Are Smart Locks as Secure as Traditional Locks?

Have you considered getting into the smart lock trend rather than using a traditional lock on your home? Locks on homes to keep them secure have been common for many years, but locks are starting to evolve to incorporate technology into its design.

Home security is more important than ever and sometimes the good old fashioned lock and key doesn’t feel sufficient enough to protect such an expensive investment. Some are making the switch to smart locks to add extra protection that will deter a criminal in seconds. Take a look at how traditional locks work vs. smart locks and why you may want to make the switch.

How traditional locks work

First, to understand smart locks, you need to get a better sense of how the traditional lock works. Traditional locks consist of varieties including rim locks, pin tumbler locks, and mortise locks. Pin-tumbler locks are the most common option for residential homes working as a series of spring-loaded pins loaded into cylinders.

These cylinders consist of pins made up of key pins and driver pins that require the correct key to elevate the key pins to push the drive pins upward. Having the right key in the lock allows the driver pins and key pins to align, allowing the key to turn in order to lock or unlock the mechanism. A wrong key would have misaligned pins blocking the key from being turned.

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While traditional locks are very secure if installed and secured by a professional, the question begs whether or not they are the best measure of securing the home. Many homeowners choose a deadbolt for exterior residential locks, whether it be a single cylinder or double cylinder deadbolt, to provide maximum security for their strength and durability. Traditional locks can always be enhanced with solid metal strike plates, longer deadbolt throws, locks resistant to lock picking, lock bumping, and more.

What is a smart lock and is it better?

Homeowners now have the option to go with a smart lock over the traditional lock option. Just like you are automating other areas of your home, you can now automate your home’s locks and control them remotely with the help of technology.

Rather than opening your door with the turn of a key, you’ll now be controlling and operating your lock from a smart device. You’ll be able to not only control your lock from your phone or tablet, but you’ll be able to monitor when it was opened and add features like cameras.

How does the smart lock work? Just like a traditional lock, you’ll have a professional locksmith handle the installation of your smart lock and it will work differently with any company you work with. Some companies will essentially replace your traditional locks with one that looks just like a typical deadbolt and helps you set it up on your phone to communicate with the lock.

Other companies will add on to your existing lock for the interior of your door and connect you to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You’ll communicate with the lock with your smartphone or Bluetooth and you can control it remotely with Wi-Fi by sending a notification to the sensor to unlock it. A third option would be with companies that replace your deadbolt with a Wi-Fi enabled camera lock where you’ll get two programmable key fobs and four accounts that get their own digital key.

Security concerns and improvements

While it may seem that smart locks are the way of the future, there may be concerns for hacking over the traditional lock picking concerns. Since it relies on technology, you have to worry about security vulnerabilities from hackers or from the fact that having your Wi-Fi service go down will affect your ability to leave and enter your home.

Even if you blacklisted a key from getting in, they could take down your Wi-Fi and get in through your Bluetooth network. You are relying on being able to talk to the cloud to get in and out of your home, which means you need to have the internet up and running, but you’re also paying premiums to have technology incorporated into your home security. For renters that have electronic keys, losing a key and replacing it is not a cheap process.

In addition to hacking possibilities, a criminal will always have the option to try to break in through the windows or break down your door despite your lock of choice. On the other hand, you’ll deter those that know how to pick locks by throwing them for a loop with your unique lock of choice.

While smart locks warrant consideration, traditional locks still appear to be more secure than smart locks and have years of use to prove their worthiness in the battle between the two. Making modifications to your traditional lock is one of the great ways you can improve your home security, such as adding security pins and making the deadbolt longer. Regardless which type of lock you decide to use, The Professional Locksmith, right here in Chicago, can help you with all your needs.