Do you need a Wi-Fi door lock?
The new trend in door locks is the Wi-Fi door lock. With technology advancing in leaps and bounds, it was only a matter of time before someone came up with a keyless door lock that you could unlock with your phone. Whether or not you get one is personal preference, if you can barely use a smart phone then, having a Wi-Fi door lock that uses your phone may not be the best option. We will run you through some of the best Wi-Fi door locks out there and see if you can find one that right for you.
The August Smart Lock- £228
The price for the August smart lock is a little steep, but you do get what you pay for. Like all the other smart locks it is completely keyless, and uses an app that you can get on iPhone and android phones. This also allows you to send and cancel digital keys as you need to, you can also keep an eye on who’s coming in and out of your house by turning on notifications.
The August lock works mostly through Bluetooth rather than Wi-Fi, which means it has the added benefit of still working even if there is a power cut or your internet isn’t working. This only works in close range, if you want to use the notification features and send keys you will need buy the Wi-Fi bridge, which costs an extra £33.
The pros of the August Smart Lock are easy to see; full control and access through the app, it uses Bluetooth rather than relying on Wi-Fi and it’s very easy to install. However there are some cons, there is no key backup meaning if the lock fails, you are locked out completely. There is no display on the lock, so you cannot manually override it if you forget your phone. You will also have to splash some extra cash to get the Wi-Fi Bridge to allow you access to the lock via the app. There is also no official retailer for the August smart lock in the UK, but you are able to find it online.
Lockitron Bolt and Bridge- £332.76
The Lockitron is not the most affordable option, but again, you get what you pay for. It’s a 2 part system; the bolt is the actual door lock, and the bridge is the small brick like device that connects the Lockitron Bolt to the internet so you can lock and unlock it everywhere. The password can be changed remotely, meaning that if you lose your phone then the security of your house isn’t compromised. You can use the lock with Bluetooth so if there is a power cut you can still get in. the Lockitron is compatible with both iPhones and Android and needs AA batteries to run.
The pros of this Wi-Fi door lock include the easy installation and it works with most phones. On the negative side the batteries only last for 6 months, and you will need to pay extra for the bridge.
Okidokeys- Around £300
The name might be a little gimmicky, but what you pay for is a quality bit of kit. For the price you pay you can’t get much more for your money. It works like most other Wi-Fi Door locks in that your phone can be your key. However there is an option to have smart reader fobs and access wristlets for your children and other family members who don’t have a phone. The most fun bit however is the hands-free mode, basically as long as your phone is within a certain range the door will open automatically. Helpful if you have arms full of shopping or small children you need to wrangle. The bonus with an Okidokey is that your phone doesn’t have to be a smart phone to connect. Like the others it uses Bluetooth over Wi-Fi and you can set your app to alert you of the comings and goings of your house.
The pro’s of the Okidokeys are that you are not just reliant on your phone for entry and the hands-free option is something you don’t get with other Wi-Fi door locks. However it is noisy to operate, with users saying the mechanism sounds like a struggling electric screwdriver. To get the full benefits of it, you will need to splash out on the extras, and having already splashed out £300 you might not want to do that. You are able to pre-order them off Amazon, but a release date has not been announced.
Haven Smart Lock- £300 and upwards
So we come to a smart lock that is very different from the ones we’ve already talked about. The Haven Lock is a strip that’s installed on the floor at the base of your front door. It’s strong; made of steel, glass, reinforced nylon and aluminium.
Essentially it’s a modern way to stop someone kicking in your door, the 21st century version of putting a chair underneath the doorknob. The Haven uses the house itself for stability and reinforcement, to stop an unwanted person entering your house. Like the other Wi-Fi locks it connects to your phone using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and senses when you are within range and will unlock the door for you.
Cons of the Haven Smart lock are; it’s not available until May 2018 but you can pre-order it and considering what other smart locks can do its quite expensive for what it is. In the Haven’s defence however, it’s a good alternative to the standard smart lock, and is connectable to most phones.
This smart little Wi-Fi door lock is from Denmark and boasts a classy elegant style. This neat little device fits over the deadbolt that’s already on your door. It’s a little trickier than the other smart locks to set up, but once you have it on, it’s there to stay. The one thing that makes the Danalock stand out is that it uses Z-wave technology (what your T.V remote uses) in addition to Bluetooth. By using the app, which you can download on iPhone and Android, you can lock and unlock, give out e-keys, get alerts and change preferences.
The funniest feature that comes with the Danalock in the ‘knock to unlock’ setting, which like the name suggests allows you to unlock the door by knocking on your smartphone. You might say that it’s easier to just tap the app to unlock the door, but for those who like the cool side of all this new technology, then it’s a great add on.
The pros of buying a Danalock are the sleek design, use of z-wave and it’s not the most expensive smart lock out there. However, the installation may be more challenging than others, some users have reported that it can be a bit slow to respond and the App needs some updates to make it user friendly.
Candy House Sesame Smart Lock- £106
The main selling point of the Sesame Smart Lock is that it takes seconds to install. You won’t have to replace any of your doors hardware, the little device just slots over whatever you’ve got, without needed any tools or screws. The makers of the Sesame smart lock claim that it will work with ANY latch ANY where.
The lock works via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and like the others is controlled by an app. You can lock or unlock, or even Knock to unlock either on the phone or on the actual door itself, depending on which way you set up the Sesame. Like the other Wi-Fi door locks you can set it up so that you receive notifications when someone leaves or enters your house.
This is not the most sophisticated or fancy Wi-Fi door lock out there, but it does the job, which is to make your home more secure. The major selling points of the Sesame Smart Lock is that the instillation is very easy, the price is good and it has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. On the downside, to get the full benefits of the Sesame you will need the Wi-Fi access point.
Can a Wi-Fi door lock be hacked?
The simple answer is …yes.
Technology has advanced our society in many ways and it was only a matter of time before it entered the keyhole. But with more technology advances new risks appear, and anything that is connected to the internet is at risk of hacking. But is it such a big risk that you shouldn’t get a Wi-Fi smart lock?
Most burglars are opportunistic, so if you have a big flashy Wi-Fi door lock attached to the door, is likely to put off the average burglar. However a more skilled burglar might see and expensive smart lock on your door and assume you’ve got something valuable to secure inside. On the other hand, if a burglar has the skills to hack a smart lock then it’s unlikely they would be breaking into houses; they would most likely be putting their time and effort into targeting places that contain high value items.
If you are thinking about the pros and cons of Wi-Fi door lock vs normal locks then you have to weigh up the risks. Yes there is a possibility that your smart lock will be hacked, however it’s more likely that your standard non smart locks will be picked. There are also more vulnerable points of access in your home, including windows, which would be easier for a burglar to break into.
There is not a lock, alarm or home security system that can offer you a 100% guarantee of security. It’s about what is best for your house and family, if you have children that you don’t trust with a physical key, then it may be worth investing in a lock you can control with your phone. But if you struggle with technology and trust the old standard locks, then stick with them!
For more information on securing your home visit our Security Tips Page.