A smart lock is the master of convenience. With it, you don’t have to struggle to search for the keys in a filled pouch or pocket. You simply trigger commands from your smartphone or voice-command the door to open. A smart lock also allows you to control it remotely. With the addition of a camera, you can monitor who comes in and out of your home. It is arguably a critical component of any supposedly connected home.
Some models allow you to assign special privileges to certain people. For example, you can set the lock to open for your friends, maintenance staff or your kids. And if need be, you can set up a real-time alert system to your phone. So, you can tell who and when they enter your home.
Knowing that your home is secure 24/7 with a near 100% breach-proof system is the best feeling for a homeowner. Although, being a new technology, smart locks have their share of drawbacks and strengths. Without good knowledge, you may not be able to tap their capability entirely. For that reason, we’ve come up with this detailed review and purchase guide. If you follow it keenly, it’ll be such an invaluable resource.
How Does A Smart Lock With A Camera Work
A smart lock with a camera is a keyless lock system for your property. With it, you can access your home using a smartphone unlocking app or digital numerical keypad. The camera allows you to see the people outside the door before opening it. Peeping through the windows or holes to see who’s knocking on the door is a bad idea. So, the camera reinforces the security as you see the visitors sometimes even without them noticing the camera.
A smart lock system can also initiate real-time security notifications of your home through a smartphone. And with the camera feed from the door, you can trigger smart actions. Such includes switching on the security alarm or lights. The principal feature of a smart lock system is the ability to operate it remotely. It also has some automated actions. For instance, if you forget to lock the door, it can auto-lock itself.
1) How to Install a Smart Door
Installing a smart door isn’t generally hard. Although, some models are easier to install than others. If your lock has both external and internal escutcheon, you have to replace the old one. To remove the old lock, you unscrew the bolts attaching the exterior component to the interior escutcheon. You’ll also need to remove the two screws holding the deadbolt.
Fortunately, most smart locks fit the standard pre-drilled holes. So, you don’t need to drill new holes to fix the lock. If you want to install the retrofit smart locks, you need to attach your lock on the inside. You remove the interior escutcheon to fit the lock on the inside. The whole installation process shouldn’t take you more than 25 mins.
2) Types of Smart Locks
There are two broad categories of smart locks. The first category is smart lock that replaces the entire existing indoor bolt lock. Therefore, people can see at a glance that the property is secured with a smart lock system. This visibility can serve as the first line of defense for your home. Although, there are people who prefer hiding their smart locks altogether.
The second types are add-on or retrofit locks. These are mounted on the existing locking system on the inside of the door. So, they leave the original lock untouched. So, intruders cannot suspect the presence of these locks. Whether you prefer retrofit or replacing the entire lock that depends on your perception.
The 10 Best Smart Door Lock With Camera Reviews
With several brands and models of door locks in the market, making a blunder or wrong choice when buying your security smart door lock with camera is so easy. As a result, we have compiled a list of ten reliable door locks to consider. These are:
1) SCHLAGE BE489WB CAM 716
If upgrading your home safety and security is your desire, this safety lock has got you covered. The latter does not only lock your door but also has a camera that helps you to monitor your home. It has a number of features that make it ideal to secure your home.
- It has in-built WIFI that is strong enough with the ability to connect to your home/ office directly with no need to use a plug in adapter. This allows you to control your lock remotely from anywhere.
- It is compatible with ‘key by amazon app’ or ‘schlage home app’ allows multiple access codes for trusted friends or family either for permanent, temporal or reoccurring access. It allows up to 100 access codes.
- Compatible with Alexa and google assistant voice control that informs you when somebody locks or unlocks your door. Also, the voice control alerts you when your battery is running low or when it needs a replacement. This is to ensure that your lock system is always effective.
- Boasts of an in-built alarm technology that is so effective in sensing any potential security interference on the lock.
- Features a unique snap n stay technology that makes its installation quite easy and effortless. It only takes few minutes to install by just using a screw driver to snap its deadbolt into your door hands free.
2) SCHLAGE BE469ZP CAM 610
This is another perfect smart lock to consider in your home for tight security purposes. Made of a metallic material, the latter is made to last longer without damage. It also has a satin nickel finishing that makes it appealing and adds elegance to your door. Also, a camera is inscribed to help monitor and access what’s going on around your home. Besides, it boasts of other features that make it effective and reliable.
- Boasts of an inbuilt alarm that notifies you once someone approaches your door or tries to interfere with the lock. Its alarm technology is way advanced and distinguishes a normal unlock and force unlock.
- It’s compatible with Wave smart home or Samsung SmartThings security system. This allows you to control and monitor your lock even while away from home.
- Compatible with voice control systems like Alexa that notifies you through an audio when someone approaches your lock or your battery performance.
- Features Schlage smartphone control that gives access of up to 30 trusted users.
