Smart locks have fast become the go-to option for safety-conscious families as well as commercial property owners. If you are thinking about making the switch, here is everything you need to know.
Smart Locks Explained
Millions of smart home devices are shipped every year and a report by IDC shows that this will move into the billions by 2023 – and that’s just in America.
As the name suggests, a smart lock replaces traditional door locks. Once installed, the lock connects to an app via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, allowing you to enter a room or building without physical keys.
Every system is a little different though. Some apps allow you to control your locks from anywhere, while others require you to be in range.
Why Switch to Smart Locks?
It might be reassuring to feel a physical key in your hand, but losing that key automatically creates a safety concern. Plus, if you find yourself in danger, there’s no need to fumble around in your bag or pockets to find a key.
With smart locks, you can change the codes as many times as you need to, which is a big help if you have tenants or employees that come and go. What’s more, being able to change your access code regularly prevents intruders from guessing it.
Traditional lock systems still serve a purpose, but even the most heavy-duty locks can potentially be tampered with.
As an extra layer of security, if you install a smart doorbell, you can closely monitor who enters and exits your property.
Installing smart locks means you can let people into your home without being there and without too many key copies floating around. Whether you own an Airbnb or want to let a cleaning service in when you aren’t at home, smart locks make this possible.
Most apps will even let you restrict the times a code can be used. For example, if you only want employees to be able to access a building between 9 am and 6 pm, you can set this up on the app.
It is also possible to set up one-time codes, which you can give to delivery personnel or anyone who needs to access your home for a few hours.
It looks good
If you appreciate all things modern, smart locks will add an elegant touch to your home’s entrance. There are a number of designs and finishes to choose from too, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your home.
Are There Any Downsides?
Even though smart locks are tamper-resistant, they are not tamper-proof. There is always the chance that a lock can be hacked via your smart device.
Smart locks also rely on connectivity, so if your Wi-Fi goes down or your lock loses power, it can be a bit of a headache. Without having another entry point such as your garage, you might be stuck outside for several hours.
Choosing the Right Smart Lock System
So, how do you decide which smart lock system is right for you?
Define your property’s requirements
Smart locks and doors aren’t just another gadget like a new tablet or phone. Before you take the plunge and make an impulsive purchase, first define what your needs are.
Would your property be best suited to a code-based lock or do you suspect that could become problematic? Perhaps a Bluetooth or key fob-based system would be more appropriate? For the average house where only a handful of people enter the property, perhaps the former is enough. But, where dozens of people need access, the flexibility of a key fob or Bluetooth system might make sense.
Use the following questions to help define your needs.
- Does security need to be equal in all rooms or are your main concerns the entry points?
- How many people should have access to specific rooms on a daily, weekly or monthly basis?
- Would you like the added feature of being able to receive information online or via email regarding the entrance and exits of certain individuals and to be instantly notified of unauthorized access?
- Do you need to remotely control these doors?
Understanding the different types of systems
- Simpler, keypad-based smart locks are operated by code only. They do not feature radio frequency technologies and are generally cheaper to install.
- Bluetooth systems operate with your mobile phone and the manufacturer’s app to allow entrance, often without the need to take your phone out of your pocket.
- One step further are systems that incorporate Wi-Fi technology and don’t suffer from the range limitations of Bluetooth. You could allow your assistant into your office to pick up an important file while you sip cocktails on the beach in Hawaii.
- Bio-metric systems go one step further and limit access using fingerprints and retina scans.
Making the Switch to Smart
If you want to try something new with your home or office security, smart locks are an excellent choice. Not only are they secure, but sleek, convenient, and customizable too. Smart locks do have some minor downsides, but overall, they are most certainly the way forward.