WHAT IS A SMART LOCK? IS IT WORTH IT? A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE FOR HOME OWNERS
Smart technology is everywhere in America. In fact, back in 2016, more than 15 million American homes used it! That’s probably why the smart home market is going to bring in $23 billion in this year alone.
But did you know that you can use smart technology for more than playing music or upgrading your TV? It can also play a key role in improving your home’s security. Smart locks are a common feature in many people’s home networks nowadays.
So what is a smart lock and how do they work? To really understand the difference that smark locks could make it your home, you’ll need to know the answer to these questions.
That’s where we can help! We’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know about smart locks – from how the work to the best ones on the market at the moment. Read on to find out more!
WHAT IS A SMART LOCK?
In what is does, a smart lock is very similar to any ordinary lock in your house. It is responsible for opening and closing the lock mechanism on your door. However, how it does this is something new entirely.
Rather than using a key, you can control this piece of tech remotely. For example, you can use an app on your phone or connect it to your Alexa speak for voice control. Smart locks also offer you lots of additional features, such as remote control of your home’s locks.
So how does this all work?
HOW DO SMART LOCKS WORK?
For a smart lock to work you’ll need a couple of things: a working lock mechanism, a smart lock base, and an internet connection. Smart locks even work on deadbolt or mortise locks.
The base unit of the smart lock attaches onto a door like a regular lock control. However, unlike a regular lock, it doesn’t come with a key. Instead, when you install this device you need to connect it to your WiFi.
Using this internet connection, you can link it up to your smartphone, tablet, or home’s internet of things. You can then use these devices to unlock the door when you want. Different types of smart locks do this in different ways.
For example, some work by using a keypad on the smart lock base. This base sends a code to your smartphone or other devices in an encrypted message. You can then use this to unlock the door.
You can also use this code to unlock or lock a door remotely.
With other types of smart locks, you don’t even need to input a code. You can simply use your smart device like a digital fob to unlock your door. If you have your door connected to your home network, you can even unlock it using a voice command.
Some advanced types of smart locks are fitted with cameras and facial recognition technology. This means you can lock and unlock your home using just your face! And don’t worry – facial recognition is now so advanced people can’t fool it using pictures of you.
This all requires you to connect and verify the devices for security, but once you’ve done this you’re good to go! To really understand how a smart lock could change your life, let’s take a look at the many smart lock benefits.
YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT LOSING YOUR KEYS
We’ve all been there – you’re in a rush to leave and suddenly you can’t remember where on earth you left your keys! Or worse still, that you’ve just shut the door behind you a realized your keys are inside. Well, with smart locks you don’t have to worry about this one bit!
As long as you’ve got your phone on you or can remember your locks’ code, you’ll be able to get back inside in a matter of moments. If you use a smart lock with facial recognition tech you won’t even need that.
So you can kiss goodbye to hunting down the back of the sofa or frantically checking your coat pockets. Getting in and out of your house could never be simpler!
CHANGING THE LOCKS HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER
Smart locks also make changing the locks on your home easy and cheap. You won’t have to worry about calling out an emergency locksmith or getting new keys cut.
In order to reset your smart lock, you simply have to generate a new code. Once the code has changed, it’s like you’ve got a whole new lock on your door. This only takes a matter of minutes provided you have a decent WiFi connection.
This is a great option if you have people coming and going who you want to let into your house without compromising its security.
For example, let’s say you have maintenance people coming for the week. You can request a specific code to work for the locks for the time they’ll need to get in and out of the house. Then you can use a different code for the rest of the time.
You won’t have to mess around with leaving keys out for people or staying in to let them in.
Smart locks are also a great option if you rent your property out using sites like Air BnB. With a smart lock, you don’t have to leave your key in a key safe or let people in.
You can simply give them smart lock access for the duration of their stay and revoke this when they leave. No mess, no fuss, and total home security.
Finally, this is a great option if you’re looking for a lock for a commercial property. Rather than having to get lots of keys cut you can simply let your employees know the code and update it when staff leave.
THEY ALLOW YOU TO LET PEOPLE IN REMOTELY
Sending people codes to get into your property doesn’t have to be something you set up days in advance either.
Let’s say you’re stuck in traffic and a friend arrives at your house. Thanks to a smart lock you can let them in from your phone in a couple of minutes. Simply open the app and unlock the door.
