Best Smart Locks

Last Updated Jun 22, 2020 @ 6:13 pm

Over the years, there has been an uptick in the popularity of smart locks. Initially, homeowners and users felt apprehensive when these locks came out the market.

They hold more comfort using the traditional lock-and-key systems, since upgrading their locks comes easy, if needed.

However, smart locks offer convenience and efficiency compared to traditional locks.

What is a smart lock?

A smart lock permits homeowners and their guests entry without the use of a traditional key. This electronic and mechanical locking device can open wirelessly using the authentication of authorized users.

Users utilize a key fob or a smartphone to wirelessly mechanically and verify unlock the door. As components to the internet of things, smart locks stand as extensions of home automation into home security. 

How does a smart lock work?

Smart locks permit entry to a door without a physical key. These can be remotely controlled using a smartphone app. A unique access code is required on models that feature a numeric keypad on the lock. 

A smart lock receives the code or smartphone command to lock or unlock the door as long as it is connected to the home’s Wi-Fi network..

There are smart locks that only require a few changes on the existing lock system while others that require complete replacement of the entire lock system.

Why do you need a smart lock?

Keyless feature

A smart lock provides convenience with features such as voice control, scenes, and remote access. For instance, users can control the lights, adjust the thermostat, and lock their front doors by giving their instructions to their home digital assistant (Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant). 

Smart locks can be controlled remotely when connected to the Wi-Fi. This usually requires buying a small, plug in Wi-Fi bridge that connects the lock to the network. This allows the door to be locked or unlocked as long as there is an internet connection. 

Stylish design, upgraded function

Smart locks can look like a regular lock. A Kwikset Kevo looks similar to a typical deadbolt. Using the Kevo app, users can just tap one finger to unlock the door.

Similarly, the August Smart Lock, August Smart Lock Pro, Kwikset Convert and Sesame Lock camouflage their real function. These retrofit locks camouflage their real function, as they attach to the inside latch of the deadbolt.

Things to consider before buying a smart lock

Is it compatible with my door?

Smart locks target the automatic locking and unlocking of the deadbolt. Deadbolts should be locked and unlocked easily. A smart lock may not work properly if the door needs to be pushed or pulled in order to lock it. 

Ensure that the smart lock can fully extend into the jamb, as lock motors might get burnt out as smart locks always extend fully.  

Should I repair or replace the deadbolt?

Most smart locks act as a deadbolt. There are smart locks like the August Smart Lock which allow simple attaching onto the existing deadbolt and do manual locking and unlocking of the door. 

Can I connect my smart lock to the phone or internet?

Check the connectivity options of the smart lock you have your eyes on. Most smart locks offer a bluetooth connection, since it doesn’t use much power. Consider this, since smart locks run with batteries.

The downside of bluetooth is that it has a limited range. If a person is not within the range, the user will not be able to lock or unlock it. Bluetooth does not require another hub in order to use it. 

On the other hand, the Z-Wave requires a different hub to control the lock from the smartphone and is also powered by the sun!. TDepending on signal strength,  Z-waves can reach 120 feet, extendable 600 feet if there are multiple Z-Wave devices. 

How will the smart lock unlock my doors?

There might be users who do not want to rely on their smart lock 100%. It is possible to retain traditional keys in addition to the smart lock.

Other types of smart door locks

Near Field Communication (NFC) Door Locks.

Work on short ranges through small radio frequency antennas that transmit and receive signals. NFC chips are built inside most smartphones and these operate at 13.56 MHz. 

Bluetooth Door Locks.

Utilize bluetooth and is wireless. These do not need too much infrastructure. It is much safer to use bluetooth devices and operate with the minimal use of power. 

Wireless Door Locks

Wireless doors unlock through an access control system that do not require a separate card reader or a wiring.

Best Smart Locks in the market

MT204 Fingerprint Mortise Smart Lock

This smart lock allows access to the user’s home through fingerprint, pin code, smartphone key via bluetooth, car, NFC, and mechanical key. It does not need special wiring and operates through a battery. 

One of its best features is the anti-peep touchscreen. This allows the user to key in any number of random digits and can still gain access as long as there is one correct pin included in the longer set of numbers. This prevents strangers from stealing your password. 

Where to buy Fingerprint Mortise Smart Lock:

M503 Sciener Smart Lock

This smart lock uses a pin code from its touch screen pad or mobile phone through a Bluetooth connection to gain access. They also use traditional keys for back-up. 

One of its best features is access expiry. Guests are given temporary or permanent access. 

Where to buy Sciener Smart Locks:

About Bev Lopez

Content specialist for a multinational consulting company. Likes cheese.

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