While traditional lock and key systems have improved over time, the mechanism is still the same as it was years and years ago.
Recently, technology has changed and we've been renting our houses out on sites such as Airbnb, and dealing with keys is so ancient.
Forgot your key? Locked out? Better call that expensive and overpriced locksmith to hijack your way back in, and then replace your locks.
Imagine being able to unlock your door at the push of a button, from anywhere in the world. Imagine being able to let your Airbnb guests scan the QR code on your front door and let themselves in to your home, without you even being there.
Yes it's all possible, with the best smart door locks available to buy in Australia. We've taken a look at the top 5 models that offer the very best features, at affordable price tags.
The hardest part? Actually installing it, after that it's probably the smartest piece of technology you've got installed at home. Just make sure you hook up some security cameras to accompany the door lock to check who's coming in and out!
1. ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro
The Best Smart Lock Overall
The ULTRALOQ U-Blot Pro is equipped with 6 functions for high-tech security. It is embedded with dual 128-bit AES encryption to prevent digital attacks. Users can unlock through fingerprint, password input or manually with a key.
There is also an anti-beep feature which allows users to unlock through entering any numbers as long as the saved pin combination is included. This smart lock can be set to systematically lock when leaving the home and unlock when entering.
Additionally, there is a shake-to-open function. Settings can be viewed through a smartphone with the Ultraloq app, available on both Android and iOS. Through the app, guest access can also be managed through selecting a unique pin combination.
Guests can also enter through fingerprint scans with certain dates scheduled. For people who frequently visit the home, separate eKeys can also be issued out.
This smart lock has Bluetooth compatibility and is constructed out of alloy. The alloy build keeps the lock secure on the door and prevents break-ins through physical blows. There is a battery life of up to 365 days or around 8000 uses. This lock can be fitted with any standard-sized door.
2. August Smart Lock Pro
Most Innovative Smart Lock
The August Smart Lock Pro is compatible with home assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant which allows for voice control. However, the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge needs to be bought separately in order to do so.
This product can be installed alongside current deadlocks so that current keys can still be used. The August Home app needs to be downloaded on a smartphone device to control access. The smartphone can double up as a key so that no physical key is required to enter.
The lock can be set to automatically unlock when arriving at the door and lock when departing. Additionally, the August Home app allows users to monitor when the door is opened and closed due to the integration of DoorSense Technology.
Hours can be set in place where guests and handymen are allowed in. Notifications can also be sent to the smartphone that signal when particular people arrive and enter the home.
This smart lock is protected by Bluetooth Energy technology encryption. It is targeted towards a wide range of people including large families. There is an advertised lifespan of 6 months before batteries need to be changed.
3. Yale Assure Lock SL
Best Smart Lock For Airbnb
The Yale Assure Lock SL can be used in conjunction with Apple HomeKit so that household members can unlock by asking Siri. This lock can easily be attached to 1 ¾ to 2 ¼ inch thick doors with 2 1/8-inch boreholes.
There is a user guide for installation on the BILT app, available on both Android and iOS. This smart lock allows access through pin combinations, Siri as well as through Apple Home. The Yale Secure app can be downloaded on an iPhone or iPad with iOS 10.3 or above.
Through this app, a maximum of 25 pin codes can be set. Friends and family members can be granted or denied access by simply adding in or removing pin codes. Auto-locks can be set up in accordance with schedules to ensure that the door is secure when it needs to be.
This is a product designed for convenience as there is no need to be concerned about forgetting physical keys. Users can still be granted access without the app through entering in a pin.
Despite the high-tech features, this smart lock is weather-resistant which makes it ideal for outdoor placement. A battery life of 12 months can be expected.
4. Ultraloq UL3 BT
The Ultraloq UL3 BT is built for attachment on any standard door and has weather-resistant construction. It can be fitted on both right-handed and left-handed doors. This smart lock allows 5 entry methods such as through fingerprint recognition, pin combinations or manual key unlocks.
