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Best and Worst Door Locks From Consumer Reports' Tests

Most burglaries involve criminals forcibly entering your home, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics—and that includes coming through your front door. But even if you’re diligent about locking up, you need a good deadbolt to thwart thieves.

That’s why CR engineers conduct kick-in tests using a custom-built jig that swings a 100-pound steel battering ram against a locked door. They repeat the test eight times, with the ram raised to increasing heights—or until the lock fails.

“In our brute-force kick tests, the cause of failure is more often than not the short screws used to attach the strike plate to the door frame,” says Misha Kollontai, CR’s test engineer for door locks. “When this is the cause, replacing the included strike plate with a reinforced strike, which costs as little as $10, improves the lock’s resistance to kicking by magnitudes.”

After putting dozens of locks to the test, we’ve selected six of the best from our door lock ratings. The list has models from Bosma, Eufy, Kwikset, Medeco, Schlage, and Yale. We’ve also included four models to skip. These performed poorly in our physical challenges and/or our tests specific to smart locks. CR members can click on each model name for detailed ratings and reviews. (And if you’re worried about thieves breaking in through windows, see our home security system ratings.)

To learn more about our tests, check out our door lock buying guide. And for more door lock options, see our complete door lock ratings.

Sours: https://www.consumerreports.org/door-lock/best-and-worst-door-locks-a1022071701/

Things to know

Why you should trust us

I’ve been testing smart locks, as well as a wide range of smart-home hubs and accessories, since 2015. As a reporter and editor, I’ve been covering technology and trends—and testing and reviewing a wide range of consumer electronics—for two decades at a number of respected national publications. I currently have four smart locks installed in doors in my home, as well as three smart thermostats, five smart bulbs, multiple smart switches, two smart outlets, two smart smoke detectors, a smart water valve, a smart security system, a smart doorbell, three smart cameras, seven smart speakers, a smart display, and a smattering of sensors. None of them work perfectly all of the time.

Who should get this

Smart locks are both the most useful and, theoretically, the most potentially risky smart devices you can install in your home. In the plus column, they make entering and leaving your home far more convenient by freeing you from having to carry keys (and in some cases a smartphone, too). Most make it possible to securely grant access to your home—to not only family and friends but also renters, tradespeople, and even mail carriers or package-delivery workers. And when paired with a smart-home system such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, or Samsung SmartThings, they can tell other smart devices to turn on or off, or even spark a series of automated actions among a few devices—for instance, having your lights turn off and the heat or AC kick on when you arrive home and unlock the door.

That convenience comes with a price, though, as smart locks cost more than their non-smart counterparts—though prices have dropped considerably. More importantly, connecting your front door lock to the internet adds at least a theoretical new way for thieves to infiltrate your home. Such security concerns are a particular source of contention for smart-home skeptics, who worry that allowing a door lock to be accessible over the internet makes it fundamentally vulnerable.

Our view, which is shared among many professionals, is that, although it is technically possible for any smart lock to be infiltrated electronically (and also mechanically), the real-world odds of a potential burglar using a sophisticated hack to enter your home  versus simply relying on the most popular manner of breaking into a door (by force, using something like a trusty crowbar) are vanishingly slim. (We’d also point out that everyone now lives in a ubiquitously connected world, and everything from your utilities to the entire global financial system is fully internet-connected.)

Similarly, we had casually added lock picking as an unofficial component to our testing and were surprised to find how relatively easy it was to successfully open a number of locks, including a few that have been picks. However, after some reflection and a look at FBI burglary statistics, we’ve come to the conclusion that—wait for it—as with the logic regarding electronic hacks, it’s simply not a real-world threat. Most residential burglars break down doors or simply go in unlocked ones. Burglars don’t have the time (or skills) to fiddle with lock picks. (For more on this, see It's Ridiculously Easy to Pick Some Smart Deadbolts, But We Aren't Alarmed).

In short: It’s important to consider security holistically; we do our best to recommend only products from companies that are responsible and competent, and the smart locks we recommend are as safe as or safer than their mechanical counterparts (which, for instance, can’t alert you when your front door is unlocked or opened). For a detailed look at the way the companies we recommend manage and secure customer data, see Security, privacy, and smart locks.

Here are a few ways a smart lock might be a useful addition to your home:

  • You don’t need to carry your keys anymore, whether you’re popping out for a quick run or you’re off to work for the day.
  • You can create and share a custom code (or virtual e-key) for a houseguest, or even a last-minute visitor—no need to make physical copies of keys. This feature is especially attractive for owners of rental properties.
  • Parents with latchkey kids can keep track of when they get home from school (or a late-night party).
  • You can give a babysitter, nanny, or house cleaner ongoing or last-minute access.
  • You can receive notifications whenever the door opens and closes, and keep tabs on who’s coming and going and when.
  • If you’re out and about when a trusted contractor or plumber comes by, you can unlock (and then relock) the door remotely or give that person a time-restricted e-key.

Smart locks, especially keypad models, are perfectly suited for rental-property and vacation-home owners, such as Airbnb hosts, who tend to have to deal with frequent key exchanges (in fact, with some locks, Airbnb now offers to automate code creation for guests). Similarly, smart locks can be a useful tool for small-business owners who want to keep tabs on who might be coming and going through their doors when they aren’t around.

