By now you’ve surely heard of smart locks, but what exactly are they? Simply put, they’re electronic alternatives to manual locks. Instead of opening a smart lock with a key, you open it by entering a code on the lock’s keypad, or by tapping the unlock button in the mobile app.
The value of this is twofold: convenience and safety. No more fumbling for keys or stashing a spare under the mat for out-of-town visitors. You and your guests can simply enter a private code to unlock the door. Or, you can lock and unlock your door remotely using your smartphone. That means you no longer have to race back home to check the door when you suddenly have that nagging worry that you forgot to lock it. You can just check your lock’s status on your phone. If it’s not locked, tap a button and, voila, security restored.
So what does ADT have to offer in the field of smart locks? Here’s everything you need to know about ADT’s offerings.
FYI: Get a crash course in smart locks with our smart locks buying guide.
ADT and Kwikset Smart Locks
ADT offers smart locks manufactured by Kwikset, a well-known brand with a strong reputation in the industry. Kwikset smart locks are easy to install and integrate seamlessly with other smart home equipment. (Read more about Kwikset in our Best Smart Locks of 2021 roundup.)
ADT smart locks run on four AA batteries. You’ll automatically be notified when the batteries are getting low, so you can easily replace them before they die. The locks have a built-in keypad that glows at night, making it easy to see the numbers and punch in your code. Choose from three smart lock design styles to match your home decor: polished brass, satin nickel, or Venetian bronze.
ADT smart locks work by connecting to your home internet via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Z-Wave. This gives you the ability to lock and unlock them with the keypad or app. It also gives you the ability to integrate your smart locks into your home automation system so you can use them in collaboration with cameras, lights, and other smart equipment.
Did You Know: Most smart locks, including ADT’s, also have a key slot for opening the door the old-fashioned way. This gives you an alternate way to access and secure your home should there be any issue with the electronic function.
ADT Home Security Plans With Smart Locks
ADT security system packages, which all include 24/7 professional monitoring, are installed and managed by local ADT authorized dealers, so the customer experience can vary somewhat from one location to another. But there tend to be three main security system packages to choose from: Secure, Smart, and Complete. If you want smart locks as part of your system, the Secure plan is not an option because it doesn’t offer support for smart home automation — a necessity for smart locks. You’ll want to choose from the Smart or Complete plan. (You can read about our experience trying ADT in the home in our full ADT home security review.)
Both the Smart and Complete plans come with a touchscreen control panel, a motion detector, and three door/window sensors — plus a smart door lock and smart plug. The Complete plan also includes an indoor HD video camera and a video doorbell camera. With either of these plans, you can add on extra security equipment as needed, including other home automation devices like smart light bulbs, smart switches, and smart thermostats.
ADT Smart packages start at $49.99 a month, and Complete packages start at $59.99 a month. (These prices have the cost of the included equipment wrapped into them.) There will also be installation and activation fees (professional installation is required), plus the cost of any additional equipment you want to add on to your system. Those fees can vary, but installation is generally in the ballpark of $99-$199, and activation around $125.
Pro Tip: If your standard door lock requires a bit of finesse to work — like lifting the handle a bit or pushing on the door to position it right — then you’ll need to adjust your door in the frame to eliminate those issues before installing a smart lock. That’s because the smart lock will be electronic, and it needs to be able to operate without manual intervention.
Smart Locks and Home Automation
ADT sells more home automation products than any other security company. That’s why we rank them among the best home automation security systems. The perks of ADT smart locks go well beyond the convenience of keyless entry. Using the ADT Pulse app, you can monitor and control your locks, and use them in combination with your other smart devices. Here are some of the things you can do with your smart locks:
- Get mobile alerts. You can set the app to send you mobile alerts when certain events occur, like when someone unlocks the door. If you have a video camera as part of your system, you can then check the app to see exactly who has entered your house. If you have a video doorbell, you can not only view and speak to the person at your door, but you can use the app to deactivate the lock and allow them inside.
- Set personal access codes. Even if you don’t have a video camera as part of your system, you can track who enters your home using custom access codes. Just program the lock to assign a different access code to each person who has authorized entry — family members, dog walkers, repairmen, etc. — and you’ll be able to track each entry and exit by person in the app.
- Create custom automations. Using the app, you can put all your smart devices to work by creating an automated series of events you can trigger at the tap of a button. For example, you can set up an automation to prep your home when you leave for the day that locks your door, turns off the lights, and lowers the thermostat.
- Control your locks with your voice. ADT works with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can arm your alarm and control your smart locks with a simple voice command. Read more about ADT’s smart home integrations in our ADT home automation guide.
Are Smart Locks Safe?
It’s reasonable to wonder about the safety of smart locks, considering they’re electronic devices that are connecting to your home internet. Does this make them vulnerable to hacking? It could, but there’s technology built into smart locks to thwart hacking attempts. ADT uses 128-bit encryption, which is industry standard. This is the same level of encryption used by online retailers to protect your credit card info. ADT also uses two-factor authentication. This means if a new device attempts to log in to your account, you’ll be texted a verification code to authorize or deny access.
FYI: Most smart locks will time out after someone enters the wrong code too many times in a row, much like an online account may lock you out after too many failed password attempts. This is a safety measure to prevent someone from walking up to your door and trying endless access codes in hopes of getting lucky.
An additional security measure you’ve got working for you with ADT smart locks: Z-Wave technology. This is often considered safer than Wi-Fi or Bluetooth because it uses a proprietary code that allows for strong encryption. ADT locks also employ a bump guard to prevent anyone from unlocking them using a bump key. (A bump key is a device commonly used by criminals to open traditional pin tumbler locks.)
And keep in mind that you can reprogram your smart lock at any time, which is akin to rekeying a standard lock. It’s a big convenience — and a nice added protection — to be able to do this yourself rather than having to call a locksmith.