Best Traditional and Smart Door Locks 2017

When you lock the door on your way to work, you probably don’t think about it again until you come home. But what if someone else was thinking about your door lock? Creepy I know, but the reality is that 34% of burglars will come in through the front door. Whether they pick the lock or kick the door down, its the easiest way for intruders to get into your home.

Deadbolts are still the most secure locks because they just get the job done. The majority of smart door locks still rely on their core structure to prevent break-ins. While just using a standard deadbolt will work, newer door locks provide more flexibility in how you manage what happens at your front door.

The IoT (Internet of Things) is making technology more accessible, with over half of us already owning a smart home device. And while some people just want the ease of telling Alexa to turn the lights on, the majority of smart home devices are centered around home security.

From security cameras in doorbells to wireless sensors, home security is changing. And the first place that change should happen is at your door. There are a few things you should take into consideration when you buy a smart door lock, but no worries we have it covered, here are a few tips to get you started.

How to Shop for a Door Lock

When it comes to door locks, there are a lot more options than you might think. But to keep things simple we are going to cover only exterior and interior door locks since that is what most of us have in our homes. There are a few things you should know before shopping for a new door lock.

First, you need to make sure you know the density and measurements of the door you want the lock in. This will make it much easier when you are shopping for a new door lock. You should measure the following:

  • Measure from the outside edge of the door to the center of the door knob
  • Measure the how thick the door is
  • If you want to use existing holes, you will need to gauge the diameter of the holes

Exterior door locks

These locks are arguably the most important as they protect the entryways into your home. Exterior locks should be used on any entry point where someone could enter your home from the outside. These include front doors, patio doors, and garage entry doors.

Types of exterior locks:

  • Deadbolt Lock

    • Deadbolt locks provide the highest level of security for exterior doors. The bolt secures the door to the frame which keeps an intruder from prying the door open.
    • They are called “dead” bolts because there are no springs in the lock. Deadbolts can only be operated with a key or a thumb turn on the inside.
  • Smart Door Locks

    • Many smart door locks rely on the traditional deadbolt
    • Smart door locks include keypad entry locks, fingerprint entry locks and even smartphone controlled locks
    • Smart door locks provide a higher level of security than just using a traditional keyed entry option
  • Mortise Locks

    • Consists of a rectangular flat box that is set in a recess in an entry door. Mortise locks have two faceplates with keyholes and knobs
    • A latch will operate from either side, but the deadbolt is operated by turning the inside knob
    • These locks are more focused on convenience and not security

Interior Door Locks

Interior door locks are typically used on bathroom and bedroom doors. These are often less complicated than exterior locks and do not use deadbolt locks.

  • Levers

    • These locks are used to secure bedroom, bathroom and closet doors. They close with a push or turn button to provide privacy.
  • Bed/Bath Knobs

    • These are knobs with locks that require a turn to lock them.
  • Dummy Knobs

    • Used on doors where only a push/pull option is needed

While interior doors haven’t changed much over the years, which means I still need a paperclip to open the bedroom door with I accidentally lock myself out, they are getting better. Exterior doors are experiencing a renaissance. With new technology like Keyless entry and touch pads, how we protect the outside of our home is improving.


Smart locks will cost more than your traditional lock. And they should, as they do more than your standard deadbolt. If you want features that include voice commands, fingerprint access and alerts to your smartphone, you should plan a budget around $250-$300.

While that can sound expensive for a door lock, its worth it when you consider that they can do. My lock opens with my finger, I don’t search for keys anymore, and if my hands are full, I only need to free one finger to open the door. And unless someone takes my finger off (which I really hope never happens) I am the only one who can open my door.

Smart locks also play an invaluable role in your overall home security. They can connect with other devices like smart doorbells to let you know who is at your door, and they can unlock the door to let your kids or neighbors in if you aren’t going to be there when they arrive.

How to Install a Door Lock

I will be honest. I cannot install anything. I am in no way handy or coordinated, and I am jealous of people who can repair or install things. But for those of you who excel at DIY projects, putting in a new door lock is pretty simple.

