A smart lock is an electromechanical lock that can be controlled by a mobile device and will unlock or lock a door upon receiving instructions from an authorized device. The instructions are sent through a wireless protocol and cryptographic key to ensure the locking system works smoothly. A smart lock also sends alerts in case of issues regarding the device’s status.
Whether you’re looking for a smart lock to protect your family or are simply interested in learning more about them, we have all the information you need. We’ll highlight which types of smart locks are making headlines and what factors to consider when purchasing one, along with tips on how to test a smart lock:
Tips Before You Buy a Smart Door Lock
Before buying a smart door lock, you should consider a few crucial factors. Following are the four factors you need to pay attention to before you buy a smart lock:
Smart locks come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Before buying a smart door lock, see what color, design, and size would look good on your door. Getting the wrong size may bring problems in fitting and adjustment. Smart door locks usually come in brass, silver, and bronze finishes.
All smart locks are operated by a sensor connected to your home network. Bluetooth or Z-Wave makes this connection possible. Ensure the model you buy can connect easily with your home network to prevent connectivity issues.
Connectivity issues may cause the lock to disconnect, leaving your door unguarded. The smart lock cannot be controlled or monitored if it disconnects from your home network. Locks are now also available with built-in Wi-Fi, which helps assist network connection. This feature makes connecting to your home network much easier. However, smart locks with built-in Wi-Fi consume more power, so you will have to change their batteries more frequently.
Usually, smart locks have two types: lever-style and deadbolt. Deadbolts are more common; however, lever-style smart locks are increasingly taking over the market. The kind of lock you use will directly affect its functioning. Deadbolt locks, as the name suggests, can only be opened by rotating a key. They are designed to replace your existing deadbolt lock. On the other hand, Lever-style locks use a set of levers to keep the device locked. They have a lock and unlock lever.
Your smart lock should be able to automatically lock and unlock your doors based on your routine, activity, and messages. The best smart lock is the one that can connect with all your home devices or connect with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. This way, if you enable bedtime on your iPhone or say “Goodnight, Google,” Google Assistant or Siri should be able to lock all your doors, and if you have smart lights, turn them off automatically as well. You can set up a home security system to monitor your activity and keep your home safe. Before buying a smart lock, check the connectivity compatibility with all your home devices to avoid setup issues.
Different Types of Smart Locks
There are a lot of smart locks out there, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. That’s why we’ll break down the different types of smart locks and explain how they work, so you can make an informed decision about what will work best for your home.
Deadbolt with Keypad Smart Locks
Unlike most smart door locks, deadbolt locks with keypads don’t require you to replace your existing lock. Instead, they sit on the deadbolt’s latch and give you a more convenient way to enter the code to unlock your door. This is great if you don’t want to change your entire lock set but want extra security features like keyless entry or the ability to track who has been coming in and out of your home.
Deadbolt locks with keypads are also a great option if you want something that looks more traditional than other smart locks since they’re designed to fit right on top of existing deadbolts without any visible difference. You can even get them in various colors to match whatever style of decor you have in your house!
Another benefit of these devices is that they’re often equipped with keyless entry and auto-locking capabilities (so you don’t have to worry about leaving them unlocked). They can also integrate directly with other smart home appliances, such as thermostats and cameras, so everything works seamlessly on your smartphone interface.
Biometrics Smart Locks
Biometric locks are one of the most popular smart lock options. They’re the kind that you can open with your fingerprint, face, or even your retina. They are great for those who want to keep their home secure but don’t want any key-based locks cluttering their doors.
Biometric locks are also great for people who have trouble remembering their keys. This might be a great option if you have a family member or friend who gets lost in their own house. The best part is that these locks are super easy to install and don’t require special tools or skills—just some patience!
Wi-Fi Smart locks
A smart Wi-Fi lock is one of the most popular types of smart locks available today. It’s easy to install and use and can be controlled anywhere you have an internet connection.
Most Wi-Fi smart locks are compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and other voice-activated devices. You can use your voice to lock or unlock your door and check the status of your lock (open or closed). Some models even allow you to send text messages while away from home.
The second thing you should know about Wi-Fi Smart Locks is that they’re easy to install and even easier to use! They come with everything you need right out of the box: all of the hardware components (including batteries), software instructions for installation and setup, and even a smartphone app so that once it’s all set up and ready for use, all you have to do is download it onto your phone or tablet.
Bluetooth Smart Locks
Bluetooth smart locks are one of the most popular types of smart locks. Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows devices to communicate with each other. Bluetooth works with low power, so it doesn’t need a lot of energy to work—and it can be used over short distances.
Bluetooth is a great option for smart locks because you can install them on your door without running a long wire from your door to your wall socket.
So how does this work? When you get home, you open your phone, turn on Bluetooth, and then unlock your door with your smartphone. When you leave your house, you lock the door back up by pressing a button on your phone or tablet. You can also use this technology as an added security measure by setting up different access codes for different people in your house (or even guests).
NFC Smart Locks
If you want the most out of your smart lock, NFC technology might be right for you. NFC stands for Near Field Communication, a short-range wireless communication method that allows devices to exchange information when they’re close. In this case, you can unlock your door using an app on your phone—no key necessary!
The benefit of NFC technology is that it works without any special setup. All you need is a compatible smartphone and the right app. If you already have a smart lock on your door, you may also have an NFC option (check with your manufacturer).
NFC locks are relatively new, so they aren’t as widespread as other smart locks. However, they offer lots of potential for the future. For example, suppose your phone runs out of battery or loses connectivity while you’re away from home. In that case, there’s no need to worry: The device will remember how many times it was unlocked previously and will automatically relock itself after a certain amount of time has elapsed without re-entry by its owner.
Although, other products use NFC tags if you don’t want to use your smartphone more often. These Wireless SmartCards are installed in a small tag, and it doesn’t need batteries to use them. You have to tap the NFC tags on your Smart Door Lock, which will automatically open for you.
Benefits of Having Smart Locks for your Home
They make your home more secure and add a layer of convenience that can help you get more out of it daily. Here are some of our favorite benefits:
- You can unlock your door remotely, so you won’t have to worry about losing your keys or forgetting them at home.
- You’ll never need to worry about carrying around an extra key for a friend or family member who needs to come over unexpectedly—with a smart lock, you can just let them in!
- You can set up alerts on your phone when someone tries to unlock the door without permission. Hence, you know if someone’s trying to break in or if a potential intruder lurks around outside.
- It’s possible that having a smart lock could decrease crime rates in your neighborhood because criminals will be less likely to target homes with these new technologies installed (and who wouldn’t want that?).
The Bottom line
There are countless smart locks available in the market, but not every lock will work for you. If you have a flexible budget, you should try a couple of models compatible with your requirements to see which one works best for you. Before blindly relying on the lock to automatically lock your house when you leave, test it for a few days. Ensure you have a steady connection between your home network and your smart lock so you never lose control.
For enhanced security, we also recommend security cameras.