The deadbolt installed on the doors of your home have one purpose, to lock. Generally speaking, that should be enough. Having a smart lock won’t necessarily make your house any safer, but it will give you more control. With many of them you can lock and unlock remotely or even give out extra digital keys to share with people who need regular admittance to your home.
Just because these devices are growing in number doesn’t mean they are the most practical or safest choice. Not all smart locks are the same either. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips and insights if you are interested in purchasing a smart lock or wanting to dig further into their purpose and function.
Consider the following:
Is your door compatible?
In order for your smart lock to work, it needs to be able to do so in a smooth motion. If you have to jiggle or push or pull your door to properly lock it, chances are a smart lock may not work for you. If your current lock doesn’t fully extend into the deadbolts hole, it could wear the motor out on your smart lock. The lock will always try to extend to the furthest it can, so if there is something preventing it from extending it could lead to problems.
Do you want to replace your deadbolt or add on to it?
Most smart locks serve as a dead bolt, but that isn’t always the case. Some attach to your existing deadbolt and simply do the locking and unlocking for you. Consider if you want to make an additional hole for another dead bolt or replace your current one
How would you like your smart lock to connect to the internet / your phone?
There are a few different connection options used with smart locks. The most common would be Bluetooth. Most people choose this option because it doesn’t use much power and your smart lock will be battery operated. The downside to Bluetooth is that it only works within a certain distance. Another option is Z-Wave. This option requires a separate hub in order for you to control the lock from your smartphone. Z-Wave does connect to Wi-Fi and normally has a range of around 120ft. The last common option for utilizing your smart lock is Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi options are often an optional add-on. You would buy a separate component that would bridge between your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The idea behind this is that you would be able to unlock and lock your house from anywhere there is Wi-Fi access.
How do you want to unlock your lock?
Again, there are a few options for what you can choose from. Some smart locks have a traditional keyhole if for whatever reason you don’t want to use the smart lock all the time. Some devices are keyless and some use a keypad that will require a pin code or a thumbprint. You will need to contemplate which option you would like to have and look for models that fit your needs.
As with all products, the best thing to do is to research the options out there and find what works best for you and your needs. Weigh the pros and cons and if the technology itself is something you’d like to utilize. They are not necessarily safer, but they do offer a convenience to them that you can’t get with a traditional lock and key. Another thing to consider is the fact that they are battery operated and what that may look like for you. There are many models and options and they do offer a wonderful bit of convenience, some even connect with Siri and Alexa!