How to Buy and Use Smart Locks

For most people, the most important thing they care about in life is to protect their families from anything that may cause harm. Therefore, knowing how to effectively protect your home and everything in it should be your priority. But what should we do?

The best way to protect your home is to install smart locks. Well, you may think that you already have a security system, which is of course very good. However, if you currently have traditional locks that use keys to open them, having the appropriate locks will add a layer of security.

According to Wikipedia, criminals or anyone with a group of ten striking keys can open about 90% of the most common marble locks. Almost all marble locks are vulnerable to the impact of the collision key and cannot be opened to some extent. Now, these are some very terrible things!

You must find a lock that cannot be opened with the collision key. Fortunately, most smart locks cannot be opened with the collision key. So let’s look at the smart lock and what you need to know to make a wise decision to buy the best smart lock for money.

1. Property Right

When it comes to your home, protecting your home and family is the most important thing. However, whether you own your own house or rent a house will determine the extent to which you can (or cannot) protect your family from harm.

Therefore, before continuing, the first thing you need to know is whether you must obtain special permission to install the smart lock (if you live in a rental house, this is the case).

1) For Your Own Home

If you have your own home, you don’t have to worry about what locks you can put on the door. Because if you own that house, you can do whatever you want, and no one tells you you can’t, which is a common obstacle for people living in rental houses.

2) Renting A House

If you live in a rental house, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t install smart locks on the rental house, it just means that you need to experience more trouble before doing so.

If you decide to change the lock, most landlords will ask you to provide them with the key to the house. Therefore, if you decide to install smart locks for your rental house, you should contact your landlord and ask about his/her requirements before installation.

You may also want to back up the reason why you want to install the smart lock, such as the crash problem we discussed above. Then, if the landlord allows you to install the smart lock on the rental house, please ensure that you obtain written permission. This will protect you from paying any perceived loss when you move out.

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2. Type of Intelligent Door Lock

There are several different types of smart door locks on the market. Therefore, you need to understand the different smart lock options available and their functions before deciding which one is suitable for you and your specific situation.

So the second thing you need to do before purchasing smart locks is to understand the different types of smart locks on the market and their working principles.

1) Keyboard and Combined Smart Lock

A keyboard smart lock is a lock that requires you to enter a password to open the door. They are very easy to install and allow you to set different PIN codes for different people, so you can always know who is coming and when is going. Most keyboard smart locks use the touch screen. However, some still have physical buttons that you must press to work.

There are also combined keyboard smart locks, such as the keyboard latch, the keyboard latch with lever or knob, and the keyboard latch with handle group. Most of these models also have optional connection functions, which means that you can connect them to other smart home devices, such as devices with the Z-Wave function.

2) Keyless and Wireless Smart Lock

There are various keyless and wireless smart locks. This means that if you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can use the Wi-Fi connection to connect to your smart lock. And if you have a Wi-Fi remote control, you can lock and unlock your door remotely from anywhere in the world.

One thing to remember about keyless and/or wireless smart locks is that unless you buy them as part of your home security package, most of them do not have special applications. Therefore, if you want to use Alexa or other smart home systems to control them through smartphones, you must also purchase smart home centers, such as Amazon Echo, Wink, or similar smart home technologies.

In addition, the smart locks that can connect to Apple HomeKit actually use Bluetooth to communicate with Apple’s smart home system, and most of them have their own applications, which means you don’t need to connect them to the smart home system. If your smartphone uses Bluetooth technology, please let them work on your smartphone.

In essence, Bluetooth will enable multiple locking functions. When you are within a certain distance from the device, it will sense it, and then it will automatically unlock when you approach the door. You can also touch the lock with the phone or the designated key chain, which will also unlock it.

There are also some smart lock brands that provide universal bridge-like accessories, which can let you connect their locks to your Wi-Fi network. This will allow you to remotely access, monitor, and control these locks.

3) Fob Enable Smart Lock

A smart lock with a smart key is a smart lock that can be used without a smartphone. These jobs use the key chain you carry with you, which may be put in your wallet, pocket, backpack, or another bag. Then, once you reach the door, you can open it by touching the lock. Then the lock will open, but only if you have a corresponding key chain somewhere on your body. Moreover, in general, one key chain can open multiple locks. In other words, a key chain can open your front door lock, rear door lock, side door lock, etc., as long as they are all part of the same related lock system.

