Bottom line: August has the best features of any smart lock brand
August makes exceptional smart locks that are easy to use, install, and integrate into a smart home. While this brand has a strong lineup of locks, we think the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is the best example of how innovative these products are.
It’s the first August lock with built-in Wi-Fi, which previously required an expensive accessory. This means you can control it remotely using your smartphone. It’s also compatible with popular smart home platforms out of the box. Still, Wi-Fi takes a toll on battery life, so you might consider a different August smart lock if you don’t want to deal with pricey replacement batteries.
Read on to find the best August smart lock for your needs, right down to core features and answers to common questions. We also include two noteworthy Yale locks that use the August app.
While choosing locks for our August smart lock review, we took a broad approach and included five smart locks that use the August Home app. This consists of three models from August and two models from its sibling company Yale.1 The two Yale locks we reviewed are Connected by August versions. They offer the same core mobile app functionality as August smart locks but with integrated keypads.
Once we had five locks to compare, we looked at the specifications to determine the best uses for each. We have experience testing many smart locks from both August and Yale, which we use in tandem with customer reviews about each lock to inform our recommendations. If you want to learn more about how we review products, check out our full methodology.
Almost all of the similarities between August’s smart locks stem from the software that controls the locks. You also get August’s unique DoorSense hardware that watches for open doors. Let’s dig into the core features that make August smart locks so worthwhile.
The August Home app is the best smartphone app among smart lock brands because it’s incredibly easy to use. With Wi-Fi-enabled August locks, you can use the app to remotely control your smart lock from anywhere, whether you’re curled up in bed or enjoying a day at the beach.
The menus and user interface are intuitive so you can customize your August Smart Lock to fit your needs without digging through endless menus. You can also use the app to help install the lock. It comes with clear instructions and video tutorials.
All of the locks in our review include built-in Wi-Fi or an adapter that adds Wi-Fi connectivity. We feel this is the best version of August smart locks. You can forgo the optional Wi-Fi adapter to save money, but we think it's worth the extra cost when you buy it in a bundle (it tends to be more expensive if you buy it separately later on).
The biggest strength of smart locks is that you can give virtual keys to family, friends, and guests. In August’s case, each user must download the August app to use the lock, but this also allows you to track when each person uses the lock.
The August app can grant four levels of access to your smart lock:
Owner: Unlimited access with ability to give keys to guests. Best for parents and adults in a household.
Always: Allows guests to use the lock anytime. Best for extended family and children in a home.
Recurring: Specify when guests can enter your home. Best for people that come to your home regularly, like babysitters and dog walkers.
Temporary: Works only on a specific date and time. Useful for admitting contractors during a remodeling project or for Airbnb hosts to manage short-term rental access.
Guest access applies to keypads too
If you opt for one of August's keypad options, the scheduling also applies to any key codes you create. This is particularly helpful if you want to give access to people without smartphones.
DoorSense turns August locks into door sensors, so you know if your door is open. It also prevents the bolt from engaging while the door is open.
These two features eliminate a big security hole among other smart lock brands, where someone can re-engage the lock without closing the door completely. It’s especially useful for unattended deliveries when you’re out of the house or when Airbnb guests end their stay.
You can also set up notifications using the August Home app so it alerts you when the door is ajar for a specified time.
To install DoorSense, you need to place a small magnet on the door frame next to your lock. After the DoorSense magnetic is in place, calibrate your August Smart Lock to detect open- and closed-door states accurately.
Automatic lock and unlock
Every August Smart Lock model can lock and unlock automatically. Auto-Lock is especially useful for securing your door regularly, while Auto-Unlock is a hands-free option for getting inside when you arrive at home.
With Auto-Lock, the lock automatically re-engages once a preset timer ends. It starts automatically every time the door closes (DoorSense enabled) or once you unlock the lock (DoorSense disabled). You might want to disable Auto-Lock or take your phone if you’re hanging out in the yard to prevent lockouts.
Auto-Unlock uses the GPS location on your phone to unlock when you’re within 30 feet of the front door. It’s an excellent alternative to fiddling with keys or a smartphone when your hands are full. We like that it won’t unlock the door accidentally since you need to leave your neighborhood (at least 650 feet away from home) before it can activate again.
Most of the differences among August’s smart locks come from the hardware behind the lock. Because of this, you can expect different experiences when it comes to installation, appearance, smart home capabilities, and battery life.
The biggest difference in installation styles is between August locks and Yale locks. Neither installation process is complicated, but it’s helpful to know the differences before choosing which type of August lock you want.
Installing August locks
August-branded locks are retrofit-style smart locks. This means they attach directly to an existing deadbolt using a mounting plate and adapters. This allows the smart lock to control the deadbolt with the August Home app.
It also means you don’t need to get new physical keys for your home, since you’re not replacing the lock. You can still use keys to bypass the smart lock, which is great for young kids without smartphones or dead-battery situations.
