If you’re tired of fumbling around for keys, handing out spares to housekeepers and pet sitters, and worrying about whether you actually locked the door, it may be time for a smart upgrade. Smart locks can help put some of the most frustrating pitfalls of traditional locks in the past — and make your life a little easier every day.
What Is a Smart Lock?
A smart lock is a wifi-enabled alternative to a traditional lock that can be controlled remotely from a smartphone or smart home hub, allowing you to open the door from anywhere, without keys.
How Does a Smart Lock Work?
Smart locks are powered by batteries and connect to your home wifi. You can use an app on your phone to control the lock and check its status, whether you’re on your front step or away on vacation. Depending on the smart lock you buy, you’ll also have the option to unlock the door with a keypad, fingerprint reader, or traditional key, so you can still get inside without a smartphone or wifi signal.
What Can You Do With a Smart Lock?
Smart locks come with several features that can help simplify your routine. Here’s what you can do when you swap your standard lock for something smarter:
One of the biggest perks of a smart lock is the ability to get inside without a key. That means you’ll never have to wait for a locksmith after realizing your keys are nowhere to be found. Instead, you can press a button on your phone, use voice controls, or even set an automation for your door to unlock automatically when you’re nearby.
Just because you can go keyless with a smart lock doesn’t mean you have to. Some smart deadbolts, like Level Bolt, allow you to keep your existing lock, so your family members can still get inside with their spare key.
Lock or Unlock Your Door Remotely
Whether you’re rushing to pick up the kids from school or hurrying off to catch a flight, there’s always a chance you could forget to lock the door behind you. With a smart lock, you can lock the door remotely from the road — or use an auto-lock feature to ensure the door always locks after a certain amount of time.
Your smart lock’s remote features can also be helpful if someone needs to get inside your home when you’re away. Instead of handing out a spare key, you can unlock the door for a friend, contractor, or pet sitter when they arrive. If you have a Ring Doorbell, you can even check to see who’s at the door and unlock your compatible smart lock from the same screen in Live View.
Check Your Lock’s Status From Your Phone
Sometimes, you can’t remember if you locked the door when you left the house. Smart locks allow you to see if the door is locked or unlocked from your phone for extra peace of mind. You can also check in after your kids get home from school to make sure they locked the door behind them.
Many smart locks allow you to automatically unlock the door when you arrive and lock it when you leave. When you connect your lock to other smart home devices, like Ring Alarm, you can create even more automations. With a Ring Protect subscription, sold separately, you can link your compatible smart lock to Ring Alarm and set it to lock when you put your system in Away Mode.1
Generate Guest Codes or Passes
If you don’t want to manually unlock the door each time someone needs to enter your home, you can give them guest access. From your smart lock’s app, you’ll be able to generate a guest code for keypad locks or share a pass that enables guests to remotely unlock your door. You can activate guest codes for a specific time frame so your contractor, for example, can get access during a months-long renovation. Or, you can keep a code live indefinitely for someone who comes and goes frequently, like a friend who lives down the street.
When you link a compatible smart lock, like a Yale lock, Schlage lock, Level lock, or Level deadbolt to your Ring App, you can also allow access for Shared Users. That way, trusted family members, friends, or neighbors can unlock or lock the door straight from their phones.
Link With Other Smart Home Devices
The smart devices in your home may work great on their own — but they’re even better together. That’s why many smart locks can connect with your smart home hubs, security systems, and cameras.
When you add a compatible lock to your Ring smart home security system, you can unlock these features (pun intended):
Other FAQs About Smart Locks
What Happens if a Smart Lock’s Battery Dies?
Your smart lock won’t work with a dead battery, which is why most devices give you a warning when the battery is running low. This warning might be a notification from the connected app, a flashing light, or a low battery message from the lock.
If you choose a battery-powered deadbolt that doesn’t replace your locking mechanism, you can still use a key to unlock the door when the battery dies. But you'll need a backup option if you forget to replace the battery on a keyless lock. Luckily, keypad locks like Schlage Encode and Yale Real Living Assure allow you to hold a nine-volt battery to the lock, temporarily providing enough power to open the door.
Are Smart Locks Safe?
Smart locks are safe to use and might even enhance security by removing locking mechanisms that can be picked or opened with a spare key.
To help ensure your smart lock is secure, the FBI recommends only purchasing from a reputable company with a track record of security. You can also minimize your risk by changing default passwords, setting up an alternate network for smart devices, and protecting your wifi network. If you have a Ring Alarm Pro with a built-in eero router, you’ll get built-in encryption and automatic security updates to help keep your network secure.2
Are Smart Locks Waterproof?
While each lock is different, many smart locks are weatherproof and can withstand light rain. If you live in an area with heavy rain or wet conditions, be sure to research your options to see how they stand up to moisture. Yale Smart Keypads, for example, can withstand water-jetting, and Schlage locks have been tested against rain and high humidity.
Can I Install a Smart Lock?
Smart locks tend to be DIY-friendly as long as you have the right tools. Ring-compatible smart locks come with step-by-step installation guides to walk you through the process, but you can also pay for professional installation.
Enhance Your Whole-Home Security With a Ring-Compatible Smart Lock
A smart lock can do more than secure your front door — it can also work in harmony with your Ring security system to help level up protection around your home. You can control everything from Ring Alarm and video doorbells to smart lights and locks from the Ring App. Plus, it’s easy to link devices and help automate and enhance security. Whether you want to unlock the door with one click from Live View or ask Alexa if the front door’s already locked, choosing a Ring-compatible smart lock can help make your smart home even more efficient.
Explore our collection of compatible smart locks today to see how these smart devices can seamlessly connect to your Ring home security system.
1 Ring Alarm and all Ring Alarm accessories require a subscription for in-app features and digital notifications, including digital arming / disarming and integration with other Ring, Echo, Alexa, and third party products. Subscription sold separately. View ring.com/protect-plans for pricing and details.
2 Advanced online security features are available to US customers with eero Secure, which is included with a Ring Protect Pro subscription.