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Review: Say Goodbye to Carrying Keys for Good With a Keyless Door Lock

When you think about all the things your smart thermostat can do, like turn your AC on before you get home with geofencing capabilities, or the ability to open your garage door from anywhere with your phone thanks to smart garage door openers, it seems pretty archaic that you still need to open your locks with a key, right? 

Opening a lock with your fingerprint is no longer limited to “James Bond” films. Door locks are finally getting hip to the whole smart-connected-world scene and introducing biometric data readers, like fingerprint scanners to door locks alongside app-based control of your smart lock. What’s that mean for you? You no longer have to carry around a set of keys that make you look like The Keymaster in “The Matrix Reloaded.”


Keyless Door Lock: What To Consider

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Jonathan Knoder | SPY

If a keyless door lock makes you shudder with uncertainty, we’re here to tell you there is nothing to worry about. You trust your phone with Face ID or a fingerprint (depending on what kind of phone you have) to keep unwanted folks out of your personal life and data, so why not trust your smart lock to do the same? The positives far outway the negatives when it comes to converting your entry to a keyless door lock. 


Keyless Door Locks: The Good

For starters, imagine never having to deal with locking yourself out of your house again because your fingertips are your keys. Right before I started working on testing smart locks, I accidentally locked my girlfriend and our dog out of the house (you can read the full story in our 10 best smart locks review). That would not have happened had we used a keyless door lock. She could have easily scanned her fingerprint or punched in her personalized keycode and then I wouldn’t have seemed like the enemy for the rest of the day (it really was an accident).

Another benefit to a keyless door lock is security. That might seem counterintuitive initially, but without a key, your lock becomes more secure. Keyless door locks with biometric scanners are the most unique “keys” you can have. A fingerprint is completely unique. No two people, not even twins, can have the same exact prints nor can you have duplicated on your own hands. Aside from scenes in movies like “Mission Impossible,” it’s an impossible mission, to duplicate someone’s fingerprint; a physical key, not so much. 

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Some of the smart locks tested by in 2022. Jonathan Knoder | SPY

A physical key can be duplicated and cut without much effort. Hell, you can take a key to Walmart and have a duplicate made in about two minutes. Physical key locks can also be picked (opened using tools instead of the key). Not that it’s easy, or common, but it can be done. But without a key hole, there is no way for anybody to get to the deadbolt mechanism inside of the door to unlock it. 

Finally, most keyless door locks feature a pin pad. Think about how the pin number for your debit card has kept your financial data secure for, well, since you opened a bank account. Your passcode for your home can offer the same type of security, especially with additional security features like “scramble mode” or a rotating pin pad like some of the keyless door locks below feature.


Keyless Door Locks: The Not so Good

The only real con of owning a keyless door lock is having to swap out batteries. Some use four AA batteries while others have rechargeable proprietary batteries. But don’t worry, you’ll get a notification prompt on your phone that the batteries are getting low and need to be swapped out or recharged. Some of the keyless door locks take it even a step further and have backup batteries built into the lock, so even if you miss the low battery prompts and your batteries go kaput while you’re out and about, you’ll still be able to unlock your door and get back into your home.

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Unboxing a keyless door lock from Lockly. Jonathan Knoder | SPY

The Best Smart Locks At a Glance

1. Best Overall: Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro$179.00 at Amazon

2. Runner-Up: Eufy Smart Lock Touch & WiFi$219.99 at Amazon

3. Also Great: Yale Assure Lock 2$259.99 at Amazon

4. Best Splurge: Lockly Vision Elite$499.99 at Best Buy

5. Most Discrete: Level Lock Touch — $329.00 at Amazon


The Best Keyless Door Locks of 2022

Don’t knock it till you try it, and we’re here to tell you, we’ve tried them all. Keyless door locks are hands down the way to go when it comes to enhancing your front or back door security. It is so, incredibly convenient to be able to leave your home without worrying about whether or not you have your keys on you because you always will (your fingerprint or pin code). There’s no reason to worry about ditching physical keys. Once you install one of the keyless door locks below, you’ll wonder why you went so long without one. 

Here are the best keyless door locks to buy in 2022:


1. Ultraloq U-Bolt

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Courtesy of Amazon

The Ultraloq U-bolt is not only the most affordable way to get a keyless door lock on your door, but also it’s one of the most reliable and compact of the bunch. This lock is truly keyless and completely forgoes the keyhole. Instead of a keyhole, there’s a fingerprint scanner right in the middle of the device circled by a numbered keypad. The number pad features physical buttons that you press instead of digital numbers. We welcome the physical numbers as digital touchpads tend to be a bit too touch-sensitive or finicky. The lock itself is a small black square that isn’t much bigger than your original deadbolt. At this price point, you won’t find a simpler or more reliable digital door lock.


