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Convenience and security rarely go hand in hand. Think of the long lines to get through security at the airport for a vivid image of how inconvenient security can be. Or think about the last time you came home with your arms full of groceries and had to fumble through your keys to find the right key and then in a juggling act worthy of the circus, balance the groceries with your knee while you try to unlock the door, only to end up dropping your keys. At this point you sigh, set the groceries down, pick up the key ring, fumble around till you find the right one again, open the door, bend down to lift up the bag of groceries, and finally make your way inside. But at least your house is secure right? Many of us would gladly sacrifice convenience and ease of use for security, but with an upgrade to smart locks you don’t have to.
There are a variety of smart door lock products on the market to choose from and you should make sure that before you buy something, you know whether or not it will do all the things you want it to do. Here are two questions you should ask before buying and installing a new smart lock.
Who can unlock my door?
It is important to know who can open your door and how you can give various people access. If you choose a smart lock with a keypad then you can give visitors specific codes to unlock the doors. This is great because you can give the babysitter her own code and your son his own code and that allows you track who is coming in and when. You can also get a notification on your smartphone that lets you know each time the door was unlocked and by whom so you know who is coming in.
There are also smart locks without keypads and use your smartphone or a fob as a key. This is a great feature because you can have your hands full of groceries and the door will unlock as you get closer to it, saving you the awful situation of trying to dig out your keys. You can also give access to other people by assigning their smartphones as keys as well. This saves you from having to create multiple copies of keys and hiding keys under the welcome mat.
Another great feature is the ability to restrict user’s ability to unlock your door to specific days and times. This gives you peace of mind that the dog sitter can’t come to your house while you are away and let themselves in, a feature a standard door lock can’t provide.
How difficult is a smart door lock to install?
If you consider yourself a savvy DIYer and rarely want to pay for a professional installation, it might be important to know whether your preferred device requires a pro or not. Many devices on the market today are relatively simple to install on your own. Many of them just replace the deadbolt and don’t require you to cut or modify your door in any way. If you are questioning your ability to install your own smart door lock check to see if the manufacturer provides any videos or how-to guides as that will let you know before you buy whether you are biting off more than you can chew.
There are also doorbell cameras that turn your smartphone into a camera when the doorbell rings. These could potentially be more difficult to install on your own and may require a professional. As always, check what literature the manufacturer provides and if they have in-house installation or can recommend someone.
If you have multiple people entering and leaving your home you need a smart door lock. No more rushing out and forgetting to lock the door behind you or worrying that your kids aren’t locking the door while you’re on vacation. With a smart door lock you can lock the door from your smartphone anywhere you have wifi. You can monitor who is coming in and when, even when you aren’t home. A smart door lock provides peace of mind by alerting you when your kids are home from school or when the babysitter arrives. A friend borrowing something but you are at work and the door is locked? Easily unlock the door for them from your phone and then relock it when they leave. Security and convenience in one simple package.
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