Best Wireless Door Locks 2016 – August, Kwikset Kevo and more

Best Smart Wireless Door Locks 2016 – August, Kwikset and more

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best smart wireless door locks, because everyone wants to feel safe and secure in his or her own home. But security means different things to different people. Plus, it depends on where and how you live: flat or a house, city or country, quiet or coming and going, alone or with family or flatmates.

With the proliferation of smart home devices flooding the market in the past few years, and with the Internet of Things growing by the day, there has been a lot of attention given to smart home security.

It’s a big category at industry trade shows, with many products already selling well and even more in development. All of these devices do different things to enhance the safety and security of your home, but which one is right for you?

Here are the best wireless door locks, both available now and coming out soon, that we think are worthwhile.

Security is Personal, Smart is Eternal: Smart Wireless Door Locks

It used to be that if you lost your keys, you were simply locked out. It also used to be that if you had friends coming over, you either had to be home to let them in or give them a key. Plus, if a burglar could pick your lock, he (or she) could simply walk right into your home and take anything.

Now, however, wireless smart door locks are reinventing the whole concept of safe access. You don’t need a physical key because you can use your smartphone as a key. And, depending on the model of smart lock you choose, you’ll have access to lots of features in addition to just a simple door lock.

If you’re an Airbnb host, a smart lock may prove to be a fabulous investment. Here are some smart wireless door locks to check out.

wireless smart door locks are reinventing the whole concept of safe access.

1. August Smart LockAugust wireless door lock, Smart Lock

While all of the smart locks in our roundup have their pros and cons, the one we liked the best is the August Smart Lock. While its price is definitely on the high side, we think this is a perfect example of getting what you paid for.

At $250 USD (so, about £165), the August Smart Lock isn’t cheap. However, it seems to be the smart lock model turning the most heads. Like the other smart locks mentioned here, it’s completely keyless, and using the app for iOS or Android, it lets you extend and cancel digital keys as you need to. The app will keep track of comings and goings for you, and you can turn on notifications to let you know when they happen.

The August Smart Lock works mostly over BlueTooth rather than wifi, so even if the power’s out or your internet’s down, the lock will still work. However, if you want to control the lock remotely, you’ll need the corresponding wifi Bridge, which will run you another $50 USD (£33).

It fits over your existing deadbolt (as long as it’s compatible, but the list of compatible locks is a pretty long one), so installation isn’t a big deal.

To power the unit itself, it uses AA batteries. Yes, they’ll eventually run out, but the app will let you know when it’s time to replace them.

The August Smart Lock is easy to install, easy to use, and totally keyless. Plus, it’s unassuming, with a clean design, and it works via BlueTooth, so you’ll still be able to get in and out if the wifi goes down. It’s the smart lock getting the most press, and for good reason: the August Smart Lock is a solid execution of the smart wireless door lock concept.

There is no official retailer for the August Smart Lock in the UK yet.

Pros:

  • Incredibly easy to install
  • Lots of access control using the corresponding app
  • Uses BlueTooth rather than wifi

Cons:

  • No key backup
  • No display
  • To control remotely, you’ll need to spend a bit extra for the wifi Bridge

august.com | See on Amazon

Additional Reading: Preview – August Smart Lock

2. Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock

kwikset-kevo-smart-lock, wireless door locksYou probably already know the name Kwikset. They’re a leader in home locks, so it makes sense for them to get into the smart lock game early. The Kevo is a pretty good offering, using BlueTooth to grant access. In fact, if your smartphone holds your e-key, you don’t even need to hold it up; keep it in your purse or pocket, touch the lock with your finger, and you’re in. This saves a lot of fumbling around.

The Kevo works with iPhones and a select number of Android Lollipop devices by Nexus, Samsung, and HTC. (We’re guessing, or perhaps hoping, that more extensive Android support is on the way soon.) For family members who don’t have a smartphone, it’s no problem: an old fashioned key can be used, as can a key fob.

The lock has inside versus outside detection, and when you touch it to lock or unlock the door, the lights on the unit lets you know that it’s working.

Kwikset locks are highly pick resistant.

Other features include notifications, which you can set up to let you know whenever someone enters or exits your home, plus compatibility with other smart home devices like the Nest thermostat. (For example, you can program Nest to turn down when you leave the house.) And, like other Kwikset locks, it’s highly pick resistant.

