Smart Lock Buying Guide

The deadbolt on your front door right now likely serves its purpose. It locks, it unlocks and keeps out any unwanted guests. And that’s enough. However, if you’re tired of leaving keys under your mat (like everyone else), or you don’t want multiple keys floating around, a smart lock might be the answer.

Smart locks won’t necessarily make your home any safer, but they allow for more control. You can lock and unlock your door from anywhere and extend digital “keys” to friends, family, caregivers or anyone else who regularly visits your home.

Sure, you can still use a regular ol’ key to open a smart-lock-equipped door (or most of them, anyhow), but don’t be too quick to discount the convenience of connectivity especially when your hands are full of grocery bags, squirming tiny humans or anything else that makes it tough to rummage around for your keys. And when you crawl into bed, only to second guess whether you locked the door or not, you won’t need to throw on a bathrobe and stumble to the front door. You can just pick up your phone and check the lock status.

That said, not all smart locks are the same. There are keyless options, Bluetooth options, locks that use your fingerprint, locks that fit on your existing deadbolt and complete deadbolt replacement locks. It can be tricky to navigate if you’re new to smart home tech. Here’s a look at today’s smart lock options, what you need to know before buying one, and how to choose the right lock for your home.

After reading this post why not checkout the Smart Locks offered on this Website

Smart Locks

This is a small sample of Smart Locks. For the complete catalog click the Smart Locks menu under Home Security.

Should you keep or replace your existing deadbolt?

With some smart locks, you can hang on to the deadbolt that you already have. They’re typically described as “retrofit” options, and they can be great for renters or anyone not wanting to change keys.

Models like the August Wi-Fi Smart LockKwikset Kevo Convert and Sesame Smart Lock are designed specifically to clamp in place over top of your existing deadbolt hardware. All three work with a lot of standard deadbolt brands. In August’s case, the compatibility ranges from Arrow Hardware and Baldwin to Defiant, Kwikset, Schlage and many more. (Here’s August’s and Kwikset’s deadlock compatibility charts for more details.)

With these retrofit setups, you get to keep the hardware already defending your door and add a layer of connectivity over top of it. This also means you get to keep your physical keys. Retrofit smart locks are the simplest way to add connectivity to your door without replacing your entire deadbolt system. 

The other option is to replace your existing deadbolt altogether. The majority of smart locks take this approach, including the Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt, the Kwikset Kevo and the Yale Assure SL Touchscreen Deadbolt. There’s even an “invisible” smart lock called Level Lock, that is just a deadbolt replacement, so you can keep your existing hardware.

Locks like these will take a little more time and effort to install, but it’s definitely doable for a novice DIYer. Since most locks are entire deadbolt replacements, you’re going to have significantly more options if you go this route. Similar to the retrofit versions, you just need a screwdriver and about 20 minutes. Just remember to make sure that your door is smart-lock compatible before buying in.

Another tip: Snap a picture of your existing setup before you begin, so you can reverse the install if you run into any unexpected issues with the new smart lock. A new deadbolt may mean a new set of keys (unless you choose a keyless model), so everyone in your family who wants a physical key will need a copy of the new one.

With these retrofit setups, you get to keep the hardware already defending your door and add a layer of connectivity over top of it. This also means you get to keep your physical keys. Retrofit smart locks are the simplest way to add connectivity to your door without replacing your entire deadbolt system.

The other option is to replace your existing deadbolt altogether. The majority of smart locks take this approach, including the Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt, the Kwikset Kevo and the Yale Assure SL Touchscreen Deadbolt. There’s even an “invisible” smart lock called Level Lock, that is just a deadbolt replacement, so you can keep your existing hardware.

Locks like these will take a little more time and effort to install, but it’s definitely doable for a novice DIYer. Since most locks are entire deadbolt replacements, you’re going to have significantly more options if you go this route. Similar to the retrofit versions, you just need a screwdriver and about 20 minutes. Just remember to make sure that your door is smart-lock compatible before buying in.

