Keyless entry isn't just for shiny new cars anymore. It's becoming increasingly popular for homes too – particularly for those who want to use keyless entry as part of their smart home automation system. Simply put, keyless entry can work as an integral part of your home's security system and, in theory, can make your home safer and easier to access for the right people.
How Does Keyless Entry Work?
There are three primary types of keyless entry systems for your home, and while they are all effective in their own way, only one is "smart." The simplest variety is a keylock with a combined keypad. Obviously, you can't access this variety remotely, but instead of using your key, you can simply enter the code you've set to open the door. Keylock and keypad models lack the features of smart keyless entry systems, but they work well as budget-friendly standalone options.
Keyed locks with key fob control can be locked and unlocked remotely. While they aren't precisely "smart," they do offer a little more convenience than just a keyed lock and keypad. Many also have a keypad as well as a keyed lock and remote control for maximum convenience. These models let you unlock or lock your door from a short distance, but it's important to note that effective range differs between manufacturers and is also impacted by environmental issues, including obstacles, interference and climate conditions. RF or NFC keyless entry systems usually allow a greater number of maximum users than keypad models, although they are usually only supplied with one or two key fobs, meaning you need to purchase extra fobs for additional users.
Smart locks use a keyed lock and remote access technology, sometimes accompanied by a key fob or keypad to provide remote access to your home. These are the most popular choices for those wanting to build a smart home or home automation system. Smart door locks have a built-in wireless protocol, generally Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or Z-Wave. With some Bluetooth models, as long as the lock is paired to your smartphone or keyfob, the lock will recognize your device when it's in range and lock or unlock the door. Wi-Fi systems have unrestricted range. As long as you've got an internet connection, and your lock is connected to your home Wi-Fi network, you've got access to your door lock. Z-Wave also requires you to be online if you want remote access to your door lock, and your lock must be part of a Z-Wave network. Smart locks offer advanced features, such as allowing you to give out one-time visitor access codes, view the entry and exit log, and sounding an alarm if it detects an attempt to break in.
How Safe Is a Keyless Entry System for Your Home?
Keyless entry systems for your home can be or safer than traditional locks. The biggest selling points are their ease of use and the ability to use them in conjunction with smart home security technology as part of a home automation system. However, just like traditional keyed locks, not all products are of the same quality, so be sure to read plenty of reviews before you purchase to ensure that the lock you choose is of the highest quality. If you integrate other security measures, like surveillance systems and alarms, alongside a high-quality smart lock, you'll improve the overall security of your home automation system. Other security precautions can include installing heavy-duty metal strike plates and reinforcing door jambs with steel, replacing traditional hollow-core doors with solid wood or metal, and replacing breakable exterior glass door panes with shatter-proof polycarbonate.
Who Uses Keyless Entry?
Anybody can benefit from the increased convenience and security of keyless entry. Biometric locks simply require you to place your finger on a keypad and swipe to enter, and a proximity lock recognizes your smart device or key fob when you're in range and unlocks the door. This is particularly convenient for those who frequently come home with their arms full of groceries, books or wiggling infants.
Not all smart locks are compatible with all smart home systems. Therefore, if you're planning on adding a smart lock to your existing setup or you're intending to build a whole-home smart network, it's vital that you check what devices your chosen lock is compatible with. Nest is among the most popular whole-home systems, as is Apple HomeKit. If your device isn't automatically compatible with your chosen system, it may be possible to connect it via a secondary smart hub.