The smart locks we recommend are as safe as or safer than their mechanical counterparts (which, for instance, can’t alert you when your front door is unlocked or opened).

One especially important buying tip: If your door has a mortise lock, with the latch and bolt in an integrated unit, or a door handle and latch that are a single unit, none of the smart locks we recommend will fit (we hope to test some soon). In most of these cases, to accommodate a new smart lock, you need to replace that integrated unit with a standalone doorknob or lever and possibly a deadbolt—and all that extra work and hardware may end up being cost-prohibitive.

How we picked

For homes, there are two main categories of smart locks. The first type is a deadbolt adapter, an add-on device that replaces the interior thumb turn of your door’s existing deadbolt but not the deadbolt mechanism itself. The second type is a full deadbolt replacement, which requires removing your existing deadbolt assembly and installing all-new hardware.

You can set up and manage almost all models in both categories by using a companion smartphone app, and some can integrate with smart-home platforms and controllers such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, or Samsung SmartThings; they might also allow you to control them through a third-party app that consolidates multiple smart devices into a single dashboard or interface. Most smart locks can now trigger other smart devices as well as automated actions, such as turning lights on or off or changing the mode of a thermostat. And while some smart locks work only when you are in close proximity (usually by relying on a Bluetooth signal from your smartphone), others let you control and monitor them remotely through an internet connection, which for most of the locks we tested requires using a device called a bridge (or hub); this is changing, however, as many new and soon-to-arrive locks can connect directly to your home Wi-Fi, and so are directly accessible over the internet.

Our goal was to find a lock that offered the best balance of convenience, security, and useful smarts while requiring as little technical complexity, ongoing management, or troubleshooting as possible.

All of the smart locks we tested can integrate somewhat with other smart devices, though not as much as other smart-home gadgets due to security concerns. For example, if you have an Alexa-compatible smart thermostat or light switches, you can have them adjust whenever you unlock your front door, but you may not be able to have a smart lock trigger automatically unless you first input a code. If you value such an ability, be sure to check a model’s compatibility with your existing (or intended) smart devices before buying.

To aid in our selection process, we consulted professional reviews from sites such as PCMag, Reviewed, and Tom’s Guide, as well as owner feedback on Amazon and other retailer sites. It’s noteworthy that while a handful of models consistently made reviewers’ short lists, no lock has been a consensus pick. Based on our research, we gathered our current lineup of picks, plus a handful of brand-new models, and ran intensive real-world tests.

How we tested

A vertical wooden stand holds six different smart locks.

In the many thousands of hours of testing and using smart locks in everyday life since 2015, we’ve had only a few incidents where things went pear shaped: Two locks have had batteries die (but had warned us in advance); one needed to be restarted (but finally responded to a voice command); and our front door was stuck shut when a gust of wind slammed it closed, popping the spring on the door latch. So while mechanical quality and proper installation of a lock are absolutely critical factors, our focus in testing continues to be on the experience of using these devices, most especially their consistency, reliability, and ease of use.

For our testing, we continue to keep our current picks installed and in everyday use whenever possible, and we replace them with new test models as needed for at least a week, in most cases for several weeks or even months. During that time we used the locks during everyday activity. But we also methodically triggered the locks up-close using our smartphone via Bluetooth, as well as over our home Wi-Fi network, and then again remotely by connecting via cellular signal. Our regimen has included countless entrances and the experiences of a family of users (including two kids). We have installed several of the locks on a rig for longer-term testing, many of which you can find in Other good smart locks.

In each companion app, we tested the various settings and preferences available—such as turning audio signals or LED lights on and off and enabling auto-lock and auto-unlock functions when applicable—and we took note of the speed, reliability, and usefulness of the notifications and the ease of adding and managing codes. Our tests included the use of companion apps on both iOS and Android smartphones where applicable, though all long-term testing was performed using an iPhone 11.

In assessing the physical hardware, we took a close look at the ease of installation and the quality of the materials used for the various components. We also considered the physical robustness of each lock and, where applicable, the keyway.

Locks are graded on their ability to withstand brute-force entry attempts based on criteria devised by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). For deadbolts, Grade 1 is the top ranking, reserved for a commercial-use lock with a 1-inch-thick latch bolt that’s able to take 10 strikes of 75 pounds and a million open/close cycles. A Grade 2 lock is considered closer to residential level, with a bolt that is ⅝ inch thick and able to withstand five strikes of 75 pounds and 800,000 cycles. All of the locks we picked were Grade 1 (the Wyze Lock is an exception, since it relies on your existing lock and so has no ANSI grade).

A major security consideration with smart locks is whether to enable auto-lock and auto-unlock. These features trigger the lock based on your location (also known as geofencing), via some combination of Bluetooth, cellular signal, GPS, and Wi-Fi. Having your door automatically trigger as you walk up to it is the essence of convenience, but it necessarily puts you at risk of an accidental trigger that leaves your front door open to anyone. Some models include a little magnet, which you install near the lock, to determine when the door is closed or open; that ensures you don’t lock the deadbolt when the door is left ajar, which is helpful. Another option for some locks is to use HomeKit geofencing as a trigger, which requires that you confirm the unlock signal on your phone before it can activate, which is a far more secure but also less convenient approach.

