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Security Smarts That Make You Feel Extra Safe
While smart locks aren’t bringing much more to the table in terms of pure security, they can make our lives easier, particularly if - like me - your ability to lose keys is second only to your proficiency at forgetting them.
There are a couple of companies offering these digital deadbolts of the future at the moment, but one that seems to have achieved a significant foothold on the market is Schlage, so I decided to take one of their most popular models, the Connect, for a test drive.
Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt At A Glance
The Connect Smart Deadbolt is designed to slide seamlessly into your smart home system, giving you multiple modes of access to your home, and everyone else, well...zero modes of access.
It’s a full, two-piece security bolt system with an exterior keypad and an interior module for manually unlocking your door should you feel the need to greet someone the old fashion way.
Available with either Z-Wave or ZigBee technology, it’s certainly got the smarts suggested by its name, but does it have the brawn required of a modern security system? Let’s find out.
- Works Without Smart Home Hub
- Three Alarm Settings
- Robust Design
- Multiple Entry Methods
- Logs 30 Codes
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Multiple Styles Available.
- Best When Paired with Hub
Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt - Security Features
The Schlage Connect really does prove that intelligence and muscle don’t have to be mutually exclusive features.
The hardware can go toe to toe with any other security lock on the market, so you can rule out the risk of forced entries when you make the smart switch.
It also comes with three different alarm settings, which is a feature I didn’t even know I needed until I had it.
The first setting is an “Activity” alarm, which is a fairly mellow mode that’s not so much helpful for security reasons as it is for letting you know when your friend has arrived with the takeout. It simply announces that the door has been opened with two short yet sonorous beeps.
The second alarm setting is known as “Tamper”, which is designed to fire off a 15-second shrill if it senses that someone is tampering with the lock. It’s enough to send even the most brazen thief kicking up dust down the street.
The third and most intense option is the “Forced Entry” alarm that sounds a mammoth 3-minute shrill if the lock senses any over-physical activity against the door.
I recommend keeping all three alarms on pretty much all the time, especially if you’re out and about or on vacation.
Although it sort of sits in the middle section of the security/smart features Venn diagram, I thought I’d mention the Z-Wave and ZigBee connectivity before moving on.
For the uninitiated, Z-Wave and ZigBee are essentially Wi-Fi alternatives that can connect multiple smart devices together. These technologies are more secure than Wi-Fi, making them a perfect pairing with a device such as the Connect.
It’s not that devices on Z-Wave and ZigBee frequencies can’t be hacked, but they do add a few extra layers of security.
Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt - Smart Features
One of the many ways to gain entry to your home with the Connect is the finger-print resistant, touchscreen keypad, which can log up to 30 different access codes, and thanks to backlighting, visibility is great in all lighting conditions.
But the really smart thing about the Connect is that you don’t have to touch the lock at all if you want in. By linking it up to either a SmartThings, Wink, or Iris smart home system, you’re granted full remote access to the deadbolt via the Schlage Home app.
It doesn’t matter if you simply want to unlock the door for someone to feed your cat while you’re away, or need to fully reprogram the access codes and alarm system; as long as you have an internet connection, it can be done anywhere, any time.
SmartThings and Wink systems also bridge your Connect to Alexa or Google Assistant, which means, that’s right, my friend...you’ll have a voice-activated security system — pretty neat, huh?
Do bear in mind, though, that you’ll have to utter an audio pin to lock and unlock the Connect, so you don’t unknowingly open your door to the world accidentally while in conversation with your house guest, or in my case, Neptune, my cat.
Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt - Style
While it’s true that there are plenty of other smart locks on the market with similar features to the Connect, what helps Schlage products stand out in the crowd is the wealth of options you get in terms of aesthetics.
There are two main shapes available, Camelot and Century. With rounded top and bottom edges and ornate trim, Camelot is the one you need if you’re after a charmingly antiqued style. It’s perfect for securing older buildings without interrupting their quintessential classicism.
Century is your slick and soulless (in a cool way) modern option with crisp, almost entirely straight edges and no trim. It’s the kind of keypad you’d expect to see James Bond tinkering with in some evil Russian’s secret hideout.
Once you’ve settled on a frame, it’s time to pick out one of six beautiful finishes. My favorite is Bright Brass, but I also have a soft spot for Aged Bronze and Satin Nickel.
Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt - Installation
Thanks to the Snap ‘n’ Stay technology that frees up both hands during installation, the Connect is insanely easy to fit — It can be done with a single screwdriver. But (there’s always a but) it’s a full lock replacement, which means if you’ve never fitted a lock before, it can be a tricky endeavor to say the least.
Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt - The Final Verdict
I really like the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt. It’s robust enough to keep unwanted guests at bay, and the triple alarm system helps to provide an even deeper sense of security.
It’s not inexpensive, but with all the added smart features, you can’t really argue with the price tag, and if it means I’ll never be locked out of my house ever again, I’d happily pay twice the Connect’s going rate.
If that sounds good to you, get a closer look at the Connect here.