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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best keyless entry door locks

Last Updated August 2019

Whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or the country, the first line of security in your home or business is a door lock. If you’ve ever been locked out or needed to give a friend access to your home, you’ve probably wondered why we still use keys. With keyless entry door locks, you can still have the security you need without carrying around traditional metal keys.

Keyless entry door locks are both convenient and secure, so whether you need a lock for your home or your business, there’s an option to suit your security needs. But keyless entry door locks come in many different configurations. Do you want a remotely operated lock or one that requires a fob or key? Is ease of use important to you? Do you want a sleek design with a smaller keypad? Other considerations include the number of people who need access to your building, ease of programming, and, of course, cost.

You don’t want to overspend on a lock with more features than you need, but you also want to make sure your lock does everything you need it to. That’s where we come in.

If you’re ready to buy a keyless entry door lock, scroll up the page for our top five picks. If you’d like to find out more about keyless entry door locks in general, read our shopping guide below.

If your door isn’t strong enough, your lock won’t be as effective. Install a sturdy strike plate to make it more difficult to break the lock.

Types of keyless entry door locks

The most popular types of keyless entry door locks are keypad locks and smart locks. While keypad locks are less expensive, smart locks offer more customization and features to meet your needs. Some locks may be a combination of the two types.

Most keyless entry door locks are deadbolts that require a separate knob or handle to open. Deadbolts lock from outside or with a thumbturn inside and are usually more secure than lever handle or knob locks.

Also available are mechanical keyless entry locks, which are often less expensive than electronic locks and don’t have the issue of locking you out should your home lose power.

Mechanical keypad lock

A mechanical keypad lock uses a keypad and mechanical deadbolt to unlock. No batteries means no loss of functionality if the lock loses power, and any issues will be mechanical rather than electronic. For a hassle-free option, mechanical locks get the job done.

Pros:

  • No losing power

  • Easy to program

  • Reliable

  • Less likely to be damaged by weather

  • Least expensive option


Cons:

  • Limited to one code

  • Lack of back-lit keypad

  • No remote unlocking or other features of electronic locks


Price: Mechanical keypad locks range in price from $40 to $140.

Electronic keypad lock

Using a keypad lock is as simple as setting a code and committing it to memory. It eliminates the need for a key, fob, or smartphone app (though some keypad locks can use any of these as well). Many keypad locks offer additional codes, which can be useful if you need to grant temporary access to a repairperson.

Here are some things to think about if you’re looking at keypad locks that do not include fobs or smart features.

Pros:

  • Easy to use

  • No app or home system needed

  • Easy to add more codes

  • Less expensive option
     

Cons:

  • Lacks features

  • No remote unlocking

  • May be susceptible to weather damage

  • May be susceptible to hacking

  • Need to replace batteries

  • No access if power goes out/batteries die
     

Price: Keypad locks range in price from $80 to $200.

Smart lock

What makes a lock “smart” is the ability to connect to an app or sync with a home security system. Smart locks are ideal for anyone who needs maximum control and customization. Features can include remote unlocking via app, tracking who enters, voice control, and electronic key sharing.

Smart locks are a good choice for busy families who have frequent guests needing access. If you’re already used to keeping tabs on your home with a smart home security system, smart locks are a great fit.

Pros:

  • Flexibility

  • Plenty of features

  • Multiple unlocking methods

  • Syncs with home systems
     

Cons:

  • Requires WiFi connection or hub

  • Takes longer to set up

  • May be susceptible to hacking

  • Need to replace batteries

  • May be susceptible to weather damage

  • No access if power goes out/batteries die

  • More expensive option


Price: Smart locks range in price from $120 to $250.

Biometric lock

A subset of smart locks, biometric locks enable users to unlock the door using fingerprints. Entry is as simple as pressing your finger on a sensor pad.

Here are some factors to bear in mind if you decide to choose biometric locks.

Pros:

  • Easy to use

  • Easier for children to use

  • No risk of stolen codes

  • Stores hundreds of fingerprints
     

Cons:

  • May be damaged by weather

  • May be susceptible to hacking

  • Need to replace batteries

  • No access if power goes out/batteries die

  • Most expensive option
     

Price: Biometric fingerprint locks range in price from $130 to $250.