In our testing over the past few years, we’ve had multiple instances when devices auto-unlocked when they shouldn’t have—both when we were home and away (the worst case was late at night when we were at home and in bed). More recent testing has shown greatly improved accuracy, but overall we believe carte blanche geofence triggering is essentially risky, most especially for city dwellers who are more susceptible to an opportunistic thief (who may be in the vicinity when a door is mistakenly unlocked). If you live in a suburban or rural location, we think the risks are more of a personal judgment call.

Security, privacy, and smart locks

Wirecutter takes security and privacy issues seriously and, as much as possible, investigates how the companies whose products we recommend deal with customer data. As part of our vetting process, we research all of the security and data privacy practices behind our picks. We also reach out to all the companies that produce our top picks and ask them to respond to an extensive questionnaire to confirm issues that we think should be of primary concern for any potential buyer. Here are the results for our smart lock picks.

Yale
Assure Lock SL
Ultraloq
U-Bolt Pro
Schlage EncodeWyze Lock
Is a username or password required to use this device?YesYesYes, if you want to use smart featuresYes
Does this device offer two-factor authentication? If so, is it required?YesNoNoYes; it is optional
Is a user's identifying data (email addresses, Wi-Fi logins) encrypted when stored in the cloud?No; transport to the cloud is encrypted, and access to data is restricted to August-owned devices and requires 2FAYes; also, fingerprint images are encrypted and stored only on the deviceYesYes
Does this device record and share location data?Location recording is optional and used only for certain features like auto-unlockLocation recording is optional and used only for certain features like auto-unlockNoLocation recording is optional and used only for certain features like auto-unlock
Does the manufacturer share data with third parties, affiliates, and partners? If so, what data, and for what purpose (including location, tracking, marketing, or any other purpose)?Only if you integrate with third-party platformsNo, and no API is available for third partiesYes, if you choose to integrate with third-party platforms; customers may opt out of sharing data by emailing [email protected]No
Does this device contain inactive or active but unadvertised hardware such as cameras or microphones?NoNoNoNo

Wirecutter long-term tests all of its picks, a process that includes keeping track of app, firmware, and policy updates as well as hardware and software incidents. Should any privacy or security issues be found with any of our picks, we’ll report that here and, if necessary, update or alter our recommendations.

Our pick: Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro (with Bridge)

A close-up shot of the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro on a wooden door.

Compatibility: Amazon Alexa and Google Home

After living with the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro (with Bridge) installed for about a year, we can report it has become the one device we recommend to friends, family, and anyone else we can convince regarding the wonderfulness of the Smart Home. In the world of smart locks, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro is the closest we’ve come to finding The One: It has lovely precision-made hardware, it offers multiple ways to get into your home quickly (including via fingerprint), and it’s whisper-quiet. And we think it’s just the right size and style to be at home on any door. Although the U-Bolt Pro isn’t as widely compatible with smart-home platforms as our other picks, we think that’s a modest shortcoming with little functional impact.

The U-Bolt Pro has been updated since our last round of testing and has new rubber number buttons that encircle a fingerprint reader in the center; the front face pulls down to reveal a hidden keyway, a nifty design move. The thumb-turn housing is thinner than that of most of any of the other models we tested (except for the Level Lock Touch). Setup of the lock is on a par with that of all the other locks we’ve tested and involves fully removing your existing deadbolt to replace it with the U-Bolt Pro. The companion app, which is very similar to the August one in terms of organization, walks you through the necessary steps and lets you manage users and codes in a straightforward way, without fuss or confusion. In our tests, we found using the app to control the lock and create codes—both while we were standing in front of it and when we were away from home—to be quick and easily understandable to anyone who has used a smartphone app.

Technically, the U-Bolt Pro provides six methods of triggering the lock (including shaking your phone when you’re in front of it); however, the most useful and, we think, the most likely to be used are the fingerprint and door code methods. The process for scanning a fingerprint will be familiar to anyone who has done it with a smartphone: You repeatedly place, adjust, and reposition your finger over the scanner (you can store two fingerprints per user). Then, when you arrive home, you push your finger onto the reader, and in half a second or so a ring around the scanner lights up green and the lock opens with a gentle whir (or it turns red, which means you have to rescan). The fingerprint scanner has been improved in the Version 2.0 model, and even though we occasionally had to scan twice, it works really well.

To use a code, you push the button with the Ultraloq logo, enter your unique PIN, and push the logo again. One clever security feature lets you choose to press a string of random numbers before and/or after you enter your actual code, so that someone observing you won’t be able to see the code and memorize it (unless the observer can memorize long strings of numbers—in which case, use the fingerprint reader).

In order to access the U-Bolt Pro remotely, and to receive notifications when it locks and unlocks, you need to purchase and install the plug-in Ultraloq Bridge, which we highly recommend—we think those features are a large part of why smart locks have value. The Bridge also gives you the ability to use Alexa or Google Assistant with the lock, which in our tests worked well. We could ask Alexa if the door was locked or unlocked, and also have Alexa unlock it (to do so, you have to state aloud a custom PIN).

We think that if you aren’t interested in using a smart lock to trigger or automate other smart devices (or if you’re content with the Alexa or Google Assistant ecosystem), the U-Bolt Pro is the lock to get. It’s the one I’ve kept on my front door for long-term testing.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro doesn’t integrate with many smart-home platforms, which some users may be interested in.