While it’s a bit pricey — it’s on Amazon.com for around $199 — it’s a quality smart lock from a longtime lock manufacturer. Unfortunately the Kevo smart lock is not available in the UK as of this writing.

Pros:

  • Uses BlueTooth rather than wifi
  • Can use an old fashioned key for backup
  • Easy and convenient to use

Cons:

  • Priced on the high side
  • Not compatible with all Android devices
  • No display

kwikset.com | Buy on Amazon

3. Lockitron Bolt + Bridge

lockitron-bolt-bridge, smart wireless door locksAt $99 USD (£65), the Lockitron is the most affordable smart lock we can recommend, and it’s quite good to boot. It’s a two part system: the Bolt is the actual door lock, and the Bridge is a small brick-like device that connects the Lockitron Bolt to the internet so you can lock and unlock it from anywhere.

You can also change your password remotely, so if you lose your phone, the security of your home isn’t compromised. The lock unit also uses BlueTooth, so if your power or wifi cut out, you can still get into your home with your phone.

The Lockitron system is easy to install, compatible with iOS and Android, and runs on four AA batteries (the app will tell you when they need to be replaced). It keeps an activity log, and you can add and delete access as needed, plus it has a Key Match system that allows you to keep your current set of house keys even after you install Lockitron.

The whole system looks quite promising, and it’s expected to be available soon.

Pros:

  • Lots of security features
  • Affordable
  • Very easy to install

Cons:

  • No built in wifi for universal access
  • The wifi Bridge costs extra
  • Batteries last just six months

lockitron.com  | See alternatives on Amazon

4. Okidokeys

Okidokeys smart lockYou have to forgive the ridiculous sounding name on this smart lock, but once you do, you’ve got a decent device that works a lot like the other ones already mentioned here. Your smartphone is your key, though there are smart reader fobs and access wristlets for the kids and other family members who don’t have a phone. You can even turn on hands-free mode so you can walk right in as long as your phone is nearby.

Okidokeys is available in the UK and works with Android, iOS, and pretty much any phone, even if it’s not smart, and it also works with a corresponding portal. It’s BlueTooth, which offers a number of advantages over wifi. Like the other smart locks, you can turn on notifications for what someone enters or leaves.

Plus, add on devices can be used to open garage doors, secure large gates, and more; the box simply includes the nit with doorbell and an alarm that lets you know if and when someone is about to break in.

There are a few downfalls. For starters, the lock is sort of noisy to operate, and the hands-free mode needs to be turned on every time you want to use it so it’s always prepared. Okidokeys starts at $189 USD for the basic package, and there are upcharges for bigger packages, extra fobs, a smart reader, and others.

Still Okidokeys are good first smart wireless door locks.

Pros:

  • Can unlock using smartphone, fob, or wristlet
  • Uses BlueTooth rather than wifi
  • Lots of compatible add ons available

Cons:

  • Operation is noisy
  • Won’t remain in hands-free mode
  • Lots of upcharges if you want more than the basic package

okidokeys.com | Buy on Amazon

5. Haven Smart Lock

haven smart wireless door lockThe Haven Lock destroys the old paradigm of locking a door with a deadbolt. Instead, this lock is a strip that’s installed on the floor at the interior base of any exterior door. It’s quite strong, made of steel, glass, reinforced nylon, and aluminium.

Basically, it’s a more stable way of preventing your door from being kicked in — a 21st Century version of the chair up against the doorknob. The Haven uses the entire home for stability and reinforcement to keep the door from being opened by an unwelcome visitor.

This lock works with smartphones plus a number of other wearables as well. It uses wifi and BlueTooth, and it senses when you are in close proximity so it can safely unlock the doors. The Haven Lock integrates with a number of home automation Internet of Things systems too, making it even more convenient.

You can pre-order a Haven Lock for $219 (about £145) — pricey, yes, but if you live in an area where break-ins are common, this device may help to keep you safe.

