Danalock v3 Review: A Reliable Smart Lock With Smart Home IntegrationsBy - 03/08/2019
Danalock probably isn’t the first brand that comes to mind when you think of smart locks, but their recent integrations with popular home security systems make Danalock v3 a real smart lock contender.
Integrations & Danalock v3 Models
Danalock has many “friends” in the smart home industry, but for this review, we’re going to focus on partnerships Danalock has made with the big names in the home security market.
For starters, Danalock can integrate with security systems powered by Alarm.com. Frontpoint and Link Interactive, two of the highest-ranking alarm companies on our website, are among the companies that offer Alarm.com systems. Using this integration, users can control Danalock via their respective Alarm.com-powered apps. They can also add the lock to home automation scenes.
Danalock works with self-monitored security systems too, including abode and Ring Alarm (you can compare the two here). abode users can use the integration to control their locks using the abode app and add Danalock to CUEs. CUEs are customizable automation rules that allow you to tell the abode system what to do when a certain trigger event occurs. For example, abode can trigger your Danalock to automatically lock when the last person in your house leaves.
Danalock’s integration with Ring is not as smart. You can control Danalock using the Ring App, but you can’t create rules or scenes that include Danalock. Still, it’s a useful integration especially if you own a Ring Video Doorbell as it lets you unlock your door without leaving the Ring App.
Finally, Danalock HomeKit will work with HomeKit, which means you will be able to fully integrate it using HomeKit scenes and control it using the Home App.
Danalock v3 Models
There are four Danalock v3 models. The right model for you depends on which integration you want to use.
The Alarm.com, abode, and Ring integration all require the use of the Danalock v3 Bluetooth + Z-Wave model, available for $229.95 on Amazon.com. This particular model is required because it supports Z-Wave connectivity, which is what Alarm.com, abode, and Ring use. In theory, this model also works with any third-party smart home hub that supports Z-Wave. However, you must check with your hub’s manufacturer before making a purchase.
For those who are into more complicated automation systems that use the Zigbee wireless protocol, Danalock v3 Bluetooth + Zigbee is the lock for you. This smart lock supports Zigbee HA v3 wireless protocol. It sells on Amazon.com for around $229.95. Amazon Echo Plus is an example of a Zigbee hub that works with Danalock. Again, check with your hub manufacturer regarding compatibility before buying this model.
If you’re a HomeKit user, Danalock will soon launch a HomeKit version of the lock. They expect to release this model on June 1st and it will work with HomeKit and HomeKit only. The new HomeKit lock will retail for $199.95.
Of course, Danalock v3 can function as a standalone product. If that’s how you want to use the smart lock, the Danalock v3 Bluetooth model is for you. It’s the cheapest of all four models, priced at only $172.95 on Amazon. However, if you’re considering expanding your smart home in the future, I suggest purchasing the Z-Wave or Zigbee model as the Bluetooth-only model can’t be upgraded to support Z-Wave or Zigbee. Besides, all three models share the same basic features, so using the Zigbee or Z-Wave version as a standalone smart lock will not be an issue.
The HomeKit version is the odd-man-out as its features rely on what the Home App allows for integrated smart locks. For example, the other models support the Auto-Unlock feature, which unlocks your door as you approach it. The HomeKit version doesn’t support this feature. Below is a table comparing which features each Danalock v3 model supports.
|Danalock v3 Bluetooth||Danalock v3 Bluetooth + Z-Wave||Danalock v3 Bluetooth + Zigbee||Danalock v3 HomeKit|
|Supported Wireless Protocols||Bluetooth||Bluetooth. Z-Wave||Bluetooth, Zigbee||HomeKit|
|App Compatibility||Danalock App (iOS & Android)||Danalock App (iOS & Android), Third-Party Apps (e.g. abode, Alarm.com, Ring)||Danalock App (iOS & Android), Third-Party Apps||Danalock App (iOS & Android), Home App|
|Smartphone Lock/Unlock When In Bluetooth Range|
|Remote Lock/Unlock||Requires Danabridge||Requires Danabridge or Z-Wave Hub||Requires Danabridge or Zigbee Hub||Requires Danabridge
or HomeKit Hub
|Share Digital Keys With Multiple Users||Requires sharing access to your HomeKit account (not recommended).|
|Voice Control||Alexa (Requires an Alexa-compatible Z-Wave Hub that supports smart lock voice commands.)||Alexa (Requires an Alexa-compatible Zigbee Hub that supports smart lock voice commands.)||Siri|
|Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site|
Using Danalock v3 As A Standalone Smart Lock
It would be impossible to discuss all of Danalock’s features that unlock when you use it with a third-party system, so let’s focus on what this little smart lock can do as a standalone device.