3) SCHLAGE BE469NX CAM 619
Forget your keys and control your door remotely with this amazing smart lock. It qualifies in our list of best smart door lock with cameras because it is not only effective in locking and securing your door, but also boasts of an elegant design that makes it appealing on your door.
- Metallic external materials that makes it hard to break. This increases its longevity.
- Features a versatile lock design that makes it easy to install and fit in most doors. Installation is so easy and only requires a screwdriver that comes packed along with the lock.
- Features an effective alarm technology that allows you to monitor your home remotely and get notifications from your mobile phone once someone enters and leaves your home. The alarm comes with different modes to notify you when there is any activity around your home, when there is a tamper on the lock and when there is a forced entry to your door.
- Compatible with Z Wave security technology that allows automatic control of your home from any place. Through your smartphone, you can lock and unlock your door anytime.
4) SCHLAGE BE479 CAM 716
Technology is keeping up with everything life tends to throw at it. Taking over almost everything in the world, your home door lock has not been left behind. This amazing door locking technology has combined a wide range of security features to ensure your home remains safe and secure.
- Just like other SCHLAGE brands, this one also works well with voice control systems like Alexa and Hub devices to issue voice command.
- It has an easy to use touch screen to dial your access code and unlock your door with no hassle of searching for keys.
- Features schlage WIFI adapter to connect to your home WIFI and monitor it from anywhere.
5) Sifely Smart Lock
This is another incredible smart lock door to consider in your home. The latter boasts of the highest and latest smart lock technology to ensure top-notch security in your home.
- Has a 5 in 1 keyless smart door lock screen with several ways to unlock. You can either use fingerprints, FOB, Code, keys or your smartphone.
- It is compatible with Sifely WIFI that allows you to lock and unlock your door from anywhere. With this technology, you can remotely set up your smart door codes and monitor any access to your door.
- It has an easy to install design that allows you to install to your smart door within minutes. It comes with a screwdriver that makes the installation easy and precise.
- It comes along with mounting plate, face plate, bolt assembly and rubber Gasket as additional accessories.
6) SCHLAGE FE469NX ACC 716 CAM RH
With this amazing gadget, your security at home is guaranteed. The latter has combined multiple security features thus falling among our best smart door lock with camera.
- Camera to access and monitor your home/ work.
- It uses Z Wave technology with automation connection to your home. This enables you to remotely lock and unlock your door through your smartphone whether at home or away from home.
- Has a reliable in built alarm technology that notifies you whenever someone approaches your smart door lock.
- Features a fingerprint resistant touchscreen that enables you to unlock your door through unlock pattern or fingerprints making them to remain undetectable.
- This smart lock comes with a reliable battery and a low battery indicator that turns yellow to alert you whenever the battery needs recharge. This is to ensure the smart lock system is always operational.
7) SCHLAGE FE469NX ACC 716 CAM LH
Schlage is an expert brand when it comes to providing security to its customers. Therefore, this model is not left behind. The latter uses a very innovative technology that combines both key and keyless features to protect your door from intruders. It has several features that make it effective for use.
- Uses z Wave technology that allows automatic connection to your home and monitor your door via smartphone even when away.
- Reliable and accurate alarm technology with 3 modes of alarm to alert you once someone touches or tampers with your door lock.
- Made of sturdy materials that are built to last and rated Ansi Grade 1 thus suitable to provide tight security at your house’s main entrance.
- Has a key entry knob and a keyless touchscreen that allows you to unlock your door through fingerprints/ patterns. These remain undetectable after use.
8) SCHLAGE FE469NX LAT 619 CEN
This is another incredible smart door lock to consider in your home. It boasts of a number of features that helps it safeguard your home effectively.
- Uses Z Wave technology to help you control your door while in or out of your home through your smartphone.
- Has a touch pad to lock and unlock your door through pattern or fingerprints thereafter eliminating any detectable evidence.
- Has a reliable in-built alarm to alert you about any possible security threats.
- Has multiple access codes for all your family members. Also, it has the ability to program a temporal access code to your guests.
- It has a versatile lock design that enables it to fit into most regular doors without strain. This makes it easy to install.
9) PIN Genie PGD-628F-SN
Forget the nightmare of misplacing your keys now and then and venture into this keyless smart lock that enables you to lock and unlock your door through your smartphone. To following features help it to work effectively.
- Inscribed with a tight secured keyless touch pad that allows you to lock and unlock your door. This is through feeding in 8 digit access code or use of 3D fingerprints that are hardly imitated.
- Its smart lock is highly secured with a unique algorithm that reshuffles the code after use. This is to prevent another user from copying it.
- Features smart monitoring and control access through a smart phone app. This technology tracks and records the history of each user and also sends you a notification once someone tries to check in.
- It is designed to fit universally into any standard door with a very easy installation process.
10) HJK Smart Door Lock
We close our list with this incredible electronic smart door lock that features the following:
- A peeping hole that enables you to peep from the inside through the wide angle camera and see who is pressing the doorbell from the exterior. This guarantees your security.