Also great: Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

A close-up shot of the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt installed on a door.

Compatibility: Amazon Alexa and Google Home

If you’re looking for a low-profile, no-fuss lock with a foolproof keypad and the ability to connect to Wi-Fi without requiring a plugin adapter, we like the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt. The capacitive keypad is nearly identical to those on previous picks from Schlage, the Sense and Connect, and we think it’s the most intuitive version to use, as the numbers have a textured surface and give ever so slightly as you press them. It’s also got a built-in alarm, a soul-shattering shriek powerful enough to rouse the deceased—you can arm it to trigger if someone attempts to bust the lock or if the door is rammed. The Encode is smaller than its Schlage forebears (though not as small as the U-Bolt Pro), and it installs quickly. Unlike most smart locks, it has Wi-Fi built-in, so it connects directly to your home network (whereas most locks use Bluetooth to connect to a plug-in adapter that then connects to your Wi-Fi network). Amazingly, the Wi-Fi doesn’t seem to especially tax the batteries, which in our tests lasted several months without fail. The Encode is compatible only with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Even without using third-party smart platforms, the Schlage Home app sends notifications when the Encode locks or unlocks, and you can use the app to add or alter existing lock codes. With those basic skills, we think the Encode is the best pick as a simple but smart gatekeeper for a vacation or rental property, especially as it’s the one lock we’ve tested that needs no explanation for anyone to figure out: Just enter your code, and it opens. Simply press the padlock button to lock it when you leave.

Keep your existing deadbolt: Wyze Lock

A shot of the Wyze Lock installed on a door.

Compatibility: Amazon Alexa and Google Home

The Wyze Lock is as good a smart-home bargain as we’ve seen, with its precise hardware, built-in door sensor, and tiny Wi-Fi adapter all included for about half the price of our top picks. The Wyze Lock isn’t a deadbolt replacement; instead it attaches to your existing keyway and all its smart bits are tucked into the internal housing, a slim metal unit with a thumb turn for engaging the deadbolt. Since it has neither a keypad nor a fingerprint reader, to unlock your door you need to access the companion app on your smartphone or enable the auto-unlock mode to trigger when you arrive home, the latter of which presents a potential security risk if the lock misfires. Still, depending on your needs and how you plan to use the Wyze Lock, it may be an ideal option if you occasionally need remote access to a lock or want to go keyless.

Like the popular August line of smart locks, the Wyze Lock is a conversion kit that adds smarts to traditional mechanical deadbolts. Installation is easy enough, though it requires both a regular-size screwdriver and a mini Phillips-head screwdriver (which is annoying to discover mid-installation). Once you’ve secured it to your door, you pair the lock to the Wyze app and then plug in and pair the included Wi-Fi adapter, which acts as the wireless go-between for your smartphone and lock when you aren’t within close proximity. In our tests, setup was delightfully hiccup free, with the mechanical and app components all connecting seamlessly.

What makes the Wyze Lock a standout is its built-in proximity sensing, which indicates whether the door is properly shut or has been left open. That feature allows you to enable smartphone alerts so that you’ll know if someone leaves the door open accidentally. You can also have the lock set off its internal chime if the door stays open for too long, which can be useful (or aggravating if you are the spouse of a writer and product reviewer and you just want to open the door to let in some fresh air, for crying out loud).

Currently the Wyze Lock works with its companion app but can also pair with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, which let you use voice commands to lock the door; you can also use Alexa or Google Assistant to unlock the door if you program a PIN code.

Wyze turns on a few optional features by default that you should be aware of. For instance, the Wyze Lock is set to auto-lock a few seconds after you unlock and then open and shut the door, something we discovered after popping outside for a minute, hearing a whir, and then turning around to realize we were locked out of our house. Wyze also turns on the open-door alarm, which my spouse alerted me to when the lock began beeping maddeningly because she had left the back door open.

The Wyze Lock’s auto-unlock feature makes it more useful but also potentially more dangerous, and we’ve seen several early reports of owners having their door unlock at unwanted times—but also seeing it fail to unlock, which means they have to drag out their phone, open the app, and then trigger the lock (or just use a key). This is a problem shared by every lock we’ve tested that has an auto-unlock feature, and we think it has a lot to do with the instability of wireless and GPS signals, which these locks rely on to detect when a device owner is in range. Our thinking has been that, depending on your environment, the actual security risk may be negligible, especially if the lock is set to auto-lock after a short period. For some people, especially those who live in urban environments, the risk is just not worth taking, and so opting for another smart lock may be the best route. Wyze now has a Bluetooth keypad, which we haven’t yet tested.

Other good smart locks

Though we’re confident that the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro is the best pick for most people, several of the other models we’ve tested would certainly satisfy those with specific needs.

The Yale Assure Lock SL with August Connect was a longstanding top pick and is a versatile, compact, and largely terrific smart lock. If you prize flexibility in using it with smart-home systems or would like a smart lock that is completely keyless, it’s worth considering. We put it here instead of making it a pick due to its now comparably high $300 price. And we think installing it is fussier than with many of the newer models available (notably, we’ve received several complaints of wireless modules dying, however we haven’t experienced that with our test unit).

