Until recently, locks required the use of a key in order to work. When locks started to transition away from requiring a key, lots of questions also emerged. Many individuals were concerned about the safety and security that electronic locks provided. There are numerous questions that have been brought to light, thanks to electronic locks. While we could go on and on attempting to list all of these questions, instead your Manhattan locksmith will attempt to answer some of the most fundamental questions concerning smart and electronic locks.

What is a smart lock?

This type of lock is able to perform the function of locking or unlocking a door remotely and does not require the use of a physical key. In order to operate a smart lock, you’ll need either a smart phone, key fob, key code, or other device depending on the style of lock. The device will communicate to the lock, verify your information, and either lock or unlock the door.

How do smart locks work?

A smart lock works by communicating with a wireless protocol that uses an authentication procedure. Once the information that is received by the lock is confirmed, the bolt is unlocked and access is granted.

What are the main high-tech door locks?

There are three main communication protocols that smart locks use: Bluetooth, Z-wave, and Wi-Fi.

    • Bluetooth:

      This is the most common communication method for smart locks. These types of locks don’t use as much battery as the other methods.

    • Z-Wave:

      These smart locks do not connect directly to your phone; instead they use a third party to connect to a Z-wave compatible hub. This hub translates the Z-wave signal into a language that your router understands. Once this communication has been established, you can then connect your lock from anywhere.

      One of the drawbacks of a Z-wave lock, is that it requires you to be within a certain distance in order to work. In most cases, the connection rage is within 120-feet. There are some range extenders that can repeat the signal, extending the distance to a maximum of 600-feet.

    • Wi-Fi:

      Wi-Fi locks work differently, as you only need to make a connection between your lock and your Wi-Fi network. Once the connection is made, you can control the lock anywhere you have Internet access.

Other Types of Smart Locks

Keypad Locks

Keypad locks were the first style of lock that were powered by electricity. These locks require a small electric current to release the lock. These are straightforward locks that require the input of a pin code, and once verified, the lock releases.

Each lock has a differing design as far as the keypad goes. Everyone contains buttons that are labeled with both letters and numbers, allowing for the code to vary in length from four to six digits. Newer models may include a touch screen pad that works the same way.

If the code is entered incorrectly, most locks will provide a 15-minute window where the code can be reentered. If the code is then typed correctly, most locks will offer a tone or sound that indicates the lock has opened.

Biometric Locks

For an added level of security, biometric locks require a piece of biometric information for access to be granted. Typical biometric information includes either a fingerprint, face recognition, iris authentication or voice recognition.

RFID Systems

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) locks use either a fob or key card for access. One of the biggest advantages of these systems is that you don’t have to remove the fob or key card from your pocket or wallet in order for the door to be unlocked. This eliminates the chance of loosing or misplacing the key easily.

As you can see there are various types of smart locks. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. Before you install a new smart lock system, consult with your Manhattan locksmith to be sure you are getting the right lock that will meet all your security needs.