This video can walk you through how to quickly install a new door lock in your home

Door Lock Comparisons

While smart door locks are all the rage, there is still some charm in the traditional deadbolt locks. We will compare some of the top smart door locks and some of the tried and true deadbolts to help you know what your options are. And if you still love your simple keyed entry deadbolt, that’s okay too.

Deadbolt Locks

These locks are closer to the traditional deadbolt locks that are used in the majority of homes. While they do provide added features like SmartKey and BumpGuard, they are still considered a more traditional solution when compared to the newer Smart door locks.

Kwikset 985 Double Cylinder Deadbolt Featuring SmartKey®

Kwikset 985 Double Cylinder Deadbolt Featuring SmartKey®While it relies on the traditional deadbolt to provide protection, it has been upgraded to add some additional features.  Both sides of the door require a key to lock and unlock the door, but where the upgrade comes in is with the SmartKey technology. It allows you to re-key the lock in just a few easy steps. So if you, or a family member, loses a key you can easily re-key the lock in a matter of minutes.

In addition to the SmartKey feature, you also get added security with another SmartKey feature in BumpGuard. BumpGuard incorporates a side locking bar that is designed to replace the pin and tumbler to stop would be burglars from using lock-bumping techniques to break in.

Lock bumping is a method that tries to pick a lock by using a repetitive striking motion to dislodge the pins inside of the lock. Without additional protection, over 90% of locks can be compromised using this method.

If you are looking for an upgrade for your existing deadbolt, the Kwikset is a good choice. While several locks have rekeying options, the BumpGuard is a nice added feature that provides additional safeguards that can add extra security to your front door.

  • Easy to install
  • Provides BumpGuard feature
  • Allows you to easily re-key the lock

  • The SmartKey can fail
  • The rekeying may not always work


If you want a traditional deadbolt lock that has a few features, this is a good option. It allows you to rekey the lock should someone lose their key. You also get the BumpGuard feature that helps protect your lock from being compromised. Kwikset is known for quality, and this lock is no exception.

Baldwin 380 RDB 15 SMT CP RCAL Single Cylinder Round Deadbolt

Baldwin 380 RDB 15 SMT CP RCAL Single Cylinder Round DeadboltSimilar to the Kwikset, the Baldwin 380 RDB relies on the deadbolt to do most of the work. It can be locked and unlocked using a key on the outside, or a knob that turns on the inside, what makes Baldwin different isn’t much. It can boast of a heavier, stronger hardware that is made of plated steel, but beyond that, it is pretty much on par with the majority of deadbolt locks.

Baldwin also provides a SmartKey option with this lock that allows you to rekey the lock should someone lose a key, or if someone you gave a lock to should be denied access. It also used the side locking bar to replace the pin and tumbler design. The cylinder uses two steel balls inserted into the front of the key face. This is intended to improve resistance from drilling.

  • Easy to install
  • Provides rekeying options
  • Made with high-quality steel
  • Adds additional feature to provide drill resistance

  • Uses Kwikset SmartKey technology to rekey, so it doesn’t work with prior versions
  • Returned items are occasionally shipped as “new.”


Baldwin is known for building locks that are made from high-quality steel, which means the deadbolt lock you buy should keep your front door safe for decades. A few things to consider is that this lock uses Kwikset’s SmartKey technology for rekeys, which means if you had an existing lock the Kwikset keys won’t work.

But if you are buying it for the first time, it’s a good place to start.

Smart Door Locks

When it comes to smart home technology, you would think that with so many new and amazing devices the door lock would get lost in the thermostats and home security camera. But, surprisingly, the most popular smart home device is right outside your front door. No, it’s not a drone that can bring you Starbucks, but that would be super awesome. It is the simple Smart door lock.

But how do you know which Smart door lock is right for you? If only there were someone who had reviewed them and then shared those reviews with you, like Luckily for you, we have considered the most popular Smart door locks to help you choose which one is best for you.

Smart Lock Comparisons

Smart Lock August Smart Lock-Home Kit Enabled Poly Contro DanaLock V2 BT Schlage Sense Kwikset Kevo Touch to Open Smart Lock 2nd Gen Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt Lock Yale Real Living Z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt Lockitron Bolt
Price $229.00 $148.87 $259.99 $229.00 $199.99 $244.64 $99.00
Integration Amazon Echo, Apple Homekit, Nest, IFTTT Nest Apple HomeKit Nest No Integration No Integration No Integration
Connections Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, ZigBee Bluetooth Bluetooth Z-Wave Z-Wave, ZigBee Bluetooth
Apps Smartphone, Web Smartphone iOS Smartphone Smartphone No App No App Smartphone
Geofencing Yes Yes No No No No Yes
Guest Code or Access Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Touchpad No No Yes No Yes Yes No
Voice Commands Yes No Yes No No No No

August Smart Lock-Homekit Enabled

August Smart Lock-Homekit EnabledAugust is one of the most recognizable smart door locks on the market, so of course we had to check it out for ourselves. Smart locks are kind of a mixed bag, somewhere between technology and security lives the perfect lock that is both durable and functional. And while the original iterations of the August smart locks were in the “meh” category, the next-gen August Smart Lock is about redemption.


It’s not only more reliable, but it’s also easier to install and use. It now connects with Apple HomeKit, Nest, Xfinity Home and Amazon Echo. While its physical design hasn’t changed (it didn’t really need to) the way it connects to other smart home hubs and devices is impressive.

By connecting to Apple HomeKit’s platform, you can control the smart lock using voice commands through Siri. Once installed it was easy to connect with Siri, and it was even easier to use voice commands to unlock and lock the door. Although it did seem to irritate my dog who was consistently disappointed that he wasn’t going outside for a walk.

August also has an IFTTT channel that lets you create recipes that can generate an email or alert when the lock is locked or unlocked.  While the lock can also use Bluetooth to communicate with your smartphone, you have to be within around 50 feet of the door lock for it to be effective. Pairing the August Doorbell Cam adds the ability to connect using Wi-Fi and to be able to control both the doorbell cam and door lock from virtually anywhere.


The August Door Lock uses your existing deadbolt, which makes it easier to install than locks the require you to remove and replace the deadbolt. You can find instructions on how to install the lock on the August site under support. They provide a thorough installation guide that you can download as a PDF.

They have also improved some of the physical hardware to make it easier to install by adding magnets, and a more secure faceplate. Because you install the smart lock on the inside of your door, you can still use your house keys as the original lock remains intact. So if you want the benefits of a smart lock without the neighbors knowing you have one, you can.

Using the Door Lock

If you just want a door lock that you can operate with a smartphone, you can have that with this lock. But if you want more than that, you can have that too. The August smart door lock lets you send virtual keys to friends, family members, and even dog sitters and cleaning services. You can also add a geofencing feature that will lock the door when it knows you have left, and unlock it when you arrive back home.

You can also set auto-locking and auto- unlocking rules that will lock the house after a set period should you forget to lock the door yourself.

  • Easy to install
  • HomeKit integration works well
  • Connects with a variety of other devices and IFTTT
  • Adds new features like auto locking and geofencing

  • Homekit version is a bit expensive
  • You have to set rules to get notifications through IFTTT


August Smart Lock is one of the best smart door locks around. And their investment in adding new features and simplifying the installation process is obvious. With their integration with Apple, you can now control your locks with Siri. August also works with Amazon Echo, Nest, and IFTTT.

While you do need the August Cam to access a few features, you can still get a lot of value from just the door lock. While some may think it’s expensive, which may be true, you are getting a quality product that has useful features. With the added auto-lock and geofencing you never have to worry that you forgot to lock the door. And that’s worth paying a little more.