The $199 Level Bolt and $329 Level Lock Touch are two models with gorgeously engineered hardware—and a premium price tag of two to three times the price of our pick, the Wyze Lock. The Bolt is one of a kind: a motorized assembly that replaces your existing lock’s deadbolt but allows you to use your existing keyway and thumb turn. So visually you can’t tell there’s a smart lock installed. The Lock Touch is a deadbolt replacement where all the smart guts are built into the internal deadbolt assembly. The Bolt relies on geofencing to trigger auto-unlock, and the Touch is triggered by touching the metal housing of the keyway. As with any geofenced lock, in our testing of this one we saw occasional missed or just very late auto-unlock triggers; this then means you have to whip out your phone to unlock your door, which isn’t more convenient than using a key. As with our pick, the Wyze lock, or the August lock ( below), you can only trigger the device once before you have to leave a ⅛-mile radius around your home, so neither model may be a great fit for city dwellers who pop out down the block and then come home. It is one of the few HomeKit-compatible smart locks around.

The Nest x Yale Lock is largely identical to the Yale Assure Lock SL, except that it is compatible only with other Nest smart devices and has a slightly larger keypad—which we actually prefer. If you have a smart-home system that is entirely Nest-based, especially a Nest Hello doorbell, it’s a great option.

If you want a HomeKit-compatible lock, the Kwikset Premis is a great, reliable device, and it’s been a pick in the past. Its hardware is relatively large compared with that of our current picks, and it is less elegant, but it works well.

The Schlage Sense, a HomeKit-enabled model virtually identical to the Schlage Connect, is a previous pick. Like the Connect, the Sense has a terrific keypad and top-quality ANSI Grade 1 hardware, but over many years of testing, it has suffered from Bluetooth range issues that make it unreliable when we’re trying to connect to it remotely—despite being within spitting distance of both our Wi-Fi beacon and an Apple TV acting as a hub. A Wi-Fi adapter, which also enables Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, is available but removes HomeKit compatibility. Still, the Sense is a solid model and a good choice for rental properties. The Schlage Connect is a low-cost option for anyone who already uses a Z-Wave hub.

The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is nearly half the size of the company’s Smart Lock Pro. It functions almost identically but also has built-in Wi-Fi, which enables you to connect to it remotely without having to rely on a plug-in hub. As with all other August devices, its usefulness is wholly dependent on its auto-unlock feature, which requires that you leave the vicinity of your home for several hundred feet before it can be triggered. If you pop off to a neighbor’s house or the corner store, it won’t work, and you’ll need to consult your phone to open the door. If you live in an area where you only lock the doors at night, it may be a fine option.

The Kwikset Halo Touch is a deadbolt replacement model with a modern-styled keyway and a fingerprint reader. It’s pretty, and the fingerprint reader works well, but you can’t readily share access to your home like you can with keypad models (you’d need to register a fingerprint for every visitor). The door mechanism also sounds suspiciously like the relatively aged Kwikset Kevo, which is to say it’s loud and a bit pokey. Still, for everyday use it works well, and the fingerprint reader was flawless.

What to look forward to

The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro WiFi Smart Lock is an updated version of our top pick, but includes built-in Wi-Fi so you don’t need a separate plug-in hub and a sensor to detect when your door is open or shut. There’s no release date yet but we plan to test it when it arrives.

The competition

Our experience with the smart locks we tested was largely positive, though we should note that every smart lock we’ve ever used has had instances where it didn’t function correctly or required troubleshooting of some variety—an inevitability to be aware of when you’re choosing to install one of these devices in your home. We have yet to meet a set-it-and-forget-it smart-home device.

We tested the Alfred DB1 and were largely impressed, especially with its touch-to-unlock mechanism, which worked well if not perfectly—several times we arrived home and touched the keypad, but the lock failed to unlock. It’s a fine option, though notably it’s a lot larger than our other picks, it doesn’t integrate with as many smart-home platforms, its included Wi-Fi adapter is a clunky mess, and its app is far too confusing to use for setting up PIN codes. The DB1 has a smartphone-sized touchpad that works like those of most other competing models, as well as a particularly oversized internal housing (which is one reason we decided not to make it a top pick). However, if you have One Touch Unlock enabled, when you arrive home it recognizes your smartphone’s signal, and you can simply press the keypad to unlock the door—most of the time. It’s a very good lock, but simply not as good as other picks.

The August Smart Lock Pro is the most widely compatible smart lock we’ve ever tested, and August has consistently updated and improved its products over time. This model requires a Wi-Fi hub, so we’d recommend getting the August Wi-Fi instead.

The Eufy Secure Smart Lock Touch and Eufy Secure Smart Lock Touch & W-Fi are keypad locks with a built-in fingerprint reader. The former model doesn’t offer remote access, the latter does so you can control it when you aren’t home. Both suffer from sharing an internal housing that is the largest we’ve ever seen, and a similarly large external one, so we’d recommend looking for one of the many other smaller devices available.

The Lockly Secure Plus keypad lock (deadbolt version) is in many ways a great smart lock, but we found it to be oversized, and the quality of the plastic internal components is inferior compared with the metal ones of our top picks. In addition, when we tested it, the lack of remote access made it a nonstarter. The newer Secure Pro model is available for purchase with a wireless bridge, but at $300 it’s not a good value compared with our picks.

