When it comes to you and your loved ones' safety, you should never compromise. Traditional deadbolt locks do their jobs just fine. They have been tried and tested many times. However, people end up leaving a spare key outside which is a major vulnerability. Enter the smart door lock!
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What is a Smart Lock?
As the name suggests, a smart lock is smarter than your usual deadbolt lock. A smart lock is an electromechanical device designed to lock and unlock a door from an authorized device.
Unlike a traditional bolt lock, a smart lock can be accessed without a physical key. Due to this flexible access mechanism, a smart lock is more convenient and is becoming a leading security device choice for many Americans.
How does a Smart Lock work?
As said previously, a smart lock is an electromechanical device. It is connected to the home WI-FI router. A smart lock, just like most smart devices, needs the internet to work properly. This internet connection allows the smart lock to receive the lock/unlock command from your smartphone or voice assistant.
When the internet is disconnected, the smart lock works like a traditional deadbolt. In simple words, you can use the physical key to unlock it. Some smart locks can still accept other keyless forms of authentication, such as passcode / pin and fingerprint / biometrics even without an internet connection.
How do I install a Smart Lock?
Before installing the smart lock, you would need to remove the old lock first. Start by unscrewing the nuts on the old deadbolt lock, then remove the lock assembly from the front side of the door. Finally, unscrew the deadbolt lock mechanism from inside the door frame.
Take the deadbolt of your smart lock and slide it in the door frame. The deadbolt would have a mark “Top” etched on it. Make sure the “Top” print stays up. Adjust the deadbolt so that the three holes are in the center. Now screw the deadbolt in place.
Insert the outdoor assembly piece. The thin bar on the piece should go through the middle hole of the deadbolt. Slide the wiring beneath the deadbolt hardware. Connect the wire to the interior assembly and screw it in place.
Now insert the batteries. After you turn the smart lock on for the first time, it will lock and unlock itself a few times. This process is just to determine if the door is on the right or left side. Finish the installation process by setting the pin.
Benefit of Smart Door Locks
Convenience – No More Keys
If you are prone to forgetting or losing your home keys, then the smart lock is the perfect product for you. With a smart lock, you would not need to carry a physical key anymore. These smart locks provide special convenience to elderly and disabled people who find unlocking the traditional lock difficult. With the smart lock, people who are disabled can access the door quickly.
Fine-Grained Access Control
Smart locks are more secure because of their fine-grained access control. To open the door, the primary password or an E-key is needed. Unlike a traditional lock, a thief cannot open your door using a bobby pin. In addition to that, you can assign guest keys to each family member. If the guest key has been leaked, you can block it right away for security.
It costs between $50 – $100 to get a smart lock installed. However, if you do not have a technician available in your area, you can install it easily by yourself, too. Smart locks usually come with in-depth installation manuals. Or you can stream an installation tutorial online. With the help of the right size screwdriver and nut bolts, anyone can install a smart lock.
According to the FBI, every 26 seconds, a burglar strikes in America. And these numbers are continuously escalating every year. As the thieves are getting smarter, so should your lock. Professionals say that smart locks are harder to manipulate than traditional deadbolts. This fine-grained access makes your home more secure compared to traditional solutions.
Remote Access & Monitoring
Another great benefit of a smart lock is being able to lock and unlock the door remotely. When you are away from home, and some friend or family wants to get in, you can open the door for them while at work. In addition to that, you can send a guest password to your family so they can enter without your help. Furthermore, whenever someone unlocks your house, you will be notified through the app, which increases security and oversight.
Most of the smart locks feature a tamper alarm. As the name suggests, a tamper alarm is a noise that your smart lock makes when someone tries to tamper with it. In simple terms, if an uninvited guest guesses too many wrong passwords, the alarm will go off and let you know about the danger.
Smart Door Lock Features
When buying a smart lock, purchasing the first product you see is probably not the best approach. Instead, consider the following features to ensure you get the best option for your needs.
The majority of smart locks work similarly and have the same access mechanism. You can unlock the smart lock using a physical deadbolt key or the primary password. You can also assign different people to different passwords. Geofencing is also an access option. Some smart locks are completely keyless and you can unlock them only with a password. Both types of locks are equally secure, so choose whatever suits your household the best.
Security Grade & Deadbolt
Deadbolt locks and smart locks are rated with the same security grades. The highest and best security grade that ANSI (American National Standard Institute) assigns is Grade 1. This means the smart lock is fully secured. The lowest rate is CCC or Grade 3. We recommend getting smart locks with Grade 1 or Grade 2 security for the best protection. There are also other ways to secure a door with a lock such as security bars, braces and barricades.
Smart Home Integration & Protocol
As every year passes, average American houses are becoming smarter and smarter. Now you can connect all of your smart devices to your voice assistant. Many smart locks come with the same feature. This way, you can access the lock with one voice command.
Smart locks that can be integrated with the voice assistant are best for people who use voice commands to run their home devices.
Battery-Powered & Backup Options
It is common knowledge that smart locks are battery-powered. This is why you should always check what the battery life of your smart lock is. Some smart lock batteries can last up to 6 months while others barely last for 2.
Yes, you can always change the battery, but the problem arises when you are outside the door, and the door will not unlock. To save users from this situation, most smart locks have backup batteries.
Auto-Lock & Auto-Unlock – Geofencing
Cannot open the door because you are coming from the grocery store and your hands are full? The geofencing feature can save you time in situations like this. Geofencing is a simple feature that opens the door when the smart lock's primary user is near the entrance. After you have passed through the door, the door will lock itself.
Smartphone Apps & Remote Access
Make sure the smart lock you are getting comes with a smartphone app. These simple apps can make your life a lot better and safer. The smart lock apps help the user remotely lock and unlock their house. You can also check the smart lock activity on the app and check who entered and left your house. The smart lock app also sends push notifications when someone is tampering with the lock or when the smart lock's battery is low.
A smart lock is a lot smarter than a traditional deadbolt lock. This smart device not only makes your life easier by allowing you to lock/unlock the door remotely, but it also makes your home safer and more secure.