There are several smart lock benefits over other locks, as well as some downsides. We cover them here.
Smart locks are a term for locks that have a computer built into the door lock. This gives them several convenient features that traditional mechanical locks lack. There are now dozens of smart locks brands on the market, as well as smart locks for bikes, cabinets and other specialised uses.
For proper set-up, smart locks can be installed by professionals, just look for a Locksmith in Toronto (or your nearest city). While there are models that can be installed by the owner, if it’s the outside door to your house, you should consult with a locksmith before installing.
What do smart locks do?
One advantage of smart locks is you don’t have to deal with the hassle of exchanging keeps, this makes smart locks for Airbnb apartments an obvious choice.
Most smart locks are designed to work with voice assistants, WiFi or Bluetooth and other connecting technologies. This gives them several advantages over traditional locks such as:
- Some smart locks also provide hands-free entry. With these models, they can pick up a signal from your smartphone and unlock the door automatically. A growing number of smart locks also offer hands-free voice control too.
- Several models have a video doorbell feature that enables homeowners to monitor home access from anywhere in the world. Some models allow answering the doorbell (with audio and video) from a smartphone.
- Many models work with personal assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant.
- With some models can authorise access for multiple people simultaneously, perfect if you’re hosting a party or are operating an Airbnb apartment.
- Some smart locks can be set to only allow access during certain hours or days.
- Smart locks make changed lock codes easy too. This is useful to prevent unauthorised access if you rent out your home. By changing your entry code regularly, thieves are less likely to guess your current password.
Do smart locks need power?
Being electronic devices, smart locks do need a source of power. Some models do have a regular key option. This is a question you should discuss with your locksmith before settling on a model.
Also, you should know what happens if the WiFi goes down? These errors can turn these easy-breezy systems into a big headache.
Can smart door locks be hacked?
This is an obvious concern because, while being a digital device, a smart-lock can be challenging to pick without the right combination.
In an interview, Stuart Madnick, MIT Sloan Professor of Information Technology says “I would apply the same advice that I give to any IoT (Internet of Things) device: fully understand the benefits you are expecting; realise that any IoT device is likely to be hackable, so understand the ‘worst case’ situation, and (then) determine which is more important to you,”
Stuart does say that the added security smart locks provide, such as using a camera to see and record whoever is at the door, and the convenience of being able to operate a door do offset some of these concerns remotely.
The bottom line, according to Maik Morgenstern, chief technology officer at AV-Test, is to choose a security-certified product that is kept up-to-date by the manufacturer with critical updates.