If you've ever wished your door would automatically unlock itself when you approach, you might be excited to hear about smart locks. This new type of lock connects with your smartphone to give you more options for locking and unlocking your home than simply using a clunky metal key. Smart locks are exciting new devices for tech-savvy homeowners, but they have some limitations that you need to know about.
How Do Smart Locks Work?
Smart locks use Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone when you are close to home. By detecting your smartphone approaching, smart locks can automatically unlock your door to let you in. Some smart locks are even smarter: they use WiFi to connect to your smartphone via the Internet, which means you can use an app to lock and unlock your home from anywhere in the world. Another cool feature of some smart locks is the ability to give temporary guest passes to visitors, so they can use their phones to access your home during a limited period of time.
Benefits of Smart Locks
The main benefit of a smart lock is that you can ditch your bulky metal home key. Instead, you can lock or unlock your home using your smartphone, which you're likely to have with you anyway. If you're prone to worry, then you'll also appreciate the ability to check the status of your lock using the smartphone app, whether you're at work, on the bus or on vacation. Say goodbye to that "did I lock the door?" paranoia.
Drawbacks of Smart Locks
Smart locks have experienced some serious teething problems. Gizmodo Australia revealed flaws in the technology that caused the August Smart Lock to incorrectly report its status as locked when in fact the door is open. There's also the problem that a dead smartphone battery could leave you unable to unlock the door using your phone -- although in this case you can revert to the failsafe option of a traditional metal key.
Should You Use a Smart Lock?
Locksmiths recommend that homeowners use multiple locks to secure their homes against invaders. Smart locks can be very useful in some situations -- for example, if you want to let a contractor into your home without giving them a physical key. However, it's a good idea to use a deadbolt in addition to your smart lock on an everyday basis, so you can be sure your home is safe.