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How to Choose the Right Smart Lock for Your Home

Here's a side-by-side comparison of the top brands.

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August

Who needs a magical wand when you can now control your TV, your lights, your music, your coffee maker, and tons more with just your voice or a wireless app on your smartphone? A keyless smart door lock is the next must-have for your home.

The advantages are many: You don’t need to fumble with a key to turn the lock, especially if your hands are full. You can give a unique code to specific people (like your housekeeper), so you know who entered your house, and when. And if you are already snuggled in bed and forgot to turn the deadbolt, a simple voice command or tap on your phone is all you need. Not to mention that smart locks are practically life-changing technology for those who are elderly or disabled and have difficulty getting to the door.

As far as security goes, some models don't have a keyhole at all, so it can't be messed with; up-and-coming models are working on alerts and built-in security cams to let you know when someone is trying to jiggle or break off the lock.

The main downside to smart locks is that most of them are battery-powered. However, most apps will keep track of the battery status, and some devices offer a conventional keyhole as a backup. You'll also have to make sure it will fit your current deadbolt properly, but that can be easily checked. These are the smart locks pushing the edge of magic.

Smart Lock Pro by August

If it weren’t attached to the door, this cylindrical smart lock might be mistaken for a cool, portable speaker. The Smart Lock Pro does it all: You can use an app to unlock it from a distance, or if your phone is in your pocket, the August unlocks your door automatically (and it locks the door behind you when you walk far enough away). You can give digital keys to people that last for a few days—or a few hours. It is also the only smart lock with a sensor that tells you whether the door is ajar, which can be very handy if you have, say, a distracted teenager who can’t seem to remember to close the door properly.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Honeywell

BUY NOW Smart Lock Pro, $280; Best Buy

Kevo by Kwikset

Let’s just say this ain’t Kwikset’s first rodeo: The company offers dozens of smart locks, from those with touchscreen keypads to no keypads at all. The most interesting one is the sleek and slim Kevo. When it detects you (or rather, your phone) standing outside, it allows you to unlock the door with a simple tap. For added convenience, you can buy an accessory fob that works the same; very handy if you want to go for a run and don’t want to lug your phone along. And all eKeys for guests or visitors are now free and unlimited. There is also a conventional keyhole built into the Kevo, in case you want the backup of an old-fashioned lock. The Premis model works with Apple HomeKit.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Nest Learning Thermostat, and Wear OS (Android)

BUY NOW Kwikset Kevo, $159; Amazon

BUY NOW Kwikset Premis, $220; Best Buy

Sense and Connect, both by Schlage

Schlage’s three smart locks cover a wide gamut of connectivity, from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to Z-Wave Plus. The Sense model was one of the first to work with Apple’s HomeKit, meaning you can “talk” to your lock with a voice command to Siri. You can also use your phone app or the capacitive keypad (which is supposedly sensitive enough to use even if you're wearing winter gloves). The keypad allows for user-specific codes, so you can allow, say, your housekeeper to come in with one code and your dog walker with another. If you have AppleTV, you are not limited by the radius of your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth but can control the Connect model from miles away.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Schlage Home.

BUY NOW Schlage Sense, $199; Amazon

BUY NOW Schlage Connect, $180; Amazon

Want to make your home the smartest ever? Check out these cool smart kitchen appliances. And the Jetsons have nothing on these amazing new smart home devices.

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