The traditional key and lock might soon be phased out through the invention of the increasingly popular smart door 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 door locks you can get that will help you secure your home, protect your valuables and overall make your security more intelligent, prompt and effortless.
What are smart door locks?
A smart door lock is an electronic and/or mechanical lock that can open wirelessly with the authorisation of users. Most smart door 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 includes 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 door locks used 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 door locks use fingerprint identification to operate the lock. This is now operating on most current Smartphones.
Are smart door locks really better?
The biggest benefits of smart door 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.
However, nothing comes without flaws. Smart door locks aren’t better when it comes to an expert hacker. In fact, most smart locks have at least one vulnerability that exposes them to hacking. Some vulnerable features for the smart locks that put them in risk are the following:
- The device buzzing
- Plain text passwords
- APK files decompiling
- Replay attacks
Are all smart door locks keyless?
Different models of smart door 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 with smart door 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.
What do you need to consider when buying a smart door lock in 2022?
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 others 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 door 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 disadvantages of smart locks?
Cyber-attacks occur on a regular basis. If your smart lock is connected to the internet, it is just as vulnerable to hacking as your Wi-Fi. Smart lock manufacturers are beginning to recognise the significance of this and are prioritising cyber-attack resistance. This is one of the reasons to get a name brand smart lock rather than a knockoff cheap one, which leads to the following point, the cost.
In order to get a good smart lock brand, it will be more expensive than getting a normal traditional lock. It is important to consider how much a suitable smart lock will cost you along with the pros and cons of installing it.
- Lost/stolen phone
Have you ever had your phone stolen from you? Or even lost it somewhere and never remembered where it was? Your phone makes a smart lock vulnerable. Because your phone is the key, anyone who has access to it has access to not only your personal information, such as text messages and emails, but also an open door to your entire house.
Smart locks, unlike ordinary locks and like any smart device, are battery-powered solutions, and we all know how batteries die. This is one warning to which you should pay close attention. If the smart lock indicates that the battery is low, replace it immediately or risk getting locked out.
What are the best smart door locks for 2022?
Best Overall: Schlage Z-Wave Camelot Deadbolt
£214.76 from Amazon
A good smart lock may make a huge difference in terms of securing your property in a safe and advantageous manner. This smart lock provides the highest level of security while also distinguishing the ways in which you can lock and unlock the device. This smart lock does more than just give you a lock. From simple keys and codes to 24/7 remote monitoring and control, the Schlage Z-Wave comes at top of the list and overall best.
The Schlage Z-Wave Camelot Deadbolt is a smart lock that combines the best of old and new in a single unit that is easy to install. The lock can be accessed using a keycode, keys, or remote association, and features a touch screen keypad with an implicit alert. It may be expensive compared to many smart locks, but it is well designed and works very well with wireless remote controlling.
Best Price: Kwikset Smartcode
£118.52 from Amazon
If you’re looking for a simple way to secure your home every night, smart locks may appear to be too expensive to consider. Generally, there are a lot of budget-friendly options that will provide you with equal levels of security and comfort as the more expensive options.
If you don’t mind foregoing the advanced accessibility characteristics of more expensive locks, the Kwikset SmartCode deadbolt is an excellent way to add smart security to your home. The lock may be opened with a standard key, a keycode, or a bright key that detects the jolt and opens it. Even though it has an old design which is not favourable by many people, it is durable, affordable, and works best with connectivity.
Best Aesthetic: Yale Conexis L1
£185.99 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.
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.