For thousands of years, physical keys have been the only way to lock the doors of your home or office and for just as long, we have all been misplacing them. How many times have you heard, “Mom/Honey, where are my keys?” How many times have you locked yourself out of your house and misplaced your house key or just as likely had it break on you? Thus, the appeal of the smart lock, a device that trades a very specifically carved piece of metal for a smartphone. If you lose your phone… we can’t help you, but if you have trouble with your smart lock or you need us to repair your smart locks, and you’re in the Bellevue, Washington area, Bellevue Locksmithing has your back.
What are Smart Locks and how do they work?
A smart lock is an electromechanical lock designed lock and/or unlock a door when it receives instructions from an authorized wireless device. Most smart locks are installed on any simple type of locks including deadbolts. They need to be able to communicate with your smart home setup and phone which they generally do by using one of three common communication methods; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Z-Wave.
Just like traditional locks, they need two main parts to work: the lock and the key but the key is not a physical key, it’s generally a smartphone.
Smart locks use a mobile app to allow or deny entry and some even include a built-in Wi-Fi connection that offers monitoring features like access notifications or cameras that can show you the person requesting access. Some even include a “smart doorbell” that lets you see someone who’s at your door.
There are literally dozens of devices that lay claim to the “smart lock” name and many of them have very little in common. Some are fully digital devices that turn your phone into a key. This type of smart lock automatically unlocks your door when you get close to the lock. Then there are the simple keypad models that use a combination code to activate an existing deadbolt.
What separates the pack is, of course, the level of security but sometimes the most important feature of a smart lock is ease of use. In other words, are they hard to figure out and work?
Not many people prefer techy gadgets that are difficult to figure out, and this goes double for something like smart locks considering what you need them for. Who wants to stand something difficult to deal with when getting in and out of their home, office or car? You want to make it easy for visiting relatives of maybe even Air BnB guests to gain entry to your home or rental property without you needing to meet them with a key or hide one someplace they go nuts trying to find. Smart locks allow this through the magic of Bluetooth or by allowing you to create temporary codes. If this is too difficult, a guest won’t be able to figure out how to gain entry and the lock is essentially useless. So, pick one that is simple to make use of.
If a guest needs to download an app and get acquainted with how to use it, they most likely won’t. Instead, they’ll call you to say they can’t figure out how to get inside or to say they’re locked out. You wind up using traditional keys out of frustration.
If you have lots of guests, it is wise to choose a smart lock with a digital keypad for code-based entry. All it requires is a four-number code to get in and you can use an app to create temporary codes that you can delete when your guests have come and gone. Some models even allow users to create temporary digital keys or combination codes that can be accessed over the Internet from a smartphone from anywhere in the world. However, some will require the user to be within Bluetooth range of the lock to make this happen. Some smart locks sync up with Internet-connected devices which means they can connect with home automation systems.
How do I get a smart lock installed?
If you’re in or near the Bellevue Washington area, Bellevue Locksmithing can install your Smart Lock. We know that technology is always changing, and locks are no exception. There are more types of “smart locks” on the market every day. The experts at Bellevue Locksmithing take pride in staying educated on the constantly evolving market of keypads, digital locks, smartphone-connected locks, and other forms of access control. Our technicians can come to your home and discuss which kind of systems will look great and work best with your current system.
Are smart locks safe?
Let’s face it, any device that can be accessed over the Internet can have some risks attached to it. But realistically, home smart locks are not the usual target for high-level hackers. It’s far more likely for a burglar to use traditional methods like breaking a window if they want to rob your home or office.
A smart lock can be a great asset if you have a lot of guests or visitors or if you have a habit of losing your keys.
What if my Smart Lock breaks? Do you repair smart locks?
Don’t try to repair your Smart Locks yourself. Hire an expert locksmith who fully understands the Smart Lock Technology and how to repair smart locks.
Need consultation on what Smart Lock will work in your home or office in the Bellevue area? Think of the folks at Bellevue Locksmithing.