Pros:

  • An effective alternative to the conventional deadbolt lock
  • Uses wifi and BlueTooth
  • Works with iOS, Android, and available fobs

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive
  • Product has been delayed several times and is still not available for shipping

havenlock.com | See smart door locks on Amazon

6. Danalock

danalock smart wireless lock This app-driven smart lock from Denmark wins big in the looks department. It’s an elegant black circle with small lights that fits over the deadbolt that’s already in your door. Set up is perhaps a bit trickier than other smart locks, but once it’s on there, it’s on there. One advantage that Danalock has over some of the competition is that it can use z-wave technology in addition to BlueTooth.

Using the corresponding app (for iOS and Android), you can lock and unlock the door, give out e-keys, get alerts, and change preferences. But perhaps the coolest feature on Danalock is its knock to unlock feature, which, true to its name, allows you to unlock your door by knocking on your smartphone. It’s probably no easier than just tapping on “unlock” in the app’s interface, but if you miss the old fashioned gestures associated with analog locks and doors, this is a nice touch.

As for cost, you can buy Danalock in the UK for a bit less than some of its competitors at around £120. However, some users have complained that it’s not as fast to respond as they’d like — a factor to consider if you’re usually in a hurry to get in your home.

Pros:

  • Knock to unlock feature
  • Uses z-wave in addition to BlueTooth
  • Elegant design

Cons:

  • Installation is somewhat challenging
  • Response is not as fast as some other smart locks
  • App user interface needs some work

danalock.com | Buy on Amazon

7. RemoteLock LS-6i WiFi Enabled Lock Official release

remotelock-ls-6i-wifi-enabled-lock smart wireless door locksAt first glance, RemoteLock looks like one of those high-tech locks from ten or 15 years ago in that it has a keypad! However, don’t be fooled: this is a fully-fledged wifi-enabled smart lock that can do everything the others can do and then some. It’s meant to replace whatever deadbolt you already have on your door, so there’s a bit of DIY installation involved, but it’s designed to be straightforward for the average user.

Once it’s up and running, you can use the RemoteLock app to lock and unlock your door and issue codes. Here’s where the keypads come into play: instead of issuing virtual keys, you can issue codes to anyone, even if they don’t have a smartphone. What’s more, you can put qualifiers on these codes so that they work just once, or only on Thursdays, or whatever. When codes are used, you’ll get a notification.

The RemoteLock isn’t cheap, with a retail price of $249.95 USD (about £160), but the code feature is a nice one, especially if you’ll be granting access to individuals who don’t carry smartphones (or leave your home without your own smartphone in tow).

Pros:

  • Keypad offers another unlocking method
  • App allows for lots of access configurations
  • Especially good for rental properties

Cons:

  • Priced on the high side
  • Works via wifi only
  • Installation is challenging

remotelock.com | See remote door locks on Amazon

8. Candy House Sesame Smart Lock

candy-house-sesame-smart-lock-solo smart wireless door locksThe big appeal of the Sesame smart lock is that you can install it in seconds. Rather than replacing any of your door’s hardware, Sesame just fits over whatever you’ve got, without any tools or screws required. In fact, Candy House, the maker of Sesame, claims that it will work with any latch anywhere in the world. If that doesn’t sound like a challenge, we don’t know what does.

Anyway, Sesame works via BlueTooth or wifi (the wifi is optional and helps to prolong battery life) and is controlled via its corresponding app, which is simple and easy to use. You can lock or unlock your door, knock to unlock (either on your phone or on the door itself, depending on how you have your Sesame configured), and grant access to anyone with a smartphone. You’ll get notifications if someone enters or leaves, and if you’re concerned about security, you’ll rest easy knowing that Sesame has military-grade encryption.

Sesame won’t make you feel like Ali Baba, but it will make your home security a little bit easier. And, it’s affordable, at just $99 USD (about £64) for the lock itself or $149 (£96) for the lock plus the wifi access point.

Pros:

  • Installation is very easy
  • BlueTooth and wifi connectivity
  • Very affordable, even with the optional wifi access point

Cons:

  • Product is delayed and won’t ship until at least spring 2016
  • You really do need the wifi access point for full functionality

candyhouse.co | See smart locks on Amazon

9. Goji Smart Lock

goji-smart-lock- smart wireless door locksUpdate 2016: Trustworthiness of the company is in question after shipping date has been pushed back more than two years and the company stopped posting updates and reacting to backers. Therefore we don’t recommend backing the Goji Smart Wireless Door Locks

The Goji Smart Lock was riding high after a hugely successful $300,000+ USD campaign in the summer of 2013, but then it got plagued with delays — serious delays. Really, it’s about a year overdue, so while we can’t provide any actual usage reports, the product looks like it will be fantastic when it’s finally here, and is therefore worth a mention.