Another tip: Snap a picture of your existing setup before you begin, so you can reverse the install if you run into any unexpected issues with the new smart lock. A new deadbolt may mean a new set of keys (unless you choose a keyless model), so everyone in your family who wants a physical key will need a copy of the new one.

With these retrofit setups, you get to keep the hardware already defending your door and add a layer of connectivity over top of it. This also means you get to keep your physical keys. Retrofit smart locks are the simplest way to add connectivity to your door without replacing your entire deadbolt system.

The other option is to replace your existing deadbolt altogether. The majority of smart locks take this approach, including the Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt, the Kwikset Kevo and the Yale Assure SL Touchscreen Deadbolt. There’s even an “invisible” smart lock called Level Lock, that is just a deadbolt replacement, so you can keep your existing hardware.

Locks like these will take a little more time and effort to install, but it’s definitely doable for a novice DIYer. Since most locks are entire deadbolt replacements, you’re going to have significantly more options if you go this route. Similar to the retrofit versions, you just need a screwdriver and about 20 minutes. Just remember to make sure that your door is smart-lock compatible before buying in.

Another tip: Snap a picture of your existing setup before you begin, so you can reverse the install if you run into any unexpected issues with the new smart lock. A new deadbolt may mean a new set of keys (unless you choose a keyless model), so everyone in your family who wants a physical key will need a copy of the new one.

Samsung’s SmartThings and the Wink Hub are two examples of Z-Wave control hubs. SmartThings in particular works with a bunch of third-party Z-Wave locks, from Kwikset and Poly-Control to Schlage and Yale. (Here are the complete lists of of SmartThings– and Wink-compatible locks.)

The range of a Z-Wave connection is about 120 feet, so the lock will need to be at least that close to the hub — though additional Z-Wave devices can act as range extenders by repeating the signal from the hub and sending it further. The Z-Wave signal can bounce up to four different times, for a maximum range of about 600 feet (walls, doors and other obstructions will all take a toll on range).

Some Z-Wave locks like the Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt ($239 at Walmart) don’t offer their own app — instead the interface for the lock will pop up in the app of whatever Z-Wave hub you use. This can either leave you feeling disappointed that you don’t have detailed, dedicated settings for your lock, or happy to not be downloading yet another app with yet another log-in. Again, it’s all about preference here.

Z-Wave’s biggest setback is the requirement of an additional hub to talk to Wi-Fi. The plus side is that you can connect to more third-party devices than a standard Bluetooth lock — if you have SmartThings or another hub. But, if you don’t plan to use a bunch of other devices in conjunction with your lock, Z-Wave may not be right for you.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is available as an optional add-on with some smart locks. For August’s line of locks, a $79 August Connect plugs into a power outlet and bridges the connection between the Bluetooth August lock and your Wi-Fi network. The same goes for the $100 Kwikset Kevo Plus. Once you’ve plugged in these accessory devices and made that connection, you can control your lock from anywhere with an Internet connection.

This year, August released a new smart lock with Wi-Fi built in. Schlage and Kwikset are also ditching Wi-Fi modules, so I’d advise against filling up another outlet in your home with a Wi-Fi module if you aren’t dead set on a specific smart lock. That said, built-in Wi-Fi will likely drain your batteries quicker than Bluetooth, so stock up on the required batteries. 

With Wi-Fi enabled, you can lock and unlock your door remotely, create new users or access codes from anywhere and view your lock’s status and activity log. Connecting your smart lock to the internet with Wi-Fi is going to give you the most options for features, including integration with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

With the Z-Wave locks that work over “universal” hubs like SmartThings an  Wink, this functionality is built in. That means other smart gadgets that are compatible with your Z-Wave hub should have some level of integration with your smart lock. Want to set up a rule that turns on your Zigbee-powered Philips Hue LEDs whenever you unlock your door? That’s a reasonable option when you have a hub that speaks both Zigbee and Z-Wave. There are even more possibilities with locks that have IFTTT (If This Then That) services. Read up on smart home IFTTT recipes here.

