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Smart Lock Buying Guide

May 15, 2023|

Smart locks are an increasingly popular and innovative way to enhance your home’s security. With the ability to remotely control and monitor access to your home from anywhere in the world, smart locks offer peace of mind and convenience.

This guide will provide an overview of what smart locks are, how they work, and the numerous security features they offer.

Front door protected by a smart door lock.

What is a smart lock?

A smart lock is a device that allows you to open or close a door without a traditional key. You can operate these locks using wireless communication protocols for remote access and control, making it a convenient and efficient way to enter your home.

How can smart locks be opened?

Many smart lock options are available, offering various ways to open them. These include:

  • Biometric systems, such as a fingerprint reader
  • Touch screens requiring a PIN code
  • Mobile applications with remote access to the smart lock
  • Keypad locks that use a personalized passcode for entry
  • Key cards or key fobs that you can tap, swipe, or insert into the device
  • Voice control using a specific phrase
  • Geofencing involving auto-unlocking the door when the device detects you’re in proximity to your property

Compared to regular locks, these types of smart locks provide users with flexibility and ease of use when accessing their homes.

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Are smart locks safe?

Smart locks offer a wide range of security features to ensure your home is safe.

Traditional door locks, like knob locks, are relatively easy to install but aren’t suitable for external doors as they are susceptible to lock picking.

Deadbolts employ a robust bolt that you can only turn with a specifically designed physical key. This feature makes them an excellent choice for providing strong protection against break-ins. However, the safety of the deadbolt lock relies heavily on its installation and durability, and losing your key can pose a security risk.

In contrast, smart door locks provide enhanced security through various features. These include generating customized access codes, limiting access to specific users, real-time monitoring and notification systems, and automation of emergency locking mechanisms.

Moreover, smart locks use two-factor authentication and encryption technologies. These features work together to make smart locks a safe choice for anyone looking to increase their home’s security.

Smart lock on a home's exterior.

What to consider before buying a smart lock

Given the vast amount of smart lock options on the market, it’s crucial to consider a few factors before purchasing one. From wireless connectivity to security measures, evaluating the following features can help you select the smart lock that best meets your needs.

Smart home compatibility

Compatibility with smart home technology can make your smart lock experience more convenient. For example, you can use a voice assistant like Siri to lock and unlock doors using voice commands and inform you about your lock’s status.

Vivint’s home security system offers effortless integration with popular voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, giving you full control of your smart lock and added convenience.

Smart lock protocols explained

Smart locks work wirelessly with your smart home through Bluetooth, Z-Wave, or Wi-Fi.

  • Bluetooth. This wireless communication system links your smart lock with your phone, tablet, or computer. It’s easy to install and energy efficient, but it requires proximity to the lock to function.
  • Z-WaveZ-Wave doesn’t connect directly to your phone. It links with a Z-Wave hub and can simultaneously communicate with several smart home devices. Its low frequency avoids interference with your home Wi-Fi network signals or phones. However, Wi-Fi is still necessary to power your smart lock, as the central home hub connects to your router.
  • Wi-FiWi-Fi-compatible smart locks have a significant advantage over other protocols, enabling users to control their locks from any location with a built-in Wi-Fi connection. Remote access can be convenient, and Wi-Fi smart locks can integrate with voice assistants and function as security cameras with built-in video doorbells.

How much do smart locks cost?

The price of smart lock devices varies due to differences in their quality and features. These locks may cost anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on their hardware, durability, and security options. It’s worth noting that the accompanying apps used to operate the locks are typically free, which makes the upfront payment worth your investment.

Which doors are best for smart locks?

Smart locks provide a convenient and effortless way to enter your home. Although you can install them on almost any door with a traditional lock, you should prioritize specific doors.

  • Front door. The front door of your home is the main point of entry and exit and the first line of defense against potential intruders. Installing a smart lock on your front door can provide added security and convenience.
  • Back entrance/side doors. Similar to your front entrance, smart locks added to all ground floor doors that lead outside can limit who has access to your home.
  • Garage doors. With keyless entry and remote control, you can lock or unlock your garage door without leaving your home.
  • Bedroom. If you live with roommates or keep valuables in your bedroom, adding a smart lock to this door can provide extra safety and security.

One advantage of smart locks is that they’re typically designed to be the same size as standard locks, making it easy to replace current locks with a smart lock device or add a smart lock compatible with an existing deadbolt.

Smart lock installation options

Installing a smart lock with just a screwdriver can be a DIY task, but connecting it to different apps, hubs, or smart devices can sometimes be tricky to do on your own. And if something goes wrong, it can cost you more in the long run if you need to call a professional for assistance.

Fortunately, with Vivint’s smart home systems, you can enjoy peace of mind with professional installation. Vivint ensures our professionals wire your smart locks correctly, install them in the proper position, and sync them with your devices. With professional installation, you can be assured that everything is set up correctly for optimal safety, and you won’t have to spend time troubleshooting any issues.

Remote access capability

Installing a smart lock that offers remote access lets you control your new lock directly through a mobile app.

This feature provides numerous benefits, such as the ability to auto-lock your doors when you’re away from home, remotely restrict or enable guest access to your residence or Airbnb, and the convenience of checking your lock’s status from any location.

Smart door lock.

What are the best smart locks?

The most suitable smart lock will vary based on your requirements and home environment. Whether you prioritize features like remote access or prefer a straightforward keypad entry, the decision is yours.

It’s important to consider factors like compatibility with your current smart gadgets, security features, and budget. Additionally, if you’re a renter instead of a homeowner, opting for a retrofit smart lock that doesn’t require modifications to the existing deadbolt is crucial.

Overall, the best option is to select a smart lock that offers a wide range of features and has undergone testing to ensure safety and security.

Discover the best smart locks from Vivint

Vivint ticks all the right boxes to provide users with a reliable and secure smart lock system for their homes. Our keyless entry locks use unique codes, enabling you to track who enters your home.

Additionally, the locks can be accessed remotely, synced with other home features to control lighting or adjust your thermostat, and are compatible with voice assistants.

Vivint’s smart locks are professionally installed, and our home security system monitoring can be customized to meet your specific needs. If you want to safeguard your home with cutting-edge smart technology, give us a call at 855.822.1220 to giveVivint smart locks a try today.

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Qualifying system purchase requires minimum $599.99 expenditure on equipment after all discounts have been applied, professional installation, and execution of Vivint monitoring services agreement. Click here for monthly service plan prices. DIY system purchases and reactivations of previously-installed systems not eligible for offer. Offer not available in all states or provinces. Equipment purchase may be financed separately subject to an agreement with one of Vivint's third-party financing partners. Monthly $1.48 cellular network maintenance fee applies. Taxes and local permit fees may apply.

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