Smart locks like most smart home products are becoming more prominent on the market and many more homeowners are implementing smart locks as part of their overall smart home system and security. Choosing smart locks can therefore become confusing, take a look at our advice below to help you make a decision!
What is a Smart Lock/ What do Smart Locks do?
A smart lock or smart door lock is a device that fits to your front door to secure it whilst allowing access in and out of your property, just like a regular lock. However, a smart door lock is connected to the internet or Bluetooth which means it can connect to other smart technologies such as your Smartphone through an app and your smart home devices.
A smart door lock therefore is able to perform far greater than your average door lock. Smart door locks have the ability to unlock and lock the door from anywhere with your Smartphone, allow you to know who and at what time they entered your property and even connect to your other smart home devices offering a seamless interconnectivity which would allow you to save precious time during your busy schedule.
Where can Smart Lock’s be around the Home?
Usually smart door locks are found on front doors, or exterior doors that provide access to your property. You may in some instances find smart door locks on interior office doors in the home or in the workplace.
Types of Smart Locks
There are currently two types of smart locks. Deadbolts and lever style smart door locks, deadbolts are installed to replace your existing deadbolt lock and lever style smart locks include the lock and opening lever in one.
What to Look for in a Smart Lock:
- Connectivity: Does the smart door lock connect via Bluetooth or the Internet or even both?
- Smart home compatibility: Does the smart door lock connect to your current smart home devices?
- Lock type: Do you want a deadbolt or lever style smart door lock?
- Function: Does the smart door lock come with an app that includes useful extras?
- Design: Most smart door locks come in a few styles to fit in with your décor.
- Price: Most importantly, does the smart door lock fit inside your budget?
How much does a Smart Lock Cost?
Smart door locks vary widely in price. We’ve found them from around £90 on Amazon for a pin code operated smart lock Yale Smart Living to around £300 for an August Home Smart Lock Pro which includes features such as automatic locking, ‘door sense’ and the ability to know who is coming and going with a 24/7 live feed.
How to Install a Smart Lock
Different smart door locks require different installations. We recommend that you follow the advice given from the manufacture of your chosen smart door lock. Often the manufactures will include diagrams or even YouTube videos of how to install a smart lock or offer the service to install it themselves for an additional fee.
Do Smart Locks prevent Break-Ins?
Further down the page we present to you our pros and cons of smart locks vs. traditional locks. Here we list how smart locks can prevent your home from regular break-ins such as chance burglars but are vulnerable to tampering via the internet. As for all home security there is no 100% way to secure your home from burglars but there are many things you can do to secure it. Take a look at our Home Security Hub here!
Smart Locks vs. Traditional Locks
Having a secure door lock is one of the most effective ways to protect your home and ever since ‘Smart Locks’ came on to the market, there has been an ongoing debate about whether they are A) safe, and B) more secure than Traditional Locks. We are going to look at some of the pros and cons of Smart and Traditional Locks, to see which comes out on top as the most secure for your door.
When we talk about ‘Traditional Locks’, we are referring to the typical locks you see on pretty much every door; a Euro Lock, Mortice, Yale type (Night Latch) etc. These are the traditional locks that you know already, and will most likely have on your door. These locks need a physical key to open them.
When we talk about ‘Smart Locks’ for the home we are referring to a lock that is controlled by your phone, or another devise such as a fob. These locks use either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and not a physical key to unlock your door.
Smart Locks vs. Traditional Locks Door Security
So, which locks are actually more secure? There are pros and cons to both traditional front door locks and smart front door locks. Take a look at our pros and cons list below:
Smart Locks Pros:
- Lock and unlock your home from anywhere:
Are you one of the many who leave their home get halfway to your destination and start worrying that you didn’t lock the door when you left? With a smart door lock you won’t have that worry as you can simply lock and unlock your front door with your smartphone. Not only will this upgrade your security and give you peace of mind whilst away from your home you can use this feature to your advantage in many ways, see above for more smart ways to use your smart door lock!
- No more fear of lock picking:
It’s simple; with a smart door lock you remove the fear of your home being targeted to lock picking. Lock picking is a method used by burglars where they force the lock open by breaking the mechanisms inside the lock. Without a traditional lock cylinder there is no means for burglars to pick your lock and break in.