2. Eufy Smart Lock Touch & WiFi

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Jonathan Knoder | SPY

Although this features a keyhole that you can access by moving the metallic circle cover, it can operate completely as a keyless entry door lock (plus the keys are unique and don’t look like a standard key). The biometric scanner worked flawlessly and is easy to add multiple fingerprints — just follow the app’s instructions and you’re golden. Additionally, this lock felt as solid as a rock and featured a digital touchpad to which you can add as many passcodes as you need. It’s a little more expensive than the Ultraloq, but it’s worth it for those who don’t mind spending a few extra bucks.


3. Yale Assure Lock 2

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Jonathan Knoder | SPY

Another true keyless entry door lock that completely removed the need for a key, the Assure Lock 2 utilizes a digital keypad, app and geofencing features to secure your home. The latter is especially helpful as the door will automatically lock and unlock when you exit or arrive at your home without any interaction from you. The app can be a little finicky from time to time, but overall it worked mostly without issue, and after connecting it to HomeKit, or whichever smart voice AI you prefer (it works with Google Assistant and Alexa too, as well as Matter, which you can learn more about reading our full review), you can lock and unlock your door with your voice, which is effortless bliss.

Read Full Review: The New Yale Assure Lock 2 Is a Smart Lock Prepared For the Future


4. Lockly Vision Elite

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Courtesy of Best Buy

The Lockly Vision Elite is a great pick for an all-in-one digital door lock and video doorbell solution. For starters, the security features are awesome boasting a biometric finger scanner that lights up green when it unlocks and red when the fingerprint isn’t accepted. It also has a proprietary rotating keypad that groups numbers together and randomly rotates them to keep your pin a secret from anyone peering over your shoulder. And, as we mentioned, it also has a camera that’s great to see when packages are delivered or who is at your door. It’s on the expensive side, but it is nothing short of awesome.

Read Full Review: The New Lockly Vision Elite Smart Lock Makes Expensive Video Doorbells Redundant


5. Level Lock Touch

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Courtesy of Level.

If you don’t like bulky smart locks or keypads as the focal point of your front door, then consider the Level Lock Touch. It looks like your standard deadbolt but with a Ph.D. in smart technology. Even though it doesn’t look like it, there is a biometric fingerprint scanner built into the deadbolt. Just touch it and you can open your door. Of course, like the other Level Locks we tested, you can also open and close the door with the app and assign people passes to use the app to control your lock.


How We Tested Keyless Door Locks

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Jonathan Knoder | SPY

All of the picks below have been installed on the doors in my home with the exception of the Level Lock Touch, in which the version we received for testing was the non-touch version. I ditched the keys and put my faith entirely on each lock’s keypads, fingerprint scanners and phone apps to lock and unlock the door. After having each lock on my door over the course of our testing, we were able to pick the most reliable and best keyless door locks available. 


Keyless Door Lock Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Install a Keyless Door Lock?

The same way you install a classic deadbolt. If you need to cut new holes, use the guide provided in the manual (it’ll tell you how deep and how far away from the door frame to drill). If not, simply remove the existing deadbolt and follow the instructions in the manual or on the app (most of the apps have installation guides) to install the lock. The only big difference is registering the lock and connecting it to your WiFi, but those instructions are also easy to follow on each lock’s app. 

How Do You Change The Battery in a Keyless Door Lock?

Since these typically use AA batteries or a proprietary block-type lithium battery like you’d see in cordless drill (which are useful for installation), changing batteries is as simple as adding the batteries to the slot and putting the cover back on the lock.

Are Keyless Locks Safe?

Yes. One could argue that they are safer than key-entry locks. Biometric data such as fingerprints are more unique and harder to duplicate than keys. And changeable pin pad codes can make it nearly impossible for an intruder to get past a keyless door lock. 

How Do Smart Locks Get Power?

They are powered using batteries. Most use four AA batteries while some use proprietary rechargeable batteries. Either way, it is easy to manage the batteries and swap them out when necessary. 

Can a Smart Lock Work Without WiFi?

Yes, but you’ll be reduced to the range restrictions of Bluetooth connectivity, and without WiFi you lose additional features such as AI connectivity (Alexa, Google Assistant, etc.) and control of your smart lock from anywhere. 

Can Electronic Door Locks be Hacked?

As long as you adhere to proper WiFi protection principles (like changing your password every few months and using difficult passwords) and updating your smart lock to the latest firmware, you shouldn’t have to worry about hacking. 


About the Author: Jonathan Knoder

Jonathan Knoder is a contributing writer for SPY and covers a variety of topics from tech to lifestyle, but he has a particular affinity for audio gear and smart home tech. His writing has been featured in Top Ten Reviews, Security Sales and Integration and Salt City Hoops. Recently for SPY, he’s reviewed the Prosenic M8 Robot Vac and the best desktop computers of 2022. In his free time, he is usually playing guitar or drums, going for a run, or throwing the Frisbee to his dog.


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