Poly-Control Danalock V2 BT

Poly-Control Danalock V2 BTTime is good for some things, and it has been very good to Poly-Control. With a first generation Danalock that was not something we were excited about at the time, they seem to have taken the feedback. The Danalock V2 BT is a marked improvement. It keeps the one thing we really liked about the lock, the simple, sleek design, and it addresses all of the things that frustrated consumers.


Danalock V2 BT uses Bluetooth, ZigBee, and Z-Wave, which allows it to connect to a variety of home automation systems, including SmartThings. To get access to ZigBee and Z-Wave, you will need to order the BTZW model. The lock can also work with the Nest home automation platform and Harmony, which is Logitech home automation hubs and it has its own IFTTT channel.


Like the majority of smart locks, the Danalock is easy to install. Even if you aren’t that savvy when it comes to DIY projects you should still be able to master the installation with ease. Once installed you can set up the app and add the lock to the app to manage it. You can also enable locking and unlocking features. The iPhone and Android Apps both offer the same features for managing the lock.

Once installed the features seemed to work well. One issue stood out when you connect using the bridge you get the option to lock and unlock the device, but you do not get confirmation that the process was complete.

So if you aren’t at home, you may not know the door is locked. And as someone who routinely forgets if I locked the door or unplugged my hair straightener, I like confirmation. You can take the extra step of logging into the app and going to the log to check that the door was locked.

Using the Door Lock

When you assign an “owner” to the Danalock, that person will be the only one that can be allocated. If you want to pass the ownership to someone else, you would need to delete the lock from the app, and the new owner would have to download the app and set it up under their ownership.

But you can share access; you can provide access to your home by creating virtual keys. You can set the access keys to allow temporary, recurrent or permanent access to your lock. You can also elect to add additional features like a keypad, or keyfob.

Every time the lock is used by anyone with access it will be logged with both the date and time. You can also elect to get a notification each time someone locks or unlock the Danalock, so you know when someone has entered your home.

When you enable the auto-unlock feature, the Danalock will use geofencing to determine your position, when you enter the “unlock zone” which is between 1640 and 3281 feet from the Danalock it will unlock the door. So you don’t need a key or even to lift a finger.

After you install your Danalock V2, you may hear some unfamiliar sounds.

  • If you hear one long beep that indicates that the lock has a communications error
  • Two short beeps indicate that the device is timed out, the timeout period is usually 2 minutes long
  • If you hear three short beeps, it means your battery is low.
  • Happy Melody: You lock has been connected

You can also press the touch buttons to access these additional options:

  • One beep: you will postpone the lock time by 5 seconds
  • Two beeps: you will put the Danalock into Z-wave inclusion mode
  • Four beeps: you can now calibrate the lock by
    • turning the lock to the unlock position, then pressing and holding until you hear four beeps
    • next, you will turn the lock to the lock position and press and hold until you hear four beeps
    • after the second four beeps, your lock will be calibrated
  • Five beeps: this will delete all the current lock keys connected to the lock which will render all phone rights and electronic keys invalid
  • Ten beeps: this will delete all of the settings on the Danalock
  • Easy to install in this version
  • Has its own IFTTT channel
  • Connects with ZigBee, Z-Wave, Nest and Logitech Harmony
  • Uses geofencing to unlock the door when auto-unlock is enabled

  • Manual operation can be challenging
  • While it connects to multiple home automation providers, it doesn’t have a voice command option


The Danalock V2 kept a lot of what we liked about the first version and resolved some of the things we didn’t. Gone are random unlocking issues and a lackluster Android app. While it still has some issues with manual operations, it has taken away most of the issues and replaced them with some new features.

The Danalock is a highly capable smart lock. While it could still use some improvement when it comes to supporting if you are looking for a stylish lock that has some decent features the DAnalock V2 is a good start.

Schlage Sense

Schlage SenseSchlage Sense may be hard to pronounce but don’t let that stop you from learning more about this Bluetooth-enabled touch-screen lock that you can control with your Apple iOS device. Part of the Apple HomeKit you can operate this smart lock using voice commands through Siri.

