I received an August Smart Lock as a wedding gift last year. At the time, my wife and I were renting a townhouse but we decided to go forward and install the Smart Lock (This is one of the great things about many of the connected home devices; the ease at which you can install and uninstall the devices.) Installation was a breeze. August’s install documentation and walkthrough was clear and easy. Operation of the device is just as simple with open and close toggle in the app.
The August Smart Lock has a couple of nifty features like auto-lock and auto-unlock. These came in handy for us quite a bit and auto-unlock still does. When within range, the door would unlock and then auto-lock would automatically lock it after some pre-determined time. We ended up disabling auto-lock because sometimes we’d leave a door open (ex: to look at fireworks) and the deadbolt would auto-lock and we’d close the door on the deadbolt which was embarrassing.
When we knew we were moving to our own home and we’d be here for a while we decided to add the August Doorbell Camera to our collection of August devices. The doorbell cam requires a bit more work to install including drilling some holes into the brick on the front of my house, mounting a plate, turning off power to the bell, and running some tests. Once installed operation is easy through the same August app.
I’m completely enamored with my August Doorbell Cam. I get a notification every time the bell rings, and I can see who was there at the time of the ring (The Camera takes a picture when the bell rings). This has come in handy when I had a package delivered. Taking it a step further, the doorbell cam can stream live video and allow you to talk to and hear persons at the door. This has been an incredible feature when we have had repairmen come, and people stopping by to drop off furniture. The Doorbell Cam integrates with the lock allowing you to unlock the door remotely.
The only connectivity issues I have had stemmed from having a terrible router. I upgraded my router in the last 3 weeks and the devices have been reliable. I also recently purchased an Amazon Echo which allows you to check the status of the lock and lock it. This comes in handy before I go to bed, I’ll ask Echo to check the lock and some other devices I have. Wisely the Echo won’t unlock the door, preventing someone outside yelling “Alexa, open the front door.”
August Smart Lock + Doorbell Cam will run you a lot of money (~$400). Under these constraints, It’s hard for me to recommend, especially since I got the Doorbell cam on discount and the Smart Lock as a gift. I’m extremely happy with my set up and I would do it again without reservation. They are beautiful devices: crafted out of metal and thoughtful design. I really can’t compliment them enough. Their commitment to their product extends even to customer service.
Note: As for the security; sure having your lock connected to the internet can be potentially dangerous but I’m not so worried about malware in my doorbell or lock when they can be uninstalled within seconds.