Smart locks are fast becoming the most popular way to protect your home. They are stylish, sometimes more secure and easier to use than a traditional lock and key. However, installing a smart lock comes with its own set of risks. We will go through some of the pros and cons of having a smart lock and try to answer the question; are smart locks safe?
How do Smart Locks Work?
Smart locks are keyless door locks that are controlled by a smart phone, allowing you to open your door and the push of a button rather than a key. Almost all smart locks are controlled by a smartphone app. A smart lock will connect to your homes Wi-Fi network, which means you can send or receive entry codes, or the command to lock and unlock the door. Smart locks a relatively easy to install and can be attached to your existing deadbolt.
Can Smart Locks be Hacked?
The short answer is, yes. Any device that is connected to the internet is hackable, so any smart lock that is connected is vulnerable. However, unless you own a multi-million-pound house, it’s unlikely a burglar will have the capability of hacking the smart lock and opening the door. The majority of burglaries are spur of the moment decisions, intruders are in and out on average in 8 minutes. These types of burglars are unlikely to have the forethought of stealing, cloning or hacking in to your smart phone to disable your smart lock. It’s more likely that a stolen or lost phone will give someone the ability to access or ‘hack’ your smart door lock.
What happens to Smart Locks if the internet is down?
Of course, where smart locks provide ease of access and enhanced safety, they do come with some issues. If your smart lock is connected to your home Wi-Fi and it goes down, where does that leave you? Locked outside of your home? Well thankfully no, smart lock manufactures have added manual overrides that mean you will be able to unlock your front door without the use of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Are Smart Locks more secure?
Technically yes smart locks are more secure thanour traditional manual key operated lock. This is because there is no risk of a lost key or unknown spares floating around. You and your families should be the only people that have access to the app that controls your smart lock and you can give one-time codes or digital keys to anyone that needs to enter your home sporadically. This all should mean that you will never lock yourself out, or misplace your key. Also having a smart lock attached to your front door is a big deterrent for burglars.
Best Smart Locks 2021?
While there are many options to choose from when it comes to smart lock, which one you want will depend on your needs and budget. Whether you need a smart lock that fits in with your current home security system, or need one that the whole family can use, it’s worth doing a bit of research into which one is best for you. We will go through a brief overview of some of the most popular smart door locks on the market at the moment.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock- £345
August have been in the smart lock game for a long time (since 2014) and therefore have a wealth of knowledge and experience behind them. Meaning you won’t find a better smart door lock out there. The installation is easy and the design is sleek, there not much to fault with and August Smart Door Lock. The only thing you might moan about is the price, selling for around £250 it might be a bit pricey for you.
The August Smart Lock connect with most over smart devices such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice commands and most importantly to other smart home security systems such as; Honeywell, Logitech, SimpliSafe, and Samsung.
Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro- £257
If you’re looking for the most technically advanced smart lock then this will be right up your street. Like with all other smart locks it uses a mobile app, meaning you can unlock your front door remotely from wherever you are. What makes this smart lock different from the others is that if offers a fingerprint recognition option on the keypad. The keypad also gives you the option to use permanent and time-based passcode. As if it couldn’t get futuristic enough the Ultraloq can also be locked and unlocked with voice commands. It also connects to other smart devices, so the ways to unlock your door are almost limitless.
It comes with other nifty features such as Auto-unlock, which uses your phone’s location services to automatically unlock your door when you get close to it. You can also open your door by shaking your phone when you are stood outside, this is great for when you have your hands full and need to get in with minimal fuss. You can also set passcodes that are either permanent or temporary; you can even set passcodes to only work at certain points in the day. This would allow a tradesman to enter with a code between 11am-1pm, but not from 1pm onwards.
Yale Conexis L1 – £199.99
The Yale smart lock is a little chunkier than the others; however the solid design might make you feel more secure with it attached to your door. If the solid design doesn’t reassure you enough, it’s worth knowing that the Yale Smart lock was the first lock to be BSI approved. This proves that the smart lock is durable and reliable and has stood up to the checks carried out by the BSI.
It is battery powered and you will get a warning when the batteries are running low, however if the worst does happen, you will still be able to open your door. You can just touch a 9v battery to the contact on the bottom then use your phone or fob to unlock the door. With the Yale lock, you cannot remotely lock the door; you will need to push up the handle when leaving to secure it, which is a downfall of the smart lock. There is also no keypad available so you won’t be able to send a code to let anyone in and to send a virtual key, your family and friends will need their own version of the Yale app as well as an account.