Danalock is similar to August Smart Lock in that it doesn’t replace your entire deadbolt. Instead, it will replace the interior portion of your deadbolt. Danalock is compatible with most US deadbolt locks as well as oval lock Scandi cylinders and drop-shaped Euro cylinders.
Based on the instructions provided by Danalock, installing the smart lock should only take you a few minutes. You simply have to remove your deadbolt’s current thumb turn, attach Danalock’s mounting plate, and fit the smart lock unit onto its mounting plate. A typical installation only requires a Phillips head screwdriver and masking tape.
Once installed, finish the setup process using the Danalock app.
Locking/Unlocking Your Door
There are several ways to lock/unlock your door. For starters, you can use your physical key to lock or unlock your door from the outside. If you’re opening the door from the inside, you can use Danalock’s thumb turn. Danalock’s thumb turn functions like a regular thumb turn, but if you want, you can activate Twist-Assist. If you turn this feature on, you only need to twist Danalock a few degrees, and the built-in motor will take over to lock or unlock the deadbolt all the way. The downside of this feature is that it’s battery consuming.
Another way to lock/unlock Danalock is with the Danalock smartphone app. This method requires that you’re within Danalock’s Bluetooth range. Otherwise, it won’t work. Simply open up the app and press the green button to unlock or red button to lock. On the middle of the screen, your lock’s current status is shown.
You may also opt to have the Auto-Unlock feature turned on. As mentioned earlier, this feature automatically unlocks your door when you, or rather your phone, approach your door. Also, you can turn on Auto-Lock, which locks your door automatically as you move away from your door. These two features both rely on Bluetooth, so your phone’s Bluetooth must remain on at all times.
Finally, Danalock has a keypad that you can purchase separately. They’re calling it ‘Danapad,’ and it works with all Danalock v3 models. Danapad connects to Danalock via Bluetooth. It lets you lock your door with a touch of a button (the “lock” button) and unlock your door by entering your PIN. Danapad can remember up to 20 pins at a time so each of your family members can have their own PIN. It also supports temporary PINs given out to friends or home service providers. Danapad is currently available on Danalock.com.
Speaking of sharing access with friends and home service providers, there are two ways to give them control over your smart lock.
First, by adding them as permanent or temporary users. This requires that they download the Danalock app to their smartphone, which is what they’ll use to lock/unlock your door. When they lock or unlock your door, Danalock will log the event, taking note of the date, time, and the person who accessed your door. A permanent user is someone who can access your smart lock indefinitely until you revoke their access. On the other hand, temporary users are given access for a set period of time.
Second, if you have a Danapad, you can share by generating temporary or permanent PIN codes via the app. As with the first method, each PIN code is tied to a name so that when it’s used to lock or unlock your door, you’ll know.
Not all Danalock v3 models connect directly to the internet. Thus you can’t lock/unlock your door from anywhere, generate temporary access codes remotely, or monitor your lock’s activity while you’re away. However, there’s a way to connect your lock to the internet so that you can do all of those things: Danabridge.
At CES 2019, we were introduced to Danabridge V3. To use it, simply plug the Danabridge V3 into a power outlet, connect it to your home Wi-Fi and pair it. Pricing and availability are TBD.
Is Danalock v3 The Lock For You?
Danalock’s success comes from failure. After several failed attempts, they shifted their focus to only releasing features that work and work well. This explains why the lock is not as feature-rich as other options, but it also explains the high online reviews from users.
If a reliable smart lock is what you need, then Danalock v3 is a strong option.