It's finally time to buy myself a smart lock

Android figures
(Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

As I'm writing this I'm cold, a little wet, and listening to my wife laugh at my own stupidity. I just spent 90 minutes outside my back door in December weather because I locked myself out of the house. Again.

This is something that I am a pro at doing and this is not even close to being the first time it's happened. I have a bit of a situation here where the bathroom in my basement is lower than the waste drain that goes out to the sewer. That means there needs to be a pump that lifts water from the sink and toilet up to the drain, and mine seems to be perpetually busted. When nature calls and it's dialing a number one, I just pop out the back door and water the bushes. The joys of country living.

I'm sure a real and qualified plumber knows the right solution so I can pee inside but I don't know any plumbers and am afraid of what this solution is going to cost me. So I have a couple of solutions of my own: get one of those fake rock-looking things to hide the spare key, stop locking the door behind me when I step out for a business meeting with the shrubbery, or just move into the 21st century and buy a damn smart lock.

I guess there is another solution but I'm just not sure about this one: :/

Gatorade bottles fix so many things

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson)

I think I'll just go with the smart lock instead of acting like I work for Amazon and have to pee in a plastic bottle.

Now the hard part - which one to buy?

August Smart Lock

(Image credit: August)

I'll have to be honest and say I hate smart locks. Part of that is spending so much time at hotels having to play with fiddly electronic locks that just suck and another part is remembering how things used to be and that you could bypass many of them with a 9-volt battery and a paperclip. Hopefully, times have changed and there are some really good smart locks out there just waiting to meet my wallet.

I also need one that works in place of a doorknob because I have no deadbolt on my back door. I never had a need because the only person thing liable to try and break in is a bear looking for more delicious garbage to eat. I really don't feel like breaking out a drill and a hole saw to put in a deadbolt because there is a lot of measuring and a replacement door is not cheap if and when I screw it up.

A drill press in action

Measure twice cut it wrong anyway (Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand)

I'm the kind of person who stresses about every little thing whenever I spend more than $20. I know I'll read a gazillion reviews and what every security professional has to say while I change my mind a hundred times, but I'm leaning towards the Yale Assure lever lock (opens in new tab)

I need one that uses a touchpad because I leave my phone setting on my desk beside my keys and wallet when I step outside for a quick tinkle. Yelling "HEY GOOGLE UNLOCK THE DOOR!!!!!!" or using an app on my phone isn't going to work and I don't always wear a smartwatch. Typing my super-secret code — which is totally not 8675309 — to get back in is what I need. 

A big part of me is afraid. I almost want to just get a "dumb" lock with a keypad and eschew all this new-fangled nonsense with smart locks and hackers and apps and such. I also want to yell at the neighbor kids when they run across my yard but understand that I need to suppress these impulses or I will turn into my dad. Dad would just smash the little window in the door and reach through and unlock the thing then complain for weeks about having to pay money to replace the glass. I love you dad, but you are a little crazy in an old-ass man's way.

There has to be a good smart lock that works without a deadbolt, can't be bypassed with a battery and wire, and doesn't have hundreds of known exploits so some smart kid in Croatia, Argentina, or Seattle can unlock my house. I just have to find it.

A Gatorade bath

Please be Gatorade in there. PLEASE. (Image credit: Gatorade/PepsiCo)

This is hard and stressful. Maybe the Gatorade bottle is the way to go after all.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.