Like the other products in this category, Goji uses your phone to lock and unlock the door, and you can set up auto-unlock when you’re within close proximity. More than that, you can set up auto lock after the door shuts behind you, so you’ll never wake up in the middle of the night wondering if the door is locked.

For kids and other family members who don’t carry smartphones, there are corresponding Goji fobs that can be used, and an actual key is included as a backup. (Just don’t lock it in the house.) You can send keys — with start and stop access times — via text message, and you can turn on phone notifications so you’ll know when they get used.

One especially cool feature is that you can see a picture of who’s at your door: there’s a camera on the exterior part of the lock that will send it to you. Now that’s secure! Of course, you can always check the door log.

The Goji itself is the best looking smart lock we’ve seen, with a text readout for a personalised welcome rather than simple lights. And, if you’re really in a jam, Goji has 24 hour support, so you can report a stolen phone to disable its access or get back in if you’re truly locked out. Goji is relatively easy to set up, it works via wifi, and it runs on batteries; the app lets you know when they’re running low.

there’s a camera on the exterior part of the lock that will send you a picture of who’s at your door.

The device itself is still on pre-order, so actual use may prove all of this to be false, but it looks extremely promising.

It’s also pricey: $299 USD (around £200), and fobs are an extra $40 (£26). We’re told it will be available soon.

Pros:

  • Can see photos of who is at your door through the corresponding app
  • Display on lock
  • Fobs and keys for backup

Cons:

  • Expensive for both lock and fobs
  • Availability is currently extremely limited

gojiaccess.com | See alternatives on Amazon

10. Kisi Smart Lock

kisi smart lockWhile most smart locks are aimed at homeowners and property owners, Kisi is intended for office use. It’s a cloud managed security system designed for lots of users (like employees) and spaces that need to be secure despite lots of comings and goings. Access logs are easy to see, keys can be extended and removed, and rules can be put into place for each key.

Like many office products, Kisi is priced out of reach of the typical homeowner. That’s OK, though — this is an office product. While there is a buy-outright option for $349 USD (about £225), it’s pretty limited in terms of scope and support. The company appears to be more interested in selling a tiered monthly subscription for either $149 or $249 per month.

Currently, Kisi is available in the US. However, we think it’s got potential to go worldwide and be used in workplaces all over the globe.

Pros:

  • Ideal for office environments
  • An impressive range of security features
  • Easy to configure and manage

Cons:

  • Prohibitively expensive for homes and even small offices
  • Currently available in the US only

getkisi.com | See alternatives on Amazon


How We Test our Smart Wireless Door Locks

Testing wireless door locks is literally looking at the ins and outs of each device. We checked access by all means possible: smartphone, numerical codes, fingerprints, fobs, and even old fashioned keys. We ran the apps through the ringer, setting parameters and adjusting the limited access settings to make sure the locks were secure enough. We also looked at extra features, like live images, logs, remote locking and unlocking, and more.

In our testing, we tried to approach each device as a relative novice — someone who does not work with the latest technology on a daily basis. We gauged how easy each lock was to install, how easy it was to actually use, and how easy it was to configure the app. If there’s one thing we know about digital technology, it’s that consumers will stop using a product if it’s not user friendly.

To that end, we also took a look at reviews from both tech professionals and ordinary consumers, not necessarily to influence our decisions, but as a way to cross reference our findings. Finally, we looked at price; there’s a wide range of price points in this market, and the smart lock that costs the most isn’t necessarily the one with the most features.best smart wireless door locks 2016

Smart Lock Testing Parameters: What We Looked For

As we tested the electric door locks on our list, we paid close attention to the following parameters.

1. Mobile App and Connectivity: Does the lock have a corresponding app that’s available for both iOS and Android? Is there a web tool also? How easy are they to use? And how does the lock connect with other devices? Wifi door locks are popular, but that type of connection is useless in a power outage; a BlueTooth door lock is definitely preferable for connectivity.