You can choose from a few colors, like bronze, black and nickel if you want to find a door lock that matches your exterior decor. The touchpad works well, and it is smudge-proof which keeps someone from using fingerprint patterns to attempt to gain your unique PIN number.


One of the first smart locks to connect with Apple HomeKit, and it does its best work if you are an Apple users. Luckily I am, so I was able to test the lock using Apple devices. The downside is that it doesn’t connect with anything else. That doesn’t mean you need Apple HomeKit; the Sense has its own app.

But if you do have Apple devices you can manage your smart lock using Bluetooth. To control the lock remotely, as well as use its additions, and impressive features you need your Sense to connect to an Apple TV.

If you don’t have an Apple TV, you will miss out on the ability to manage compatible devices or set scenes in different rooms that work in concert with your lock. Scenes can turn the heat down when you lock the door or turn on lights when you come home.


Installing your Schlage lock is easy if you have experience installing things, but if like me you have given yourself a concussion putting an Ikea shelf together, you can follow the installation video on the app. That should allow you to get everything installed without harming yourself in the process.

Using the Door Lock

After you get the lock installed you can add the new lock to the iPhone app. Before you insert the lock, make sure you have your iCloud drive active. If you don’t, you will receive an error, and the lock will not be connected.  It is easy to connect the lock; you just need to scan the QR setup code. You can find the code on the user guide or the back of the lock (which would be hard to get to since ou installed the lock).

Once the lock has been added, you can enter a nickname for Siri and a four-digit access code. Your Schlage lock is designed to work with Apple devices, so Siri commands should work without issue. Unless you say something she doesn’t understand, outside of that, you are ready to go.

Using the touch-screen is pretty straightforward, it is well lit and easy to access. The alarm is loud enough to alert a neighbor that someone is tampering with the lock.

  • It’s one of the most secure smart locks
  • Touchpad is smudge proof to mask entries
  • Works in conjunction with Apple HomeKit

  • App currently only works with Apple, there is no Android app
  • It is an expensive lock


The biggest challenge that the Schlage Sense has is its limited connection. While it is highly compatible with Apple Homekit, it doesn’t have an Android friendly app. If you are a dedicated Apple device user, this is a great lock for you. You can control using Siri, which adds a voice command option that many other smart locks lack.

It has some sharp features, but most of the advanced ones require users to have Apple TV. It also relies on Bluetooth if you don’t have an Apple TV, which means you have a limited range when you leave your home. It is also pricey for a lock that only connects with iOS devices and HomeKit.

Kwikset Kevo Touch to Open Smart Lock 2nd Generation

Kwikset Kevo Touch to Open Smart Lock 2nd GenerationKwikset’s second generation lock has a lot in common with the original. There are few changes and some new upgrades when it comes to security features. While the interior escutcheon has been updated, so has the price. In addition to a price increase, you also have to pay for some features.

The 2nd generation Kevo communicates to your iOS and Android apps using Bluetooth. You can choose between three different finishes, Venetian Bronze, Polished Brass and Satin Nickel; each lock comes with everything you need to install your smart door lock. It is powered by four AA batteries, which are included. While the first generation Kevo included a key fob, you have to pay for it in this version. If you want to add the key fob its an addition $28.99.


There is a section on the Kwikset site for home management. While there isn’t a lot of detail (to learn more you have to contact them), they do offer options to remotely lock your door and turn on lights, music, and your thermostat when the door is unlocked. But there are some marked improvements in how the Kevo connections with other devices. It will now connect with both Ring and Skybell HD video doorbell, and you can sync your Kevo with Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostats and Nest Learning Thermostats.


Installing your Kevo lock isn’t that complicated. The first thing you will want to do is download the app and create your account. Once your account has been created, you can use the Installation Guide to help you install the lock. You can use the animated steps or download a hard copy of the installation instructions.

Once you have installed your Kevo Gen 2 you need to open the app and tap Pair a Device, next, you should press the program button and then touch the back of your device. Once paired you should be able to control your Kevo lock from your smartphone.

