Everything You Need to Know About Smart Locks

We’re in the middle of a smart revolution. Devices are getting smarter. Fridges. Cars. Security cameras. And now the humble lock on your front door (or back door, side door, garage door...) doesn’t have to be so humble. Using a smart lock can give you greater control and flexibility over entering your property, and also who you allow to enter your home.

Let’s take a closer look at the need-to-know info for smart locks.

What are smart locks?

Smart locks are a newer part of the smart home revolution, intended to replace ageing lock-and-key methods for entering a property. Why would you want to do this? So you can actually encourage those bad habits of leaving keys at home.

Smart locks use either WiFi and/or Bluetooth to facilitate connectivity that lets you unlock a door without a key. You might, say, input a code, scan a fingerprint, or issue a voice command to open the door.

Additionally, some smart locks have the added benefit of allowing for remote access, which means you don’t even have to be home to let in a guest. Smart locks also tend to liaise with a companion iOS or Android app to give you even greater control and alerts of activity.

Do I need a smart lock?

Need is a strong word, but your home can certainly benefit from a smart lock. For example, if you’re the kind of person who regularly loses their keys, or lives with someone who constantly misplaces their keys, a smart lock can be a savvy investment.

In terms of the all-important security component, you can safely expect a smart lock to be just as strong as a regular lock. In fact, smart locks can offer a greater degree of security as those with the right knowhow can unlock a mechanical lock in a few moments.

If you like the idea of a versatile lock that offers activity reports, allows you to let guests in remotely, and something that frees up your pocket, purse, or bag from house keys, a smart lock is well worth considering.

How do smart locks work?

Smart locks are keyless (or key optional) door locks that need connectivity, either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, to send and receive data that allows them to monitor activity and accept/reject access requests. A smart lock is either an improvement or a replacement for your traditional lock-and-key deadbolt for your door, depending on the model.

Smart locks are kind of like a more security-focused version of smartphone security. Biometrics and PINs can be used to unlock smart devices these days, and smart locks follow this convenience trend. Once installed, a smart lock is unlocked via an app or other keyless methods, using either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Smart locks with wireless functionality tend to run on batteries which, depending on the technology, may last for a few months or up to a couple of years.

How much do smart locks cost?

Best smart lock overall
Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro
$399
Pro Bullet Multiple unlocking options
Pro Bullet Simple installation
Pro Bullet Wi-Fi bridge included

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Like smartphones, the price of smart locks varies greatly. Prices start at around $200 and stretch up close to the $1,000 mark. Smart locks are common enough these days that there are several popular brands.

For instance, Samsung smart door locks range from around $250 for an easy-to-install Bluetooth rim lock and up to $1,000 for a fully-featured Samsung smart door lock (which includes doorbell functionality). Yale smart locks have a similar starting price as Samsung, plus they also sell bridge and module kits to enhance the smart functionality via the Yale access app.

Other popular smart door lock brands in Australia for comparison include Eufy, Ultraloq, Schlage, and Kwikset. To see our top recommendations, visit our best smart locks roundup.

How are smart locks installed?

Smart lock installation really depends on the type of product you’re hoping to install. For instance, some smart locks are designed to fit over your existing door deadbolt and can be self-installed in minutes. Others require some screwdriver proficiency to replace the existing lock-and-key deadbolt with the smart door lock.

Then there are the smart door locks that you likely want to pay a professional to install because of the complexity. You do, after all, want to preserve the all-important security part of the lock! For self-installation smart locks, follow the step-by-step guides provided in the packaging to properly install.

FAQ

If you’re looking to ditch keys or smarten up your home some more, a smart lock is absolutely worth considering. Outside of replacing the batteries from time to time, smart locks don't require much upkeep.
You can expect around one to two years of battery life for a Bluetooth smart lock, up to three months for WiFi, and around 12 to 18 months for Z-Wave devices.
The unfortunate reality of the digital age is any connected device is technically prone to vulnerability exploits from nefarious folk. To maintain smart door lock security, consider regularly updating the smart lock password, don’t share that password outside of people in your home, and keep the linked apps up to date.

Disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time of publish and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer’s website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise Australia utilises paid affiliate links.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence

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