In addition, products like the Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt ($170 at Amazon), the Kwikset Premis, and the second-gen August Smart Lock and newer models work with Apple’s HomeKit, Apple’s own network of smart home devices that harnesses the voice-control powers of Siri to control your lock. The Schlage model works with Siri today, and August allows you to use voice control to lock and unlock your door with a PIN codes.

Then there’s Amazon’s Alexa. After first rolling out support for the August Smart Lock, Amazon’s virtual voice assistant now has an entire set of software development tools for smart lock integrations, along with a whole host of partners, including Yale, Kwikset, Schlage and the Z-Wave Alliance. As a result, it’s easier than ever to find a smart lock that you can control with Alexa voice commands for locking, unlocking or checking the lock status.

Google is also in the mix with Google Assistant. August smart locks work with Google and Nest, owned by Google, has partnered with Yale on a smart lock designed to work with the Nest Secure ($428 at HP) system that includes Nest’s Weave technology for wireless smart home communication.

How do you want to interact with your lock?


There are clear variations among smart locks in terms of installation, wireless technology and integration with third-party products, but they all do roughly the same thing — give you advanced, remote control access to a space. But there are still nuances in terms of how that advanced smart control happens.

Most Schlage, Kwikset and Yale locks, including the Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt, the Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt, the Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt and the forthcoming Nest x Yale lock all have touchpads. Don’t have your lock’s app pulled up? Just enter your secret code and voila! Your door will open without a key.

That said, installing a smart lock doesn’t necessarily mean giving up your key. You might not need to use one if you choose to rely on coded or app-enabled entry, but most smart locks still let you use your key, too.

Others, like the Yale Assure SL Touchscreen Deadbolt and the Kwikset Obsidian, ditch the keyway altogether. With smart locks like those, you can lose your keys for good — and there’s zero risk of someone breaking in by picking your locks.

Locks like August don’t come with touchpads as a standard option, but they do offer plenty of useful automatic functions — use the auto-unlock feature and you shouldn’t have to do anything — no app, no secret pin, no effort at all. (August now offers an $80 keypad accessory if you want to add this in, though.) August’s Smart Lock Pro and Wi-Fi Smart Locks also come with DoorSense, a small sensor that can tell you if your door is open, closed, locked or unlocked. 

It’s the same with Poly-Control’s Danalock ($45 at Amazon) (in theory, at least); it has a “knock to unlock” option that literally means you should be able to “knock” on your smartphone to unlock your front door, but it didn’t work during our testing. The Sesame Lock, however, did have a functioning “knock to unlock” feature, if that’s something that appeals to you. The Kwikset Kevo was much more successful — if it detects your smartphone or a keychain fob, it’ll let you in with just a tap.

Each brand seems to take a slightly different approach, but the results are pretty much the same. Think about the one that makes the most sense to you and go from there.

Some locks offer scheduled key codes, allowing certain access codes to work only during specific days and times. Some locks also include activity history, letting you know when doors are locked and unlocked and by which access codes. The Kwikset Premis allows you to limit access to specific days and times or create codes that expire after a set amount of time.

Another general concern is battery life, but this will vary significantly (for all smart locks) based on how much you lock or unlock your door, the quality of the batteries you’re using, if your deadbolt occasionally sticks and requires extra effort from the built-in motor, and even the weather — colder temperatures can hurt battery life. Battery power shouldn’t deter you from buying a smart lock you love, though. In fact, almost all keyless smart locks now include a pair of jumpstart nodes on the bottom of the lock. Grab a 9V battery and connect it to the nodes for just enough power to enter your keypad code and unlock the lock.