Using Your Door Lock

Initially, the Kevo lock only worked on iOS devices, but the second generation lock provides support for both iOS and Andriod. Once you have the app downloaded and Kevo paired you can perform tasks like changing your password, enable sounds and link your Kevo to your Nest and Honeywell (certain models) to set the temperature when you leave and when you return.

On the Create menu, you can make an eKey, setup additional locks and set up Kevo Plus. You can control your lock and add users on the Manage menu. You can also view active eKeys and a list of all of your devices by tapping the My Locks and eKeys option.

You can access a list of active eKey holders, and send an eKey using the Key icon at te bottom of the app. You can also review History and change your settings.  When you tap Settings, it will open a page where you can edit your locks name, delete a lock and update the firmware.

  • The Kevo Gen 2 now supports iOS and Android
  • Easy to install using instructions n the app
  • Expanded  integration with third party devices

  • The updates don’t justify the increase in price
  • It doesn’t provide a voice command option
  • You now have to pay for a key fob that used to be free


If you were looking for a new design with the Kevo Touch-to-Open Gen 2smart lock, you wouldn’t get it. But the design wasn’t the issue with the original version. While there are some features, some of the original free features are gone. You now still to pay for eKeys after the two free keys have been created, the two free ones weren’t offered in the original version. You also have to pay for the key fob that was included with the previous version.

The 2nd generation Kevo is easier to install, and it does have some improvements that make the lock easier to use.

Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt Lock

Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt LockSchlage has been producing locks since 1920; they are more than a brand they are a reliable, trustworthy partner that keeps your home safe. They not only have some of the best locks on the market, but they also work to keep up with today’s technology.

The Schlage Connect lock has two styles the Camelot is the dressier more detailed design. While the Century is a more laid-back minimalist lock. You can choose from a variety of colors, and you can coordinate your locks with matching doorknobs and levers.

Schlage locks and accessories come in satin nickel, black, chrome (Bright and satin) and aged bronze. So you can choose which style and color work best for your home. The exterior lock has a rectangular plate that holds the touchscreen and keyhole. The interior part of the lock is a bit odd as it is larger than other comparable models.

The touchscreen has a smudge proof finish to prevent someone from being able to figure out what your code is. When you enter your code correctly you will be rewarded with a green checkmark; if you don’t enter it correctly, you will get a red X.


You can choose to use your Schlage Connect as a standalone lock, but you will get additional smart features when you connect it to a Z-Wave hub. Once you can connect your device to a Z-Wave compatible hub, you will be able to control the lock from your smartphone or PC.

When your devices are connected, you can connect other Z-Ware devices that can interact with your Connect lock. You can create scenes that can turn smart lights on or off when you lock and unlock the door, or you can have thermostat raise the temperature when you leave and then lower it when you return home.

In addition to Z-Wave, your Schlage Connect is also compatible with Apple HomeKit.


This lock is designed for people who want to get started on a DIY home security system, but who may lack  DIY  skills. It is easy to install, which will not only allow you to install your own Schlage Connect lock, you can also tell people (honestly) that you installed it yourself.

The installation guides are put together in a thoughtful and useful way. You just need a few simple tools, like a Phillips-head screwdriver and a measuring tape. When your lock is installed, you can begin to create programming codes. You can create codes on the lock itself or a Z-Wave compatible hub or Apple HomeKit hub.

You can create up to 30 codes at a time, so if you have a babysitter, or you want the neighbor to check in on your dog, you can assign them their own unique codes.

Using Your Door Lock

The Schlage Connect is a friendly lock. It is reliable and easy to use. You can unlock it from the outside by touching the Schlage logo at the top of the screen and enter your lock code on the touch screen. If you have entered your code correctly you will see a green check mark that will flash twice; the lock will also beep once to let you know that the door is unlocked.

If you don’t enter your lock code correctly, you will see a red X appear on the touch screen. To lock the door, you just need to press the Schlage logo, and it will lock the door. You will see a green check mark that will blink once to confirm that the door is locked.

