As you clean your home to protect your family from the new coronavirus and COVID-19, remember to take a few seconds to wipe down the doorknobs and locks around your home. For more information on how to disinfect your home, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a helpful article about cleaning and disinfecting your house.
Bottom line: Choose Schlage Encode for security
The Schlage Encode stands atop our rankings because it has more robust security than the competition. It’s an excellent option to use in a smart home system, but you can also program pin codes on the keypad without a mobile app or smart hub.
We compared prices, security ratings, customer reviews, and ease of use to pick the most secure electronic locks for your front or back door.
Here are the best keyless electronic door locks of 2020
For top-notch protection, you can’t beat the Schlage Encode. This smart lock is one of the most expensive on our list (averaging around $250), but it delivers on both convenience and security.
This keyless lock comes with the highest security rating of any door lock we considered. The Schlage Encode boasts ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 certification, which is the highest rating available.
Voice control with Alexa
Slow customer service
High price tag
Poor battery life
We especially like that you don’t have to connect this lock to smart home hub thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi. This is a big improvement over the Schlage Connect, our previous top pick, which worked only with Z-Wave (or Zigbee) smart homes.
Still, Wi-Fi uses a lot of juice, so don’t expect more than a couple months’ worth of battery life on this Wi-Fi smart lock.
The Yale Assure Lock SL has a slick keyless touchscreen that makes it a stylish addition to your front door. While we prefer the Wi-Fi version that uses the August Home app, there are also Z-Wave, Zigbee, and HomeKit variants so you can connect this lock to your smart home platform of choice.
It features an easy-to-use touchscreen keypad that is backlit. You can program and save up to 250 entry codes—more codes than any other smart deadbolt on our list.
Up to 250 unique codes
Voice control with Alexa
Two backup keys
No Nest compatibility
This keypad door lock also comes with a privacy setting that lets you disable some or all codes for a specified amount of time. This feature could come in handy for a few reasons, but our favorite scenario is locking out teens who try to sneak in (or out) after curfew.
Although the backlit touchscreen is attractive, users express concern about wear and leftover fingerprints that could tip off a thief.
Kwikset is one of the most well-known names in home locks, and the Kwikset Aura Bluetooth lock combines the look of their conventional keypad locks with high-tech functionality.
Aura uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone so you can lock and unlock your door with the app. Unlocking isn’t as seamless as it was on the Kwikset Kevo, which only required a tap on the lock itself, but it’s still convenient for most folks.
Keypad and traditional key options
Lower customer satisfaction
No remote access
This Bluetooth lock doesn’t connect to the internet, so you can control it only when you’re close to the lock. It’s disappointing that there’s no remote access, but it practically cuts the price in half compared to Wi-Fi smart locks.
But despite a trusted brand name, it isn’t a customer favorite, though it fares better than other Kwikset smart locks. This smart deadbolt has a number of customer reviews complaining about the quality of the lock. Reliability, slow response time, and glitches with the app are among the top concerns.
Kwikset Electronic Deadbolt: Best starter electronic lock
The Kwikset Electronic Deadbolt is the perfect starter electronic door lock, even though it doesn’t offer Bluetooth connectivity or smart home functions.
We like that this simple keypad lock is so affordable, often costing less than $50, making it an ideal choice if you want a keypad on a budget. It also sounds an alarm and disables the keypad temporarily when someone attempts too many wrong codes.
Affordable price tag
No mobile app
Only six user codes
Because it doesn’t require a smartphone or Wi-Fi connection, it makes keyless entry an option for everyone. It can hold only six user codes, so it’s not great if you want lots of codes for a short-term rental.
The SoHoMiLL Electronic Door Knob is affordable (under $50) and works with both left- and right-hinged doors. But we wish it could hold more codes—you can only store up to eight, compared to hundreds on other electronic lock models. And this isn’t a deadbolt, so it adds more convenience than extra security.
How to fake a smart lock
If your budget can’t stomach a full new smart lock system right now, consider supplementing your regular lock with smart lock accessories. These products grant you strong security and modern convenience without fully replacing your current lock.
What we love
Where to find it
Sesame Smart Lock
Haven Connect Smart Lock
Turns a regular lock into a smart lock
Features military-grade encryption
Supplements deadbolt security
Offers hands-free entry
Notifies you of tampering or attempted break-in
Doesn’t function as a lock on its own
Comes with a high price tag
Requires additional purchases for full functionality
Using your fingerprint to unlock the front door may seem like sci-fi, but the future is here! We pushed through all the high-tech razzle-dazzle to find the best smart and electronic keyless door locks for your home.