The Lockly Vision is another smart lock that includes a built-in doorbell. While we appreciate the cleverness and technical chops of joining two seemingly related devices together, we think a small smart lock and battery-powered doorbell cam are a better and more practical solution for most anyone—the fact that Lockly thoughtfully includes printed metal signs that instruct visitors to press the button on the lock spell out the likely confusion this device will create.

We have not tested Igloohome’s Smart Deadbolt 2S Metal Grey, as we found its housing and keypad to be far too large compared with those of competing models. And although we appreciate its clever token system for letting owners create and share new PIN codes remotely without having the lock ever connect to the internet, that also means you can’t control it remotely or get notifications when the lock is triggered.

The Kwikset Kevo is a previous pick but has become notably dated, and as some commenters have pointed out, it is seemingly unique among smart locks in that it isn’t compatible with a large variety of popular Android devices—you can render it incompatible if you buy a new phone. (We haven’t encountered this issue with any other lock we’ve tested.) Considering that, plus the sheer length and breadth of the support-issue reports and complaints we continue to receive, as well as the expense and extended wait period for the gateway (which is required for remote access), we no longer recommend the Kevo.

We were pleased with the performance and looks of the Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen Deadbolt (YRD226), a former alternative to our top pick (the YRD256). Unfortunately, in the course of long-term testing we found that we were able to pick its keyway with very little effort and with only novice lockpicking skills, something we have been able to do repeatedly. Although we understand that home thieves generally use brute-force methods to enter homes (or simply enter unlocked doors), low-cost, effectively unpickable keyways are widely available as a standard feature, so if you want a keyway, we recommend choosing another model that uses those technologies.

Frequently asked questions

What is geofencing and do I need to use it?

Smart locks typically provide a few ways for a homeowner to trigger them, which may be any combination of using: a smartphone app; a code with a keypad; touch; wireless dongles; a fingerprint scanner; and using the wireless signals of your smartphone to determine your location—otherwise known as geofencing. The idea is that your smart lock is connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network, and then as you depart your home, your lock is made aware based on the fading signals of your smartphone—you have gone out of the invisible “fence” around your home. When you return, your smartphone’s various wireless connections—cellular, GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi—serve as beacons that variously let your smart lock anticipate your return. With many smart locks, you can use that signal to automatically trigger your lock when you leave or arrive home.

Auto-unlocking your door based on geofencing is the hallmark feature of deadbolt adapter-style smart locks, such as those made by August; these devices replace the thumb turn of your existing deadbolt with a motorized mechanism inside a housing. Unlock with smart locks that have a built-in keypad, or fingerprint scanner, these locks rely on geofencing in order to be more convenient than simply carrying a key—otherwise you have to whip out a phone, open an app, wait for it to load, and then trigger the lock. With geofencing, when things work perfectly the lock triggers as you approach it, no muss no fuss.

In our testing experience, which includes a few dozen locks over thousands of hours and several years, we have never found a geofencing system that works flawlessly, and in fact we’ve often had a buggy experience; sometimes the lock triggers way too early when we’re hundreds of feet from home, or not at all, or after a long pause, with the end result being that you end up having to pull out a phone to trigger the lock anyway, which may be less convenient than using a key. There’s a lot of moving parts to explain why this happens: poor wireless connection of any type, flukes with smartphone software, firmware changes, hardware issues and other ghosts in the machine. As such I’ve never relied on geofencing for personal use, and have always been reluctant to recommend it to others as a primary method of interacting with a smart lock. There’s just too many other better options.

But, and it’s a big but, many people claim to use geofencing and enjoy it, and so if the potential downsides aren’t a major concern for you—chiefly, early triggers before you’re actually home, or a failure to trigger at all—then it may be a handy tool that allows you to make the most of a smart lock. If I lived in a rural or even suburban locale, for instance, I’d be much more inclined to consider it.

Can I use a smart lock if my door’s lever and lock are one unit?

Short answer is yes, though there are very few compatible models available in the US, and we don’t currently have a pick for one—but we hope to remedy that soon. Locks that are a combination of a knob or lever with a bolt in a single unit are referred to as a handleset or leverset. And unlike deadbolt locks, which typically insert through a round hole between the outer and inner sides of the door, handlesets are mortise locks that slide into the side of a door. We haven’t tested them, but the Igloohome Smart Mortise 2 and Lockly Lux Compact Mortise Lock are both mortise models from established companies.

Do smart locks need Wi-Fi to work?

No, you can trigger a smart lock without having to connect it to the internet—however, if you want the sorts of features that make a lock “smart,” like the ability to control it when you aren’t home, receive notifications when it’s triggered, or have it connect up with other smart devices, then yes, you’ll need to connect it to Wi-Fi. Until recently most smart locks would need to be paired with a small plug-in device (variously referred to as a bridge, hub or gateway) that acts as the go-between to your lock (via Bluetooth) and your home Wi-Fi network. There are now many models that have Wi-Fi built-in, and so can connect directly to your home Wi-Fi network without needing a helping hand from another device.

