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Smart Locks – Pros & no Cons only different Features

Smart Locks – Pros & no Cons only different Features
March 27, 2015 SNH Editorial Team

Basic, and even so-called high-security locks are really not that safe! Most of us have been living with a false sense of security.   See also my LinkedIn Influencer article AND check out these smart locks…

There are definite advantages to the new smart locks. Which one is right for you? It depends on your desires and existing phone set up.

The three leading smart lock companies are August, Kevo/UniKey and Goji. In case you are wondering about Lockitron – while it is less expensive, it already has garnered the reputation of “poorly made”. So I am excluding it from the review list – nothing worse than poorly made products after you go through the trouble of installation!

August (retail price $249+$50 for Connect accessory) is a well designed and you might even say beautiful smart lock. It allows you to continue using a regular metal key, which might help in your transition to virtual keys. Chances are within a short time you will likely wonder: Why am I even carrying around this piece of metal?

Here is one feature I love: Send temporary access invites to your dog walker, housekeeper, plumber or electrician via virtual keys. You will get email notifications when they actually enter and leave your house! Think about that: Now you not only manage/control access you also get a bunch of insight into what really happens at your house while you are away.

No longer will there be any lost keys.  You will simple cancel the electronic key on your phone.  And no longer will you have to rush home to meet someone at the door. You can remotely let him/her inside.  What a stress remover this can be!

To access/open the lock remotely, or from out of your phone’s range, you also need to purchase the Connect accessory. In other words, if you really want to get a smart lock, the actual price tag comes to $295 with August.

Most importantly: Is the system safe? August claims “secure communications technology used by financial institutions for online banking.” In case of system problems 4 AA batteries serve as backup and August is a Bluetooth, i.e. low energy draw system in the first place.

Kevo/UniKey (retail price $219) is distributed by Kwikset. The name is confusing. UniKey licensed the technology to Kwikset, which now makes and markets the technology under the product name Kevo.

I like Kevo’s totally understated lockset. At first glance, it does not appear very different at all until you touch the lock and a color band around the deadbolt key entry lights up to show you the functions it performed.  Kevo is Bluetooth and WiFi based.

Kevo also allows for the use of a conventional key and will provide a fab. Best use might be attached to your kid’s backpack so that he/she will have automatic recognition and entry with you getting a notification to your phone!

Like August, Kevo allows issuance of an encrypted key to anyone remotely. Its unique feature is its touch activation to unlock and lock. Unfortunately, it has one big drawback presently: It only works with iphones, iPod Touch and iPad Minis. It does not work with Android based phones – ouch…not to include google? I hope they will come up with a more tech inclusive version soon!

Goji’s (retail price $278) has two unique features: A built-in camera so that you get a picture sent to your mobile phone of who is at your door.  A picture is worth a thousand words…! Unlike August and Kevo, Goji provides “live customer service representatives to unlock your home in case something happens to your phone” – another good feature for some people.

It is a Bluetooth, non Wifi based system whose other functions are much like August and Kevo. However, it should be mentioned that the quality of Goji barrel does not come close to the quality of August’s and I am not sure I like this greeting feature “Welcome (my name)” displayed. It seems a little too tinker-toy like.

I hope you will consider selecting one to these great new smart locks for your home in the near future. Take advantage of their clear benefits. At one time we all lived without cell phones. Today, we cannot even image a world without them. I predict the same will take place with smart phones.

The last hurdle – our misplaced sense of security in key-based systems.  As the many YouTube “How to Unlock any Lock” videos show, conventional “dumb” locks don’t provide the security we think they do. They really only hassle the people you want to let into your house. Why not get a lock in place that makes your life a whole lot easier logistically with the security your bank has. After all, you entrust them with your money.


“sesame smart lock insitu” by Scott Lewis is licensed under CC BY 2.0