A maximum of 95 fingerprints can be input to accommodate large households. The anti-peep setting allows access even with different digits typed in, as long as a certain combination is put in place.
This prevents intruders from figuring out pin codes as different digits can be used each time. On iOS devices, there is a ‘knock to open’ feature while on Android devices, there is a ‘shake to open’ feature. This smart lock has an OLED panel for visible number displays and battery warnings.
The Ultraloq app can be installed on both the App Store and Google Play Store to monitor activity, as well as set up passwords and fingerprints.
The battery life is listed at 365 days before the batteries need to be replaced. The versatility with this product ensures that users are not locked out of the house even if a phone or key is missing.
5. Kogan SmarterHome Lock
Best Budget Smart Lock
The Kogan SmarterHome Door Lock is structured out of stainless steel to prevent people from physically breaking in. It is also has a protection rating of IP54, making it weather-resistant.
There are 5 ways to unlock the door such as through fingerprint, pin, an RFID card or just using a physical key. The Kogan SmarterHome app, available on both Android and iOS can also be used to unlock the door.
Through this app, a maximum of 100 fingerprints and 30 passwords can be installed. The RFID card is suggested for use to unlock when someone forgets their pin code. The door can be set to automatically lock and unlock at certain times of the day.
Activity can be tracked through the app as well and temporary access can be granted to guests or service personnel.
This smart device has a battery life of up to 12 months when used 10 times a day. It is recommended for large households due to the large password and pin capacity.
This smart lock allows a convenient and hassle-free way to enter home even with no key. It can be easily integrated with home assistants and other smart appliances.
How to choose the best smart door lock?
How do you actually pick the best rated smart lock? There's many companies claiming to offer the best solution, at wildly different prices. With technology constantly changing, what features do you actually need, and how do you even install the smart lock?
Bluetooth vs Wireless Connectivity
Ultimately smart door locks should be controlled from anywhere, however some models only offer Bluetooth which means you must be within 10 meters of the lock to actually control it. Smarter locks connect to your home wireless network, allowing you to control them from anywhere in the world.
So Bluetooth options aren't actually that smart, especially if you want to let your Airbnb guests use a pin code during their stay and remotely change this once their checkout time has passed. For this you need a smart lock with a bridge, or one that connects to your internal WiFi network.
Alternative Entry Options
A smart lock is great but what if the technology fails or you lose your phone. Can you still get inside? Some models offer a manual key option, which is what I like to use, as we can store this key somewhere as a backup. Other models don't offer a manual key, but may offer a numeric keypad, such as 5 or 6 digit pin code.
Other models may offer a fingerprint scanner which is the best option for getting in, as your fingerprint cannot be changed or altered.
Some models simply replace your existing door lock and have a rechargeable battery, that will notify you when it's running low. You may need to remove the lock face and charge this once per year, or 6 months depending on the model.
Others allow you to connect a backup battery source, so you don't have to charge them ever again. This may require setup from a locksmith and could be expensive, but may be beneficial if you're always away from home. You can also connect a 9-volt battery which will provide enough juice to keep the lock working for a number of years.
Most modern smart locks offer geofencing which means once your phone leaves the area (often 10m) from the door, the lock will kick in. Once you return, the door will automatically open, allowing you to open the door without actually unlocking it again. Perfect when carrying your shopping!
Most smart locks that connect to wireless as mentioned earlier offer guest access via pass codes, or a pin code. Alternatively you can usually send them a QR code, or add their mobile number to the lock with will unlock automatically on arrival. This can be great for managing a rental property, or Airbnb.
How much do smart door locks cost?
You can expect to pay around $200 - $500 for a good high quality and reliable smart lock for your door. Depending on the features, build quality, tamper proof and guest access features you may end up paying more or less.
Most smart door locks come with long battery life support, however longer battery technology often comes with a higher price tag.