We all crave convenience above other things, including how we open and close our doors, especially when we have a lot of things in our hands. At times like this, we wish the door could just open by itself. Well, it’s now possible, thanks to the “smart key locking mechanism.” This is a trend that’s circulating all sectors, and it’s gradually eliminating the use of the traditional key lock system.
The smart key lock system is greatly preferred by everyone, as people who had the traditional key lock system are changing their locks to be smart. However, many people are skeptical because they don’t fully know what the lock entails. To help with this, Be-tech, a certified smart lock manufacturer has written this post to shed light on what a smart lock is, the types, pros & cons, how it functions, and many more.
What is a Smart Key Lock
Before answering your obvious question, “what is a smart key door lock?” Let’s firstly talk about the type of door lock everyone knows about – the traditional key door lock.
A traditional key door lock is a locking mechanism that requires that a physical key is inserted into the lock, and is turned to unlock or lock the door. This means that someone needs to be available to insert the key into the lock. So, even if your hands are filled with fragile containers, you have to drop them to open the door. This process has been the same since the history of locks began.
Just like the traditional key lock, the function of the smart key lock is also to open and close the door. The only difference is that it offers better convenience as you can control the door from the comfort of your bedroom or couch. Also, it can be programmed to work with your smartphone or an integrated smart system, enabling you to operate the door from a remote location.
What is a Smart Key Deadbolt
Smart key deadbolts are just like the regular deadbolts that are attached to doors. The only difference is that they are operated with more advanced technological methods, rather than physical keys. They are usually installed on the door surface or on the inside of the door. But the most popular ones are those that are attached to the inside of the door as they provide better security.
What is a Smart Key Doorknob
Similar to what a smart key deadbolt is, a smart key doorknob is used to unlock and lock the door, though in a simpler and more convenient way. It’s a common key lock used in over 90% of smart homes. Smart key door knobs are paired with deadbolts for optimal safety and security.
Types of Smart Key Lock
There are several types of smart key locks on the market. Even though they have different designs and constructions, they share a similar function, which is to control door locks through a more convenient means. Understanding the major differences they have will help you know the best type for your needs. The only way you can do this comparison is to get a wholesale smart lock company that provides all forms of smart locks.
Biometric Smart Locks
Unlike most people’s belief that biometric smart locks only have to do with capturing of the authenticated fingerprint, this type of smart lock encompasses a lot more than that. A biometric smart lock has to do with many other features of the body other than the fingerprint. Amongst the other features are facial recognition, voice recognition, and retinal scan.
This lock scans the identity of the person trying to open the door, and if it’s not the credential registered on the lock system, the access request will be revoked. This is by far one of the safest methods of unlocking and locking a door as only unique details can control the lock.
The major problem you can have with this smart lock is a recognition issue. An example of this is when you have a scar and it disfigures your face. The biometric system might flag you as an intruder because your face has in some way changed. Another example is when you have an issue with your voice probably as a result of a mild illness or shouting over time.
Wi-Fi Smart Locks
Wi-Fi smart lock is an improved version of a Bluetooth smart lock. It performs the same function, but at a better rate with improved features. While Bluetooth smart locks can only work within a short-range, Wi-Fi smart locks perform effectively well from any part of the world.
You can be at your workplace and control your residential home lock. In fact, you can monitor your lock remotely by checking the number of entries both successful and unsuccessful ones, as well as getting notifications when an intruder is trying to make his way in.
The smart lock performs all these functions and more through Wi-Fi connectivity. It allows the smart door lock to connect to the internet and from there, make another connection with the door lock app on your phone. The only problem this smart lock type has is power consumption. It drains the lock’s battery faster.
Bluetooth Smart Locks
Bluetooth smart lock is a type of smart lock that offers great convenience. The operation of the door is mobile as you can control the door without being at the door post. All that it takes is to connect your phone’s Bluetooth to the lock. The primary purpose of Bluetooth is authentication. Each Bluetooth device has a unique ID, so you can program your smart lock to automatically open or close when you are nearby.
A major advantage of the Bluetooth smart lock is that it consumes less battery, and operates with your mobile device.
However, it has a concerning drawback, which is the range of connection. Bluetooth smart locks are less powerful in terms of connection; they tend to disappoint if the distance of connectivity is far.
Keypad Smart Locks
Keypad smart locks have sleek designs, providing a welcoming appearance at the door post. Also, their operation is very easy; all you need to do is to create a password or PIN code that will serve as your authentication code. The lock can only be controlled by the password or PIN you created, meaning that if you forget it, you’ll be flagged as an intruder. This is why this smart lock type is not suitable for children and people who tend to forget things quickly.
