More smart door locks are appearing on the market to help us add more security to our homes not to mention lighten the number of keys we have to carry. With growing kids, roommates, an Airbnb rental business, or service personnel like cleaners or dog sitters, there is often a need for multiple copies of keys. However, this soon becomes a logistical and security nightmare. Plus, who has time to go get new keys made or deal with getting the locks changed?
It was all those issues that led me to explore what types of smart locks can help. The latest one caught my eye because of its functionality. The Gate All-in-One Video Smart Lock seemed to cover all the things I wanted from a smart lock.
Gate was founded in 2014 in San Francisco, California. The company began because entrepreneurs who once worked for Google were looking for a security solution that would give them peace of mind when they found themselves away from home so often.
Like others, the Gate founders couldn’t just run home every time there was a delivery or when the nanny arrived. They were also parents who wanted to know their kids made it home safe after school. It led them to leverage their engineering and business backgrounds to create the Gate video smart lock.
How the Gate Smart Lock Works
The Gate smart lock combines the features of other smart locks to replace traditional keys with the video functionality found in smart doorbells. This means the smart lock does allow you to use the lock to gain entry through three ways: a physical key, four-digit PIN, or the smartphone app.
There is a small camera on the front of the lock that provides surveillance. It uses motion detection so you know when someone approaches your door and then broadcasts live video back to your phone. The smart lock also works as an intercom system.
The smart lock looks a little different. That’s because the lock is pre-installed into a plastic block. The block shows you how thick your door must be for the lock to work. Then, it guides you on how to install the smart lock thanks to an app that shows you how to do it.
The Gate Lock has an internal, rechargeable battery. To recharge it, all you have to do is pull off the interior portion of the device and plug it into any powered USB connection.
Features of the Gate Smart Lock
When I compared the Gate smart lock to others available, no other smart lock has the same level of features. Gate offers an HD video camera, two-way audio, and motion detection. Gate also offers electronic keys, a rechargeable battery, and a remote/keypad lock-unlock tool.
Available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, the app gives you a way to receive alerts and watch real-time video on a 24/7 basis. You can also use the app to lock and unlock the door remotely. Other app features include the ability to create individual access codes, contact emergency dispatch, and review activity history.
What I Like and What Could Be Better
While I love tech, I don’t love a complicated installation process. My main concern with this type of smart technology is that it would require wiring and drilling. However, the Gate smart lock is one of the easiest installations ever. It only took minutes to install the lock on my front door with no drilling or wiring.
One downside is that not all the features come with the basic plan. I had to upgrade to the premier plus plan and pay a monthly fee to get access to all the features. While it’s not an unreasonable cost, I would always like to not necessarily have to budget for a security lock subscription plan.
Also, it is not recommended that you use the smart lock with metal doors. The Wi-Fi connection could be compromised and affect the smart lock’s performance. Another con is that the smart lock doesn’t integrate with any other third-party smart devices. There is also no geofencing or night vision capability.
Here is how the plan structure works. The free basic plan includes app notifications, live video streaming, two-way audio, remote lock and unlock, 24/7 guest PIN codes and scheduled guest PIN codes, and unlimited app admins. The basic plan also includes hour hours of video history and four hours of video sharing.
The premier plan includes everything in the basic plan but gives you five days of video history and five days of video sharing. The cost is $4.99 a month. If you pay for the entire year up front, it’s $49.99, which gives you two months for free. Finally, the premier plus plan also adds the emergency dispatch service, 60 days of video history, and 60 days of video sharing for $7.99 per month or $79.99 if you pay for the year upfront (also gives you two months free).
Where to Buy
You can buy the Gate smart lock from the company’s website for $299, which is significantly cheaper than other smart lock brands. The company does have promotions that bring the price down with the average price now around $249.
They offer free shipping and returns, a 30-day, money-back guarantee, and a one-year limited warranty. A free standard plan is also included when you purchase the smart lock from Gate.
The Gate smart lock is also available on Amazon.
The Gate video smart lock beats out the other video doorbells and locks available because it provides so many features at a significantly lower cost even when you factor in the subscription fees. It’s a reliable smart lock that provides peace of mind when you are away from home. Plus, with easy installation, getting this smart lock for your home is a no brainer.
Editor In Chief at ReadWrite
Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.