UPDATED SEPTEMBER 1, 2021 This piece has been updated to reflect the emergence of new technology.
Christian Mathews Security Writer
A remote door lock offers more than just security. Comfort, convenience, and even a bit of style are part of what remote door locks afford you. It is easy to be overwhelmed with so many choices and features. We’ll look at the best remote door locks for your house.
1Importance of Remote Door Locks
Automatic door locks give you more than the standard security that comes with regular door locks.
Remote access, video integration, and smart-hub integration are but a few of the perks that come with having remote door locks.
Imagine a situation where friends are coming over, or maybe you need to have deliveries made to your house. You happen to be elsewhere, but you’ve got to let these people into your house somehow.
With a conventional door lock, giving away spare keys can be challenging. With remote door locks, however, you can easily avoid this challenge by granting access to whomever you wish.
It is safe to say security door locks for your homes give you an additional layer of security, in addition to comfort, convenience, and style.
So how do you choose the best electric door locks for your home?
The answer to this question boils down to what your needs are and how the key features of the remote door lock could meet those needs. How many people in your family require access? Are you renting out your house or just a room? Do you co-share the house, or do you own the entire place? We’ll cover some of the key features so that you have the right information when shopping for the right solution.
Door Access Type
Almost all smart locks have this feature. You download an app, and to unlock your door you need to have the app running in the background. The Wifi door lock will automatically unlock as soon as you get close to it. This works via geo-fencing, which detects that you are nearby or not and either locks or unlocks the door.
The auto-lock feature built into most of the apps can lock the door moments after you leave. No more struggling with keys, especially when your hands are full.
Built in keypad
Locks that come with a built in keypad give you even more freedom, in terms of who you give access to your house.
To unlock the door you (or anyone you’ve given access to) need to key in the security code to unlock the door.
Add on keypad
Some locks may not have keypads built in.
For these locks you can easily get an add-on keypad accessory either from the lock manufacturer or others in the market.
These afford you the same convenience as those with built in keypads. You’ll need to key in the code to unlock the door.
To unlock your door, you’ll need to tap your RFID card/NFC on your wireless door lock, which serves as the “reader”. The card can be easily attached to your keychain and pressed against the sensor to unlock. If you have your keys in your pocket, you could push your pocket towards the sensor to unlock the door.
You’ll need your key FOB, (pretty much similar to the one you use on your car) which uses Bluetooth, to send instructions to your smart remote door lock to open. The Key FOB requires that you press a button that can also be done through your pocket, and is still much easier than unlocking it with a key.
Remote Access and Smart Hub Integration
Remote access gives you even more control with your smart door lock.
To lock or unlock the door all you need to do is give Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant voice commands. You can do this using your phone, smart speaker, or even your smartwatch. Depending on the connectivity type and remote access enabled in your smart door lock you can lock and unlock, or check whether the door is still locked or not from anywhere. Your remote door lock can be integrated with your smart home in numerous ways.
This is the most basic type of connectivity for remote door locks, but connectivity can be quite limited in terms of distance. You will have full control of your Bluetooth door lock, however, you must be really close to the door to either lock or unlock the door.
Using an add-on that supports Wi-Fi, your remote smart lock can connect to a router, giving you the ability to control the Wifi door lock wherever you are, provided you are connected to Wi-Fi.
Essentially, this works similarly to the Wi-Fi hub, however, you’ll need a smart home hub rather than an add-on Wi-Fi device.
You can control your remote smart lock from anywhere provided you have access to Wi-Fi and the smart hub is connected to your router.
3Which is the Best Remote Door Lock For You?
Now that we’ve looked at some of the key features to consider, let’s find out how to get the best remote door lock for your specific needs.Knowing your needs makes the decision much easier.
Own or Rent
Your needs will greatly differ depending on whether you rent or own the property.
Some rental agreement clauses, for instance, may stipulate that you are not allowed to interfere or modify the existing lock. You may need to get an electronic door lock that is simply an add-on and lets you keep or use the initial key.
You may own the property, and in this case, most remote smart locks will suit your needs easily.
If you’re an Airbnb host, you might need a remote smart lock that not only enables you to create random access codes but also monitor when the guest checks in or out.
Budget is an important consideration for most. The type of remote door lock you choose will greatly depend on your budget.
It should be noted that for budget remote door locks (typically the range of $100-$150) the features are quite limited compared to the more advanced remote smart locks, which may be a bit more expensive (the range of $200-$400).
IOS or android
Depending on whether you’re an android or IOS user, you’ll want to get the remote smart door lock that’s most compatible with your device (i.e. mobile phone/ smartwatch). If you are an IOS user, then there is the Apple Homekit Door Lock. If you are opting for another mobile app solution, check with the different brands to make sure your device is covered.
With all the features and considerations of a modern automatic door lock pretty much covered, it’s important to always make sure your needs are met with your choice. You can use this guide as a checklist to make sure you have ticked all the boxes you need to find the best remote door locks for the house.