What to Know About Smart Locks
*Updated June 2023.
Smart locks have been on the market for several years and continually gain features as technology advances. Learn how useful they can be and how to find the best option for your home or business.
What’s a smart lock?
Smart locks are door locks controlled digitally. These locks can be monitored and controlled by an app, phone call, code, key fob, or biometric data. Users can fully control access from wherever they are as long as they have an internet connection. Smart locks are used in a variety of ways for both residential and commercial properties. Some brands even offer automation, voice activation, and control through virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
How do smart locks work?
In most cases, smart locks either attach to or completely replace a door’s deadbolt and traditional lock. Smart lock installation is usually minimal; some versions don’t require installation tools. Once physically installed, users finish setup using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
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:
- Mobile alerts for activity
- Video cameras and microphones
- Custom user access codes
- Remote access to lock and unlock
- Emergency sirens
- Anti-theft features
- In-app panic buttons
- Traditional key backup
Choosing the right smart lock depends on what features best fit your lifestyle and needs. 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.
The key to smart locks is their connectivity. Smart locks primarily connect in one of three ways:
- Wi-Fi: This is the most popular option, as most businesses and homes have the Wi-Fi network needed for a lock to operate. 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 accommodate remote access control.
- Z-Wave: These locks typically connect to a hub installed on the user’s Wi-Fi router instead of directly to the user’s phone. These types can also be accessed remotely.
The most significant downfalls of smart locks often revolve around technical issues. They all require a power source through a battery pack or direct wiring to a building or home. Technical problems and malfunctions could arise if the power supply becomes disrupted. The same goes for the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth aspects. If you commonly suffer from technology woes, choose a lock with a manual-key backup.
Smart locks with FSS Technologies
FSS Technologies is a proud provider of various smart lock options. We work with three main providers of commercial access security solutions that incorporate smart locks. These providers work well alone, but can also integrate with each other for more comprehensive solutions:
- Avigilon Alta is the industry leader in commercial access control with modern hardware and software that accommodate contactless access, remote management, flexible credentials, and more.
- Livly is a property and tenant management system that involves access control with a mobile key system for residents and guests.
- Savance Workplace is a workforce management solution that enables employers to manage employees and visitors with access badges, temporary passes, and more.
The convenience and safety factors associated with smart locks have contributed significantly to their popularity and widespread implementation. FSS Technologies can complete a thorough assessment of your business and create a tailored solution that best fits the needs of you, your employees, and your customers. Contact our security experts for a consultation on the best smart locks to add to your security system.