2. Auto Lock and Unlock: Lots of people forget to lock the door after they enter their homes. Similarly, one of the benefits of using a smart lock should be that you don’t have to get anything out of your pocket or handbag to unlock it. We preferred smart locks that had an auto lock and unlock feature.

3. Notifications: With an ordinary door lock, you never know when it’s open and who’s coming and going. But with a smart lock, there should be the option of activity tracking and notifications when there’s any activity. The app should buzz you if someone enters or exits, so you know if the dog walker showed up on time or if the kids got home from school safely.

4. Physical Keys: It’s always good to have a back up, right? If the power goes out, or if your battery dies, we wanted to know that the locks we tested had physical keys as a back up plan. (Yes, most apps tell you when the batteries are running low, but people sometimes ignore those warnings and come home to a lock without power.)

5. Remote Capabilities: If a lock is a smart lock, you should have the ability to control it remotely, from anywhere, via your smartphone. It’s a helpful feature to let someone in or to give yourself peace of mind (so you’re not wondering all day, “Did I lock the door?”) We looked at how easy this was.

6. Installation: Your new smart lock will provide convenience and security, but only if you can get it on your door. Some installed in just a few minutes and with relatively little hassle, while others required breaking out the tool box for a more involved set up.

7. Design: As the main entry point to a home or office, a front door should look inviting. A smart lock is bound to be one of the focal points of that door. Many of the locks we tested offered a slick, minimalist design that coordinated with a range of aesthetics, while other locks were more lacking in the design department.

8. Works with Nest: A smart lock is a potentially central piece in a smart home, and Works with Nest is the interface behind one of the more popular smart home set ups. Smart locks that do, in fact, Work with Nest put you one step closer to total home automation.

9. Works with Apple HomeKit: similar to the above.

10. Advanced Features: We took a look at the specific features of each individual lock, including things like how easy it was to configure new access rules, whether or not there was an intruder alarm, and how many people to whom you could grant access. A lot of this involved general monkeying with the corresponding apps.


The Best Smart Locks For Every Job

Best Smart Lock For Your Home

Your home is your castle, and as such, it should be well fortified. But it’s also more than a decade into the 21st Century, so it should be fortified with smart technology. After all, keys are so 2001. You should be able to get into your castle using more updated methods.

August Smart Lock

You’ll find an impressive array of smart locks, or electronic door locks, for the home. The smart deadbolt style seems to be the most popular, but there are other smart approaches to home security that you may want to consider. Some, like the Yale Smart Lock and the Kwikset Kevo, are already available for purchase, while others, like the Goji and the Sesame, are in the final stages of production and should be available soon. The best one we’ve seen so far? It’s the August Smart Lock, which offers the perfect blend of functionality, ease of use, ease of configuration, and price.

august.com | See on Amazon

Best Office Smart Lock

kisi smart lockSmart locks and security for office settings come with their own set of unique challenges. There are typically lots of people coming and going all throughout a business day: employees, visitors, outside workers, customers, and so on. With so many people coming in and out, office security may be a tough thing to measure.

Kisi Smart Lock System

Fortunately, the items in this category can offer employers a viable smart lock solution to their business. Whether it’s using a more home-type smart lock for a small office and extending e-keys to everyone, or it’s a subscription-type service meant to ensure the security of larger offices, there’s bound to be a product here that will work for your place of employment. However, we like the Kisi Smart Lock system best because of its ongoing support and logs for added security.

getkisi.com | See alternatives on Amazon

Best Smart Garage Locks and Door-Openers

chamberlain-myq-garage-opener-335x250You pull up to your home after a long day, turn into your driveway, and reach for — oh hell, where is that garage door opener? It could be under the seat, it could be in the glove box, or, wait, were the kids playing with it yesterday? Because if they were, then it could be anywhere.

Chamberlain MyQ

What would make more sense is to put control of your garage door right in your pocket, and that’s exactly what these garage door wireless locks do. Beyond the convenience of just opening and closing at will, you’ll never have this nagging thought in your head all day: “Did I remember to close the garage door?” For this application, we like the affordability and ease of use of the Chamberlain MyQ Universal Smartphone Garage Door Controller.

chamberlain.com  | Buy on Amazon

Best Smart Locks for Gates

okidokeys smart wireless door lockWhether it’s the entry point to a large property or a whole community, opening a locked gate to get in is often an inconvenience. It’s a hassle to reach out through your car window, especially in the rain, to put in a code on a keypad. Maybe you have a fob or card to automatically open it, but those can go missing pretty easily. And you certainly don’t want to have to get out of your car. As with other smart locks, smartphone control for opening and closing gates is the ideal solution.

