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Keyless Entry Door Locks: Everything You Need to Know
Keyless entry door locks can be the key to peace of mind and convenience. A keyless door lock, as the name implies, does not require a key. Instead, these motorized electronic deadbolt door locks operate by using an electronic keypad, touchscreen, smartphone, fob, or fingerprint lock.
There are several things to consider before buying a keyless door lock. What are the benefits versus the disadvantages? How secure are keyless door locks? Are they difficult to install? Are they really better than a traditional deadbolt lock? This guide will answer all these questions and more, giving you everything you need to choose the right keyless entry door lock for your home.
What is a keyless entry door lock?
All keyless door locks made by Kwikset, Yale, Schlage, and the like fit into one of two broad groups: manual keyless locks or smart locks with wireless connectivity.
Traditional keyed pin tumbler locks use a key to raise and lower pins to release a lever-like latch in the door knob. Modern keyless door locks use electricity, a motor, and digital circuitry to replace or enhance traditional pin-tumbler mechanics.
How keyless entry door locks work
The modern keyless door lock typically offers more than one mode of operation. The best keyless door locks have a touchscreen or keypad entry. The more feature-rich Wi-Fi smart locks can also be unlocked from almost anywhere in the world using your smartphone. Smart locks that are Z-Wave enabled can often also be unlocked remotely as long as your Z-Wave-enabled alarm or home automation system supports this function.
The auto-lock feature of keyless locks provides homeowners peace of mind, eliminating the fear of being locked out due to forgetting your key. Wi-Fi smart locks also ease the worry of forgetting to lock the door, as homeowners can secure their home with the tap of a button on their smartphone.
To offer extra peace of mind, keyless door locks typically include a backup physical key for use in the rare case of malfunction or battery failure.
Benefits of keyless entry door locks
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by all the benefits of installing keyless deadbolt locks in your home, including enhanced home security and convenience.
- Enhanced security. Keyless entry door locks offer enhanced home security with advanced features such as individual access tracking, remote operation, and unique access codes. With keyless door locks, you can avoid the risk of duplicated traditional keys and easily revoke access codes as needed.
- Convenience. Keyless entry door locks provide conveniences not available with traditional locks, such as remote access, last-minute access code programming, and hands-free operation with Bluetooth-enabled smart locks that automatically detect your smartphone’s proximity.
- Increased flexibility. You will have the flexibility of operating your lock your way. You can operate your door lock using the keypad, a mobile app, smart assistant voice commands, fingerprint scanner, z-wave smart home security touchpad, or smartphone proximity. You can connect to your smart lock using Bluetooth, wifi, or z-wave.
- Cost-effective. Keyless entry door locks save money by eliminating the need to make duplicate keys or rekey the lock. And fewer keys in circulation means a more secure home.
- Compatibility with smart home devices. Wi-Fi or Z-Wave-enabled smart locks can integrate with your smart home automation or smart home security system for a wide range of possibilities and future enhancements. You can use voice commands to lock all exterior doors at once, trigger a distress signal that unlocks all doors, or utilize outside motion detectors and perimeter sensors to automatically lock or verify the status of all doors when an unexpected visitor is detected.
Important considerations when choosing a smart door lock
There are a number of important points to consider when selecting a keyless door lock, also called a touchscreen deadbolt or keypad deadbolt. These considerations include security features, compatibility, installation, and user-friendliness. A Vivint tech can help you compare features to make the selection process effortless.
In addition to basic security and saving you from being locked out, smart keyless door locks have many security features to increase your peace of mind. You can check the status of the lock remotely and lock the door if someone forgets to lock it.
Many smart locks also offer enhanced security features such as one-time access codes and date-limited access codes that allow access only during scheduled times and days. These limited access features are excellent for owners who rent out their home for short-stay vacationers.
Some smart locks also use biometrics such as a fingerprint scanner for quick entry. Biometric entry smart locks also protect against unwanted eyes watching you enter your code on the keypad.
To further enhance your lock’s security, two-factor authentication should be used for the lock’s phone app and website login. When shopping for a smartphone connected lock, make sure the door lock you choose supports two-factor authentication, and then remember to set it up on the app and website login screens.
Another tip for keeping your keyless door lock secure is to clean your lock’s keypad buttons or touchscreen keypad regularly. Top-quality backlit digital keypads and touchscreens are constructed from durable materials, but repeated use can wear out pads or leave smudges on touchscreens, potentially exposing your access code. A quick wipe down every so often will keep your buttons and screen clean and secure.
Smart assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri offer the convenient ability to use voice commands for locking and unlocking doors. However, it's important to consider the potential security implications before enabling voice control. By weighing the benefits and risks, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to use voice commands for your home security system.
Compatibility with your door
Different keyless deadbolt door locks can have different physical installation requirements and limitations. The most important dimensions are the door thickness, the distance from the center of the key tumbler to the edge of the door, and the diameter of the existing holes.
Most keyless door locks fit standard doors that meet these requirements:
- 1 3/8 inches to 2 inches thick.