Sources

  1. John R. Delaney, The Best Smart Locks for 2021, PCMag, July 8, 2021

  2. Mike Prospero, Best smart locks in 2021, Tom’s Guide, July 28, 2021

  3. Nick Schmiedicker, Sarah Kovac, Whitson Gordon, The Best Smart Locks of 2021, Reviewed, June 21, 2021

About your guide

Jon Chase

Jon Chase is an editor leading smart-home coverage at Wirecutter. He has been covering technology as a writer and editor since the days before mobile phones got smart. His work has been featured in various print and online publications, and on television. He currently has over 35 smart devices installed in his home. None of them work perfectly.

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/the-best-smart-lock/
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Night Latches & Yale Locks

Buy rim nightlatches and Yale locks from Door Furniture Direct, one of the UK’s leading door locks and handles suppliers online. Here you’ll find a wide variety of top quality rim deadlatches, roller bolt deadlocks and replacement cylinders for doors, by major home security brands, such as Yale. You’re guaranteed to find something for your needs; and at a brilliant price too.

Our large range of Yale locks or rim nightlatches and deadlocks includes products by other great brands too, including Era, York, Kirkpatrick and more. Customers can choose between a number of finishes together with their security level requirements to match the visual aesthetics of their home or office. Chrome, black, brass and satin chrome nightlatches are all available.

When you purchase Yale locks and other high quality dead locks and nightlatches from Door Furniture Direct, you get more than just a great price on a large range of products; you get a helping hand choosing the right one. Contact us today and we can provide insight and expertise into the qualities of the various locks available. You’re guaranteed to get a great lock for your needs.

Browse the collection of Yale locks and rim nightlatches today at Door Furniture Direct and find the right products for your needs.

Sours: https://www.doorfurnituredirect.co.uk/door-furniture/door-security/night-latches-yale-locks.html
Tommy's Trade Secrets - How To Fit A Yale Lock

Night Latches – A Simple Guide to Yale Locks + Most Secure Night Latch

Night Latches - A Simple Guide

Our Night Latch guide covers what night latch door locks are, the advantages/disadvantages of each nightlatch type & what the best night latch to secure your home is.

We will also tell you what lock standards to look out for each nightlatch type.

What is a Night Latch (commonly referred to as a “Yale Lock)

A Night Latch (Yale Lock) is a lock commonly found on home front doors; they are mounted to doors that open inwards and mounted to the inner surface of the door.  When the door is closed the night latch automatically latches the door shut.  

The door can be kept from latching closed by keeping the door ‘on the latch’, a phrase you may have heard of.

Night Latches are very simple security they are very easy to use, open the door with a key and shut the door behind you.

Also known as: you may also find a Night latch sometimes referred to as a ‘Yale Lock’ or ‘Rim lock’.

For a guide about house locks please see our types of door lock page here we cover the pros and cons of each lock.

Find a Locksmith to Fit a Night Latch

Night Latch Questions

What is the most secure Night Latch to use?

The best night latch to keep your home secure would be an auto dead locking night latch that is approved to British Standard 3621,  this would automatically deadlock the door when it is closed.   Popular brands who make this high-security night latch lock would be Yale, ERA, Union.

How much does a Night Latch cost?

The price of a basic night latch could start from around £25, with a British Standard BS3621 approved night latch being more expensive starting from £80.

Night latches are relatively inexpensive as a whole, even replacement cylinders only cost from around £10.

For prices please see our locksmith price guide for changing locks or we have a put together a estimated price list of locks.

What are popular brands of Night Latch?

Popular brands of Night Latch include Yale, ERA, Ingersoll, Union etc.. with finishes ranging from Chrome, Brass, White, Grey.

What are the sizes of Night Latches?

Night latches are available to purchase in two sizes, which are 40mm backset and a 60mm backset.

What size lock you require will depend on the type of door you have.

What is the backset on a Night Latch?

The backset on a night latch is the distance from the centre of the keyhole to the edge of your door, you will find most night latches will have a 60mm backset.

What is the Best Rim Cylinder for a NightLatch?

Please read our best rim cylinder guide here we also tell you what rim cylinders are and how much a replacement will cost.


Types of Night Latch/Yale Lock we will cover:

On this page we will cover everything you need to know about the below types of Nightlatch:

  1. 1. Standard Night Latch ( Non-deadlocking )
  2. 2. Deadlocking Night Latch
  3. 3. Auto Deadlocking Night Latch
  4. 4. Double Locking Night Latch

The first and most important security issue you will want to know is…

Is a NightLatch Secure?

Secure – A nightlatch is only truly secure if it is BS3621 ApprovedOR is fitted alongside a 5 lever Mortice Deadlock that conforms to BS3621.

Not Secure – A nightlatch is NOT secure if you are using a standard Nightlatch (NON-BS3621) as the ONLY lock on your front door.

Door Types Suitable For:

Night latches are commonly found on Wooden/Timber & Glass panelled doors in domestics homes and also communal entrance doors.

Before Reading Our NightLatch Guide

Here are a few terms to know regarding Night Latch/Yale Locks that are mentioned quite a lot throughout this page, and what you might hear a locksmith mention should decide to change and fit a new Yale lock for you door.

1. Deadlocking – What it means

Deadlocking means once the door is shut, the lock can only be opened with a key.   If a burglar was to break into a home they would not be able to exit without the key.