From our experience, it takes 10–15 minutes to attach an August Smart Lock to a deadbolt and set it up in the mobile app.
Installing Yale locks
Yale smart locks completely replace the existing lock on your door, taking 15–25 minutes on average to install. The additional time mostly comes from removing the old lock hardware and replacing it with new equipment. You also have to do some quick programming on the Yale lock’s keypad to connect it with the August Home app.
Yale locks include multiple bolt sizes
You should pay special attention to the length of the bolts included with your Yale lock. Each lock comes with different-sized bolts for specific door thicknesses.
Smart home compatibility
There’s a surprising amount of smart home variability among August smart locks. While all of the locks support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, the August Smart Lock 3rd generation is the only model that doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit. This means you can’t control it with Siri or the Apple Home app.
On a similar note, the August Smart Lock Pro is the only model that supports the Z-Wave smart home protocol. Z-Wave is generally more energy efficient than Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, making the lock ideal for use with smart hubs like Samsung SmartThings.
The Apple HomeKit functionality on August locks doesn't work over Wi-Fi (it works only on Bluetooth). You need an Apple HomeKit hub like an Apple TV, iPad, or HomePod at home for remote access.
Battery life relates directly to how often you use a lock and the types of technology it uses. Because the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock has built-in Wi-Fi, it tends to use more power than other August locks, which use Bluetooth to communicate with your smartphone or an August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge.
Yale Assure locks have a longer battery life because you don’t have to use a mobile device when there’s a built-in keypad.
The August app sends you a notification when the batteries are about to run out, which makes it easier to keep your locks functioning without unexpected power losses. You can still get in your home when the batteries die by using a physical key on most August locks. The keyless Yale Assure Lock SL uses a 9V battery for temporary power to unlock the lock.
Rechargeable batteries won't last long between recharges, so it's best to use non-rechargeable batteries in August locks.
The appearance of August smart locks differs in two ways: shape and finish (color). We recommend deciding which features you want before choosing a lock based on its finish and shape.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
August Smart Lock (3rd gen)
August Smart Lock Pro
Silver Matte black
Silver Dark gray Satin nickel
Silver Dark gray
2.8 x 2.8 x 1.8 in.
4.8 x 2.7 x 2.1 in.
3.4 x 3.4 x 2.2 in.
For Yale locks, the interior components have a similar shape to the August Smart Lock (3rd gen), but the exterior keypads vary based on the inclusion of a keyhole and the type of buttons.
Yale locks come in the three standard finishes you find on doorknobs and deadbolts: satin nickel, polished brass, and oil-rubbed bronze. These finishes help you match the other hardware on your door.
Yale warranty on lock finish and mechanical components
While August smart locks have a one-year warranty on the entire unit, Yale locks have lifetime coverage on the finish and mechanical parts. Electronic components in Yale locks carry a one-year warranty.
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is August’s first smart lock with built-in Wi-Fi. This means the lock connects directly to your home Wi-Fi network for remote access. August also refined the design to fit in a smaller package than its predecessor (August Smart Lock Pro), making it the smallest August lock. This compact design is also more attractive than the chunky Pro.
This lock also works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit—so you can control the lock without picking up your smartphone.
No 5GHz Wi-Fi support
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock only works on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks, so you may need to change some Wi-Fi settings or put it on your guest Wi-Fi for proper functionality.
The Wi-Fi and smaller size cause two distinct problems when it comes to batteries. First, Wi-Fi is not as energy-efficient as Bluetooth, so the batteries won’t last as long. It lasts up to three months with the Wi-Fi feature on and up to six months if you skip Wi-Fi. Plan to change the batteries two to five times a year.
Second, the batteries in this unit aren’t the familiar AAs August uses in its other locks. Instead, it uses two CR123 lithium batteries, which are pricey to replace.
Even with the battery issues, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is our favorite August lock because it’s ready to go without extra accessories.
Buy CR123 batteries in bulk to save money
Buying a 24-pack of CR123 batteries saves up to $0.30 per battery, which is almost $8 cheaper overall than buying four 6-packs. This battery size is common in many security sensors and tactical flashlights, so it's good to keep a few spares around depending on the gear you have in your home.
2. August Smart Lock (3rd gen) + Connect: Best value
The August Smart Lock (3rd gen) + Connect is August’s most affordable lock. Still, the low price doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on August’s best features like DoorSense, guest access, and automatic lock controls.
Instead, you have fewer smart home options than other August locks. This lock supports only Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant with the included August Connect Wi-Fi adapter. If you already use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, this will save you cash spent on additional smart home tech.
If you want an August smart lock with great tech and a great price, this one’s worth checking out.
Skip Wi-Fi to save on the August Smart Lock (3rd gen)
If you don't want Wi-Fi capabilities, you can buy the August Smart Lock (3rd gen) by itself for around $150. This lock still works with the August Home app using a Bluetooth connection. You just won't get smart home controls or remote access.
