VOCOlinc is one of the best manufacturers of HomeKit products, and I’ve grown to appreciate their hardware quality and software quality. For the last few weeks, I’ve been testing the VOCOlinc T Guard Smart Lock to see how it works with HomeKit.

HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.

The first thing people generally do when they see the VOCOlinc Smart Lock is compare it to the August Lock. I love the August Lock, but I also love this product as well. They both do the same thing from a 30,000-foot view, but the hardware has different strategies. An August Lock is meant only to replace the interior deadbolt portion of the door. The VOCOlinc lock is intended to replace the entire deadbolt on the inside and outside of the door. Depending on what you want to do will determine which product is best for you. I am currently using the VOCOlinc on my back door because my front door already had the August Lock on it and the door handle and deadbolt are a matching set. I am less concerned about that on the back door, though.

Installing the VOCOLinc T Guard Smart Lock

Installation of the VOCOlinc lock is a bit more complicated than the August Lock because you’re changing the entire deadbolt versus just the inside portion.

Once you get it installed, you’ll need to add it to your Home app. Like all other HomeKit products, you’ll need to scan the QR code and it’ll be added to HomeKit.

The VOCOlinc app includes several excellent options, so it’s worth having as well. Inside the VOCOlinc app, you can install firmware updates, add new passcodes, change the display timeout, and put it in “admin only” mode, where only the master password works.

The installation will take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30, depending on how handy you are. You are replacing the entire deadbolt, so you’ll have a new set of keys as well.

The critical thing to get right during installation is getting the backset correct. The next thing to remember is getting the strike plate right so it’s easy to turn. You don’t want it to have too much resistance. Otherwise, you’ll have difficulty using it from the app and Siri.

Using the VOCOlinc Smart Lock

The VOCOlinc lock touchpad is my absolute favorite feature of the product. There are random times when the auto-unlock from the August Lock fails to work right away, so it can be frustrating to pull my iPhone out of my pocket and open the August app or the Home app to unlock it manually. With the touchpad right on the lock, I have to tap my code and hit the unlock button.

Overall, the lock has been a great addition to my HomeKit environment. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I am in the process of building a new house, and I plan on making the VOCOlinc lock a key part of my HomeKit strategy.

Wrap up: August Lock vs. VOCOlinc

The VOCOlinc Smart Lock wins on price, but the August Lock wins on ease of installation. With the August Lock, your existing keys will still work, and with the VOCOlinc, you’ll have a new set of keys. I’ve been impressed with both products, and there is room to have both in a home. Your decision will come down to which look you like best.

Both products are first-class HomeKit citizens and can easily be integrated with other products through scenes. An example of the benefits of scene automation with a smart lock is having your door automatically lock when you say “Goodnight Siri,” along with having lights in your home turn off as well. If you’re looking for a new deadbolt for your door with a touchpad, check out the VOCOLinc Smart Lock.It comes in aged bronze and satin nickel.

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About the Author

Bradley Chambers

Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN.

Tips, feedback, corrections and questions can be sent to Bradley@9to5mac.com.