Hubs have been described by the tech-savvy people as “brains” for home security devices connected by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This is a good way to think of it, as they are receiving and directing signals from all your home’s devices.
August Smart Lock does need a hub if you want to be able to view and control your home’s locks while you’re away. August offers a Connect Wi-Fi Bridge to do just this, or you can go with a third-party hub.
It can get a little bit tricky to understand your options when it comes to using hubs, so be sure to read the rest of this article so that you can make the best decision for your home.
August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge
August Smart Lock and Smart Lock Pro are like other smart locks in that they use Bluetooth connection, which gives you local access to your locks and other August devices.
This usually means that you need to be within 300 feet of your locks for the connection to be viable. If you’re too far away, the connection is broken and you can’t do anything with your locks.
For most people, this isn’t compatible with the level of control they’re looking for. Let’s say you get to work, and you can’t remember if you’ve locked your door or not. Or maybe you’re at the grocery store while your child comes home from school and he can’t get into the house.
If your only connection to the house is by Bluetooth, you can’t make sure your door is locked or unlock the door to let your child in the house.
That’s why August developed the Connect Wi-Fi Bridge.
If you decide to pay the extra $79 to get the Connect Wi-Fi Bridge, you give yourself the control to lock or unlock the door wherever you are through the August app.
As long as you have a North American outlet with 110 to 240V, you can get alerts about your locks and control them from afar on your iPhone or Android.
The trick with these is that they have to be plugged in within 15 to 20 feet of the August Smart Lock or Smart Lock Pro that it’s connecting to.
Users have reported that outside of that range, the connection becomes unreliable. And in the case of a smart device that controls whether your door opens or not, reliability is key.
If you want to be extra sure that you have a strong Wi-Fi connection where you’ve chosen to place your Connect Wi-Fi Bridge, you can test it through the August app.
Once you’re happy with the connection, you can go into the app and navigate to the link in the settings menu that allows you to add your August Connect.
This will allow you to connect your lock through your home’s Wi-Fi router and control it from anywhere.
Here’s the other stipulation: you need to have a Connect Wi-Fi Bridge for each August Smart Lock or Smart Lock Pro that you have in your home, each one will need to be added in your app to control the locks remotely.
This is a great option if you’re the owner of a vacation rental, Airbnb, or any space that you want to be able to control from afar.
If you have other smart home security devices or thermostats, you may need a different option that is able to connect devices from multiple different brands.
Z-Wave control hubs work a little bit differently than August’s Connect Wi-Fi Bridge to give you remote access.
While they do still connect with your home’s Wi-Fi router, locks that use Z-Wave technology speak a little bit different language, and so the hub acts as a translator between the lock and the router.
Wink Hub and Samsung’s SmartThings are some of the top Z-Wave hubs on the market today, and SmartThings, in particular, has been praised for its ability to link several different devices from different brands.
These tend to take up a little more surface area in your home, but they also can operate in much further ranges: as much as 120 feet from your smart lock.
For larger homes, you can double up on Hubs to cross farther distances. Essentially, one hub will talk to another hub, which will then communicate with your Wi-Fi router.
In fact, you can have as many as four hubs talking to each other, potentially extending the range of communication to 600 feet.
Some smart homeowners don’t prefer this method because it can be more complicated, but if you have multiple third-party smart locks and devices, this could be the best way to go. And because August products work with Z-Wave, you can still buy their smart locks and use them remotely.
August has also made its products compatible with Apple HomeKit, which is quickly becoming a popular choice for smart homeowners because it allows them to use their voice-activated devices like your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or just about any Apple device.
Imagine relaxing on a Saturday night, perfectly comfortable. You remember that you may not have locked the front door on your way in.
If you have Apple HomeKit and an August Smart Lock or Smart Lock Pro on your front door, you don’t even have to get up to check that your door is locked.
Simply ask Siri whether or not your door is locked, and if it’s not locked, you can just tell Siri to do it for you.
All without getting up or even picking up your phone. Your me-time = uninterrupted.
The best part is that if you already own the devices necessary, Apple HomeKit is a free app to download onto your iPhone.
If you’re not a fan of Apple, you can still control your locks and other August smart devices with just your voice.
If you own any Google Home or Android devices, you can integrate them using your August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge or other hub and use them to control your locks or doorbell cam, as well as getting notifications about their status and any activity they sense.
That Amazon Alexa you got for Christmas can finally come into good use.
Just like the Google Assistant, you can control your locks and doorbell cam with just your voice, while also getting notifications and activity alerts.
Amazon Alexa can be integrated with the Connect Wi-Fi Bridge and likely any other third-party hub like SmartThings. Check what your hub is compatible with before you commit to it.
Can you still use a key with August Smart Lock? Yes. Because the August Smart Lock and the August Smart Lock Pro connect to the inside of your front door, it can be unlocked with your phone’s Bluetooth signal or manually with your traditional key.
Does August Smart Lock need WiFi? August Smart Lock does not need WiFi to operate. If you just want to control the lock when you’re at home or very close to it, your Bluetooth connection should be enough. Even if the power goes out, your August Smart Lock will stay on and function normally.
How is August Smart Lock powered? August Smart Lock is powered by four AA batteries, which are included with the purchase of the lock. You should replace the batteries every six months if it is a first-generation lock, or every three months if it is a second-generation lock.