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What are Smart locks and are they safe?

As you might already know, our website is primarily focused on all the advancements in the world of smartphones, specifically Android. However, from time to time, we love to take a look at the bigger picture and explore some of the hottest topics in the ever-expanding universe of tech. smart locks is one such topic right now that many of us are looking forward to buying today, but can benefit from the pros and cons of it before jumping the gun.

Internet of Things or IoT has become one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world. For those unaware, IoT is simply the network of a collection of smart objects, which are capable of exchanging data between themselves without our active involvement. To understand IoT, one should first know what smart objects are. In simple terms, smart objects are ordinary objects with enhanced interaction capabilities. For example, the fridge in your kitchen, which lets you set the temperature remotely, is a smart object.

Today, we are talking about a bit of a controversial smart object, the smart lock, which has garnered some fascinating reviews over the last couple of years. So, without further ado, let’s give you an in-depth look at smart locks and help you realize whether they are the right fit for you and your family.

What is a smart lock?

Smart locks are becoming more and more common in this world of forgetful minds, but most of us are still not sure whether to break the bank and future-proof our homes.

If you’re only stumbling upon this piece of tech, you probably would benefit from a crash course on smart locks. A smart lock is an IoT device, which allows you to enter your home without having a physical key. Some smart locks come with a physical key/number pad while a few others flaunt a fingerprint scanner. If you’re looking for something even more inconspicuous, there are some traditional-looking smart locks that allow you to unlock your door with your phone as well as a physical key.

Reasons to get a smart lock

Now that you’ve gotten yourself acquainted with smart locks, it’s time to take a look at why you might consider buying one.

Remote unlocking in case of an emergency

In case of an emergency, smart locks can be a real difference-maker. If you’re trapped inside and can’t find the strength to go to the door, you can always open the door remotely to let a trusted person in.

Keyless entry

Humans have a knack for losing their keys a few times over the course of their lives. Smart lock takes care of this issue by allowing you to log in with the help of your phone, by scanning your fingerprint, or entering the password on the attached physical Numpad. This also takes the fear of losing your keys out of the equation.

Peace of mind, guaranteed

Smart locks can be really beneficial for forgetful or anxious people. Not only do you get the option of checking the status — whether it’s locked or not — of your door from your bed, but you can also set up an automatic lock timer, which would conveniently lock the door after a few minutes or at a certain time.

Convenient logging

Smart locks keep a constant tab of all your locks and unlocks. So, you can always check which family member stepped out and when.

Guest entry

If you are hosting a guest or two for a few days, getting them physical keys can be quite a hassle. Smart locks, on the other hand, can be configured to create guest accounts. That way, you can allow access to your guests without disclosing your primary password.

Tamper proof

Smart locks are usually equipped with tampering alerts. So, if a burglar has a go at your lock, you’ll get a notification immediately. You can also pair your smart lock with a smart alarm. That way, you can alert your neighbors and security of an attempted burglary.

See who’s at the door

Some smart locks come with a camera, which conveniently shows the person at your door. This feature is definitely a blessing for people who feel overwhelmed to talk to strangers.

Reasons not to get a smart lock

We’ve seen seven pretty compelling reasons why you should go for a smart lock. However, if you’re still contemplating the purchase and want to take a look at the cons as well, look no further than this segment.

Smart locks are expensive

You all want our homes to be as future-proof and secure as possible, but we can’t simply disregard the most important factor — price. As we’ve already established, smart locks come with a bunch of features and might even be a great fit for most. However, the fact that one is required to spend over $200 on a single lock is bound to discourage even the most strong-willed enthusiasts.

Not good for rented apartments

Although there are some smart locks that work hand in hand with your older door-bolt, most of them require you to re-do the whole lock of your door. If you’re renting an apartment and have a strict landlord/landlady, they might not be too enthusiastic about changing the setup. Also, before splurging the cash, you are required to check the type of your door, make sure your door is compatible with the lock you’re buying.

Can be hacked

Like all other IoT devices, smart locks can also be hacked. If you’re buying a reputed smart lock, chances of being hacked are reduced by a great deal, but it’s impossible for a smart lock to be absolutely unhackable.

Cheap or new smart lock-manufacturers may not have the most secure network. And in that case, your sensitive data is always at a risk of falling into wrong hands.

Double vulnerability

Smart locks, unlike traditional locks, are dependent on software updates to be at their secure best. While software updates are dependable and almost always bring interesting features, they also make the entire system vulnerable for a few minutes. An unsuccessful installation can compromise your security as well as other devices on the network. So, make sure you’re always prepared for hardware as well as software malfunction.

Might invite trouble

This isn’t too big of a drawback, to be honest, but it’s still something worth considering. By getting a shiny, new smart lock, you’re giving away an important bit of information — you have money to spare. This might encourage some burglars to try their luck at breaking down your security system.

No need to be physically present

Smart locks are presented as unhackable security solutions. However, in reality, we all know it’s impossible for an IoT component to be completely unhackable. Perpetrators are required to know all about the make and model of your smart locks to even start hacking your system. After that, they need to figure out the vulnerabilities of the system, and, finally, start exploiting them. It’s highly unlikely, yes, but if the attacker somehow figures out a way to get a hold of your system, they won’t need to be physically present to carry out the task. And by carrying this out remotely, the intruder takes the risk factor out of the system.

Dependent on power/battery

Unlike traditional locks, smart locks need a constant source of power to keep firing on all cylinders. Losing power paralyzes almost all the remote functions of a smart lock but the in-built battery should keep the locking mechanism alive. However, if the in-built battery dies, and you don’t have a physical key, you’re pretty much on your own.

Can be a challenge for older people

For older people, who have been using traditional lock and key since the dawn of time, adjusting to a new system can be a bit of a challenge. Setting strong passwords, regular updates, and keeping track of all the features of smart locks could indeed be overwhelming. So, unless the older members of your family are completely on board, getting a smart lock is probably not the best idea.

Verdict

We’ve seen their advantages and disadvantages, areas they thrive in and segments that still need work. Smart locks have silently come a long way over the last couple of years. The usual concerns are still there, but these systems are now more reliable than ever, and you won’t be making a blunder if you installed a smart lock in 2020.

Yes, they are expensive, and there’s always the chance of getting hacked. However, if you look at it practically, you’ll understand that it ultimately boils down to the strength of your password and how securely you store it. A weak password can compromise even the most sophisticated systems, and smart locks are no exception. So, if you have money to spare, want to have the most bleeding-edge tech, and are careful with your password, make sure to book a smart lock demo, today.

Sushan

A mediocre engineer hoping to do something extraordinary with his pen (well, keyboard). Loves Pink Floyd, lives football, and is always up for a cup of Americano.