How to Have the Smartest Door on the Block
Locksets, deadbolts and doorknobs that exceed expectations.
Take your entryway to 2.0 status by swapping your traditional doorknob and lock with one from the next generation. The newest wave of entryway hardware is designed with maximum security in mind, and incorporates Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and keypads with better security features than ever before. And they look incredible – we think you’ll agree that these are some seriously cool upgrades for any homeowner embracing what the 21st century has to offer.
Take a look at our favorites, including a few new models that are just making their way to market. Which would you choose?
Kevo Touch-to-Open by Kwikset remains a top pick by home security experts. Its Bluetooth technology connects to both Android and iOS devices as well as Nest. Some of its most notable bells and whistles include:
- An easy DIY installation process
- Sleek design
- Integrates with 3rd party devices – including smart thermostats (Nest) and video doorbells.
- Reviewers cite that the 2nd generation product is more responsive than its predecessor
- Advanced SmartKey Security technology prevents against torquing, bumping and lock picking.
Kwikset unveiled its Obsidian product earlier this year: the first slim, low-profile smart lock designed for modern homeowners – it’s the sultry design you see in the image above. Touch-screen technology has had somewhat of a bad rap because it’s “easy” for intruders to identify which numbers you press based on your finger smudges and keypad wear (it’s not that easy, but it’s possible). However, this model uses SecureScreen technology that requires homeowners to press two additional numbers before entering their key code, which means that you’re creating wear on numbers beyond your 4-digit code (think of it as having a 6-digit code).
We’ve been following August products since the brand launched, and the evolution continues to wow. It remains one of the industry favorites in terms of security, tech savviness and design. It connects via bluetooth or wi-fi, and it’s easy on the eyes too – cool and contemporary but appropriate for homes of all types. Unlike its competitors, by employing Wi-Fi, it makes options for connectivity more plentiful, so if you use Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, or Nest, you’re covered. It continues to make an impression on keyless technology and abandons the keypad entry, but embraces mobile/email alerts and push notifications. In its latest iteration, the product can upgrade old mortise locksets, and we can just imagine how cool the product looks used in modernizing an old home.
Kits also convert single-cylinder deadbolts, and don’t forget about the doorbell cam – it allows you to see and speak to visitors via your smartphone, even if you’re away from the home.
Priced: $79 - $229 (August Connect and Doorbell Cam are on the lower end of the range, with the lockset itself priced around $229 at most retailers.)
Yale, which is part of the ASSA ABLOY Group, the world’s largest lock company and a global leader in door opening solutions has a selection of keyless door hardware you might recognize in stores branded as the Yale Real Living Locks. At the beginning of the year, Yale announced that its Real Living Assure locks would be HomeKit Compatible with a HomeKit Network module, meaning you’d now be able to lock and unlock the house with a simple prompt through your Apple Home app, the Yale companion app, or with Siri voice commands. “We strive to constantly develop products that enhance our user’s everyday lives and we are extremely excited to continue this with the launch of our HomeKit Network Module,” says Jason Williams, General Manager, Yale Residential. “[This module] will provide a level of customer experience that we pride ourselves on.” Unlike other models, the products feature Z-Wave and ZigBee connectivity, not Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
In addition to hardware suitable for any homeowner, Yale also has a line of commercial products suitable for small businesses seeking higher security features. The additional features enable employers to manage various functions including employee access with unique pin codes and the ability to simplify unattended deliveries.
Later this year, its Linus product comes to market and if you’re into looks, I think you’ll like it (you can get a peek of the product on the Yale website.)
Priced: $160 - $500 (products on the higher end are commercial products)
Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt
Schlage has also made headway with its popular line of keyless products by integrating the technology with Apple’s Home app. With Bluetooth connectivity and no fees or subscriptions, the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt comes standard with a well-lit touchpad, but stands out from competitors with its built-in alarm to sense for potential door break-ins, while meeting the highest industry rating for security and durability. Reviewers cite that the product is easy to install and a great price for a product with voice-activation commands via HomeKit technology.