You may have heard that adding a smart lock to your front door will make your life safer and more convenient. However, what precisely are smart door locks and how do they operate? If you install a door lock that can connect to the internet, is there anything you should be worried about?
Your queries will be addressed here, along with an explanation of how a smart door lock might improve your house. However, if you feel the need for additional details, feel free to get in touch with the professionals at ADT to find out how a smart door lock and other safety features might match your needs and your budget.
What Is a Smart Lock?
You might be asking how a regular lock can be deemed “smart” given that they are typically inanimate objects. The term “smart” here alludes to the lock’s connectivity with other technological systems. A smart lock can connect to your home Wi-Fi in the same way that your smartphone can.
Why would you want your lock to be able to access your WiFi? You can, therefore, use this connection to remotely activate the lock and determine whether it is locked or unlocked. In fact, as long as you have an internet connection, you can check the status of a smart lock from almost anywhere in the globe.
Do you recall locking the front door when you were getting ready to board the plane? With a smart lock, you can reassure yourself by checking an app on your phone. Additionally, if the door was left open, you can lock it with a simple button press while standing miles away.
Smart devices are proliferating everywhere. One of the many gadgets you might have in your house is a smart lock. These devices can be automated, controlled, and monitored remotely. You can do this by giving each device a certain time to turn on or by writing a software that starts many devices simultaneously.
If you have additional linked smart home devices, you could, for instance, use a single app button to lock the door, activate the alarm system, close the blinds, crank up the thermostat, and other functions when you leave the house.
Seven Common Smart Lock Features
Although no two smart locks are exactly same, many have traits in common. The security and convenience benefits of having a smart lock are influenced by these aspects.
Keyless entry: No need to worry about leaving your keys behind, misplacing them, or letting someone in who doesn’t have a key with keyless entry. The majority of smart locks have a numerical keypad that you may use to access the door by just inputting a code. This is especially useful if you have young children that arrive home from school before you do or visiting relatives. For even more security, you can always modify the key code.
Mobile access: Smart locks can link to a mobile application, enabling you to lock and unlock your door from any location in the globe with an internet connection and monitor the frequency of visitors or family members entering and exiting your home.
Mobile alerts: Access to mobile notifications is a feature of mobile apps. This can be useful if you want to know when the kids get home from school or if a stranger is inside the house.
Custom user access codes: With many programmable locks, you may designate unique pin codes for each family member by creating custom user access codes.
Nighttime illumination: A back-lit keypad can make it simple to see in the dark so you won’t have to fumble around in the dark trying to press the proper keys at night.
Bump guard: Smart locks may also come with extra security features like bump guards, which deter would-be intruders from breaking into your house by bumping the lock.
Smart key: Previously, you had to completely replace your door lock if you wanted to keep someone out of your house or you misplaced your spare set of keys. Instead, you may simply recode the key codes in your current lock using a smart key.
All of the aforementioned capabilities of ADT Smart Door Locks are available, in addition to the option of adding them to the ADT mobile app, where you can manage all of your home security and smart home gadgets to make them cooperate.
How Do Smart Locks Work?
The normal deadbolt locking mechanism in your door can be replaced with another lock that is identical, much like you can replace the mechanism with a smart lock device. All of the components of the locking mechanism are the same; however, when you lock and unlock the door, electronic control is used rather than human control.
However, because the locking mechanism is electronic, you will need to do more than simply replace the door lock when you install the electronic lock if your door needs any specific encouragement (such as pushing on it or pulling the handle in just the correct way) to properly close and lock. The door and frame will need to be adjusted so that it shuts easily and locks and unlocks without the need for extra expertise.
Being an electronic device, the smart lock itself needs a power source in the form of a battery. Therefore, your lock will have a tiny, concealed battery compartment. Four AA batteries are required for the smart door lock from ADT, and the lock will alert you when the battery is running low and needs to be replaced.
The electronic components in your smart lock will enable it to connect to your home internet via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Z-Wave. This enables you to remotely unlock the lock using a smart device with internet connectivity.
Smart locks work with a lock and a key, just like all locks. The key, however, is digital in this instance rather than real. The key might be a command transmitted from a smartphone app that uses encryption, as well as a code input on a keypad. The current industry standard 128-bit encryption is used by ADT smart locks.
Smart Locks and Personal Safety
A smart lock can improve both the security of your house and your personal safety in a variety of ways. One of these is:
Uses your security system in conjunction: Smart locks can be combined with cameras and home security systems, allowing you to see who is at your door and lock or unlock the door for them appropriately.
Automation and reminders: You can prevent forgetting to lock the door by setting reminders or programming it to lock automatically after a predetermined amount of time. Additionally, you can program emergency automations, such as having your smart home system lock the doors once motion is detected.
Observe who enters and exits: Keep track of who comes and goes with alerts emailed to your phone.
Do I Really Need a Smart Lock?
Smart locks not only provide safety and security, but also a great deal of ease. If you have ever experienced any of the following situations (or something similar), it may be time to start looking into a smart lock.
Scenario 1: You store a hide-a-key under your doormat in Situation 1. It is available in case you misplace your keys or a buddy has to come over and pick up something for you. You worry that if someone decided to burgle your house, they would only need to locate that key under the mat.
Scenario 2: In case two, you provide lodging through an Airbnb. Every time a new visitor checks in, you must schedule a time to see them face-to-face to hand over the keys and ensure that you receive the keys back when they depart. It can be challenging to fit it into a schedule that is already full.
Situation 3: On your way to work at least once a week, you find yourself racking your brains to see if you locked the door. You might even pull a U-turn and head back home to double-check. Or perhaps you fall asleep in peace only to wake up in the middle of the night thinking the same thing and needing to check.
Scenario 4: Upon returning home, you discover that you had completely forgotten to lock your door before leaving.
It could be time to buy a smart door lock if you desire the security and convenience of being able to inspect and operate your door lock from anywhere and you’re starting to see all the different ways one could make your life easier.
Having one will let you set special access codes to monitor who comes and goes. You can even remotely unlock your door to allow a delivery driver to bring a box inside safely if it is coupled with a smart doorbell camera. Additionally, the keyless access features come in handy if you frequently host visitors or rent out space.
Smart Lock Concerns
Some people are reluctant and apprehensive when thinking about installing a smart lock in their home. These include the lock’s level of security, the cost, and what will happen if an electronic component fails or the batteries run out.
What happens if the battery dies or I lose internet connection?
What would happen if a battery died or the internet connection dropped might also be something you were considering. First of all, the majority of smart door locks will notify you when the battery is running low, giving you plenty of time to replace it. Always change the batteries before they run out entirely and the lock stops functioning.
You won’t be able to operate the lock electronically if the batteries run out entirely. The lock will stay in the last position it was in before the battery died (locked or unlocked). If you are home at the time this happens, all you need to do to get your door lock working again is change the batteries. However, if you become locked out, you might have to manually enter your home using a spare key or use a different door.
You may still use your lock manually or with the keypad if something happens to the internet connection, and you can then contact assistance to diagnose the problem and bring your device back online.
The safety and convenience offered should well outweigh any potential negatives, and a decent lock from a trustworthy source is unlikely to have many, if any, difficulties.
Read more: Are Smart Locks Safe?