In-home delivery is happening

Smart locks can grant convenient access to more than just your friends, family and neighbors. An Amazon Key kit includes the Amazon Cloud Cam and compatible smart lock for in-home delivery of all your Prime packages. Current smart lock choices include models from Kwikset, Yale and Schlage. You can check out the options on Amazon’s Key site.


We sat down with August CEO Jason Johnson to discuss what’s on the horizon for smart locks and in-home delivery. If the idea of someone unlocking your door to deliver a package makes you nervous, you’re not alone. Companies pioneering this territory are well aware of consumer resistance. But, if the thought of packages delivered inside your home safe from would-be thieves and mother nature appeals to you, August, Yale, Schlage and Kwikset are likely to have the most in-home delivery compatible locks, at least for now.

A final note

As we mentioned earlier, a smart lock doesn’t necessarily equal a safer lock. If you’re skeptical of the whole smart home thing and are unsure about a lock that’s linked over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or another protocol, this sort of product definitely isn’t for you and that’s OK. And if you’re ever going to unlock your door with voice commands, you should absolutely use a PIN.

With smart locks, it’s really all about adding a small convenience to your daily life. They can make getting into your house easier when your arms are full and your keys are out of reach. They can also save you a trip the hardware store to have a key made for a new roommate or having to rush home on your lunch break to let in a service professional.

The best smart locks of 2020 The coolest new smart lock is invisible

In the end, there’s no right answer in terms of the model you should buy, but considering key details (see what I did there?) like if you want to keep your keys, what connection method lines up with your smart home, and what, if any, third-party devices you’d like your lock to work with — will help you narrow down your options so you can quickly find the right smart lock for you.

Căutare de simptome

Home Security Buying Guide

In today’s age Home Security and Business Security has become a top priority. With Home break ins Home intrusions and Home thefts. So a Home Security has become a MUST to protect your Family and your house from intrusions

Purchasing a home security system once required a technician to come into your house and run wires through your walls, but today’s systems are wireless—and much easier to install.

Traditional security companies have had to adapt as they face newer tech-savvy competitors, such as Abode, Amazon-owned Ring, Google Nest, SimpliSafe, and Vivint. For example, ADT partnered with Samsung in 2017 to launch its Samsung SmartThings ADT Home Security System, a DIY system that functions as a smart home hub. In early 2019, ADT also acquired DIY security company LifeShield.

What does all this upheaval in the industry mean for you? Lower prices and more choice as manufacturers seek to beat the competition. According to a 2019 report from market research firm Mintel, 26 percent of U.S. consumers are interested in owning a smart security system. That’s compared to 29 percent who are interested in owning smart speakers—currently one of the most popular types of smart home products.

Many home security systems now double as smart home hubs, centralizing controls for lights, thermostats, locks, and more within one app on your smartphone.

And a lot of the systems on the market now are DIY, meaning you can install them—and even monitor your home—yourself. 

Since DIY security systems are sold as starter kits, to which you can add more components and sensors a la carte, it can be tough to comparison shop. In this guide, Consumer Reports will break down everything you need to know when choosing a wireless security system for your home, regardless of whether you go with a professionally installed system or take the DIY route.

After reading this post why not checkout the Security Systems offered on this Website

Home Security

Types of Home Security Systems

You should compare a DIY home security system to a professionally installed system to see what best fits your needs. 

Professionally Installed Home Security Systems

These security systems, installed by a technician, come with 24/7 professional monitoring. That means trained dispatchers at alarm-monitoring centers verify triggered alarms and alert the authorities. Many systems offer a smartphone app for remote control and monitoring, but some providers charge a higher monthly fee to use it. There is usually an upfront cost for equipment and installation, as well as a required multi-year contract with a recurring cost for monitoring. (Consumer Reports does not test these systems.)

Pros: A technician sets up the system for you. Your system is always monitored by a professional.

Cons: Monthly fees are usually around $40 or more. You’re locked into a contract for multiple years.