- The deadbolt hole in the door hole is 1 1/2 inches or 2 1/8 inches in diameter.
- The backset is 2 3/8 inches or 2 3/4 inches.
- The bolt hole at the edge of the door is 1 inch in diameter.
If your door isn’t the standard size, there’s no need to worry. Vivint offers professional installation with its smart locks to ensure proper fit and optimal security.
Smart locks are a convenient and innovative way to secure your home and can be easily integrated into your current door setup by replacing or attaching to the existing deadbolt. However, it’s important to note that installation can be challenging if your door is warped or if your current deadbolt is non-standard.
If you suspect that your door hardware or deadbolt may not be standard, or if you simply want to avoid the frustration of a challenging installation process, have a professional from Vivint perform the installation for you.
Vivint’s trained technicians have the expertise and experience to install your smart lock quickly and ensure your smart lock is fully functional and secure. By choosing professional installation, you can save time and hassle while also enjoying peace of mind knowing that your smart lock is installed correctly.
When shopping for a keyless door lock, it’s helpful to find one with a backlit keypad or touchscreen that’s easy to operate. The same is true for the lock’s phone apps, especially if you plan on using advanced functions such as one-time access codes, scheduled or time-limited codes, entry/exit log review, and more.
Unless your keyless deadbolt door lock is externally powered, you will also have to change or recharge the batteries that power the deadbolt door lock. The steps to do this should be user-friendly and not require special tools or be so cumbersome that you’d rather let the battery go dead and revert to using the backup key.
Keyless entry door lock installation
Two of the reasons why people purchase keyless door locks are ease of use and peace of mind. For these same reasons, you may want to have your Vivint keyless door lock installed by a Vivint professional, even if you’re skilled at DIY.
Professional installation is especially important for smart locks that operate through your internet router, home security system, or home automation system. Configuration errors can create vulnerabilities for hackers, so making sure your smart lock is properly installed will help keep your family safe.
Additionally, electronic door locks that require a power source should have a backup source of power or a backup key in case of power failure.
Maintenance and troubleshooting
Every keyless door lock is different, so you should consult the manual for your lock or contact customer support to make sure you are following all of the manufacturer's guidelines.
You should test your lock as recommended and be aware of the charge level of its battery. Unless your lock is externally powered, the single most important thing — and the most common point of failure — is the battery.
Smart locks with Bluetooth, wi-fi, or z-wave communication allow you to check battery status via smartphone or website, and also send low battery notification alerts to your phone. For smart locks without a network or smartphone connection, status lights or low battery warning tones indicate the need for battery replacement or recharging.
Sometimes firmware updates are needed for smart door locks with built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. It is extremely important to keep your smart lock’s firmware up to date in case security patches are needed.
Smart door locks FAQs
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about smart locks.
Can keyless door locks be hacked?
While it’s true that nothing is 100% safe from hacking, there are steps you can take to make keyless locks as secure as possible. Even traditional mechanical locks can be vulnerable to lock bumping and picking. However, considering all factors, most keyless locks are as secure, if not more secure, than their mechanical counterparts. Here are steps that can be taken to make them as secure as possible:
- Keep all firmware in your smart door lock up to date.
- Keep your security phone app up to date.
- If the smart lock uses the internet, secure your home network.
- Enable two-factor authentication for app and website access.
- Choose a complex, unique password for the app and website.
- Use access codes with the largest possible number of digits you can remember. A six-digit code is far more secure than a four-digit code. Don’t use codes that are easy to guess like birthdays or anniversaries.
- Give everyone a different access code.
- Disable smart assistant voice commands that unlock the door.
- Enable the use of a PIN code and voice recognition in your smart assistant for any home automation voice commands.
- Enable timed lockouts after repeated failed access code attempts. A common configuration is a 60-second lockout after three failed attempts.
Are keyless door locks worth it?
Whether or not keyless locks are worth it depends on your individual needs and preferences. Keyless locks offer convenience and peace of mind, all but eliminating the chance of being locked out of your home and paying a locksmith a small fortune to get you back in it. Keyless door locks also save money from rekeying and key duplication.
What is the cost of keyless door locks?
The price for a name-brand keyless lock from Kwikset, Yale, Schlage, and others typically runs between $100 to $400, though you can spend thousands on a single smart lock. Discount-priced models, as well as older models, may not be as secure or could even have known security issues.
What is the difference between smart deadbolt locks and regular keyless deadbolt locks?
Smart deadbolt door locks connect wirelessly to your smartphone, home router, smart home automation system, or smart home security system. They can be remotely operated and configured. Creating access codes is easily done through an app or website. They can also provide audit records and more.
Non-smart keyless locks are not connected to any external device or network. Programming access codes and all other setup steps are done through the keypad. Non-smart keyless locks can also be 100% mechanical, containing no electronics at all.
A safer front door with Vivint
Keyless door locks are far more convenient than traditional door locks. They can also be more secure and provide greater peace of mind. End fumbling for keys and your worries by ordering a Kwikset keyless door lock from Vivint. Give us a call at 855.822.1220 to learn more today.
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