A home should be a safe haven, but with crime rates on the rise, many homeowners feel vulnerable even within their own four walls. According to the FBI, over 2 million burglaries occurred in the United States in 2021 alone. Many of these break-ins happened during daytime hours when families were out at work or school. Most burglars gain entry by forcing open a door or window in just a few minutes. This highlights the importance of securing all access points into your home.
With so many options on the market, how do you choose the right smart lock for your needs and budget? Here is an overview of some of the best smart lock solutions to make your home more secure.
Why Smart Locks Solutions
Installing smart locks on your doors provides an extra layer of security and peace of mind. Smart locks allow you to control and monitor your locks remotely using your smartphone or other devices. With just a few taps, you can check if your doors are locked, lock or unlock them, and see who has entered your home. Smart locks utilize advanced features like fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, and geofencing to provide seamless access for family members while keeping unwanted visitors out.
Keyless deadbolts are a simple upgrade from traditional keyed deadbolts. They unlock when you enter a code on the built-in keypad, eliminating the need to carry keys that could be lost, stolen, or copied. Keyless deadbolts allow you to create unique codes for family members, guests, or service providers, which you can delete afterwards for security. Options like Schlage Encode and Kwikset Halo Touch feature a capacitive touchscreen and auto-locking for convenience.
For ultimate convenience, a fingerprint scanning deadbolt like the Kwikset Kevo or Yale Assure Lock SL eliminates codes. Family members can simply scan a finger to unlock the door. These deadbolts store fingerprints locally rather than in the cloud to prevent hacking. Kwikset Kevo also lets you create eKeys to authorize guests via a smartphone app. With no codes or keys required, fingerprint locks are easy for kids and seniors.
Smart Locks with Remote Control
Remote controlled smart locks allow you to control your deadbolt from anywhere using a smartphone app. Lock types like August Smart Lock, Schlage Sense, and ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro Wifi bridge traditional deadbolts with Bluetooth and WiFi. This allows you to check lock status, lock/unlock, create virtual keys, and view activity history from anywhere. You’ll get alerts when someone enters or leaves. This gives you peace of mind knowing your home is secure even when you’re out of town.
Retrofit Smart Locks
Retrofitting your existing deadbolt with a smart lock module leaves the interior aesthetics of your door intact. Lock types like August Smart Lock Pro, Level Touch, and Lockly Secure Plus easily replace the inside portion of your deadbolt. The door remains functional with your existing keys while gaining the ability to lock/unlock your door remotely via Bluetooth/WiFi. No tricky wiring is needed. Retrofits are great for renters who cannot permanently modify their front door lock.
Smart Intercom Locks
Smart intercom locks have a built-in doorbell camera and speaker to see and speak with visitors trying to enter your home. Locks like the Ultraloq UL3 BT allow you to remotely communicate and grant access to guests from anywhere. This smart lock even lets you create one-time unique codes for service providers like dog walkers, which get deleted afterward. The Ring Always Home Cam moves a step beyond by combining a security camera with remote unlocking capabilities.
Beyond doors, smart padlocks allow you to secure gates, storage sheds, or outdoor equipment with the convenience of keyless remote access. Padlocks like the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Padlock and Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock can be locked/unlocked from an app. Built-in alarms deter tampering when you’re away. Portable smart padlocks like the Tapplock Lite and Dustguard DS101 feature fingerprint access and are ideal for securing gym lockers.
Factors to Consider
When it comes to choosing a lock for your home or business, there are several important factors to consider. One of the main decisions you will have to make is whether you want an easy retrofit or a full replacement. This will depend on your specific needs and the condition of your current lock.
In addition to this, you will also need to decide on the type of access control you want. There are several options available including keypad, fingerprint, facial recognition, and smartphone controls. Each of these options has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your needs.
It is another important factor to consider when choosing a lock. There are several options available including WiFi, Bluetooth, ZWave, and others. The type of connectivity you choose will depend on the level of control and convenience you require.
When it comes to power, you will need to choose between battery-powered, hardwired, or hybrid locks. Each of these options has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your needs.
It is also an important consideration when choosing a lock. There are many different styles available, ranging from modern and sleek to more traditional aesthetics. It’s important to choose a lock that not only looks good but also fits in with the overall design of your home or business.
Finally, you will need to consider the features you want in a lock. This includes things like activity logs, alarms, and camera integration. Budget is also an important consideration, with entry-level models starting under $100, while high-end models with extra features can cost over $400.
While no lock can guarantee absolute security, by taking the time to consider all of these factors, you can choose a lock that provides the level of security and convenience that you need.
While no lock can guarantee absolute security, smart locks provide monitoring, access control, and remote capabilities far beyond traditional locks. Protect your most valuable asset – your home and family – with the peace of mind of a smart lock solution that meets your specific needs.
Q1: Do smart locks completely replace my existing deadbolt?
A1: It depends on the type. Keyless deadbolts and padlocks completely swap out your old lock. Retrofit locks leave your existing interior lock in place. You’ll still use your normal key from inside. Remote control locks add smart features to your current deadbolt.
Q2: Can someone hack my smart lock?
A2: Reputable brands use advanced encryption to prevent hacking of your WiFi smart lock. Bluetooth only locks have a shorter range hackable distance but offer decent security overall. Disabling guest access when away adds protection.
Q3: How long does the battery last in battery-powered smart locks?
A3: Battery life ranges from 4-12 months before needing replacement. Factors are usage frequency, type of batteries, and battery efficiency of the lock. Some smart locks have a hybrid design powered by batteries and electricity.
Q4: What happens if my phone dies and I can’t access my smart lock?
A4: Most models have a keyhole or external battery port to power the lock with a backup key or battery. You can also share access remotely with someone else’s phone in an emergency.
Q5: Are smart locks easy to install?
A5: DIY installation is straightforward for most exterior smart locks following the included instructions. You’ll want to confirm your door is properly prepped. Professional installation may be better for complex retrofit jobs or whole home access control systems.