Best Smart Locks of 2021
Consumer Reports' tests reveal the best models from August, Bosma, Eufy, Kwikset, Wyze, and Yale
One huge advantage that you get with smart locks vs. conventional deadbolts is that you never have to carry a physical key.
Instead, many smart locks have keypads for PINs and/or electronic keys, where the “key” lives in an app on your smartphone and communicates with your lock wirelessly. With both methods, you can create, revoke, delete, and limit them to certain time periods with a few swipes on your smartphone. There are even some models with built-in fingerprint scanners, allowing you to unlock your door the same way you unlock your smartphone, with the tap of a finger.
“Smart locks can add an invaluable level of peace of mind,” says Misha Kollontai, CR’s test engineer for door locks. “Depending on the model, you can view the status of your lock from anywhere and track who opens your door and when.”
Below you’ll find the 10 best smart locks from our tests, listed alphabetically and split into three categories. You’ll find models from August, Bosma, Eufy, Kwikset, Wyze, and Yale.
Four of our picks are retrofit smart locks, which only replace the part of the lock that’s on the interior side of your door. Because the exterior part of your deadbolt will remain, you can still use your physical keys but also lock and unlock the door from your smartphone app. Another two picks are Bluetooth-only smart locks, meaning they don’t come with a WiFi adapter (one model offers an adapter sold separately), so you can’t control and monitor the lock when you’re away from home. The remaining picks are WiFi-capable smart locks, which connect directly to WiFi or through a WiFi adapter or smart home hub.
To evaluate both smart and conventional locks, 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. The models that fail—at least half do—go through another round, this time with a reinforced box strike plate (a basic DIY upgrade that improves security) installed on a new lock sample.
Best WiFi-Capable Smart Locks
CR’s take: More and more smart locks are coming to market that connect directly to WiFi without the need for adapters and hubs, making setup easier and less complicated for consumers. One of the best models with built-in WiFi in our ratings is the Eufy Smart Lock Touch & WiFi. It receives strong scores in our brute-force tests for kick-ins and picking, and even manages a Good rating for drilling despite not being a keyless model. It also performs well in our tests for ease of remote access, convenience, and connectivity. Its features include a fingerprint scanner for one-touch unlocking, a touch-screen keypad for PIN codes, auto-locking, an access log, and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
CR’s take: The Kwikset Halo Touch is another top-performing WiFi smart lock that doesn’t require an additional hub or bridge to connect to the internet for remote control. In our tests, the Halo Touch withstands kick-ins and lock picking well, but it’s very susceptible to attacks from a cordless drill. It receives strong scores for its convenience features, ease of setup and connectivity to other smart home devices (such as smart speakers), and ease of remote access, with an Excellent rating for the latter. Its feature set includes a fingerprint scanner for one-touch locking and unlocking, an access log to keep tabs on who comes and goes, an auto-unlock feature, and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
If you like the features of the Halo Touch but would prefer a model with a touch screen for PIN codes over a fingerprint scanner, check out the CR-tested Kwikset Halo 939WiFiTSCR. For a model with a physical keypad, see the Kwikset Halo 938WiFiKYPD.
CR’s take: The Kwikset Obsidian 954OBNZW500 is the strongest smart lock you can buy, at least when it comes to its strength against brute-force attacks. In our tests, it receives an Excellent rating for drilling thanks to its keyless design, as well as high marks for kick-ins and lock picking. The only thing about this lock that might make some consumers consider other options is that it uses a special wireless network called Z-Wave. That means you’ll need to connect it to a smart home hub that supports Z-Wave devices, such as a Samsung SmartThings smart home hub, Hubitat smart home hub, or Ring Alarm system. Still, the lock offers a number of useful features, including a touch-screen keypad for PIN codes, an access log to track who comes and goes, and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
CR’s take: The Yale Assure Lock SL uses its sister company August’s smart lock platform, complete with a smartphone app almost identical to August’s that simply uses Yale branding instead. That means it offers many of the same features as the August smart locks below, including remote control, an access log, voice control (via Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit/Siri, and Google Assistant), electronic keys, and a door open/close sensor. This lock also comes with Yale’s version of the August Connect WiFi adapter, $79, which is needed to use all those features, at no extra charge. In our tests, the Yale Assure Lock SL receives a Very Good rating for its resistance to drilling. It’s also impossible to pick because it’s keyless, and it’s very resistant to kick-ins as sold.
Best Bluetooth-Only Smart Locks
CR’s take: Out of the box, the Eufy Smart Lock Touch can’t connect to the internet for remote control. For that, you’ll need the Eufy WiFi Bridge, $46, sold separately at Amazon and Walmart. But even without the bridge, this lock still packs plenty of features and performs very well in our tests. It offers a fingerprint scanner, a touch-screen keypad for PINs, an access log to track who comes and goes, an auto-lock feature, and the ability to lock and unlock it from its smartphone app via Bluetooth when nearby. In our lab tests, this Eufy earns an Excellent rating for its resistance to kick-ins as sold. It’s very resistant to picking, too, but could be better at withstanding drilling. This lock also gets high scores for its convenience features and ease of setup.
CR’s take: The Kwikset Aura 942 BLE is a dependable Bluetooth-only smart lock offering strong performance in our kick-in and lock-picking tests. It receives a Very Good rating for ease of setup and connectivity, but its feature set is limited compared with other smart locks, resulting in low scores for our ease of remote access, security add-ons, and convenience tests. It features a keypad for up to 250 shareable PINs, an auto-lock feature, and the ability to lock and unlock from its smartphone app via Bluetooth when nearby.
Best Retrofit Smart Locks
CR’s take: The retrofit August Smart Lock Pro offers a ton of smart features, including auto-locking and unlocking, voice control (via Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit/Siri, and Google Assistant), access logs, electronic keys, a door sensor (to tell if the door is closed, not just locked), and compatibility with Z-Wave Plus smart home hubs. The lock has remote access features, but you’ll need to buy it with the August Connect WiFi adapter, $79, to get those features as well as voice control. It earns an Excellent rating for convenience in our tests and is very easy to set up. If you’d like to use PINs with this lock, August sells a separate wireless keypad for $60.
CR’s take: The August WiFi Smart Lock is the successor to the August Smart Lock Pro above, offering a smaller physical design and connecting directly to WiFi without the August Connect WiFi adapter for $79. It receives identical scores in our performance tests—with a rating of Excellent for remote operation—and offers all of the same features (including those that required the WiFi adapter) except compatibility with Z-Wave smart home hubs. Its feature set includes auto-locking and unlocking, voice control (via Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit/Siri, and Google Assistant), access logs, electronic keys, and a door sensor. If you’d like to use PINs with this lock, August sells a separate wireless keypad for $60.
CR’s take: The Bosma Aegis retrofit smart lock receives high scores across the board in our tests, including an Excellent rating for ease of remote access. It also comes with plenty of features, such as auto-locking, auto-unlocking, voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, electronic keys, an access log, a door open/close sensor, and a tamper alarm to warn you of a possible break-in.
CR’s take: The Wyze Lock is the first smart lock from this budget smart home company, and it performs quite well in our tests. It rates a Very Good for remote operation and scores high in our convenience and security add-on evaluations. Its features include auto-locking and unlocking, an access log, electronic keys, an integrated door sensor, voice control via Amazon Alexa (Google Assistant integration is supposedly in the works, but it’s been that way for over a year), and an alarm to let you know if the door is left open after a set amount of time. If you’d like to use PINs with this lock, Wyze sells a separate wireless keypad for $20.