The keypad on our pick for best smart lock, the Yale YDR256 Assure SL Connected by August.

The Best Smart Locks

Our pick

Yale Assure Lock SL (YRD256) Connected by August

Yale Assure Lock SL (YRD256) Connected by August

The best smart lock

This keypad lock allows for quick exit or entry without your needing to carry keys or even a smartphone. It also offers wide compatibility with other smart-home devices.

Buying Options

$250* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $300.

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Also great

Yale Assure Lever (YRL256) Connected by August

Yale Assure Lever (YRL256) Connected by August

A smart doorknob replacement

This model has most of the same features as our top pick but is a replacement for a doorknob or lever handle instead of a deadbolt.

Buying Options

$250* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $204.

The Yale Assure Lock SL (YRD256) combines the hardware-security chops of Yale with the smart-home finesse of August. It connects to your Wi-Fi network (via the Connect bridge), allowing you to control the lock and manage access codes remotely. This ability to manage or even create new codes on the fly makes the lock especially suited to owners of vacation homes and short-term rental properties. The included August module makes the lock widely compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, HomeKit, and other smart-gear platforms. Punching in your keycode is simple, and the mechanism is far quieter than that of nearly every other lock we’ve tested. We also like the DoorSense accessory, which tells the lock if the door is open so that the deadbolt doesn’t engage before the door is shut. Although we greatly prefer the feel of the keypads found on Schlage locks, the Yale Assure Lock SL’s other features, reliability, and overall aesthetics make it a far better buy for most people.

If your door is a single-hole model—that is, with a doorknob or lever and no deadbolt—the Yale Assure Lever (YRL256) is the smart lock to get. It offers features identical to those of the deadbolt version, with a couple of minor differences; for instance, you can wake the lock or have it lock when you’re leaving simply by pressing the Yale logo. We tested it on an internal door for several months, and we love how quiet it is.

One extremely important note: The Yale Assure Lock SL has no keyway—should its electronics ever fail, the battery die, or its mechanism jam, you could be locked out of your home and would have to destroy the lock to get in. (Yale also sells a version with a built-in keyway, which we do not recommend—see How we tested for more details.) As such, we recommend this lock only if you have ready access to another entrance, such as a back door or a garage. If you prefer to have traditional key access to fall back on, we strongly recommend going with another pick.

Runner-up

Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro

Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro

A near-perfect upstart

This compact, versatile, and quiet lock’s top feature is a fast but sometimes faulty fingerprint reader, but its rubber number keys will please most anyone.

Buying Options

$180 from Amazon
$180 from Build.com

The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro matches or exceeds the Yale Assure Lock SL in some ways, and it missed the top spot due to only a few minor performance flaws as well as its narrower compatibility with other smart-home devices and the fact that the company is a relative startup. Still, by any standard it is a wonderful device, with the cleanest, most precise hardware we’ve ever tested and a pleasing low-profile design. You can unlock it six different ways, including with a numerical code, in an app, through a physical keyway, and—the pièce de résistance—via fingerprint. (We highly recommend buying the $50 add-on Ultraloq Bridge, which allows for remote programming and control.) The companion app you use to set up and control the U-Bolt Pro is less polished and reliable than the August app, and we found that it sometimes required a restart to get back in sync. Although we believe the feel and function of the U-Bolt Pro’s rubber number buttons to be superior to pecking numbers on the glass screen of the Yale Assure Lock SL, the fingerprint unlock was our preferred way to unlock this model. Unfortunately, it balked on around 20 percent of our attempts to unlock it using this method, and that required us to make multiple finger presses or to resort to using a key code. Still, we relied on that method as the primary mode for unlocking during our long-term testing, as it works well enough; we hope the company can improve the fingerprint feature’s reliability, since it provides the best balance of security and convenience. The U-Bolt Pro is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but unlike the Assure Lock SL it doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit or Samsung SmartThings—if that doesn’t matter to you, the U-Bolt Pro may be the better pick.

