Smart locks are one of the most important components of a connected smart home. Locking and unlocking your home will be very easy to do with a smart lock. You will be able to monitor anyone who goes in and out of your home. Depending on the model you choose, smart locks don’t necessarily have to be more expensive than traditional locks. Some are available for around $100, but fully-featured smart locks are typically sold for more than $250.
With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, smart locks can be monitored and controlled remotely. Most smart locks models come with Android and iOS apps, which can be downloaded freely. Through your apps, you will be alerted to any activity. Locking and unlocking your smart locks can be done with a single tap on your smartphone screen. This technology only works when smart devices are connected and integrated through Wi-Fi based smart home. Easy entrance is possible with the use of Bluetooth technology. If Bluetooth is enabled on both your smart keys and smartphones, doors will be unlocked when both devices are within Bluetooth range. The door will be locked automatically when the smart lock is outside the Bluetooth range of your smartphone. This is very convenient when you are in a hurry and barely have time to lock or unlock your doors.
Two types of smart locks – Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Smart locks usually have both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, although many models only have either one of these.
Bluetooth smart locks are convenient because they can instantly recognize your presence as you approach the door. If your smartphone and the smart lock are within Bluetooth range, the door will be unlocked. There’s no need to frantically look for your keys when you want to lock or unlock the door. Because Bluetooth requires very little power, many Bluetooth-only smart locks use batteries, which ease the installation process. Bluetooth-based authentication is relatively secure because it uses a token to gain control of your smart locks. This means, intruders can’t unlock your door, although they have installed the right app and enabled the Bluetooth connectivity.
Wi-Fi smart locks are more suitable if you seek true remote monitoring and control capabilities. When you are at work or traveling abroad, you can still control the smart lock, if your home Wi-Fi network remains active. With the right app, these smart locks are always under your control. When someone is approaching the door or trying to tamper with the locks, you will get notifications immediately. Unlike Bluetooth-only smart locks, you don’t need to go near them to unlock or lock them.
How to pair a smart lock with a smartphone through a home network or Bluetooth?
Wi-Fi – If you choose smart locks with Wi-Fi connectivity, you need to integrate them with your wireless home network first. The process is easy if the smart lock comes with a proprietary smartphone app. If you have an Android smartphone, follow these steps:
- Download the manufacturer’s smart lock app on Google Play Store or the manufacturer’s website.
- Open the app and go to its Settings menu. Look for an option to connect to your Wi-Fi network. Tap the name of your Wi-Fi network and choose Connect. Type in the password of your network and wait for a few seconds. If the pairing process is successful, your smart locks will be integrated with your home network.
Follow these steps if you have an iPhone:
- Download the smart lock app from App Store
- Open the app and go to its Settings menu. Look for an option to connect to your Wi-Fi network. Tap the name of your Wi-Fi network and choose Connect. Type in the password of your network and wait for a few seconds. If possible, choose the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi frequency.
Bluetooth – Pairing your smartphone with smart locks through Bluetooth is very straightforward.
- Download the official app of your smart lock from Google Play or the App Store. Once installed, open the app, give permission to enable Bluetooth, and wait for it to scan for nearby smart locks. Once discovered, the smart lock name is displayed.
- Select the smart lock name and type an alphanumeric key in the passcode field. This will be the passcode to lock or unlock your door. Tap Connect or Finish, depending on the app.
The smart lock app usually shows the current status of your door, whether it’s locked or unlocked. It could be represented by an image of an open or locked padlock, depending on the status of your door. The normal range of Bluetooth is around 5 meters. If you are within Bluetooth range, you can check the status and control the smart lock through the app.
Many apps allow automatic locking and unlocking of the door. Go to options and enable the automatic locking/unlocking feature. Be aware that the Bluetooth connection on your smartphone must be constantly active, which may rapidly drain battery life. Another potential problem is that the smartphone is still locked when you arrive home, so the app can’t unlock the door automatically. If this is the problem, on your Android smartphone go to
Settings > Security & Screen Lock > Smart Lock > Trusted Places. Add your home as a Trusted Place and your phone will be unlocked automatically when you go near the door. Be sure to keep your GPS connection active.
It’s obvious that smart locks can help to improve security and ease entry into your home. If you have elderly or very young family members, smart locks allow them to enter your home easily. There’s no concern that they may forget to lock the door, which will leave your house open to burglary. There’s often a concern that ease of use may weaken the security system. Smart locks prevent unauthorized access with the use of identifiers.
For extra security, you may choose smart locks that include deadbolts. Some smart locks also have traditional keyholes, especially for Wi-Fi-capable models. During blackout or when your home network is inactive, you can still manually lock or unlock the door. Smart locks can be more expensive, but they are more efficient and easier to manage in offices. When an employee leaves your company, it is not necessary to replace the locks of your offices or warehouse.
Smart locks are also good replacements for keycard systems because it’s inconvenient to replace lost keycards. In some cases, people may gain entry with a stolen keycard. On the other hand, you may block access for certain devices, if a smartphone is lost and someone may use it to unlock your doors.