A smart lock is an electronic device that allows locking doors without using keys, remotely. Thereby, you can use them as an element of a smart home system. We will tell you about the principle of their work, their advantages, the smart devices on the modern market, and you can choose the best smart lock.
How they work. The main features
They are installed on both entrance and interior doors. You can use them as a stand-alone locking device or in a complex with standard locks. Their main feature is remote control through various devices — smartphones, tablets, central hubs.
There are different ways to open and close depending on the specific model:
- Using a password on a panel, usually located directly next to the front door.
- Using a plastic card with an electronic chip attached to the readout device.
- Through a key fob that acts as a remote control.
- Via biometric sensors capable of reading a picture from the retina or fingerprints.
To control the lock using the internet, you should connect it to the central hub of your smart house system or directly to a smartphone or computer via a wireless Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection. You need a special application on your mobile device compatible with iOs, Windows, or Android. After connecting the intelligent lock to the remote control device, you can give it commands, as well as receive information:
- If the doors are open or closed at the moment.
- Notifications if someone tries to enter.
- When combining the device with a video surveillance camera, you can get an image on your smart device (phone or tablet) and decide whether to give a command to unlock the door or not.
In addition, the best hi-tech smart lock can be integrated with intercoms, which allows installing them on the entrance doors of the apartment block. For autonomous operation, the device is supplied with built-in batteries, therefore, the smart lock is not blocked in case of a power outage.
Safety and other benefits
Compared to regular locks, electronic ones provide a higher level of security due to the following factors:
- All the information between the user and the smart device is transmitted over a closed channel, with a certain degree of protection against unauthorized leakage.
- The best smart locks for home, equipped with an electronic key in the form of a fob or a plastic card, usually have about 100 billion possible combinations. Therefore, finding the code for it is a very difficult task even for special hacker programs.
- Additional protection of biometric readout device for fingerprint or retina can provide even greater protection against smart intruders.
- An exception is a mechanical action on the door (via crowbar, grinder, sledgehammer). However, even in this situation, the smart lock will be able to send a signal about the burglary to the owner’s smartphone, or directly to the emergency control panel.
In addition to increased security, such a lock compares favorably with the regular one due to:
- automated remote control,
- accounts that display all information: when the door was opened, which tenant used the electronic key, etc,
- remote control over the front door by transferring information to your smartphone or tablet,
- work scenarios, sending passwords to guests, if necessary, setting their validity time.
How to install
Modern models are suitable for any type of a door, metal or wood. You can use them on any premises: at home, in offices, or public buildings. The whole process of installing consists of several steps.
- First, install the locking mechanism in the door panel. Installation features depend on the specific model, its design, as well as on the type of the panel. This procedure is similar to the installation of a regular key lock.
- Connect the homekit smart box, equipped with rechargeable batteries for autonomous operation, to the locking mechanism. As a rule, it is located in the immediate vicinity and is with a wire with plugs. It can include various technical elements: biometric or magnetic reader, touchscreen display.
- The next step is testing the main functionality: the possibility of free opening and closing of the locking mechanism by the command from the electronic unit.
- Connect the smart lock to the remote control system. To do this, follow the instructions of the device kit.
The best devices review
We offer our version of the top 10 smart locks on the smart electronics market today.
Kwikset Kevo Contemporary
This simple and stylish solution attracts, above all, with its ease of use. A smart lock has the minimum possible features: automatic detection of the smartphone proximity, automatic user identification, one-click opening after authorization, key generation, adjustment of access rights.
For all its simplicity, Kwikset Kevo is comfortable and functional. It is enough to approach it. The system will detect the proximity of your smartphone, identify you, and allow opening the door. If the user walks outside while the owner of the castle is inside, Kwikset Kevo will correctly determine that the visitor should not be allowed in without proper identification. To integrate the device into a smart home system, you will need to purchase an additional Kevo Plus adapter.
It looks quite simple in its features. The closing actuator is controlled by a rather large remote control included in the supply package. The remote control not only serves to open and close the smart lock but can also be equipped with two additional buttons with smart home functions. For instance, you can turn on the light or heater. KeyMatic system is the best smart lock for the elderly. The remote control has large buttons and allows the elderly user to quickly open the door from the inside.
You can install the device over the old lock cylinder. Homematic does not offer the original system App but there are many trusted third-party apps like Pocket Control (HM) or Orbylon. In addition, this device is the best and budget smart lock. Its average cost is about 170 Euros compared to 200-250 for other models.
Xiaomi Aqara Smart Door Lock S2
This is the best and expensive smart lock and considered one of the best solutions for integration into the overall digital home security system. It is equipped with a fingerprint scanner, there is a built-in NFC identification system. The door can be opened with a key fob or a programmed code via smartphone. You can open the door with a simple key, identification with a digital code is provided. In this case, you can turn on the redundancy system with the addition of extra characters in order to make it more difficult for an attacker who is nearby to remember the combination.