4) Fingerprint and Biometric Smart Lock

A fingerprint or biometric smart lock is a lock that works with fingerprints. Fingerprints are unique and difficult to forge or change. Moreover, fingerprint-enabled locks will not be lost or misplaced, which makes them a good security choice.

The working principle of fingerprint lock is to scan fingerprints and then convert them into digital templates. Therefore, when you put your finger on the locked scanner for the first time, the data will be recorded and saved using the pre-saved identification value, which means that you can use it to grant access to multiple people.

There are some potential problems with these types of locks. However, you cannot reset the fingerprint-like resetting the password, which usually means that you must replace the lock in some cases. In addition, sometimes your fingers may be cut or scratched or a power failure may cause you to be locked out of the door.

When purchasing such a lock, please look for a lock with a keyboard or mechanical lock, so that you can still enter even if it cannot read your fingerprint. You should also check the error rejection rate (FRR). If you find a lock with a high rejection rate, please do not buy this type of lock. In addition, look for solid brass or steel instead of aluminum, so that they will not be damaged by crowbars. Finally, be sure to check how many fingerprints can be stored to ensure that you have enough fingerprints to meet your needs.

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3. Type of Door to Be Protected

Smart locks are not only applicable to the front door, in fact, but they can also be used for any door inside or outside. Therefore, before purchasing smart locks, the third thing you need to consider is which doors you want to install smart locks on. This will determine which type of lock you need to purchase, the quantity, and the total cost.

1) Front Door

Smart locks of any type and brand can be used for your front and rear doors. Smart locks are most commonly used in these areas. Left-hand handles and right-hand handles are the two types of smart door locks.This is what you should pay attention to when purchasing smart door locks. In addition, when purchasing smart locks for external doors, please ensure that these locks are designed for outdoor use and not marked for indoor use only.

2) Bedroom Door

Smart locks for bedroom and bathroom doors work just like any other smart door lock. The only difference is that when you buy an indoor smart door lock, you need to look for products marked “for indoor doors”. They also have a variety of colors and finishes to choose from, so they usually match most existing hardware and interior decoration.

3) Sliding Door

Sliding glass doors are one of the most vulnerable doors in your home because they are easy to break into. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, there is no smart lock available for sliding glass doors. There are some two-way keyless locks for sliding glass doors, that’s all. Therefore, the best way to protect them is to find a way to fix the sliding glass door.

4) Garage Door

Fortunately, there are smart locks for garage doors, and most of them are easy to install, and there are several different types of smart locks for garage doors to choose from. You will find that some of them can be used with your Wi-Fi signal and are compatible with centralized devices such as Z-Wave, Google Assistant, or IFTTT protocol.

There are also some simple ones that can be installed on any standard garage door wall switch, depending on the service life of your house. In addition, there are some with remote door sensors, thermometers, and most of them work by using applications on mobile devices. In addition, most of them are customizable.

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4. Connectivity

We just talked about connectivity, but how you want the smart lock to work depends entirely on the connectivity available to you or the connectivity you plan to install in your home. In most cases, your smart lock needs to be able to communicate with your other smart home devices and your mobile phone. Therefore, before purchasing smart locks, the fourth thing you need to consider is their connectivity.

1) Wireless Internet Access

The Wi-Fi option works like any other Wi-Fi-connected device because it uses your existing Wi-Fi network connection and matches it with the Smart Home Center. These will enable you to track who is coming and going and lock or unlock your door remotely from anywhere in the world.

2) Bluetooth

Bluetooth options are common in smart locks because they provide you with the same functions as Wi-Fi systems, but using a Bluetooth connection will not drain the battery quickly. So your battery should last at least one year or more. In addition, when using Bluetooth, your lock will be directly connected to your mobile device, so you do not need a smart home hub to make them work. However, having a smart home center will enable you to centralize all smart home devices so that you can access, monitor and control everything through one application instead of using multiple applications.

3) Z Wave

Z-Wave is another popular smart device connection method. The only difference is that the Z-Wave connection is not directly connected to your mobile device. The Z-Wave connection uses a compatible smart home hub to communicate with the signal of the smart device and then converts the signal into a readable command that the router can understand. However, once the connection is established, you can remotely access, monitor and control your smart lock from anywhere in the world.

5. Expenses

Like any other smart home device, the cost of smart locks varies greatly. Therefore, before deciding which smart lock to buy, the fifth thing you need to consider is price. The price of your smart locks will depend on their functions, features, installation location, connectivity, and any necessary related equipment, as well as the number of locks you need to purchase. However, the average cost of smart locks is about $200.00. But the price may rise significantly, depending on whether you choose a connection lock or a non-connection lock.