The Connect also has an auto locking feature, which will lock the door automatically 30 seconds after the door has been opened. The Schlage Connect using four AA batteries, if you need to replace the batteries you will get an alert to let you know that need to replace the batteries.

The lock also allows for a keyed entry, so if the touch screen fails to work, or the batteries die you can still enter your house using a traditional key.

  • Easy to install and even easier to use
  • Smudge proof touch screen to add additional protection
  • Allows users to create up to 30 unique lock codes

  • More substantial than other smart locks, can look bulky
  • To use smart feature, you need a Z-Wave Smart Home Hub
  • Pricey when compared to other similar smart locks


Schlage Connect is a solid lock; it allows you to create up to 30 codes that you can assign to anyone who needs access to your home by email or text. You can also lock your door by touching the Schlage logo, with no codes required.

While you don’t need a Z-Wave compatible smart home automation hub to use the lock if you do have one you will be able to take advantage of some kind of cool features. If you are looking for an easy to install smart lock that connects with other smart devices, Schlage Connect is a good option.

Yale Real Living Z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt Lock

Yale Real Living Z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt LockThe Yale Real Living lock is completely keyless. So there are no keys to lose. By using a capacitive touch screen to lock and unlock your door, the Yale lock can work with you home automation system (using a Z-Wave or ZigBee wireless compatible hub).

Like most smart locks you can choose a color, your options include Oil-Rubbed Bronze, Polished Brass and Satin Nickel. There is a small speaker on the side of the lock, so should you enter the wrong code, or take too long to enter a code, a voice will announce “time expired” and the panel will go dark.


Most of the advanced features of the Yale lock require connection to a smart home automation system. The Yale Real Living Lock with Z-Wave and ZigBee compatible home automation hubs. Once connected you can use features that allow you to access the lock remotely, use the Yale mobile app to manage the lock and you can also enhance guest access and add video doorbell options.

You can also review logs of the lock’s activity using the app. Yale provides video tutorials that can assist you with setting up the lock to work with a ZigBee or Z-Wave compatible home automation hub.


The Yale lock is fairly easy to install; these steps will assist you with the installation process. If you need additional assistance, you can also find helpful video tutorials on the Yale site.

  1. Install the bolt in the edge of the door and attach strike plate to the door frame
  2. Press the exterior escutcheon (a flat piece of metal used for protection around a keyhole or door handle) against the outside of the door and put the interior mounting plate on the inside of the door.
  3. Feed the data cable through the holes in the door, then through the plate.
  4. Secure the plate on the outside escutcheon using the screws provided.
  5. Connect the cable to the interior Escutcheon to the mounting plate.
  6. Install the Z-wave or ZigBee module (this is optional) and insert the batteries.

Once installed you can begin to program your lock. Programming your Yale lock is simple, but it’s always a good idea to have the programming guide handy. The first thing you will need to do to program the lock is to enter a master PIN. The PIN is used to program, enable and disable features. Voice prompts walk you through the installation process and will assist you in how to program and use features.

Using Your Door Lock

Using your Yale lock is relatively straight forward. What you can do with your lock really relies on whether or not you have it connected to a Z-Wave or ZigBee compatible home automation hub. If you aren’t connected, you can still enjoy some of the benefits of the smart lock. You can create codes for you and guest codes for people who may need access when you are away. Building guest codes is easy, and you can even text or email the code to the person you assign the code to, once set up they can use the code to enter your home.

If you connect your Yale lock with a home automation hub, you can unlock and lock your door remotely; you can also add additional video components like doorbells that can work with your connected lock.

  • It has a stylish design
  • It can speak three languages which can be helpful
  • It works well with Z-Wave compatible devices.
  • Voice command options

  • It will take up a fair amount of door space
  • It doesn’t have a dedicated app for either iOS or Android
  • Pricey when compared to other similar smart locks


The Yale Real Living z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt Lock is a really long name for a lock. But that being said, it’s a decent way to keep your house secure. The lock itself is nice to look at, and with the keyless entry, you don’t have to worry about losing your house key.