2. Approved to BS Standard – What it means

This means the lock has been tested to a particular British Standard ( product will probably have a Kitemark on ) – having locks approved to British Standard is sometimes a security requirement by some home insurance providers.

For how to tell you have a BS3621 lock click here our guide covers everything you need to know about this popular standard of lock.

If you are thinking of changing your door locks this simple guide should help.


Night Latch Types

The below are the common types of night latches found on front doors.

1. Standard Night Latch ( Non Deadlocking )

Yale standard Night latch Non Deadlocking

A Standard nightlatch is a simple ‘Yale’ type lock. This lock will have a basic design, with a basic cylinder. Non deadlocking means that you cannot ‘double lock’ the latch from outside with the key, stopping you from being able to open the lock from inside by the handle.

This is ideal on a property with multiple occupants or on a communal door. You do not want someone to be able to double lock the door when someone is IN the building.

Door Types Suitable For:

A standard Night Latch is most commonly used as the entrance lock on timber doors. It’s possible to find/use on other types of doors though not as familiar.

For security a basic night latch should not be the only lock used on a door.

Advantages:

  • Night latches are simple security that has been around a long time, so are proven effective.

Disadvantages:

  • Standard night latches do not offer high levels of security so require a secondary lock to meet insurance requirements (like a BS3621 deadlock)

Lock Standard for Basic Night Latch:

Standard night latches are not approved to British Standard (BS).

Security Note:  Basic night latches (non BS 3621) should always be used with a BS 3621 deadlock for security as night latches are not usually very secure.

How the lock is operated:

From outside, the lock is operated by the use of a standard cylinder key (in most cases).

From inside the lock is operated by a handle that you will with pull down or twist to open the door.

Most have a snib feature that allows you to lock the latch.   Either locked closed (you can’t open the door by key or handle) or to hold the latch in the open position so the door will not lock shut.

Useful for doing something like taking the bins out but the door won’t close behind you.

Snib – Most Important part of a Night Latch

The snib is one of the most essential parts of a night latch, as it stops you from being locked out.  A snib is a button or slider on the nightlatch, this prevents the door from “slamming shut” and allows for the latch to be held.

Yale Night Latch Snib

Where the Snib on a nightlatch is

If the snib is broken or damaged you could find yourself locked out of the house.


2. Deadlocking Night Latch

ERA Deadlock Night Latch

A deadlocking night latch is the same as a basic night latch, except you can turn the key on the outside one full turn (opposite to opening) that will then lock the latch in the closed position.

You will not be able to open the lock from the inside as the handle will be disabled.

Door Types Suitable For:

Commonly used on Wooden/Timber doors for homes for entrance access.

For security a deadlocking night latch should not be the only lock used on a door.

Advantages:

  • You can lock or disable the handle from working inside, this is useful if nobody is in the property.
  • If someone smashes the glass (if it has glass) they can’t unlock the door.
  • It also prevents the latch from being slipped.

Disadvantages:

  • If someone is in the property you could lock them inside.

Lock Standard for Deadlocking Night Latch:

Deadlocking night latches are not approved to British Standard (BS).

Security Note: A deadlocking night latch (non BS 3621) should always be used with a BS 3621 5 lever mortice deadlock for security.

How the lock is operated:

Again a deadlocking night latch acts the same as a basic latch but with the extra feature of locking the latch with a key.


3. Auto Deadlocking Night latch

Yale Auto Deadlocking Night Latch

Auto dead locking night latches are deadlocked when the door is shut, which means any thieves trying to use a credit card to open your door will have no success.  Once deadlocked a key is required to open the door.

They also have the additional feature of an anti-thrust latch. As the door is shut the anti-thrust is pressed in. This stops the latch being slipped open.

The security is starting to increase with these night latches.

Door Types Suitable For:

Commonly used on Wooden/Timber doors for homes as entrance access.

Advantages:

  • The security starts to get much higher.
  • The lock cannot be slipped open when it auto deadlocks.
  • Usually, these are higher quality locks.

Disadvantages:

  • As the door automatically deadlocks, this means you could easily lock yourself out if the door shuts behind you.

Lock Standard for Auto deadlocking night latch:

Auto deadlocking night latches can be approved to British Standard BS3621.


4. Double Locking Night latch

ERA Double Locking Night Latch

Double locking latches have the addition of a key on the inside to be able to lock the handle, these are one of the most secure night latches you can use for your door.

Door Types Suitable For:

Again these are suitable for wooden/timber doors on domestic homes, and also glass panelled door.

Advantages:

  • Perfect for glass panelled doors
  • If a burglar smashes your glass door they would be unable to open the door without having the key.

Disadvantages:

  • Still possible to lock someone inside, If you double lock the handle inside with a key.
  • If any person inside doesn’t have a key they will be unable to open the door.

Lock Standard for double locking night latch:

Double locking night latches are approved British Standard BS3621 & BS8621.

How the lock is operated:

Similar to the auto & deadlocking night latch, you can still open the door from inside if you lock the handle from inside with a key.

To unlock the door just use the key to unlock unlike the standard deadlocking which you cannot unlock.

Further Reading

Sours: https://www.locksmiths.co.uk/faq/night-latches-guide/

Latch yale lock

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How to install a Night Latch to your door.

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