6. Features

Today’s intelligent locks have many functions. Therefore, before purchasing the smart lock, the sixth thing you need to consider is what functions you want to have.

1) Home Automation

Most smart home devices need a hub or other method of transmitting commands to provide you with home automation control (remote or other ways) of these devices. These methods or devices may include IFTTT, Wink, Alexa or other centralized home automation systems.

2) Smartphone Compatibility

Smartphone compatibility is another important feature because most smart home functions use applications to let you access, monitor, and control their systems and products. You can also retrieve the history of smart locks, receive mobile alerts, and so on through the application. Therefore, please ensure that the smart lock you choose is compatible with your specific mobile device, whether it is Android or iPhone.

3) Remote Control

Most bundled smart home packages have a remote access function. However, this is not always the case with independent smart locks. Therefore, if this is the function you want, please make sure to purchase the function with the application, so that you can remotely control visitor access, use Amazon Key and other door-to-door delivery options, receive notifications when the child comes home from school, etc

4) One-click Lock

There are different types of smart locks, many of which are called one-touch locks. This means that all you have to do is go to the lock and touch it. As long as you have the corresponding key chain (Bluetooth) or match it with your mobile phone, it will open. Therefore, if you want this convenient function, please make sure to select the one-button lock for your installation.

However, please note that some locks, especially newer ones, are a little expensive. And every time you want to share full access with others, some brands will charge you. So please keep this in mind.

5) Security System Integration

The integrated security system is compatible and connected with your existing security system. An integrated system uses multiple security devices, which can be of the same brand or different brands (if they are compatible) and integrates them into a solution. This will allow each device to be controlled from a single source, such as a mobile application.

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7. How to Install the Smart Lock on the Door?

The installation of the new smart lock will depend on the route you want to take. You can choose to purchase the smart lock system that can be modified to the existing lock, or replace the old door bolt with a new smart lock system.

Therefore, you need to determine whether you want to modify the current settings or carry out a 100% new installation before purchasing a new smart lock. Both have advantages, which we will discuss below.

After purchasing the smart lock, you may need to take some photos to understand the combination of the existing locks before starting the installation, so that when you encounter obstacles during the installation process and need to put everything back in place, you can refer to the guide to work together again.

1) Keep the Existing Fixing Bolts

If you decide to keep the existing door bolt and modify it with a smart lock, you need to look for something like a smart lock conversion kit or indicate the modification of the smart lock. Please remember to ensure that your existing door latch is compatible with any smart lock you choose. Most smart locks that can be modified to existing door latches are designed to clamp your current locks and are generally compatible with various traditional door latches.

2) Replace the Existing Door Bolts

Most smart locks on the market today are designed for new installation. You can completely replace the old door bolts with new smart locks. This option will also provide you with an unlimited number of intelligent locking systems to choose from. However, a new intelligent lock system needs more time and energy in the installation method, but they all have step-by-step instructions for you to follow, and most people, even those who are not all, are handy and easy to handle.

3) Precautions

The following are three points to note:

  • Purchase and use high-quality batteries.
  • Always ensure that you and your family have a backup access plan in case of failure or power failure. Several brands now have keyed backup options in case of failure. Moreover, some of them even promote that their keyed backup is anti-prying and anti-collision.
  • If your door has decorative decorations or any other potential obstacles, make sure that there is enough clearance for the thumb knob of your new lock.
  • Try to buy smart locks of the same brand as your current door locks. This is only important if your smart lock has the key option.

If you have a rental house, please do not forget to obtain the landlord’s written permission before purchasing and installing a new lock.

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8. Smart Lock Company

The following are some well-known and reputable smart lock companies. If you are looking for the best smart lock on the market, please check our list here:

  • August
  • Danarock
  • Friday
  • Igloo
  • Shortcut keys
  • Lock machine
  • sesame
  • Schlager
  • Ultra-low concentration
  • Yale University

9. Conclusion

The electronic lock can not only make your life easier but also provide additional security. You can use the lock used with the application to know when your child will come home from school. Even if they forget the key, your child can safely enter. If you are an enterprise owner, you will like to enable the RFID lock, so that you can protect the security of sensitive areas, and provide them with RFID keys and cards for access.

In case of burglary, you can also know who entered the company and when. Ensuring the safety of your door is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of the whole house. Our above guide will help you make the best decision.

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