• Burglaries are up 42% in 2020. (FBI)
  • Burglaries last about 5 minutes.
  • Police response time is about 20 minutes.
  • 88% of all burglaries are residential. (FBI)
  • 46.9% of people don’t have a home security system installed in their home. (The Zebra)
  • 34% of burglars use the front door when breaking into a home. (Bureau of Justice)
  • Only 13% of reported burglaries are solved. (Pew Research Center)

 

Smart locks are super secure and super easy to operate. Like so many folks these days I’ve been spending way too much time at home with Netflix and my thoughts! But, as a locksmith, my conversations have been turning to the subject of “smart locks”. Lots of homeowners want to know more about smart locks. FAQ tends to swirl around issues of smart lock security, how user-friendly are smart locks and the cost/benefit aspects of smart locks. So, by popular demand, I thought I’d discuss some the pros and cons of using smart locks to protect our families and our stuff.

 

The Basics

When we talk about “smart locks”, we’re referring to the capability to operate a locking device without the use of a physical key and manage locking devices remotely. This is accomplished via wireless connection to the internet allowing the lock to managed on compatible devices by multiple users. Smart locks are operated wirelessly via Bluetooth, WIFI and they also employ touch pads as well as biometric credentials combined with the traditional fail-safe key override. Contrary to urban mythology, smart locks are virtually hack-proof. The greatest threat to smart locks are not the locks or tech that enables them. Usually, a breach is the result of attacking a peripheral part of the system. One example is the smart ring being hacked to spoof the locking device (which requires a litany of preconditions before a hack can even be attempted). Smart locks utilize traditional keys as a redundant backup in case wireless operation should fail. This isn’t necessarily a weakness, but the security of the smart lock keyed operation is relative to the degree of security engineered into that modality. Some of these security features include anti-drill features, security pins and high degree of manufacturing tolerances, and keyway profile.

 

Conclusion

Smart locks have been on the market long enough for the market to homogenize where it would be difficult to make a truly bad choice. Smart locks do not increase the level of security so much as they maintain a high degree of security while providing a high degree of user convenience. Smart locks are spendy, coming in at three or four times the cost of their traditional counterparts. That said, smart locks provide enormous user control convenience and peace of mind. The bottom line is that the choice of using smart locks to protect your home boils down to the balancing of convenience, cost and control.

 

Features Yale Assure Schlage Encode Kwikset Halo
WIFI X X X
Hub X X X
Key Over-ride X X X
Re-Keyable X X X
Re-keyable/Universal X
Remote Lock/Unlock X X X
Remote Permissions X X X
Redundant Security X
Fire Rated X
Single Use Code X
G1 X
G2 X X
Warranty

X

1 year

X

3 years

X

1 year

Locking Status/State X X X
Door Open Status X
Third Party Integration (Airbnb) X
Connectivity sold separately X
Smart Home Compatible X X X