To find the best electronic locks, we reviewed twenty locks for overall security, functionality, reliability, and customer satisfaction. We considered national standards for lock security as well as expert ratings and customer reviews.
More than twenty hours of independent research went into comparing and contrasting the benefits and downsides of each lock to determine our top picks.
26 hours researched
28 products considered
2,500+ customer reviews consulted
368 ounces of coffee consumed
The Schlage Encode offers a rigid construction that stands up to abuse and earning it a Grade 1 security rating. It even works directly with your smartphone thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, though it doesn’t have the best battery life.
Overall, door locks and deadbolts offer varying levels of security and convenience. And they’re the first line of defense for your home and family, so they need to be reliable. Stick with us a little longer by checking out our list of frequently asked questions about smart locks.
Smart lock FAQ
How do smart locks lead to a smart home?
An electronic door lock can be the first step toward a fully automated smart home. People who are skeptical or intimidated by home automation often find a smart lock easier to understand, which makes them more likely to give it a try.
Once they experience the benefits of a keyless lock, they just can’t wait to make something else smart. It could be something as simple as a crock pot or something more advanced like smart lighting or a smart thermostat. Before you know it, they’re seeking out smart home hubs like Amazon Alexa or Google Home so they can control all their smart devices with the sound of their voice.
If you find yourself sliding down the slippery slope of smart home automation, do it the right way by checking out some of our related articles.
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What are ANSI/BHMA security ratings?
The ANSI/BHMA (American National Standards Institute/Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association) grading system is the most common rating used to provide consumers with quality assurance when it comes to the smart door lock you use to protect your home.
These organizations put consumer locks like these through a series of tests to determine operational function, pull strength, key torque cycles, and impact resistance. Look for locks with an ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 or Grade 2 for the best security. These industry standards ensure your locks work now and for years to come.
How do smart locks connect to other devices?
When it comes to how your smart deadbolt works, there are a lot of mysterious words thrown around (Z-Wave, RFID, etc.). To help you know exactly what you’re getting, here’s a quick reference that demystifies these technical terms.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) or near-field communication (NFC): RFID locks use a key fob or card for entry. Radio waves from the key card communicate with the lock to allow entry. This is the same technology behind most mobile payment platforms like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Bluetooth: These devices use your smartphone’s Bluetooth ID to unlock the door as you approach. Bluetooth is popular for smart locks that use mobile apps. This type of smart door lock requires an adapter to connect to your Wi-Fi network.
Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is the same technology your smartphone uses to get an internet connection. It’s not as common on locks as Bluetooth, Z-Wave, and Zigbee because it tends to use more power, leading to shorter battery life.
Z-Wave or Zigbee: These are mesh networks made of different devices that talk to each other. The more smart technology you have, the stronger this network becomes. Both Z-Wave and Zigbee require a smart hub to communicate with mobile apps.
What’s better in a smart lock, convenience or security?
Both convenience and security play big roles in an effective smart lock, so it’s a good idea to choose a smart lock with equal helpings of each. But it’s also okay if you want prefer one over the other. Here’s a quick summary of what makes each trait so desirable in a smart lock:
Convenience: Remote access and monitoring, no more spare keys, and hands-free entry are all big perks that smart locks offer. When you’re coming in with an armload of groceries or letting in the dog walker from somewhere else, you can’t beat a smart door lock. In essence, smart locks are about convenience.
Security: While smart locks aren’t stronger than traditional locks, they do control who has access to your home and when. Locks that allow you to create a virtual key or pin code for users (and disable it as needed) give you much more security than traditional keys.
Can my smart lock be hacked?
Yes, but biggest difference is that a smart door lock could be hacked remotely, which means a burglar no longer has to be on-site to bypass your lock. However, most hackers aren’t interested in breaking into homes when they can target bigger fish for similar effort.
Considering the downfalls of a traditional lock (losing keys, having the lock picked), the risks aren’t any greater—and they may actually be less likely to occur.
Does a smart lock tip off burglars?
Smart locks don’t use a standard key tumbler, so they look different than other door locks. Some believe the sleek, modern look of smart locks can signal to a burglar that you like to spend money on fancy gadgets.
But this is speculation and there’s no evidence to support that fear. If this concerns you, seek out a smart lock that looks more like a traditional deadbolt.
*Amazon.com list price as of 08/28/2020 at 12:10 p.m. (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of this date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any prices 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.
Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more