The traditional key and lock might soon be phased out through the invention of the increasingly popular smart lock. It is now possible for you to enter your home with a simple push of a button, a swipe of a card or even your phone!
Here at Keytek® we are taking a look at the best smart locks you can get in 2020 that will help you secure your home, protect your valuables and overall make your security more intelligent, prompt and effortless.
What are smart locks?
A smart lock is an electronic and/or mechanical lock that can open wirelessly with the authorisation of users. Most smart locks take away the need for a traditional key but rather can grant users entry through their smartphone or a key fob.
Types of smart door locks
The most common mean of entry include keypads, biometric or Bluetooth.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
RFID locks allow for entry by using a key fob or key card; much like the system that is used in hotels.
Bluetooth Enabled Locks
Some locks which can operate using Bluetooth will detect your smartphone’s Bluetooth ID and can open when you approach.
Keypads and Touch Screens
Early smart locks use keypads as means of entry, offering the user to set up a unique pin code to gain access. Newer smarts locks have replaced keypads with touch screens with panels instead of buttons, for sleeker design and increased security.
Biometric entry smart locks use fingerprint identification to operate the lock. This is now operating on most current smartphones.
Are smart locks really better?
The biggest benefits of smart locks are that they are configurable and can be more secure than the traditional key and lock. With digital locks they can be changed at any moment, should you think that someone has gained the code for your home or stolen a key fob, you can disconnect, reprogram, or wipe any potential security risk within a matter of minutes. Likewise if you would like to give someone temporary access, you would be able to allow someone access to your home but maintain that you have complete control over who is coming in and out of your home.
Are all smart locks keyless?
Different models of smart locks will come with different features. Many of these digital locks come with a manual key override in case of fault or emergency. However, some models have committed completely to being keyless and do not have a keyway.
Why doesn’t everyone have a smart lock?
Similar to all new technology, it can take a while for people to completely trust in this new type of product. The advantage of the traditional key lock is that you know it is going to work, is going to secure your home and most of all you know how to operate it.
One potential downside there might be to smart locks is the unknown. What will you do if it doesn’t work, how will I enter my house, can they be hacked to gain entry? These are all questions that someone is bound to have when thinking of making the technological change. However, do keep in mind that as they become more popular, processes and procedures will become more common knowledge, the base level to operate them will become more widely spread and you can’t argue against the convenience these locks will bring into modern lives.
What do you need to consider when buying a smart lock in 2020?
With the start of the new decade there are some things that you may want to consider whilst you shop around for your new smart lock to make sure it is the best model for you.
How smart is it?
Different versions of smart lock will hold different features; all of which will aim to make your life easier. Before buying a smart lock you should consider what features you would like, for example, you can get models that sense when you are approaching the door so will automatically unlock the door for you.
Replace or Retrofit?
Some models require you to completely replace the mechanism within your door where as other can simply be retro-fitted over your existing lock. Retrofitting models can often be installed without professional help and can take only a few minutes whereas models that require replacing your existing lock will most likely need to be installed by a professional.
Smart Home Integration
The ideal smart lock would be easily paired to other smart home devices such as an Alexa, Google Assistant or Homekit for a fully immersive smart experience. Depending on the model, make and brand of smart lock, you should consider what smart objects you might already have and how you would like for them all to interconnect.
Alternative Entry Means
Some smart locks will come with a manual key override built into the lock should the keyless technology fail, whereas others may have multiple ways of access for example through keypads, key fobs or a fingerprint system. Having multiple ways of access would mean that should there be an issue with one method of access you would still be able to open your door. When buying your smart lock consider what options you will have should your lock fail and what different options of access each model offers.
What are the best smart door locks for 2020?
Best Overall: August Smart Lock Pro
£399 from Amazon
This lock seems to truly have it all, with a multitude of different pairing opinions to smart home devices and an array of clever features that really allow you to utilise all of the benefits of a smart door lock whilst still maintaining a sleek and stylish look! Connecting with Alexa, Google Assistant or the Apple HomeKit, whichever smart home platform you have is compatible with this door making it all too easy to control access of your home with just your voice. Another great feature of this smart door lock is the easy to navigate, easy to use app that allows you and additional chosen users access to your home. Another amazing feature of this lock is the auto-lock and auto-unlock feature; you can set the smart lock to automatically lock or unlock when your phone gets within a certain distance of your home meaning that with hands full of shopping there is no hassle to try and grab your keys.
This lock is really the stand out for landlord and Airbnb hosts as it offers a hassle free and efficient way to let guests in and out of your home whilst ensuring that your home is secure. This lock integrates into the Airbnb booking system allowing you to give your guests a virtual key when they book that only works for the dates that you set it for.
Best Price: Samsung Digital Door Lock
£129.99 from Amazon
Although cheaper than the other models in our list but still relatively expensive, the features that you get with this smart lock are definitely worth the price. Samsung are a global brand featuring a range of sleek and clean, phones, TV’s and appliances, which have now branched out into the world of smart locks. Without a keyway, this lock is completely keyless and can only be opened with a code of radio frequency identification (RFID) card. With no keyway it means that this is truly a keyless smart lock, making traditional methods of forced entry such as bumping or picking not a threat to security.
A great feature of this smart lock is the random security code feature. Some might worry that with the keypad it might leave impressions of what the code is to get into the house but rather with this feature engaged, 2 random numbers will have to be pressed before the password can be coded in. This means that intruders are prevented from checking the fingerprints left to try to gain entry.
Best Aesthetic: Yale Conexis L1
£269.99 from Amazon
This smart lock is the most attractive and discrete model on our list and with all of the different finishes you are sure to find the right colour to fit within your home. Looking like the regular ‘lift and lock’ handles that are commonly seen on uPVC doors, the Yale Conexis L1 is designed to work with existing multi-point locks by replacing the handle and cylinder of the existing lock.
The general functionality of this lock is basic but effective; with the use of the app or a RFID tag you can easily open the door. And as a massive benefit, Yale have designed RFID tags that can be attached to almost anything such as the back of your phone(should you not want to use the app), your bag or even a watch, meaning that with one swipe of a RFID enhanced item you can gain access to your home. Although no external keyway on the door there is a thumb turn internally for easy locking and unlocking once indoors. A downside to this smart door lock however is that it cannot connect to other smart home objects without the use of a Z-Wave module, this optional module (costing approximately £60) will allow the Conexis L1 to connect a SmartThings system.
Overall, although the Yale Conexis L1 doesn’t have a mass of features it can do what it says on the box, providing that smart door lock system without the chunkiness or obviousness of other models.
In summary, we have now only started to see the wonders that using smart technology can do for us, and the ease that it brings. Not only will smart locks give you complete remote control over your door security but they also can come with a wide range of features such as, smart home integration capabilities and forced entry alarms that give you peace of mind that your home is safe.