- No more lost or multiple keys:
Smart door locks require no key (in most instances) so there is no chance of you, your children, nurse, dog walker etc. Losing the keys and risk them falling into the wrong hands.
- Know exactly who accessed your home and at what time:
Many smart door locks now have this feature built in. By accessing the smart door lock with your Smartphone, it allows the smart home tech companies to include data to show you who and at what time they entered your property! This is a great feature for those with vulnerable family members with multiple healthcare and support visitors, those who have dog walkers and nannies etc.
- Set up temporary keys:
Some smart door locks include the function to set temporary ‘keys’. This feature works by sending someone a one-time use code to their Smartphone allowing them access with your permission. This is particularly handy if you are going away and need someone to feed your cat for instance.
- Makes unlocking your home a breeze:
Multi-tasking with the kids, the dog, the shopping or locating your keys on a wet, cold day and actually unlocking the door is a hassle. One click of a button or even setting your door to unlock on a timer is much easier.
- Smart door locks work with your smart home appliances:
Set your smart home door locks to automatically turn on the lights, turn on the tv and even turn on the coffee machine as you unlock front door. Saving you a precious few minutes to yourself after work!
Smart Lock Cons:
- Internet hacking the smart door lock:
As with all things that are connected to the internet, smart door locks run the risk of being intruded by an internet hacker. This is not something your average burglar can do, so is safer in that respect but it is something an advanced burglar anywhere in the world can potentially do.
- Smart door locks are expensive:
Compared to traditional locks, smart door locks are expensive to buy. They not only require much more technology and workers to ensure to actually build, install and assist after installation than its traditional comparison. Plus, if something goes wrong it’s more than likely to cost you more in the long run.
- Losing or damaging your phone means losing your access:
Your Smartphone replaces your key and if you were to lose or damage your Smartphone you lose access to your home. Gaining back access to your home may be more difficult and more expensive as smart door locks require a specialist Locksmith.
- Network or power outage:
If your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth or even the power of your home cut out, you will no longer be able to lock and unlock your home.
If your smart door lock requires batteries, you run the risk of the batteries running out without you realising and thus rendering your lock either useless or inaccessible.
Traditional Door Lock Pros:
Traditional door locks are much more budget friendly, traditional door locks usually are priced around £15-£45 depending on size, make and model but smart door locks are priced into the hundreds.
Traditional door locks are more readily available than its smart counterpart; this includes the lock parts and mechanisms and the Locksmiths available who can fit, adjust and replace your locks the same day!
Traditional Door Lock Cons:
- Lock/ cylinder snapping:
Cylinder snapping is a process used by burglars to break the lock through the keyhole rendering the lock useless, enabling them to force their way into your home. There are ways around this using traditional locks however, check out our blog on Anti-Snap Locks here!
- Lost keys:
Losing small keys is easy to do and happens often. Losing your key runs the risk of it ending up in the wrong hands, which brings us onto our next point…
- Multiple key copies:
If you have lost your keys or are moving into a new home, it is advisable to replace the lock. You never know how many key copies are out there or how many people have access to your home. Find a Locksmith with Keytek® today!
- Key damage:
Overtime traditional keys can become worn down from overuse and cause the key to snap in the lock.
It may seem that smart door locks benefit from more pros and also misfortune more cons, simply due to the fact that it is more complicated than the tried over time traditional lock. We suggest that if you run a busy life and already have smart home technologies set up than a smart door lock is the one for you.
If you are watching your budget and require additional security then we suggest you upgrade your locks to an anti-snap lock with additional home security.
Here at Keytek®, we provide every single one of our customers with a free home security check! Call us on 0808 164 2928 to upgrade your security!
Smart Locks FAQs:
The answer is simply yes. Like any smart digital device, smart locks can be hacked but the extent differs from one type of smart lock to the other.
As soon as it is installed, connect it to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, set up your passcode, download the lock type’s app, and lastly type in your passcode when you are close enough to your door.
Relying on your Smartphone can sometimes be a problem even though you hold almost all day, which could be the problem itself because if your phone died or shut off you will be left without being able to use the main features.
Yes, all smart locks need a battery. However, how long the battery lasts will depend on your lock type. Some batteries last for some months.