While they primarily use passwords and PIN codes, keyholes or biometric scans are included in many of them to serve as a backup unlocking mechanism in case the keypad is faulty or the battery is exhausted. Just as the passwords and PINs are easy to create, they are easy to change. You can simply change to a new password or PIN when you feel the security of your lock is compromised.
Keypad smart locks are either battery-powered or mechanical, and they use deadbolts or doorknobs to pull or push the door. There are various forms of keypad smart locks, such as keypad locks for cabinets, safes, and doors.
Fob-Enabled Smart Locks
Fob-enabled smart locks are the types of locks used as access control in large businesses. They are the best option for granular access control.
Fobs are available in the form of an ID card or key fob. Whatever forms they take, they feature a built-in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag. The function of this tag is to send a signal to the lock. If it’s the right RFID tag, the lock will be retracted. The concise way of how this works is that when the lock senses the RFID signal, it sends the information to a server to verify if the fob is registered for access. Then the feedback will be relayed. All these happen within a few seconds.
Even though these types of locks are mostly used in business establishments, lock manufacturers have started making fob-enabled hotel locks wholesale. This technology is also gradually extending into the home security system as wireless and cloud technologies are highly appreciated nowadays.
However, fob-enabled smart locks are plagued with a large amount of programming and networking. The initial cost and the maintenance expenses are higher than the total cost of other smart lock types.
Combination Smart Locks
A combination smart lock is a great advancement in the digital lock industry. This type of lock features practically all other kinds of smart locks. It usually comprises a keypad, biometrics, and fob system. The essence of all these is to have a backup system in case the primary lock system is faulty. In fact, as an addition, the traditional key lock system can be installed.
This type of smart lock is used in homes where children and old people are quite predominant. The lock system provides them with alternative options when they forget their passwords, PIN codes, or misplace their fob keys.
However, the combination smart lock system is plagued with a major drawback, which is cost. The total costs of acquiring all the lock systems are expensive, and the maintenance cost tends to be tiring over time. But BE-TECH could provide you with bulks of combination smart lock at competitive price.
Z-Waves Smart Locks
When considering range or bandwidth, Z-waves are quite equal to Wi-Fi. But unlike Wi-Fi, Z-waves smart locks don’t consume much battery energy so you won’t have to replace the batteries frequently.
They can be easily connected to mobile devices and operate with a hub. The Z-wave signal from the lock is gathered by the hub, which then swiftly connects you by translating it to the router’s language. Just like Wi-Fi smart locks, you can use Z-wave to access your door lock remotely.
Deadbolt Smart Locks
These locks are very popular and are manufactured to provide more effective security against burglary and break-in. They feature lock bolts that move without the need to turn a knob or key without a spring. Deadbolts are designed with a unique locking mechanism that makes them less vulnerable to physical attacks, hammering, and boring.
Deadbolt smart locks are available in three different forms – single-cylinder, double-cylinder, and vertical.
Single-cylinder deadbolts have the simplest construction and they are operated from just one side. Double-cylinders have two cylinders, meaning that they can be opened using a key from both sides. Vertical deadbolts, on the other hand, are similar to single and double deadbolts, however, the lock moves up and down instead of sideways. The vertical movement makes it more resistant to forced entries.
Magnetic Smart Locks
Magnetic smart locks are far more effective and user-friendly than the complicated industrial locks used for high security in commercial buildings. They are designed to feature an electromagnet that’s connected to the door handle, while an anode shield plate is fixed on the door. The magnet is subjected to an electric current, which causes the anode shield to lock together with it.
This smart lock functions with electric current, so it’s advisable to have a reliable backup system in the event of a power outage.
Mortise Smart Locks
Mortise smart locks, which come in light-duty and heavy-duty forms, are strong locks used on exterior doors. They contain a mechanism on the inside, which makes them more of a lockset than a lock.
These locksets, which can include knobs or levers, offer greater security than cylinder locks. They use mortise parts that have been inserted inside the door and are threaded. The locking mechanism is made by installing the box lock in a deep mortise on the edge of the door and fastening it with a set screw and a cam. To fit different types of doors, the cylinder component is usually made to be in different heights and lengths.
What do Smart Keys Offer
The primary benefit of smart keys is convenience. This allows you to control your lock remotely without carrying physical keys around.
Smart keys include patented technology that protects against lock picking and lock bumping, which happen to be the two most prevalent door lock hacking methods. Modernized door locks are also designed with additional security features that strengthen defense against unusual and sophisticated forced entry techniques.