DIY Wireless Home Security Systems

These security systems come as packaged kits that you install yourself. Most let you self-monitor your system via a smartphone app for free, but a few require you to pay for professional monitoring. Many self-monitored systems offer optional professional monitoring that you can start (and cancel) whenever you like, such as when you go away on vacation.

Pros: Systems with optional professional monitoring give you more flexibility. These systems usually have lower monthly monitoring fees than professionally-installed systems. Most don’t require you to sign a multi-year contract. 

Cons: You have to install the system yourself. Self-monitored systems are not monitored 24/7 by trained professionals—miss a smart phone alert at a critical moment, and the system might be moot.

Basic Security System Sensors and Components

Home security systems are made up of many individual sensors—battery-powered devices ranging in size from a pack of gum to a box of large matches—and other components, such as keypads and alarm sirens.

Here, we define the parts you will usually find in basic home security systems, arranged in order of their importance to the overall system. DIY security system kits usually include a base station, keypad (or touchscreen control panel), contact sensors, motion sensors, and key fobs.

•  Base stations: Base stations act as the brain of the security system, wirelessly connecting to all the sensors and components and acting as a bridge between the individual components and the internet. These devices usually include a built-in siren and feature backup batteries and backup cellular connectivity for power and/or internet outages.
•  Contact sensors: These sensors attach to doors and windows to alert you (and/or authorities, if you have professional monitoring) when they’re opened and closed.
•  Motion sensors: Great for rooms with multiple doors or windows, these sensors detect the movement of people. Some are calibrated so that pets won’t set them off.
•  Keypads: With some systems, you’ll use a 10-digit keypad to enter access codes to arm and disarm the alarm.
•  Touchscreen control panels: Similar to a small tablet, this could take the place of a keypad. On the panel, you can arm and disarm the system, enter access codes, and control other smart home devices.
•  Key fobs and tags: Similar to the key fob for your car, these fobs have arm/disarm buttons and some contain contain RF tags, so you can tap the fob on the system’s keypad or base station to arm/disarm.
•  Range extenders: Most base stations have a range of a few hundred feet. For larger homes, some systems utilize extenders to increase the wireless range of the base station and connect to more-remote sensors. In other systems, the wireless components (as well as range extenders) act as signal repeaters that further extend the base station’s range.

Add-On Sensors and Components

Most security systems also offer a variety of add-on sensors and components—at an additional cost—for other types of monitoring, such as personal safety, fire, and carbon monoxide. Below, we define the most common add-on components you’re likely to see as you shop.

•  Security cameras: While not required, most systems work with wireless security cameras and video doorbells that allow you to see what’s going on at all times. They typically record footage when the alarm is triggered.
•  Environmental sensors and alarms: Most systems work with environmental sensors and alarms to monitor your home for fire, water leaks, extreme temperatures, and more. These devices include smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, alarm listeners that listen for the sound of those alarms, and leak and freeze sensors.
•  Sirens: Standalone sirens can be placed away from the base station. If you live in a larger home, you might consider installing multiple sirens.
•  Glass break sensors: These sensors can detect the sound if, for example, an intruder smashes a window to get inside.
•  Garage door tilt sensors: Placed on the interior side of a garage door, these sensors can tell when the door is open or closed based on their horizontal or vertical orientation.
•  Panic buttons and pendants: Physical panic buttons are a quick and easy way to alert a monitoring service that you need help. Panic pendants work the same way, except they can be worn by the user, making them useful for, say, an individual who’s at risk of falling.

Contracts for Professionally Installed Systems

Professionally installed security systems usually require that you sign a contract, covering two to five years. While contracts lock you into a security provider and commit you to a recurring monthly fee, they do have a few upsides.

“A three-year contract is a good way to guarantee that monthly fees won’t increase,” says Kirk MacDowell, president of home security consulting firm MacGuard Security Advisors. He adds that having a contract will help ensure that your system will be maintained and updated with the latest software. 

