What Exactly Is the Advantages and Disadvantages of an Electronic Lock?

pros-cons-of-an-electronic-lock Smart Home

What exactly is the advantage of an electronic lock?

Electronic door locks are available in a wide range of variants and price classes. Accordingly, they offer more or less functions. One thing is certain, however: All electronic locks in our comparison can do much more than OPEN and CLOSE. Smart locks that are connected to the Internet can not only be opened via app, but also allow access authorizations for technicians and mailmen to be distributed while on the move – an interesting matter, especially if the locking system is also expanded with a video doorbell that streams its images to the smartphone. A touch of “back to the future” moves in when you unlock the front door with a smartwatch (Apple or Android) on your wrist. It is also possible to connect to smart home systems such as Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, innogy or homee.

So when it comes to electronic door locks, outdoor enthusiasts and smart home fans who want to have even better control over their daily lives are in for a treat. But not only them: Children who like to leave their keys in the locker room can open the front door using a numerical code or the fingerprint scanner. This has nipped quite a few family dramas in the bud. Some WLAN locks also allow you to see via app who has already arrived at home. At lunchtime, it’s easy to check whether all the children have arrived home safely (and who thinks the last two hours of school are superfluous).

Advantages of electronic door locks

  • No need to install a new lock if a key is lost
  • No need to fumble with keys: open the door via Bluetooth connection, app, numerical code or fingerprint
  • Electronic lock opens automatically when approached (geo-fencing)
  • Door locks automatically after opening
  • Distribute access authorizations while on the move
  • (AirBnB) guests can be admitted from anywhere in the world
  • The choice remains with the user: connect the locking system to the WLAN for smart home functions or operate it purely locally via Bluetooth and other manufacturer-specific wireless standards
  • Old key remains functional for emergencies

All disadvantages of intelligent radio locks

  • Radio connections are not 100 percent immune to tampering
  • Stolen smartphones could be misused as keys (it is generally recommended to block the smartphone with a code when inactive)
  • Radio connection can be interrupted (store emergency key with neighbor)
  • The electronic locking unit must be fitted with new batteries about once a year

Tip: A useful extension to the electronic door lock is a smart video doorbell that enables direct contact with the visitor at the door and sends an alert to the smartphone in the event of unusual activity.

Buying Advice Electronic Lock

App control

You have your smartphone with you anyway, so why not use it as a key? Depending on the model, the electronic door lock can be opened via app or even opens automatically when the lock is approached. This does not require a WLAN door lock (local communication via Bluetooth).

Assigning access authorizations while on the move

Life becomes really casual when you can let the letter carrier or painting contractor into the hallway from the supermarket. Some door locks allow you to distribute temporary access authorization for third-party smartphones via app while on the move. To enable remote access, a native bridge must be purchased. It is connected to the Internet router and then acts as a translator between the lock, Internet router and smartphone.

Smart home suitability

Smart home has not yet reached everyone, but the advantages are obvious. In conjunction with an electronic door lock, the home welcomes us with nice background music and cozy evening lighting. At best, the heating has already warmed up during our walk home.

Normal key remains functional

Depending on the design of the wireless lock, you can still use the old key. If the system provides for a key to be permanently in the lock and turned by the motor of the electronic locking system, then it is important that the lock has an emergency and danger function. This means that a key can be inserted and turned both inside and outside at the same time. The trusted locksmith can help here and convert. Some manufacturers also offer emergency keys, which can open the door mechanically in any case.

Simple assembly

Before finally deciding on a door lock, it is best to watch the installation video and decide whether you dare to install it yourself, find a volunteer in your circle of friends or hire a professional. Often, the electronic locking systems can be simply clamped or glued. In rented apartments, care should be taken to ensure that the door lock can be removed without leaving any residue. The 2021 comparison lists only electronic door locks that offer an option for residue-free removal.

Battery life

Most electronic door locks, as well as matching code and fingerprint devices, need to be recharged about once a year with four to six fresh batteries. In the test comparison, we address when deviating or insufficient battery runtimes were noticed in practice.

Voice control and smartwatch

Voice control is on everyone’s lips. That’s why some electronic locking cylinders can now be used via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. A security code must be entered to open the lock. However, this does not sound entirely secure to our ears, which is why we do not recommend activating voice services for electronic locks. Opening the lock via Android smartwatch or Apple Watch sounds much more exciting.

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