And thanks to the internet, you can control this feature from anywhere in the world!
SMART LOCKS PROVIDE REAL PEACE OF MIND
Every twenty-three seconds an American home gets burgled. This may not come as much of a surprise, as burglary is the third-most-common crime in America. But did you know that most of these crimes take place during the day?
Burglars target homes during working hours as the owners are more likely to be out. This means they are less likely to be interrupted and are harder to catch.
Having a smart lock app on your phone could help alert you to threats such as these in a matter of seconds. This is because your smart locks don’t just open and shut doors. They can also monitor which doors open and when.
This means you can check to see when people have accessed your home. You can even set up alerts on the app so you’ll know if someone tries to get into your home without warning. If this happens you can send the police over and catch a thief red-handed!
But catching thieves isn’t the only handy use of smart locks.
Let’s say you’re on your way to work and worry that you forgot to lock up. You can use your app to check if the doors are locked. And if they aren’t you can change this with the click of a button!
This is also a handy tool if you’ve already gone to bed and are worried you didn’t lock up. No need to go all the way downstairs – just check your phone or ask Alexa.
Or if you’re on holiday and want to check in on your home, no problem. Check the app and go back to relaxing.
For even more peace of mind, you might want to consider combining your smart locks with security cameras to cover all bases.
SMART LOCKS ARE HARD TO HACK
A common question that people have is ‘are smart locks safe?’ and we can understand why. It might feel weird putting the safety of your home in technology. However, developers of smart tech have taken special steps to ensure they offer real security.
Any security codes that are sent to your phone will be encrypted meaning that people can’t intercept and read them. Only you will be able to read them from your verified account. This means you don’t have to worry about someone else hacking the codes for your smart locks.
But smart locks also protect you from a more literal type of hacking. The beauty of smart locks is that they don’t have keys and therefore a potential burglar can’t try to pick and trip the lock into opening.
Even if your lock isn’t brilliant quality, a burglar will struggle to both physically and digitally disable it.
THEY’RE EASY TO INSTALL
We know what you’re thinking: all this tech must take ages to fit and get up and running. Well, think again.
Installing smart locks on your home is quick, easy and simple to do. Installation guides may vary slightly from brand to brand but the basics remain the same.
You’ll need a few standard tools to remove your original lock and secure your smart lock in place. These include a screwdriver and drill, in case you need to make new drill holes.
If you’re feeling DIY-savvy, there are loads of handy YouTube tutorials for smart lock fitting. Or for extra peace of mind, call an expert.
Once your lock is physically installed, all that’s left to do is connect it up to your wireless network. While it’s connecting make sure to download the smart lock app and set up your login details. With all this in place, you’re good to go!
SMART LOCKS OFFER YOU OPTIONS
If you’re not sure how much you’ll use your smart lock, you don’t have to choose to get rid of your traditional lock. Some makes of smart locks actually feature key fittings along with smart keypads.
This means that you can pick which you’d rather use, instead of having to take the plunge with new technology. Just remember though, if you lose your keys for these combination locks then you may need to replace the whole thing, which could be expensive.
BEST SMART LOCKS ON THE MARKET
To really get an idea of what’s out there let’s take a look at some of the best smart locks on the market. These locks offer different options depending on what you’re looking for.
The Nest X Yale
Nest is a well-known security brand in the smart technology world. They create various alarm systems and camera doorbells, which can all work with this key-pad lock.
Their smart lock can connect to your Alexa meaning you can use voice control. It’s sleek, smart and easy to use.
The Lockly Secure Plus
This smart lock offers cool new fingerprint technology so you can unlock your door with a tap of your finger. It also lets you use codes to unlock your door so multiple people can use it.
The Schlage Encode
This key-pad smart lock is a great example of smart locks that also offer manual locking. It is also compatible with Amazon Key technology, meaning you can accept home deliveries from the comfort of your desk.
One of the other neat features of this lock is the built-in alarm system, which acts as a great burglar deterrent.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Hopefully, you’re no longer wondering ‘what is a smart lock?’ As you can see, there are huge benefits to installing smart locks on your doors and there are plenty of locks on the market to choose from!
For more help picking the right lock for you, get in touch to discuss your options with an expert locksmith today. We’re here to help.