Okidokeys

There aren’t a lot of gate-specific smart locks on the market yet; it is more of a niche market than, say, front smart wireless door locks. And while the Okidokeys Smart-Gate lock isn’t available to the general public just yet, we like it because it works with the whole Okidokeys system, it’s easy to allow guests access, and it works via BlueTooth, so you don’t have to worry about a wifi connection making it all the way to the edge of the property.

okidokeys.com | Buy on Amazon

Best Smart Lock Solution for Vacation Rentals

lockitron-bolt-bridge, smart wireless door locksWith the increasing popularity of Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, and other peer-to-peer rental platforms, the issue of home and apartment security is more and more relevant. While distributing keys may work for some owners, many rental owners and their customers have found that smart or digital locks offer easy access and completely safety in rental units.

Lockitron Bolt

Lots of keypad locks that generate codes for access, but if you’re after a true smart lock solution for your rental property, we like the Lockitron Bolt. It was designed by an Airbnb super host, so it’s made with all the needs of rental owners (and their renters) in mind. Easy to distribute keys to renters’ smartphones, and it runs on BlueTooth, so access is always up, even if the internet is slow or down.

lockitron.com  | See alternatives on Amazon

Best Biometric Door Locks

Samsung Ezon SHS-5230 smart wireless door locksThe advantage that biometric door locks have over other locks — smart, keyed, keypads, all of them — is that all you need is your hand. Your fingerprint is your key, and if you lose that, well, you’ve probably got bigger problems than unlocking your front door.

Samsung Ezon SHS-5230

There are several biometric door locks on the market, but the one we like best is the Samsung Ezon Fingerprint Digital Door Lock SHS-5230. It looks great, it’s well made, it has a keypad for guests, and it’s from a well-established manufacturer of tech products.

samsungdigitallife.com | Buy on Amazon

Best RFID Door Locks

Samsung Ezon SHS-3320 Digital Lock with RFID, smart wireless door locksAn RFID door lock (RFID stands for radio frequency identification) allows access with cards or other fobs that use wireless signals and physical proximity to unlock a door. If you’ve ever tapped a card on a hotel room lock, an office lock, or the lock of some other common space, you’ve used RFID. It pre-dates smart phone technology by quite a few years, but it continues to be popular thanks to its reliability.

Samsung Ezon SHS-3320 Digital Lock

If you’re looking to outfit your home or office with an RFID door lock, we recommend the Samsung EZON Digital Door Lock. It offers RFID compatibility plus a keypad, has a double authentication mode for added security, and is extremely durable.

samsungdigitallife.com | Buy on Amazon

Best Keyless Door Locks

remotelock-ls-6i-wifi-enabled-lock smart wireless door locksKeyless entry locks are essentially a catch all category for smart locks, keypad locks, and other wireless door locks that don’t require a traditional key. Our favourite smart lock, digital door lock, and keyless lock is the August Smart Lock.

RemoteLock

However, we also really like the RemoteLock because it offers multiple entry methods: smart phone, code, or good old fashioned metal keys. It’s perfect for homes, and, thanks to the company’s cloud-based options, there are great RemoteLock products to secure offices too.

remotelock.com | See remote door locks on Amazon

Best Smart Locks for Apartment Dwellers

What if you want a smart lock but don’t live in a private residence? Multiple layers of security are the concern when it comes to equipping an apartment building with a smart lock entry system. Residents need to be able to come and go at will, of course, but there are friends and family, delivery personnel, emergency service workers, and others who require occasional access. It also helps if larger municipalities are on board with an apartment smart lock system.

The installation of the solution mentioned below does need to be approved by a landlord or apartment owner. However, it provides convenience to every building inhabitant and to the service workers who need to enter the building. Plus, it creates an added value to the building, making it more appealing to prospective tenants — a huge advantage for the owner.

