Here’s a quick reference to demystify the jargon you may encounter:
Bluetooth: Bluetooth locks use your smartphone’s Bluetooth to connect to a mobile app. This type of smart door lock has a short range, requiring an adapter to connect to your Wi-Fi network.
Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi locks connect directly to the internet but aren’t as common as Bluetooth, Z-Wave, and Zigbee because they drain batteries faster. It’s typically the priciest type of smart lock.
Z-Wave or Zigbee: These smart home devices use mesh networks where all the devices that talk to each other. Both Z-Wave and Zigbee require a smart hub to communicate with mobile apps.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) or near-field communication (NFC): RFID locks use a key fob or card for entry. Radio waves from the key card communicate with the lock to allow entry. This is the same tech behind most mobile payment platforms like Apple Pay and Google Pay.