What to Know About Smart Locks

Dec 22, 2021

Smart locks have been on the market for several years now and they continue to gain features as technology advances. But what exactly are they? And how useful can they be?

What’s a Smart Lock?

Smart locks are door locks that are controlled digitally, either by an app, phone call, code, or biometric data. These locks allow users to fully control access from wherever they are if they have access to an internet connection. Smart locks are used in a variety of ways for both residential and commercial properties. Some brands even offer automation and control through smart assistants like an Amazon Echo or Google Assistant.

How Do Smart Locks Work?

In most cases, smart locks either attach to or completely replace the deadbolt on the door they’ll be controlling. Smart lock installation is usually minimal, and some versions don’t even require tools (for our less than handy readers). Once physically installed, users typically finish setup using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

  Features

As previously mentioned, many smart locks involve control from a smartphone app, numeric codes, key cards, or even biometric data like fingerprint scans. Other popular features include things like:

  • Video cameras and microphones for either one-way or two-way communication

  • Emergency sirens

  • Anti-theft features

  • In-app panic buttons

  • Traditional key backup

Choosing the best features ultimately depends on the user’s lifestyle. For instance, some smart locks allow for multiple profiles or guest access, and someone with children might want their babysitter to have their own personal or temporary code.

  Connectivity

The key to smart locks is their connectivity. Smart locks primarily connect in one of the following ways:

  • Wi-Fi: This is by far the most popular option as most businesses and homes have Wi-Fi networks for the locks to use. These types of locks can be accessed from virtually anywhere.

  • Bluetooth: This type of lock connects directly with your smartphone, tablet, or computer; however, this connection isn’t as robust since Bluetooth connections don’t allow for remote access control.

  • Z-Wave: These locks typically connect to a hub that’s installed on the user’s Wi-Fi router instead of directly to the user’s phone. These types can also be accessed remotely.

Smart Lock Cons

The biggest negatives of smart locks often revolve around technical issues. They all require a power source, whether it’s through a battery pack or being directly wired. If the power supply becomes disrupted, technical issues and malfunctions could easily arise. The same goes for the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth aspects. If you commonly suffer from technology woes, be sure to choose a lock with a manual key backup.

The convenience and safety factors associated with smart locks have been a huge contributor to the rise of their popularity. FSS Technologies has an abundance of smart lock options for both residential and commercial properties and can create a tailored solution for your needs. Contact our security experts for a consultation on the best smart locks to add to your security system.

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