curb in your pajamas!), there's a variety of just how variable those delays can be. Notably, both the Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot and the OrangeIOT RZ-A cannot be changed from their default delay of 30 seconds.
We scored ease of installation based on how difficult it is to install each lock into a door and how arduous it is to get the lock talking to a smart hub and connecting with your phone. While some of these locks are certainly more difficult to install than others, the differences aren't huge. Therefore, we wouldn't let a lower installation score dissuade you unless the phrase 'DIY' makes you shudder.
The Nest x Yale, Wyze Lock, and August WiFi Smart all earned high marks for their easy installations. A combination of effortless app pairing, helpful installation graphics, and useful setup videos had us from "dumb" lock to smart lock in about 10 minutes.
All three August models we tested—the WiFi Smart, the Smart, and the Pro + Connect—as well as the Wyze Lock, mount onto an existing deadbolt, so you won't have to fuss with the actual bolt at all. Just remove a couple of screws to take the thumb latch off of the inside of your door, screw on the baseplate, and slide the lock on. The Wyze includes a paper template showing you where to drill holes into your door. And syncing these locks with smart hubs was a breeze.
The Schlage Encode also performed well in our installation testing. We had no issues getting it situated in our door with nothing but a screwdriver, and the initial setup was a breeze. The Schlage Sense and Z-Wave Connect Camelot required additional accessories to pair with our phones. The only one that gave us serious trouble was the Ultraloq U-Bolt, which continued to fail to connect and required numerous restarts of the process.
The right smart lock can offer useful features and valuable peace of mind that you didn't accidentally leave the door unlocked. However, less-than-stellar smart locks provide little value over much less expensive "dumb" keypad locks. We hope our test results have helped you find the best and most useful product for your home.
Max Mutter, Steven Tata, Matt Spencer, and Maggie Nichols
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.