How We Test DIY Home Security Systems

DIY home security systems are a new product category for Consumer Reports, which is why we spent a lot of time fine-tuning our test methodology. We rate each system for security essentials, security add-ons, smart home add-ons, ease of use, ease of setup, motion detection, and video quality of security cameras. Our ratings also note flexibility of professional monitoring options, whether systems offer two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access, and more.

For security essentials, our test engineers evaluate each system for features and functionality that Consumer Reports believes every system should provide. That includes motion sensors, contact sensors for doors and windows, key fobs, keypads, remote sirens, and smartphone apps.

Next, our testers assess security add-ons. These are features that add extra forms of protection, such as panic buttons/pendants and security cameras that trigger the alarm with motion detection.

Since many security systems now double as smart home systems, we also examine their add-on smart home features, namely their ability to integrate compatible smoke/CO detectors, water and temperature sensors, thermostats, and lighting.

Our ease of use test looks at how easily you can interact with the systems through apps and keypads, as well as whether you can adjust the sensitivity of motion sensors. We also judge how difficult it is to set up each system.

For motion detection, our test engineers challenged the sensors with various forms of movement, such as crawling or walking slowly past them. Finally, for systems with add-on security cameras, we evaluate the video quality using the same tests developed for our home security camera ratings.

Our test engineers take the results from these individual tests and use them to calculate an Overall Score for every system that enters our labs. 

Considerations for DIY-Installed Security Systems

Professional Monitoring vs. Self-Monitoring
A big factor in your purchase—and the long-term cost of your system—is whether you want professional monitoring. With pro monitoring, a team of trained dispatchers will monitor your system 24/7 and alert the authorities, if necessary.

Self-monitoring means no monthly fees, but it also means that missing a notification on your smartphone can be the difference between being robbed and thwarting a potential burglar.

Many self-monitored systems offer optional professional monitoring, sometimes called on-demand monitoring. With these systems, you can sign up for professional monitoring indefinitely or temporarily, even for just one month.

A few DIY security systems require professional monitoring with a multi-year contract, but they are the minority. Other systems might offer optional multi-year contracts in exchange for lower monthly monitoring fees.

Additional Component Costs
Security system companies like to advertise that their systems start at just $200, $300, or $400. But the reality is that you could easily spend over $1,000 when you factor in the cost of the additional components you might want.

That base price usually only includes a handful of contact and motion sensors. One contact sensor for a DIY system, for example, could cost anywhere from $15 to $50. Depending on the model you choose, a security camera could cost anywhere from $75 to $350. 

Other Factors to Keep in Mind as You Shop

What Do You Want to Monitor?
While all home security systems guard against burglary, consider whether you want additional forms of protection. You can set up a security system—using some of the sensors defined above—to alert you to fires, high levels of carbon monoxide, leaks and floods, and extreme temperatures. Some systems offer panic pendants you can wear and activate in the event of personal injury. Keep in mind that if you pay for professional monitoring, some providers might charge higher monthly rates for these additional features.

Smart Home Integrations
Many home security systems now double as smart home hubs, allowing you to automate and control connected locks, lights, thermostats, and more from a single app on your smartphone. And if you have other smart devices, the integrations can add convenience.

For example, some systems will automatically arm and disarm your alarm system when you lock and unlock a smart lock. Others will automate your home’s lighting to make it look like you’re home when you’re not.

Alarm Permits
Some municipalities require that anyone running their own security system with professional monitoring obtain a permit, so local authorities have a record of all alarm systems in their jurisdictions.

Check with your local police department to see if they require alarm permits and if there’s an associated fee (some are charged at the time you obtain the permit, and some are charged annually). Yonkers, New York, where Consumer Reports’ HQ is based, requires permits but does not charge residents a fee. The City of Dallas, on the other hand, requires its residents to pay an annual fee of $50 for alarm permits.