The advancement of technologies has made the Internet of Things a complete reality today. So much so that every time we find more devices capable of connecting to the Internet, communicating with each other or that we can control remotely, such as smart light bulbs . However, other smart devices that are gaining prominence in our homes are smart locks, which provide us with an additional system to close and open the door of our house and also make it easier for us every day. If you are thinking of putting a smart lock on your front door, this is all you need to know before buying one and some of the best smart locks you can buy today.
Here’s a short video about choosing best smart door lock.
What are smart locks?
Smart locks are those that, as the name implies, have been designed to offer the functions of a conventional lock, but also add other types of access systems such as fingerprints, passwords or PIN codes, remote controls, etc. Locks that also have the ability to connect to the Internet and be controlled by other devices such as the smartphone itself.
And it is that, smart locks are characterized by working through an application that connects directly to our mobile phone and from where we can open and close the house door remotely.
Although many think that they have been designed to offer greater security when entering a house, many others think the opposite, since they expose the security of the house to possible attacks through the Internet. What is clear is that smart locks make life easier for us, as we will see below.
How smart locks work
Smart locks can make use of different systems or methods for opening and closing doors, therefore, each will have a different system or mechanism to operate . However, the general operation is very similar for all of them, since they have an electrical or electromagnetic system that is responsible for keeping the door closed until the access controller indicates that it should be opened.
What smart locks do is provide an identification system for the person who wants to open it. In this way, through the system that incorporates each lock, each user must identify themselves correctly so that the door opens or closes.
We could say that it is a system similar to that of locking and unlocking our smartphones. That is, through a PIN or password that we indicate through the keyboard we can unlock our mobile or open our door, while there are also locks that we can open or close with our fingerprint, for example, these security systems are usually quite sophisticated to guarantee their security
In addition, the fact that they can be connected to the Internet, allow us to open or close the door when we want remotely from other devices such as the mobile itself.
Types of smart locks
We could classify smart locks into different types depending on the system you use to open or close the door or the technologies involved.
Fingerprint : It is one of the most advanced types of lock, since it has a fingerprint reader to identify people who want to open a certain door. It is one of the most used locks for restricted access to a certain area in banks or offices, although it can also be used in private homes. The first thing to do is register the fingerprint of each of the people who have access and the system will open the door the moment it recognizes any of the stored fingerprints.
With key and password : They are designed for those who want to continue maintaining the use of keys to enter their home but, in turn, want to add a little more security to it. Its operation is very simple, it is necessary to insert the key and enter a password to be able to open the lock.
With remote control : This type of smart locks have a mechanical system that communicates via WiFi with the devices connected to the network of our house. It is necessary to install the specific lock app on our mobile to be able to open the door.
Radiofrequency : They are those that allow us to open the door with a card or a keychain using radio frequency (RFID).
Bluetooth: They work with the bluetooth connection of the mobile phone. The moment we move the smartphone closer to the lock, the door opens. These types of locks also usually have an alternative opening system in case we lose the mobile or the battery runs out before we get home.
Z-Wave : Unlike bluetooth locks, those that connect via Z-Wave do not do so directly with our mobile phone. In this case, they have to be connected to a Z-Wave compatible hub, which will be in charge of translating the signal emitted by the lock into something that our mobile phone can understand. If this hub is connected to the Internet, we can have a remote control of our lock from anywhere.
WiFi : The Wifi connection is usually an optional complement to some models of smart locks. The possibility of using this technology allows us to connect our lock with other devices, such as our mobile phones, and have a remote control of the lock from anywhere in the world that we have an Internet connection. In this case, no special type of hub is necessary, since the router of our house will be the one that provides the connection lock.
Advantages and disadvantages of using smart locks
The use of smart locks offer a number of advantages and disadvantages. The main advantages include:
- They are very comfortable to use and easy to open
- Anyone can make use of a smart lock, including children, teenagers or the elderly.
- We can close the door remotely even if we forget to do it when leaving the house.
- It is possible to open the door to someone when we are away from home.
- They usually allow you to configure temporary codes for guests without having to leave a copy of the key
- They do not require a physical key to open or close
- They usually allow the programming of a schedule for opening and closing.
- It does not allow forcing the lock or the cylinder as it happens with conventional locks.
- They save us the cost of a locksmith in the event of a breakdown or that we leave the keys inside the house.
Although in reality not all are advantages, since we can also find certain disadvantages when using a smart lock compared to a conventional lock.
- Any problem with the electronic mechanism, batteries or electricity can cause the lock to be locked and inactive.
- They offer less mechanical force when subjected to any blow.
- Compatibility when installing them on certain doors.
- Extra cost
- They are exposed to other hacking techniques to get our door open
Taking into account everything indicated in the article, as well as the advantages and levels of security offered by each electronic lock, depending on its type, it is probably easier for you to know which model to buy in case you want to increase the security of your home, business or office.
In addition, thanks to the technological era in which we are living, there are many options in electronic locks that you can find in the market, whether in online stores, hardware stores and more.