(Pocket-lint) - The best smart locks allow you to live a life without keys and remotely access your front door from anywhere, but there's plenty more to understand about this area of the smart home before you jump in.
This isn't like buying any other bit of smart home security, where it's relatively plug-and-play. You'll have to know what type of door lock you currently have in order to swap it out with a smarter equivalent, and also, for example, decide whether you want a device that still gives you key access for when your phone battery is dead.
The good news is that whichever locking mechanism you have, and no matter whether you rent or own your property, there's plenty of options for you to explore from brands like Yale, August and Schlage.
Below, we'll detail some of the best to help you decide on the door lock for your smart home.
Best smart door locks available to buy
August Smart Lock Pro (3rd Gen)
August's latest Smart Lock Pro is perhaps the most modern-looking device on this list, coming with a feature set to match.
You get remote access to the lock's activity feed and the ability to lock/unlock from anywhere, but the real headliner is the auto-unlock as you approach your door (and the reverse when you leave).
August's DoorSense also means it's also able to let you know if the door is locked and secured, and, just in case, you can still use your keys, since the Smart Lock Pro simply goes over your existing deadbolt.
It's also one of the very few to come with support for all three major smart assistants, Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa.
Schlage Encode Smart Lock
Schlage's Encode smart lock takes the general concept of a smart lock and strips things back for those who don't need all the latest features.
It comes with built-in Wi-Fi (meaning there's no need for an additional hub required for remote access), and can pair with the Schlage Home app or Amazon Key to create up to 100 temporary or permanent codes.
You can lock via voice through Alexa, while the code can also be entered through the capacitive touchpad. This also features a built-in alarm that will sound if a breach is sensed.
As far as installation is concerned, this one is relatively straightforward. Schlage indicates the Encode can fit any standard door, and this is made easier by the fact the deadbolt will snap onto the door and leave you with two free hands during the setup.
Yale Conexis Smart Door Lock
For those with PVC and composite doors - or really any with a five-point locking system - the Yale Conexis is a top pick to consider.
As ever, Yale does smart locks slightly differently to the rest of the pack, foregoing Wi-Fi in favour of Bluetooth. You still get keyless entry through the smartphone app (as well as the ability to grant access to five others) and can use Yale's RFID tags as a backup, which, really, is the most important aspect of any smart lock, but it's not the most feature-packed.
If you're already confident with smart locks and don't mind getting used to one that skips some of the more extraneous smart features, the Conexis is a solid choice.
Ultraloq U-Bolt Smart Lock
Ultraloq's U-Bolt is one of the most comprehensive smart door locks around, giving you five different security methods.
Sadly, that doesn't include fingerprint scanning (you'll have to pick up the U-Bolt Pro for that addition), but you do get locking/unlocking abilities through a smartphone, shake-to-open, the anti-peek keypad, a physical key and auto-unlock.
For those who want to easily share access, the deadbolt can even temporarily grant entry for specific dates and periods of time.
This model comes with the bridge, too, which is required for remote control and to connect your device to Google Assistant and Alexa.
Nuki Combo 2.0
Nuki's Combo 2.0 is the ideal lock for renters or those who lack the confidence to install other smart locks, since it simply fits over your existing lock.
You get remote access and activity logs from anywhere, thanks to the Nuki app and the included Nuki Bridge, with the device joining August as one of the few to work with Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant.
The only downside to this simple setup is that it means it's absolutely essential the Nuki can fit over your existing lock.
The company's website has its own handy installation check, which we'd recommend using, else this handy and very smart-capable lock will be redundant.
Kwikset Halo Smart Lock
Kwikset's Halo lock is designed along similar lines to Schlage's offerings, meaning you get the basic smart features without the additional bells and whistles.
You won't require a hub for remote access, since the unit itself can connect to Wi-Fi, and the Halo can create up to 250 unique codes for friends, guests or employees that you can manage in the Kwikset app.
The app also delivers notifications based on the lock's activity, and security can be tightened even further thanks to the anti-peek keyboard, which allows you to key in random digits before your actual code.
For those who want it, the device can also sync up and be controlled through Alexa or Google Assistant.
Yale Assure Lock
If your idea of a smart lock is simply one that's able to offer keypad access and potentially some smart home integration, then the Yale Assure is one to consider.
You're able to unlock using a 4-8 digit PIN code on the touchscreen keypad or through a physical key, with the lock replacing an existing deadbolt and requiring just a screwdriver during setup.
For any smart features, though, you'll have to set the device up with a Z-Wave smart hub, such as some Alexa devices and Samsung's SmartThings, and the Yale Z-Wave network module.
Hornbill Smart Door Lock
Hornbill may not be as well known as other lock merchants, but the company's smart door lock gives you plenty of the same features for a slightly reduced rate.
You'll need to add the Wi-Fi Bridge in order to achieve remote access and integrate with Alexa for voice control, but, once you do, you'll be able to add these locking/unlocking methods to the keypad and key.
Having the app also allows you to view the lock's activity log, grant temporary/permanent access codes, and receive a notification when the battery is running low, too.
Ultraloq is a big name when it comes to biometric locks, but it has plenty more smart features for you to play around with than just the fingerprint scanner.
It's weatherproof, naturally, able to fit onto most standard doors, and is battery operated.
The fingerprint function we just mentioned is one way to unlock (and it can store up to 95 fingerprints), and users can also open it with a code or standard key, too.
A neat design feature is that the lever is also reversible, meaning it can sit comfortably on left-handed or right-handed doors.