To ensure this, smart locks are put under strict testing and inspection by specialized organizations like the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Door locks are grouped into three grades according to their security prowess. Grade 1 for the most secure locks; Grade 2 for secure locks; and Grade 3 for less secure locks.
Pros and Cons of Smart Key Lock
As much as we’ve mostly been singing the praises of smart key locks, it’s very important to inform you that there are a couple of demerits about this advanced locking mechanism that you need to be aware of.
- 1. Convenience: Smart key locks allow you to control your door from anywhere you are. It prioritizes convenience and comfort above other things. Also, you can grant access to any of your family members and friends without compromising the security of your residence. You don’t need to keep keys in secure places or make duplicates for your loved ones as you can provide them with virtual codes that will give them access.
- 2. Security: The safety and security provided by smart key locks are second to none as you are the sole operator of the lock. You decide who enters and who goes out. You decide the rooms in the building you want people to access and the ones you want to keep private. Also, the smart locks are designed to provide insight into the activities of the lock i.e., the number of entries and exits, as well as the dates and times.
- 3. Multiple locks & unlock options: Smart locks offer multiple options other than physical keys to lock and unlock the door. Some of the available options are passwords, PIN codes, RFIDs, biometrics, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and smartphone apps. With these options, they cannot easily be compromised, unless you tell other parties your access codes.
- 4. Modern design: Smart locks are made in a variety of modern, futuristic, and elegant designs. Their designs are made to fit different venues and colors. They are also simple to install and give a welcoming & homely touch to every building they are installed.
- 5. Integration with other security systems: Your smart lock can be connected with your other security systems like the CCTV camera for optimal safety and report.
- 6. Durability: Unlike regular locks, smart locks don’t require the turning of metals, which usually cause wear. Since there is no wear, they last longer.
- 1. Getting hacked: Despite all the convenience and security provided by smart locks, they are still susceptible to hacking. Locks that are operated by smartphones become vulnerable when the phone is misplaced or stolen. The person who now has the phone can control the lock anyhow he wants.
According to Stuart Madnick, an MIT Professor, “there is always a tendency that a net-enabled lock will be hacked, most likely because of the actions of the owner.” This means that even smart door locks that are controlled by keypads, fob keys, RFID cards, and so on, can be hacked. If intentionally or unintentionally, your password, PIN code, or keycard gets to another person’s hands, your lock is compromised.
- 2. Expensive: When compared to the regular traditional lock, smart locks are more expensive. Aside from the hefty initial cost of the smart locks, the maintenance cost is also high.
How does a Key Lock Work
A commonly asked question is how does a smart key work? To answer this, let’s first examine how the internal construction of a standard lock works.
In a lock, the upper pins are attached to sit between springs and the pin tumblers. Once a key is inserted into the lock, the springs are compressed and the pin tumblers are forced into the top chamber pins. After that, the pins are pressed to align flush with the shear line.
The pins are made to have different lengths and configurations. When the correct key is inserted, it will match the dents of the cuts, and they align with the pin.
This same process is done with smart keys. The only difference is that physical keys are not used.
How to Rekey a Smart Lock
It’s very easy to rekey a smart lock. All you need is a few components to carry out the process. Here are the components.
- 1. Smart key lock
- 2. Original key
- 3. Smart key tool
- 4. New key
These are the processes to follow:
- 1. Get the current key: Put the original key into the lock, and rotate it clockwise at 90 degrees. After that, let the key remain in the lock.
- 2. Smart lock reset: While you leave the original key to be in the lock, put the smart key tool into the smart keyhole. At the present position, remove the original key and the smart key tool for the smart lock reset.
- 3. New key installation: To complete the rekeying process, put the new key into the lock, and rotate it counterclockwise at 180 degrees. Again, rotate it clockwise at 90 degrees to the starting position.
Are Smart Key Locks Safe
Yes, smart key locks are safe. They are manufactured to provide more security than traditional key locks. These locks are made with intrinsic features that make them difficult for burglars and intruders to break in. Also, the passkeys are unique and individually owned, meaning that the doors you want to remain locked will be locked, and the doors that you want people to access will be accessible.
Update Your Security with Keyless Electronic Door Lock
If you wish to improve the security of your home, office, and other buildings, as well as have the sole freedom to grant access to these buildings, consider installing a keyless electronic door lock. Be-tech, a certified smart door lock factory manufactures various customized smart locks with easy-to-use options for security and convenience.
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