Finding the right home security system can feel intimidating. But, it can also be exciting! When it comes to fine-tuning the home security setup of your dreams, research is key. It’s important that you really dig in to what details set each product apart, comparing alternatives as you go and checking out the different features offered.
Since we happen to fall into the we-find-this-stuff-really-exciting camp, we decided to do some digging for you. One popular product we tested is the August Smart Lock, a device that easily integrates into most smart home setups. In fact, their equipment is compatible with many home automation systems, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. While August can’t extend coverage to your entire house for whole home security, they are a great alternative provider for those looking into entryway security.
FYI: If you’re looking for total home security, we recommend reading our guide to the best home security systems out there.
While the August Smart Lock is widely considered a great product from a reputable company, it’s a good idea to have some alternative options tucked away in your back pocket. Recently, we managed to get our hands on a few of the best smart lock products from some of August’s top competitors. And after several days of testing, we noticed some similarities and differences you might find interesting.
Yale is one of August’s top competitor companies. Like August, they offer high-quality digital smart locks that can be locked and unlocked remotely (without being near the door). You can integrate both locks with your smart home devices and controllers, allowing for easy control of all your home automation features from your smartphone. To top things off, both the August and Yale smart locks can easily be added to a pre-existing home security system, and each brand offers either a touchscreen or push-button keypad (we opted for the former).
So how did these two differ? To start, August is generally compatible with more home security systems than Yale, so you’ll likely have more options for integration.
Did You Know? When you buy components to add to your pre-existing home security system, some of them may not be compatible. For your system to run smoothly, you’ll have to make sure that you purchase equipment that is compatible with it. Otherwise, you may wind up disappointed.
You can connect Yale locks to your home automation platform; however, you’ll have to utilize Yale’s Zigbee Network Module in order to do so. Yale is also Bluetooth compatible, while August’s smart locks are Bluetooth-enabled, but require a separate Wi-Fi bridge for remote access and voice speaker integrations. So we did find limitations with both Yale and August (turns out, there’s no such thing as a perfect smart lock).
As far as pricing goes, Yale smart locks start at roughly $130 and can cost upwards of $300. In comparison, August’s smart lock will cost you about $150, but the higher-end model will cost you $250 (bundling options are also available).
Another August alternative that should be on your radar is Schlage, a company with almost a century of innovation under its belt. Both August and Schlage are known for their high-quality products, but in addition to their quality equipment and high-end technology, they are also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit. Such compatibility allows for a simple and straightforward integration of your security equipment with your smart home system.
As self-proclaimed DIYers, we were pleased to find that no professional installation was required with either company. If this makes you nervous, don’t stress! Both smart locks were simple and easy to install, taking only about 15 minutes to get working (and remember, you can always phone a friend).
Did You Know? Home security products that require professional installation can be quite costly. Installations tend to be expensive, no matter the simplicity of the installation process. DIY installation can save you time and money.
The biggest differences we found between August and Schlage involved how the locks function. August locks will send you alerts when you forget to lock the door so that you’ll be less likely to leave it unlocked while away; they also use “geofencing” technology, a feature that will unlock the door when you’re within a certain range (pretty neat!).
Schlage locks, on the other hand, include an auto-locking feature that will lock the door automatically after thirty seconds. Schlage pricing is also pretty competitive when compared to August pricing, offering options that range from about $94-$300 (a good match for the budget-minded).
Last but not least, we recommend checking out Kwikset, a leading smart lock manufacturer that has been keeping families safe for decades. As with August, you’ll get a quality lock with great Wi-Fi connectivity.
FYI: Both Kwikset and August locks work well with Amazon Alexa, Google Nest, and Google Home, making each a good option for smart home integration.
Both companies offer battery-powered locks that are easy to install. Replacing your old lock with either the Kwikset or August Smart Lock is extremely easy and does not require a lot of time, nor does it require professional installation. Both companies also provide a lot of options when it comes to style, making it easy to match the lock to your front door.
One thing that sets Kwikset apart is that they include a lifetime warranty with your purchase. We see this as a “win” because you never really know when your electronics will stop working (they are electronic, after all). Kwikset also allows you to utilize Kwikset Kevo, which is a program that allows keyless entry. This feature is beneficial because you can use a passcode to unlock your door or give it to a guest.
Kwikset is also more compatible than August because it works with Z-Wave, Bluetooth, Zigbee, and other smart protocols. They are also a bit cheaper than August, with many options available for under $100.
Benefits of Having a Smart Lock
Replacing your old lock with a smart lock will not only provide extra security for your home, but it will also allow you to integrate your lock with various smart home platforms. You’ll be able to lock and unlock your home remotely, as well as allow keyless entry for certain people with the use of an access code.
When you use a smart lock, your door will also be harder to break into, and you’ll never have to worry about arriving home without your keys. Gone are the days of hoping that a window or side door has been left unlocked (although trying to break into your own house can sometimes be an adventure). With a smart lock, you can easily get into your home, keys or no keys.
Pro Tip: If you already have a home security system, you should make sure that the smart lock you choose is compatible with it.
Choosing the Best Smart Lock
Finding the right home smart lock to buy doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Our smart lock buying guide will really help you to narrow down your choices.
When it comes to finalizing your decision, the first thing you should consider is the style and size of the lock you’ll need in order to replace your old one. You should then figure out what features you’re most drawn to, and of course make sure it fits in your budget.
There are plenty of top-quality home smart locks on the market to choose from, but with a little research, the process of choosing the right one doesn’t have to be an uphill battle.