Kiwi Ki

kiwi-ki-smart locksDesigned by German company Kiwi, the relatively new Ki System is a smart lock for apartment buildings And even though it’s a relatively new product, it’s already in place and working on over 100 apartment buildings in Berlin and Hamburg. The way it works is both simple and familiar: the Kiwi sensor goes on the building door (it’s installed by a Kiwi-authorised technician), and anyone who needs to get in is given a transponder, or a Ki. This includes you, your flatmates or family, and any frequent guests, but it also includes people like mail carriers and service workers.

Just like starting a car with a push button ignition, the Ki can stay in your pocket, and when it’s close to the sensor, the door unlocks. With the Kiwi app, authorised users can grant or remove access; simply having a Ki does not guarantee that a door with a corresponding sensor will open. This is extremely helpful in the case of lost Ki fobs, as they can simply be deactivated. (You can order a new one for €25, or £17.60.) Plus, the Kis are very small, thin, and lightweight, so they’re easy to carry.

Kiwi has taken all precautions to ensure the fullest security of its system. It works using random number generation, which means that the Ki signal cannot be copied. In fact, Kiwi’s system architecture is in compliance with some pretty strict international security standards: those of online banking.

Currently, the Kiwi Ki system’s target audience is owners of apartment buildings. It costs approximately €400,00, or £280. We like the Kiwi Ki, the first apartment-specific smart lock system. It’s already in use in parts of Berlin, and others will surely follow, as large cities around the world seek a smart solution to the security of their residents. Kiwi’s system stands out as the best because the “Ki” is small, the system is easy to configure, and the security underneath it all follows the security standards for online banking.

The future of apartment building access will likely feature a lot more automation and require a lot less fuzzy intercom calling and a lot less buzzing in. The company is currently installing units in Germany, but it’s likely that it will be available to other countries in the EU soon.

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use door lock solution for apartment dwellers
  • Fobs are small and can be activated and deactivated as needed
  • Strong security encryption

Cons:

  • Needs to be installed and set up by authorised technician
  • Currently available only in a few cities in Germany
  • Not practical for private homes

kiwi.ki

The Best Smart Door Lock UK?

With so many smart locks on the market and available in the UK, it’s tough to pick a best one. We like the August Smart Lock for its ease of use, simple design, and complete functionality. Then again, we like the affordability of Sesame Smart Lock and Lockitron, the latter of which is finally expected to ship next month. And while we’re most interested in finally checking out a Goji, it’s almost a year overdue. The company says it will ship soon, but then again, we’ve heard that before.

Plus, there are others on the market that need some tweaking before they’re ready for a solid mention, like the Canary Smart Security System, which pulled in almost $2 million USD on Indiegogo in the summer of 2013 but has been lackluster in actual performance so far.

Clearly, home security is an aspect of smart home automation in which people are quite interested. In addition to all of the kits and devices mentioned here, there are lots more in the works.

Our best advice? Compare your needs and your budget with the locks’ features and pricing. You’re bound to find something that will fit your door, fit your life, and fit your budget, and make house keys a thing of the past forever.

Whichever smart lock you choose – stay safe.

See recommended smart home devices on Amazon

Nest Learning Thermostat

nest-learning-thermostat

CHECK PRICE

Nest Cam

nest-cam-security-camera

CHECK PRICE

Amazon Echo

amazon-echo

CHECK PRICE

Philips Hue Starter Kit

philips-hue-starter-kit

CHECK PRICE




There are 7 comments

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  1. Derek J

    Impressive list, I guess home safety doesn’t come cheap, but of course it’s worth. Thanks for posting useful information on August smart lock, it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.

  2. Kathryn

    Hi
    Thank you for this it has really helped me out.
    I have one question and i am very sorry if you answered it and i missed it.
    Do all of these locks conform to the required British Standard for insurance cover?
    Thank you again

  3. Su

    Dear Max and team,
    Thanks for the useful information. I have a holiday home in the UK that I let out. The house is on a long lease and the owner will not allow us to “tamper” with the door or door furniture and is now complaining about a keysafe attached to the brickwork. Do you have any suggestions for a system that can be operated without changing anything on the outside of the building please? I have several friends that would also be very interested in your research. Thanks in anticipation. Thanks in anticipation, Su and friends.


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