3. August Smart Lock Pro + Connect: Best for smart homes
The August Smart Lock Pro + Connect is August’s best lock for smart homes because it supports more platforms than other models. Its native compatibility with Apple HomeKit and Z-Wave makes it a natural choice if you’re not an Alexa or Google user—though you get access to Google and Alexa with the included August Connect Wi-Fi adapter.
Despite its prowess for smart homes, it’s only slightly more useful than the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock because of its Z-Wave compatibility. If you use it with a Z-Wave smart hub, you won’t need the August Home app beyond occasional software updates because you’ll likely use the app for the smart hub instead.
Skip Wi-Fi to save on the August Smart Lock Pro
If you don't want an August Connect, you can buy the August Smart Lock Pro by itself for around $230. This lock still works with the August Home app and Apple HomeKit using a Bluetooth connection. You can also use it with any Z-Wave smart hub.
The Yale Assure Lock SL is the most expensive August-enabled smart lock, but it has the best keypad and is the only keyless model. Because it includes an August Connect Wi-Fi adapter, it’s functionally identical to the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock but in a sleek package to match your doorknob inside and out.
We love that this replaces the entire lock, making it more secure than August’s retrofit locks. As good as the adapters on those locks are, nothing beats a door lock designed to function as a cohesive whole.
If the batteries die unexpectedly, you can attach a 9V battery to the keypad’s base for temporary power to get inside. With the Yale Assure SL, you can say goodbye to your house key forever.
5. Yale Assure Lock Keypad: Best for physical buttons
We get it, the Yale Assure Lock Keypadseems redundant when compared to the touchscreen model, but it can do two things that lock can’t. First, its physical buttons are easier to use when you rely on touch to find the buttons while also skipping smudge marks that make it possible for someone to reverse engineer your PIN code.
Second, it has a physical keyhole, so you can still use a key if you want. Chances are you’ll have a spare key that’s more accessible than a 9V battery.
The August Smart Keypad allows you to assign keycodes for guest access. It installs outside your home and links to any August smart lock over Bluetooth. While this accessory is great for families, it shines even more in short-term rentals like Airbnb and HomeAway.
The August Smart Keypad is the most affordable of August’s accessories, costing around $60. It’s a budget alternative to the more expensive Yale locks with integrated keypads, but only if you don’t want Wi-Fi access via an August Connect.
The little costs add up
With a Smart Keypad and August Connect, even the cheapest August smart lock costs around $260, the same as the basic Connected by August version of the Yale Assure Lock.
The August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge pairs with August’s Bluetooth-only smart locks to give them Wi-Fi. It allows you to control locks remotely and also enables Alexa and Google voice commands. Even though it often costs less than its list price of $80, it’s still an expensive accessory for what you get. It’s most useful with the August Smart Lock Pro and August Smart Lock (3rd gen) and for managing locks on short-term rentals.
Unfortunately, you can’t link the August Connect to more than one lock at a time. We suggest skipping it on secondary doors since a single Wi-Fi lock is enough for each home.
Using the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock with an August Connect
You can connect the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock to an August Connect for better battery life since Bluetooth uses less energy than Wi-Fi.
August smart locks are some of the best on the market because they come with deal-sealers like DoorSense open door detection, customizable guest access settings, and versatile smart home compatibility.
No August lock embodies this as much as the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, which doesn’t require a costly accessory to add remote access. It might not have the same battery endurance as other August locks, but the sleek, compact design looks so much better than that of its siblings.
For more information about August smart locks, check out our list of frequently asked questions below. If you want to see what the competition is like, head over to our smart lock review to learn more.
August smart lock FAQ
Can you still use a key with August smart locks?
Yes, August-branded smart locks all attach to your existing deadbolt so you can still use your keys. If you buy a Yale lock that uses the August Home app, it’s likely to also use keys (except the keyless Yale Assure Lock SL).
Can you manually unlock an August smart lock?
Yes, you can unlock an August smart lock inside your home by twisting the entire device (August Wi-Fi Smart Lock/August Smart Lock Pro) or by turning the knob on the unit (August Smart Lock).
Are August smart locks safe? Can they be hacked?
August locks use three features to prevent hacking:
Encryption protects the data that transfers between your phone and the smart device so other people can’t hijack the signal.
Lost phone tools allow you to disable the August Home app remotely from August’s website so someone can’t access the lock after finding or stealing your phone.
Two-factor authentication makes it so unauthorized users can’t access your August account without a one-time code, even if they use your password.
Do August locks work without Wi-Fi?
Yes, all August smart locks can communicate with your smartphone using a Bluetooth connection. You must be near the lock to use Bluetooth. Wi-Fi is only required to access the lock remotely over the internet or for using a lock with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
*Amazon.com list price as of 06/26/2020 at 11:29 a.m. (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
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†Google Assistant, Google, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.
Written by John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist with over seven years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech. Before joining SafeWise in 2020, John was an editor for Top Ten Reviews specializing in home security and the smart home. Learn more