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Defiant Smart Wi

Jul 25, 2023

The Defiant Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt is a simple smart lock, with the features most users want. It looks great, with a clean, smart design. It’s easy to install, with clear instructions and all the screws and bits you need, except four AA batteries. And at $100, this model delivers excellent value for the price, which is why I named it the best value smart lock out of the 11 models I tested.

The Home Depot Defiant Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt looks great, with a clean, smart design. It also is easy ... [+] to install.

The Home Depot Defiant Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt looks great, with a clean, smart design. It also is easy ... [+] to install.

There are a few gotchas, though: The lock offers only 11 key codes, which could quickly get used up. You also can’t set one-time or time-based codes. It doesn’t support the Apple HomeKit smart home system, and the back of the lock is larger and cheaper-looking than the front. It’s also available exclusively from The Home Depot.

The Home Depot

Type: Single-cylinder deadbolt | Connectivity: Wi-Fi (2.4 Ghz), Bluetooth | Smart home integrations: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Hubspace | Entry options: Physical key, key codes (11), app | Power: 4 AA batteries | Finishes: Satin Nickel, Matte Black, Aged Bronze | Size (front): 5 x 2.6 x 0.8 inches | Size (rear): 6.2 x 2.6 x 1.1 inches

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The Defiant Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt is a simple smart lock that does most of the things you’ll need but without fancy features that add to the cost. It isn’t the fanciest, best-looking or most sophisticated, but for less than 100 bucks, it’s a good pick for the value-conscious.

The Defiant Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt is easy to install.

It has an attractive, clean design: I tested the round design in Aged Bronze, which is mostly black with a few bronze highlights. The front part of the lock is less than an inch thick, so it doesn’t stick out from the door very far. It is also available in Matte Black and Satin Nickel finishes. There is also the option of a more modern square design.

The rear part of the lock is less attractive, though. Over 6 inches tall and made of cheap-feeling plastic, it will be the dominant feature on the back of your door. The top of the back slides up to reveal the battery compartment, which holds four AA batteries.

The Defiant Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt was simple to install, with a single cable between the front and back parts of the lock. It has an adjustable bolt mechanism, so it can work for backsets (the distance between the edge of the door and the center of the hole that the lock fits into) of 2.4 or 2.75 inches. The four AA batteries that power the lock aren’t included, so you need to grab those before you start installation.

This lock works with The Home Depot’s own Hubspace smart home system, which can then work with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. The Home Depot advertises this as a “Wi-Fi Deadbolt,” but that’s a little misleading. The lock itself does not support Wi-Fi. Instead, it uses Bluetooth to talk to the included Hubspace smart plug, which in turn connects to your Wi-Fi network. That means you get a smart plug with the lock, which can also control a lamp or other small appliance via the Hubspace mobile app. The catch? The smart plug has to sit within about 20 feet of the lock, since Bluetooth signals don’t travel as far as Wi-Fi. With the Hubspace app and smart plug combo, I had no issues integrating the lock with both my Amazon Alexa and Google Home systems. Once configured, I could check the lock’s status, as well as lock it and unlock it on command. Hubspace doesn’t support Apple’s HomeKit, though.

The Defiant’s keypad lacks finesse; the volume of the beep when you press buttons is very loud and the touchpad has no texture or contours to guide your fingertip. The mechanism to open the lock is a bit slower than others: I found it took about 4 to 5 seconds to unlock the door, and it made a very audible grinding noise.

You control the lock through the Hubspace mobile app, which handles this lock and the Home Depot’s other Hubspace devices, like fans, lightbulbs and outlets. While serviceable, the app lacks the polish and level of control you find on systems from Google’s Nest or Apple’s HomeKit. For example, I couldn’t create key codes with a time limit, and it tops out at 11 codes at a given time. That limited number could run out quickly, depending upon your circumstances. By comparison, the Yale Assure Lock 2 offers up to 250 codes. Furthermore, the app couldn’t notify me which code opened my door; it could only report that a code was used to open the lock.

The Defiant Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt lacks the polish of the other locks I tested, but it is also cheaper. The back part is much larger than locks like the Lockly Flex Touch, and it looks monstrously large next to the invisible mechanism of the Level Lock+. The key codes are also not as flexible as the ones on the Yale Assure Lock 2: Defiant offers only 11 key codes, and you can’t set codes to only work only once, or only at a certain time.

The question is how much that polish and the smaller mechanism are worth to you. For a back or side door, this might not be a problem. Defiant may look a bit clunkier, but it’s much cheaper.

To test all of the locks, I used them on the front door of my house. I then used each one for several days, looking at how easy it was to add different users, how well the Hubspace app controlled the lock and how easy it was to add new codes to provide access. I also tested how easy it was to connect to my smart home system, using the smart home apps from Amazon, Google and Apple to control the locks.

I have been a tech reviewer and writer since 1992, back when laptops used 3.5-inch floppy disks. Since then, I have tested thousands of consumer products for many publications—including Wired, Tom’s Guide and PCWorld. At Reviewed, I created new tests for products like washing machines, televisions and coffee makers.

The Defiant Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt gets its power from four AA batteries. The Home Depot says the batteries last about 7 to 8 months, depending on how often you use the lock. One thing the Defiant lacks is an emergency battery backup. Where most smart locks allow you to use a 9-volt battery to open the lock if the batteries run out, you can’t do that on Defiant.

The Defiant Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt uses four AA batteries that last about one year.

Yes. The cylinder inside the Defiant is a Kwikset KW1 type, which can be removed and replaced with a new cylinder to replace the physical keys that the lock uses.

Yes. Defiant works with the Home Depot’s own Hubspace app, which then integrates with Google Home. Once this is set up, you can open, close or check the status of the lock from any Google Assistant–capable device, including Android phones and smart watches.

Yes. The Hubspace app lets you enable Amazon Alexa support. Once enabled, you can control or check the lock from any Alexa device, including Amazon’s Echo smart speakers or Echo Show smart home hubs.

The Forbes Vetted tech team strives to offer accurate and trustworthy product assessments that are the result of intensive research and hands-on testing. Our writers and editors have years of experience writing about a broad range of consumer electronics and have the background and expertise to help you make the best buying decisions possible.

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