EXPERT TIP

If your lock has a proximity feature, store any paired cards, phones, or fobs well away from the door.


Staff  | BestReviews

Keyless entry door lock features

Not every keyless entry door lock comes with all the latest bells and whistles, and some have so many features that you may not understand what each one does. To help you find the best keyless entry lock for your situation, take a look at these popular features.

Alarm

While a keyless entry door lock can’t replace a home security system, it can supplement one. Smart locks are most likely to have an alarm, which can alert you via an app in the case of forced entry. For the most control and security, choose a lock with a built-in alarm.

Solar powered

Many keyless entry door locks have batteries, and those batteries will need to be replaced anywhere from every three months to every year and a half. If the battery dies, you could be locked out if you don’t have a lock that also takes a key. You can avoid the problem with a solar-powered lock. These locks are convenient but can be more expensive, and the door must be exposed to some sunlight.

Keyhole

While it may seem like an odd feature for a keyless entry door lock, a keyhole can be convenient in certain circumstances. If your keyless lock is difficult to program or doesn’t have the capability to add electronic codes, you can easily lend a key to a guest. The drawbacks are that you could lose your key, and a keyhole can potentially be picked.

Key fob

Opting for a keyless lock that uses a key fob means you don’t need to remember codes or use smartphone apps, making it a good choice for families with children. Most key fobs generate random codes each time the door is unlocked, so that there’s no risk of a stranger using another fob to unlock the door. The drawbacks are that the fob’s battery will eventually die and may be difficult to replace, and, of course, fobs can be lost.

Card

Just like the locks on hotel room doors, a keyless lock that enables you to swipe a card with a magnetized strip through a reader is faster to use than a keypad. However, the magnetic strip may eventually wear out, locking you out.

Proximity

A keyless lock with a proximity sensor enables you to unlock the door automatically just by having your key card, fob, or smartphone nearby. This is as convenient as it gets – unless you forget your card, fob, or phone, in which case you’d better hope you remember your keypad code (if you even have a keypad).

Durability

Your lock is worthless if it can’t keep indtruders out. Deadbolt keyless entry locks tend to be the most secure. Knob and lever handle locks (where the lock is built into the knob or handle) can potentially be forced open. Review the durability rating of your lock of choice before buying. You should also consider the possibility of weather damage, particularly with some smart locks.

The numbers on some keypads can wear down over time. Change your code frequently so potential intruders can’t guess it from the worn numbers.

Tips

  • Set up the keypad code or electronic code before installing your lock. That way, you won’t lock yourself out.

  • Conceal the keypad as you enter the code. Treat your keyless lock code just as you would a bank PIN. If someone were to observe the code being entered, they would have access to your home. Also, consider changing your code frequently.

  • Check the integrity of your door before installing a keyless entry door lock. Make sure your hinges are secure and undamaged (and unexposed to the outside). If there’s a window near the handle or knob, you might want to consider purchasing a new door to prevent burglars from simply breaking the glass and turning the handle.
With new technology comes new features – and new risks. Electronic keyless entry door locks may be susceptible to weather damage or hacking.

FAQ

Q. Can I install a keyless entry door lock myself?
A.
Yes, and most old locks can be easily replaced with keyless entry locks. You may feel more secure having a locksmith do the job, but you shouldn’t need too many tools or much time to install the lock yourself.

Q. What happens if the lock battery dies?
A.
Most locks feature a low-battery warning. If the battery does die, there’s a chance you’ll be locked out. If your lock features a traditional keyhole, you can still unlock it that way, and some keypad locks can still be unlocked without power. As a last resort, you might be able to use your lock’s override feature.

Q. Are keyless entry door locks safe?
A.
That depends on factors like strike plates and door material, in addition to the quality and type of lock itself. The durability of locks varies, but a well-constructed keyless entry deadbolt lock should be as secure, if not more, than a standard deadbolt. Many smart locks include added safety features like an alarm system and notification when visitors arrive.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer
  • Samantha
    Samantha
    Writer

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