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Unleash your front door's potential with these 7 smart locks

Is your current lock looking a little rusty? It might be time to upgrade to a smart model.

James Martin/CNET
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From industry staples like Kwikset, Schlage and Yale to startups like August and Poly-Control, the smart lock market is quickly gaining ground. What separates these brainiacs from your standard front door lock is an added layer of tech, typically Bluetooth, Z-Wave or Wi-Fi -- or some combination of the three. That doesn't necessarily mean that these connected locks are safer, but they do add convenience when your keys are out of reach.

Still, not all smart locks are the same. Some come with their own deadbolts, while others retrofit to your existing lock hardware. Some limit smart integrations to a 30-foot Bluetooth range, whereas Z-Wave and Wi-Fi-equipped versions allow for control wherever you have an Internet connection. For an overview of your options, check out the roundup below. And if you want to dive deeper into the wide world of smart locks, be sure to check out our smart lock buying guide.

James Martin/CNET Smart Lock with Apple HomeKit

This $229 second-gen lock by startup August boasts even more smarts than its $199 predecessor (still available to purchase for as long as supplies last).

Like August's original Smart Lock, version 2.0 is powered by Bluetooth with the option of adding on the $79 Wi-Fi Connect accessory, which lets you control your lock beyond Bluetooth's roughly 30-foot range. The team also made a couple of design tweaks, claiming that the lock is easier to grip and turn. But the biggest update is its integration with Apple's HomeKit, a software platform that harnesses Siri's voice control capabilities for locking and unlocking your August-lock-equipped doors.

We'll have a review of August's new HomeKit-enabled lock soon, so check for updates.

Read CNET's first take of the HomeKit-enabled August Smart Lock.

Colin West McDonald/CNET

Kwikset Kevo

We have a love-hate relationship with the $219 Kwikset Kevo. Its "tap to unlock" feature, for instance, is much simpler than fishing around for your keys or entering in a code. That's the sort of integration that's really useful in the smart lock realm.

At the same time, the Bluetooth-enabled Kevo comes with its own replacement SmartKey deadbolt, one that has a unique security vulnerability. Since other deadbolt-equipped smart locks like the Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt don't have the same weakness, it's difficult to recommend the Kevo over other models.

Read CNET's full review of the Kwikset Kevo.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Poly-Control Danalock

This $179 Bluetooth-and-Z-Wave lock retrofits to your existing deadbolt, similar to August's lock. That makes the installation fairly simple, but everything post-install ranged from unnecessarily complicated at best to flat-out inoperable at worst during our testing. For example, the Danalock features something called "knock to unlock" that's supposed to let you literally knock on your phone to unlock your front door -- we never got this feature to work, and its overall usability and performance was disappointing, too.

Ultimately, while the Danalock's price is tempting, there are definitely better options out there.

Read CNET's full review of the Poly-Control's Danalock.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt

If you fancy a touchpad lock that comes with its own deadbolt, you might want to take a look at Schlage's $229 Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt. Not only does it look nice, it also comes with HomeKit functionality. That means you can ask Siri to lock or unlock your front door. HomeKit is definitely still struggling to standout as a viable fully realized smart-home platform, but iOS fans in particular will likely enjoy this solid smart lock all the same.

Read CNET's full review of the Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt.

Colin West McDonald/CNET

Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt

Similar to the $229 Schlage Sense, the $199 Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt features a keypad so you can enter a secret code to unlock your door (of course, you can still use a key, too). Unfortunately, this particular model doesn't come with a dedicated Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt app that acts as your main entry-point between you and your lock when you're away from home. Instead, you need a third-party Z-Wave hub like SmartThings to do the heavy lifting on the software side.

Read CNET's full review of the Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt.

Screenshot from YouTube

Yale Linus Lock

While the design of Yale's as yet unreleased Linus Lock is clearly inspired by the some of the brand's existing models like the Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt, it's also missing something pretty major -- a keyed entry. That means you'll have to either enter your code or use the related app, in this case Google/Alphabet's Nest Android or iPhone app.

That's right, another unique feature of this lock is its relationship with Nest. The Linus Lock is supposed to be the first-ever retail product outfitted with Weave technology, a Google software language designed to help multiple smart home devices communicate with one other. Yale's Linus Lock is slated for release this year, so stay tuned for more details.

Read CNET's first take of the Yale Linus Lock.

Colin West McDonald/CNET

Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt

Like Schlage's Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt, the $275 Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt by Yale comes with its own deadbolt, keypad and optional keyed entry for those times when you actually do have your keys handy. You'll also need a separate Z-Wave hub to help translate its connectivity over Wi-Fi, making this lock a pretty pricey upgrade. Even so, we were impressed with its performance and think it has potential in your home -- especially if you already have a compatible Z-Wave hub on hand.

Read CNET's full review of the Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt.