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Smart door lock: Everything you need to know before going digital


If you’ve been toying with the idea of swapping your traditional door lock with a smart door lock, this is where you should start. 

Yale Malaysia

 We’ve all been through this scene before. We come back with two bags of groceries, a bulky surprise gift from a friend, and we dread what comes next – we must fumble through our chunky set of keys for the hundreds of locks we’ve installed because of safety reasons to get into our home. Now, if you’re fumbling for them in the dark of a landed property driveway, then it becomes more than an inconvenience, it’s potentially dangerous.

This is where smart door locks come in. Using passcodes and app controls instead of keys, smart door locks are the way forward to both enhance our security and make life easier at the same time.

1. What is a smart door lock?

As far as what it does, a smart door lock fulfils the main purpose of why you have a lock in the first place – secure your home. Where the magic comes in is how it does it. For one thing, it does not use keys for access but fingerprint, pin code or RFID tag, depending on the features of the model.

The magic of connectivity

Some of the ones available in the market now can be controlled by an app that allows you to track whether your door is locked or unlocked from anywhere in the world.      If you’ve asked a friend to feed your cat while you are away, you can unlock the door for them through the app and secure it after they leave.

Smart door locks are battery-powered, so you are going to have to replace them occasionally. You can use rechargeable batteries for sustainability. All smart door locks can function without a smart home controller or hub because many of them come with app controllers. However, the lock would need access to Wi-Fi for you to benefit from the lock’s internet-based functions.

2. How do I choose the right type of smart lock for my door?

Yes, there are several types of smart door lock in the market, but with different features.  Before you even go there, you must first assess the suitability of your current door for the installation of a smart door lock.

Choosing the right door

©Yale Malaysia

Not all doors are compatible with a smart door lock, so you would first need to decide if you would like to retrofit your existing door to fit one or to replace the whole door altogether. Assuming you’ve decided to replace your door, you would have to determine the material, height, thickness, and the amount of clearance/space the door has to your gate. The last thing you want is to buy a door that fits your brand spanking new smart door lock, only to realize that it does not fit your door frame.

Choosing the smart door lock features that suit you

As previously mentioned, the top range of smart door locks out there allows you features with internet connectivity – making it possible for you to control the lock from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This means you can check if your door is locked while vacationing in Boracay and open your door for visitors if you need to while lazing on a deckchair by the beach through the app controller.

©mongstock |123rf

For example, the Access App range by Yale comes bundled with their Yale Access app, which allows you to integrate voice assistance for even easier access. You can track whether your door is open or closed via a door sensor and a 24/7 Lock Activity Trails that allows you to track entry access.

If you are more of a meat and potatoes person and have no interest in the connectivity stuff, Yale has a range of smart door locks that rely on fingerprint or RFID card access. It still allows you to have app control through their Link app but without the connectivity bits.

3. Does a smart door lock require maintenance?

Much like any piece of equipment, a smart door lock requires some maintenance to keep it working in tip-top condition. This applies to traditional locks as well.

If you plan to buy a smart door lock with internet capability, occasionally check that your lock has a strong connection to your Wi-Fi for optimal performance. Ensure that all software updates are always up to date. The lock is battery operated, so you should make a habit of checking the battery level.

You may have an urge to clean the door handle and LCD screen, which is fine, but please do so gently and pay attention to drying the surfaces properly after wiping to avoid creating issues in the electronic components.

4. How much do electronic door locks cost?

Smart door locks do cost a bit more than a pinch compared to traditional locks, of course. The top range models from trusted brands with full functionalities such as internet connectivity and options for RFID, fingerprint and pin code access will set you back slightly under RM3,000.  Models with no internet connectivity features can cost on average about half of that at around RM1,500.

5. Is a smart door lock more secure than other types of lock?

©bialasiewicz |123rf

In a way, the answer is yes. A smart door lock with internet connectivity allows you to check to see if your door is locked when you are out, assuming you have a sudden worry that you left your door ajar or can’t remember if you locked your door. This is not possible with traditional locks. Also, routinely check your door to make sure it is not faulty. Faulty doors could make your smart door lock more susceptible in the event of a break-in.

If you’re wondering if a smart door lock is hackable, the simple answer is yes. Any piece of digital device is susceptible to hacking. That said, it is preventable if you keep your apps updated and generally practice being cautious when it comes to access to your apps and devices.

Another sure way to mitigate hacking and break-ins risks is by purchasing your smart door lock from a trusted brand. Reputable brand names that produce smart locks such as Yale carry less risk of being hacked due to better encryption technology, sturdier materials and extensive investment in research and product development.

Yale has been securing homes and properties for 180 years in over 120 markets. And it is undeniably, one of the most recognisable and trusted brands in the industry when it comes to securing your home.

When it comes to smart technology, there is a cool factor that sucks you into wanting to jump on the bandwagon, even if it may not be entirely necessary. That’s not even the case here. Smart door locks make a lot of sense in that it provides safety and remote functionality that can help secure your home in a way traditional locks just can’t.

If you’ve read this article and are ready to go digital and smart with the locks in your home, do visit Yale’s website to find out the range of smart locks they have to offer.

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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