August's WiFi Smart Lock made my old lock new again
I can't start this review without admitting that it's a peculiar period in time to review a smart lock. I haven't left the house in nearly two months except for my daily walk around the neighborhood. But if quarantine has afforded me anything, it's the time to reflect and make headway on the various home improvement projects I've put off for a while. One of those items on my to-do list was figuring out whether my original, 40-year-old front door can handle a smart lock. And it turns out an August WiFi Smart Lock not only works fine but it also kept my vintage door hardware intact. To get more news about wifi security lock
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When I first moved in, I brought over the Yale x Nest smart lock from my former dwelling. It clashed with the aesthetic of the door, and I felt like the exterior keypad made it too obvious the lock was a smart one. I don't like drawing attention to the fact that my house is "techy,” both for security reasons and because I don't want the neighbors asking about it. That's one of the appeals of August’s Smart Locks: Unlike its competition, it’s not immediately apparent there's a gearbox installed on the inside of the door. And because the keyhole stays the same on the outside, you can still use your physical keys to unlock the door in the event you don't swap out its dual CR123 batteries in time.
The look and feel of the fourth-generation August smart lock hasn't changed from its predecessors, though it's nearly half the size. August said its users had "expressed a desire for something smaller," so it shrunk the internal motor and gearbox. I reviewed the silver version, which pairs nicely with my white-painted double doors, though it's also available in black. The kicker for this new model is it’s WiFi connected, unlike previous versions that required a separate bridge. This means you can lock and unlock the door even if you’re out and about. If you're concerned about WiFi being accessible while you're out, you can disable the connection from the lock settings deep in the August mobile app. The smart lock is only compatible with 2.4GHz networks, so make sure you have that set up before you try to log on. You'll still need Bluetooth available for the initial setup, however.
The August WiFi Smart Lock is a cinch to install. The mobile app for iOS and Android provides handy video instruction to walk you through the entire process, from removing a standard single cylinder deadbolt to swapping in the smart lock unit. All you need is a Phillips screwdriver and the screws from your original lock. Everything else comes inside the box, including two batteries, an array of lock adapters, mounting hardware and the Doorsense sensor, which attaches to the frame to detect when the door is open.
Installing the August smart lock hasn't changed much since Engadget checked it one out last. The steps remain the same: remove the portion of your original door lock facing the inside of the house, then mount the plate for the August lock. You can adjust the screw holes on the plate according to your lock brand. Once it's secured, attach the Smart Lock, then flip down the two side metal clamps to latch. If you're tool savvy or have long nails you're hoping to keep intact, I also suggest a spudger or something of the sort to perform that last part. Then, install the Doorsense sensor either with the included adhesive strip or by screwing it in place.
I was worried that the August WiFi Smart Lock wouldn't work with my double doors because the deadbolts don't always line up so well. And if that's the case for you, then a smart lock may not be ideal. If you're unsure whether your door is compatible with August's hardware, there's a helpful support page where you can look up either your door's lock brand or deadbolt setup.