The best smart lock in 2024 (UK)

This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for the UK audience.

With the ever-growing selection of smart devices, you sometimes have to ask yourself: what will they think of next? In the case of the smart lock, it’s like a gadget from a science-fiction film — a self-unlocking door that you control from your smartphone.

Actually, smart locks have been around for a few years and they’re certainly nothing new to security-conscious homeowners. They give your home a level of protection that a regular lock and key just can’t. They also connect with other smart devices and systems. If you’re upgrading to a smart home, it’s a no brainer.

Before you part with your cash, it’s worth knowing a little more about what smart locks are and exactly what they can do. Here’s a quick guide on smart locks — and how to unlock the technology’s full potential for your home.

What is a smart lock?

In the simplest terms, it’s a device that you fit to your door or existing door lock that allows you to unlock the door without a key. You can control when the door unlocks — and who gets access — with a smartphone app. Smart locks can be attached to the interior of the door, acting as a kind of smart deadlock, while others are designed to entirely replace your door handle and lock mechanism.

What can smart locks do?

In addition to remote control via an app, you’ll find features that include geofencing, which unlocks the door when you come home, or virtual guest keys to let in specific people. Other features include timers for unlocking the door — which you can set to let in delivery drivers, for instance — or auto-locking when you leave the house.

How do you access a smart lock?

It depends on the smart lock, but there are a variety of ways. In some cases your smartphone may act as a key — the lock will open when the phone connects to it — while other locks use fobs, NFC cards, pass codes, or fingerprints. Some apps will allow you to add an extra level of security with biometric verification. The important thing is that you’ll never need to rely on a key or leave a key under the doormat ever again.

Do smart locks work with Alexa?

For the most part, yes, you can control your smart lock with Alexa and numerous other smart home voice assistants, such as Google Assistant. It’s especially useful if you have a smart home that’s already synced by one system and assistant.

Do you need a smart lock?

There are lots of reasons to fit your home or business with a smart lock, aside from the novelty factor of being able to open your place with your phone or fingerprint. (That in itself is a pretty convincing reason, though.) You can greatly improve the accessibility of your property, keep tabs on comings and goings, beef-up security, or simply add another device to your smart home set. There are other reasons, too. If you rent your property — through Airbnb, for instance — a pin code-enabled smart lock is a good way of giving renters temporary access to your home.

What is the best smart lock?

Owing to the popularity of smart home security systems, the market is loaded with high quality smart locks, promising all kinds of functionality. Picking the best device from this selection isn’t easy though, especially with so many brands and features to consider. To keep things simple, we’ve gone through all of the latest and greatest products, and put together a list of the best smart locks in the UK. The devices we have chosen offer up a selection of different functions, ranging from the simple to the not-so-simple. We think we’ve picked something to cover everyone.

These are the best smart locks for 2024.

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