- It also features an automatic recorder. It help to record and save any pressing of the doorbell for you to view when back home.
- Has a touch pad unlock that uses password, fingerprints or face recognition technology to unlock the door.
Factors To Consider Before Buying A Smart Lock With A Camera
If there is a home section that requires utmost security enforcement is the front door. This is where you need the best technology to secure your property. You need a tried and proven device; not the trial-and-error kind.
Our guide to choosing the best smart lock with a camera aims at getting a fully tamper-proof lock. We give you detailed considerations that you should make before picking your smart lock. So, without wasting your time, let’s get started.
1) Battery life
Basically, all smart locks use batteries; either the Multiple AA Alkaline or Lithium-ion cells. The battery powering your lock plays a key role in its efficiency. You don’t need a lock with a battery lasting less than a month. That means if you are away for a month, you may come back to find the lockout of power. Depending on the type of batteries and the functions of your lock, most of them last between 3 months to one year.
However, no matter the model you choose, you will be notified when the battery is low. The LED indicator on the inside also will flash red to notify you when the battery needs recharging or replacement. Your smart lock should able to guarantee you several cycles without draining the battery.
2) Automatic lock and unlock
Auto-lock/unlock is a very fundamental feature to consider because it ensures your property is secured even when you forget to lock yourself. However, not every smart lock includes this feature. The lock is synchronized with your smartphone such that it unlocks when approaching at a certain distance.
Mostly this feature is available in retrofit locks. The major drawback with this feature is only because it doesn’t work from the inside. You must be outside the property. So, even if you forget to lock the door when entering, it can’t help you. However, other features like the alert system may remind you.
Keypads smart locks do not include auto-lock/unlock. The reason is that an intruder may take advantage of a stolen smartphone.
3) Alternative unlocking options
In as much as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are great technologies, they can fail. Without an alternative means to lock/unlock your property, you’ll be stranded. To be safe, you need alternative practical or electronic means to access your home. These can be PIN codes or physical keys.
Some manufacturers have developed a key fob unlocking mechanism. You can use this in the event you don’t have your smartphone. Whichever model you choose, make sure you have an alternative entry option as a backup plan just in case.
4) ANSI rating
The American National Standards Institute/ Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (ANSI/BHMA) has introduced a way to test smart locks. They expose them to picking, pumping among other physical attacks to measure their tenacity and robustness. The organization has set up 3 designations to classify these locks as they test their durability as well. The three are.
- Grade 1: These are the strongest smart locks. They are mostly meant for commercial purposes.
- Grade 2: These are the most popular residential ANSI approved locks. For your home use and standard user, get these locks.
- Grade 3: These locks are mostly used to supplement the other two categories.
You need to check your lock before purchase and determine whether it’s good for the intended use. Otherwise, you may end up with a poor-quality lock that can’t secure your property.
5) Guest keys
If you expect visitors or delivery man or anyone you want to allow in your home in your absentia, you need guest keys. This feature is mostly available in retrofit models. These keys allow specific people a predetermined number of entries. Or you can set the expected period to allow the visitors after which the keys are disabled.
Some models can also allow you to track the activities of the people you allow in. For example; they can send alerts of when someone goes in or out. They are a good fit if you want to keep an eye on your kids. For example, you can tell when they come from school or go out to play.
Smart locks comprise some delicate components some of which can be spoilt when exposed to extreme conditions. You need to choose a weatherproof lock that doesn’t endanger the delicate components. Check out the manufacturer recommended temperature, water and dustproof rating.
For whatever purposes you’re buying the lock for, get a reputable one. Several brands have been in the market for a long and have a good record. You can also go for the strongest lock to ensure you are not going back in the market any time soon.
7) Voice Control
There are several smart locks compatible with Amazon and Home kit. They also support Alexa and Siri voice control. Even though the voice control feature works only when inside, it is a great addition. You can communicate with the person at the door.
Recently, Amazon approved an unlock voice control protocol that allows the user to unlock with a voice and PIN code. This is such an instrumental feature. If you can afford a lock with it, do not omit it.
8) Camera Quality
You need to consider the lock camera resolution. If you are to take full advantage of the camera, it has to be a quality one. A good camera should give you a clear video of who is visiting your home. Otherwise, you may have blurred images that you can’t even attach to no one.
If your home has other smart systems, it’s imprudent to check their compatibility. That means going for smart locks that are compatible with your home smart environment. This involves components such as Apple Home Kit, Z-Wave, Samsung SmartThings and ZigBee.
Your home security is paramount and you should be willing to go all the miles. Technology has continued to further reinforce this area. The introduction of Smart locks with a camera is one of the top methods. You no longer have to struggle to peep or asking who is at the door.
The camera also allows you to see intruders before gaining access to your home. The good news is, these locks are not expensive. So, anyone can own them and be sure of their own security. If you had any difficulties in choosing your smart lock, you should be able to choose by now. We’ve given you everything you need to put into considerations.