It can also be connected with either Z-Wave or ZigBee compatible home automation hubs, with allows you to use voice commands to unlock or lock your door. It has a smudge proof touchscreen has a decent amount of light if you are coming in at night.

One odd thing about the lock is that it doesn’t have its own app. If you already have a ZigBee or Z-Wave compatible hub, it shouldn’t be an issue. But if you don’t and you aren’t planning to add one, the absence of the app could pose a problem.

Lockitron Bolt

Lockitron BoltNo, sadly the Lockitron Bolt is not a new member of the Transformers, but it is an affordable smart lock that provides users with a way to lock and unlock doors using a smartphone app. While it is priced at a friendly amount of $99.99, it lacks some of the features found in the other smart locks included in this review.

The Lockitron (which is the preferred lock of Optimus Prime) does offer some basic features; you can create user schedules, add new users, manage existing users and set up proximity controls based on location. It is also easy to set up, and the app itself is well designed.


Outside of the iOS and Android apps, the Lockitron can’t connect with smart home automation. It uses Bluetooth LE (low energy) to communication with your app. Bluetooth LE relies on a low-level bandwidth that has a range of 29-50 feet. This allows the lock to provide data and gives you the ability to control the lock using a smartphone.


If you have around 20 minutes, you will have all the time you need to install your Lockitron Bolt. Before you get started you will want to download the version of the app you need; there is a tutorial on the app that can walk you through the installation process. If you prefer the old school printed tutorial that is also an option.

The process to install the lock is straightforward and easy enough that even the uncoordinated (me) people can install it successfully.

Using Your Door Lock

Once you have installed the lock, you will need to open the app and tap “New Lockitron” it should recognize the new lock and add it your list of devices.

Once installed you can use the app to lock and unlock your Lockitron. This will also set up the proximity unlock feature that will unlock the door when it senses you are near. You also have the option to tap to lock or unlock the door in the app with the Tap to Unlock or Tap to Lock options.  The app will also send you notifications when the lock recognizes an unlock or lock request.

  • The Lockitron is an affordable smart lock
  • Installation is easy
  • Provides proximity feature that locks and unlocks the door

  • If you want to add a Wi-FI bridge you have to pay an additional cost
  • Lacks popular features like auto-lock and voice commands
  • Not compatible with smart home automation systems


Putting together smart home security systems is often a costly endeavor. For those of us who need to stick to a budget, the Lockitron Bolt offers an affordable smart lock that can be controlled using a smartphone app. For the price, you get some decent features like geofencing that will open the lock or unlock the bolt when it senses you are near.

You can also use Tap to Lock or Unlock features, and you can control everything from an iOS or Android app. If you aren’t concerned about price, there are more robust smart lock options, like the Kevo and the Schlage, which connect with Siri for voice commands.

But if you are just getting started and you want an easy to install, easy to use smart lock that is under $100, the Lockitron Bolt is a good place to start.

Final Words

Whether you prefer a traditional keyed entry deadbolt lock, or you want a smart lock with all the bells and whistles, its easier than ever to find a lock that will work for you. The primary thing that your door lock should do is keep your home protected from intruders. All of the locks on this list can do that for you.

If you want something feature rich, options like the August Smart Lock or the Schlage Sense are options that play well with home automation systems and smartphones. If you are just getting started and you don’t have a lot to spend the Lockitron Bolt can get you started on the path to building your smart home security system. Plus the lock sounds like the name of a Transformer, which makes it much much cooler.

Research is the key to finding the lock that will work with your budget and preferences, we have tried to make that easier for you by providing you with data to help you make an informed decision. And in the words of Optimus Prime “Autobots roll out.”

Jennifer Kelley is an author and technology blogger. She feels weird writing about herself in the third person, but does so when asked. A graduate of The Ohio State University she is a dedicated football fan and a total dork who loves all things written. You can follow her on twitter @theonlyjen

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