Home security is a top priority for many people, and with good reason. A home break-in can leave you feeling violated, unsafe, and often times, displaced. Burglars are getting smarter and smarter, which is why you need a smart lock to protect your home. But with so many on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? We’ve created a comprehensive smart lock buying guide to help make your decision easier.
Consider why you are buying
The first question to ask when thinking about buying a smart lock, is why one is wanted or needed. There are many potential reasons, but some of the most common are convenience (such as not having to fumble for keys in the dark), security (added security measures for those who are not comfortable with traditional locks) and elderly accessibility (opening and closing doors without physical strain). That said, it is important to remember that smart locks are not necessarily more secure than traditional locks. In fact, many smart locks can be unlocked without a pin or password by simply cloning the Bluetooth signal. The main advantage of smart locks is their convenience and versatility.
Check the dimensions
Although smart locks are designed to be almost universal, there's a chance that your door might not quite fit the dimensions of the lock. You don't want to spend all that money on a lock that can't be installed! The easiest way to avoid this? Checking the dimensions of the lock carefully, inside and out. Make sure that the smart lock will fit on your door and that it has enough clearance around the bolt to open and close properly.
Can the door take a smart lock
While smart locks may seem like the perfect solution to your security woes, sometimes they just don't fit into your home the way you'd hope. In theory, they're designed to be an easy replacement within almost any door, but it can sometimes be the small points that cause the biggest issues. One of the most common problems is that the door doesn't have a good enough action to allow the smart lock to automatically lock and unlock. That's because, in order for this to work seamlessly, the deadbolt on the door needs to be able to move freely and smoothly. But as often happens, doors may not have been installed well, or they may have deteriorated over the years and lost their smoothness. If your door falls into this category, don't worry—smart locks can still be a great solution for you!
Full deadbolt or not
If you're looking for a deadbolt replacement, you'll want to make sure that the smart lock you choose actually replaces the deadbolt on your door. Not every smart lock offers this function, but most do. There are also a few that simply attach onto an existing deadbolt and do the manual locking and unlocking. These are generally a little easier to install, but make sure that they are compatible with the existing deadbolt before buying.
Wireless & / or keypad
So, you're interested in a smart lock? Great! But which type is best for you? There are several options, but the two most common are wireless and keypad. Wireless locks are unlocked using a smart phone, whereas keypads require you to remember a number or code. Some locks can even be voice activated, which is pretty nifty. But think about the logistics: do you want friends, relatives or a neighbor to look after the house when you're away, or do you have a friend who's going to come stay for a while? If so, keypad might be the better option.
Wireless connection method
A wireless connection is one of the most common ways for a smart lock to operate. There are several forms of wireless connection that can be used. The most obvious is to connect to the home Wi-Fi network. However, another wireless network system known as Z-Wave is also becoming popular as it is aimed at smart home usage. Using either of these it is possible to link to the cellular system and control the locks from an App on the phone.
With a range of features and benefits, as well as different price points, it can be hard to determine which smart lock is the right one for you. By considering why you are buying a smart lock, and what you need it to do, you can make a more informed decision and find the perfect lock for your home.
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