Smart Locks vs. Conventional Locks

Smart Locks vs. Conventional Locks

This article provides an overview of smart locks vs. conventional locks. It breaks down the differences and the pros and cons of each.

Did you lock the house when you left? Do you have your keys? How will you let the dog walker in while you're at work? Smart locks can take the stress out of keeping your home secure, but conventional locks also have some perks. Compare a traditional deadbolt lock to a smart lock to see if you should upgrade to the latest technology or stick with what you know.

Author: Shelley Frost

What's the Difference Between Smart Locks and Conventional Locks?

The main difference is how you control the locking mechanism on each type of door lock. Conventional locks use physical keys to lock and unlock your door, while smart locks use technology for keyless entry. You typically use a phone app to open or close a smart lock, and some locks use keypads or fingerprint access as well. Both locks can secure your home effectively, but you might lean toward one or the other based on your preferences.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Smart Locks?

Smart locks come with several pros and cons to consider. Some of the pros include:

  • Key-free convenience: You can get into your home without remembering or fumbling with a key.
  • Remote access: With the corresponding app installed on your phone, you can check the status of your lock from anywhere. If someone forgot to lock your door, you can lock it remotely, or you can unlock it to give someone access to your home when you aren't there.
  • Tracking activity: The app also lets you know when people are coming and going. For example, if your child walks home from school alone, you can check the app to see if they opened the door when expected.
  • Assigning permission: Smart locks can let you give access to certain people for a limited time or in specific circumstances. This can come in handy if a contractor, dog sitter or relative needs to enter your home.
  • Integration with other smart devices: You can often connect your smart lock with other smart home devices or your home security system for greater convenience.

However, not everything about a smart lock is positive. Consider these potential drawbacks before you make the switch:

  • More expensive: You can expect to pay more for a smart lock than you would for a conventional deadbolt lock. That's especially true if you have a professional install and set up your lock.
  • Power requirements: Smart locks typically use batteries, which can die and leave you locked out. Changing the battery periodically before it dies can help.
  • Potential for hacking: Your smart lock relies on Wi-Fi to operate. If your network isn't secure, it's possible for someone to hack it and gain access to your home.
  • Shared codes: It's possible for a family member or someone else you've shared the code with to share it with other people. You can change the code if you find out about the incident, but you might not always know immediately.
  • Setup: Some smart locks are more difficult than others to install and set up. Changing the code can also be a hassle.

Pros and Cons of Conventional Locks?

Before you rule out conventional locks completely, consider their pros and cons. The pros include:

  • No need for power: Your traditional deadbolt can open and close without any power, so you don't have to worry about dead batteries.
  • Less expensive: A deadbolt lock is typically cheaper than a smart lock. It's also straightforward to install and is often a DIY project, so you won't have installation costs.
  • No special setup: Once installed, a conventional lock doesn't need any programming, battery changes or software updates.

Some potential drawbacks of old-fashioned locks include:

  • Potential lockouts: Forgetting or losing your key could mean you're locked out of your home if you don't have a spare somewhere.
  • Shared keys: Maybe you had a roommate who moved, or you shared your key with a contractor and never got it back. Copies of keys floating around present a potential security risk.
  • Easier to pick: Traditional locks can be relatively easy to pick, which could be a threat to your safety.
  • No remote access: If you're not home, you have no way to check your lock or control it remotely.

Both options can be secure when installed and used properly. Your decision comes down to your preferences.

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