Also great

Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

An adapter-free smart lock

A slimmer update to previous Schlage keypad models, the Encode has built-in Wi-Fi, so it doesn’t need a plug-in adapter like other locks.

Buying Options

$250* from Build.com
$210 from Amazon

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $210.

The Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt is a trimmed and toned update to similar previous picks, the Schlage Connect and Schlage Sense, but with the clever ability to connect directly to your Wi-Fi without the need of a plug-in adapter. (Most smart locks, in contrast, use battery-friendly Bluetooth and then connect wirelessly to a plug-in adapter that allows them to connect to your Wi-Fi and accept remote control.)

That capability is appealing, and along with the nicely designed hardware—which also includes a built-in impact alarm—it makes the Encode one of the easiest models to install and one of the simplest smart locks to use of those we’ve tested. In gaining its smaller internal housing, the Encode unfortunately shed compatibility with Apple HomeKit, though it can still integrate with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. We tend to prefer the feel of capacitive keypads like the Encode’s over that of a glass touchscreen, and we think that feature makes this lock less fussy to use, so it’s an especially good choice for rental properties.

Budget pick

Wyze Lock

Wyze Lock

A versatile yet low-cost option

For anyone who wants to keep an existing keyway, the Wyze lock is fast and quiet. It also has a built-in sensor to detect when your door is ajar and includes a tiny plug-in Wi-Fi adapter.

Buying Options

$108* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $100.

If you’re a renter and you aren’t allowed to change your locks (or if you’re a homeowner who just doesn’t want to), the Wyze Lock is a low-cost yet full-featured option that connects easily to an existing deadbolt. The hardware is easy to install, and in our testing it worked well—and unlike our previous budget pick, the August Smart Lock, it’s whisper quiet. A tiny plug-in Wi-Fi adapter, which enables remote access and smartphone notifications, is included. The Wyze Lock offers some impressive features, including a built-in presence sensor that alerts you via a chime and a smartphone notification when you’ve left the door open or ajar. Unlike our other picks, which have a keypad or fingerprint sensor (or both), the Wyze Lock requires that you use an app to unlock it, which for everyday use isn’t much more convenient than using a key (Wyze has introduced a wireless keypad, which we plan to test). You can instead choose to enable auto-unlock mode, which relies on your smartphone’s proximity to trigger the lock when you arrive home, but we worry about the innate security risk of accidental triggers, and some early owners of the Wyze Lock have reported such problems. The Wyze Lock currently integrates with Alexa, which enables you to lock the door using voice, and Google Assistant support is planned.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Yale Assure Lock SL (YRD256) Connected by August

Yale Assure Lock SL (YRD256) Connected by August

The best smart lock

This keypad lock allows for quick exit or entry without your needing to carry keys or even a smartphone. It also offers wide compatibility with other smart-home devices.

Buying Options

$250* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $300.

Also great

Yale Assure Lever (YRL256) Connected by August

Yale Assure Lever (YRL256) Connected by August

A smart doorknob replacement

This model has most of the same features as our top pick but is a replacement for a doorknob or lever handle instead of a deadbolt.

Buying Options

$250* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $204.

Runner-up

Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro

Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro

A near-perfect upstart

This compact, versatile, and quiet lock’s top feature is a fast but sometimes faulty fingerprint reader, but its rubber number keys will please most anyone.

Buying Options

$180 from Amazon
$180 from Build.com

Also great

Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

An adapter-free smart lock

A slimmer update to previous Schlage keypad models, the Encode has built-in Wi-Fi, so it doesn’t need a plug-in adapter like other locks.

Buying Options

$250* from Build.com
$210 from Amazon

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $210.

Budget pick

Wyze Lock

Wyze Lock

A versatile yet low-cost option

For anyone who wants to keep an existing keyway, the Wyze lock is fast and quiet. It also has a built-in sensor to detect when your door is ajar and includes a tiny plug-in Wi-Fi adapter.

Buying Options

$108* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $100.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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