Monday, April 12

What are the best smart locks in March 2021?

Dematerialization goes to our keyring with the democratization of connected locks. We have chosen the best models on the market for you.

If they are not exactly new, they have now been found for a few years, connected locks have never really taken off in France. A situation that looks set to change with the arrival of many new models on the market.

After leaving the market to startups for a long time, the big names are coming up with their own products. Somfy, Vachette and even Legrand are therefore on the starting line to try to popularize these locks of another type.

Why choose a smart lock?

Let’s say it right away: you are not using a smart lock for its security. She will be as much, see more vulnerable than her classic sisters. Its real strength is its practicality. Creating a “duplicate” of keys is done in a few seconds and you can easily share them with your loved ones. Seasonal rental or AirBnB owners will also be seduced by this way of simplifying the arrival and departure of their tenants.

Some models also allow remote opening, either “locally” via a voice assistant or on the other side of the world with your phone.

We have chosen the most interesting models on the market for you.

Yale Linus Smart Lock: almost universelle

Straight from the USA, this lock signed Yale has for main promise to be compatible with 95% of the locks on the market. An ambitious goal given the great diversity of France on this point.

The Linus Smart Lock is placed on your usual lock // Source: Frandroid

The Linus Smart Lock is placed on your usual lock // Gamesdone: Frandroid

First observation: it is imposing (15 cm high by 5.8 wide), but manages to remain relatively elegant thanks to its clean lines. We will have the choice between a silver gray and a slate black. Installation is simple since the existing barrel will be reused. If the latter is not compatible, it is always possible to purchase one as an option. Another possible addition: that of a keyboard if you prefer to use a code.

The rest of the time, the control is done using the Yale Access application, which allows in passing a remote opening if one invests in the Yale Connect Wifi bridge. The latter also opens up functions for managing temporary access rights which are practical for seasonal rentals. Power is supplied via 4 AA batteries.

Linus Smart Lock test: an ultra-simple, but effective connected lock

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A good lock that is easy to install and use, a pity however that it is so bulky.

You can find his full test here.

Nuki Smart Lock: For the ecosystem

Available for two years now, this lock comes straight from Austria. Let’s say it at the outset: it does not shine by its discretion, both for its size and the choice of a two-tone finish that catches the eye.

Its installation is simple since it reuses the cylinder and the existing key. Taken only its functions are very classic, with an opening from the smartphone in Bluetooth. But it’s its ecosystem that really allows it to shine.

We can thus add a bridge for remote control, but also a numeric keypad or a remote control in keyring format. The latter is particularly practical for people who do not have smartphones such as children. More original is the Nuki Opener which connects to an intercom to control it remotely!

It is also full on the integration of voice assistants since we find Alexa, HomeKit and Google Assistant. A model that we would have liked more discreet, but which will interest those looking for versatility.

ENTr cowhide: for safety

It’s hard not to mention Vachette when we talk about locks. Now owned by the Assa Abloy group (which also owns Yale and Point Fort Fichet), the brand offers under its name the ENTR, a model originally designed by Yale.

The ENTR is intended to be a more secure model than the average and therefore requires a replacement of the cylinder by a relatively high-end version. We therefore gain in safety, but we lose a little in ease of use since the existing lock will have to be removed, which however only takes a quarter of an hour.

This model can be unlocked with your phone’s Bluetooth, but also with the supplied remote control. Among the interesting options will find an additional box making it possible to open by code or fingerprint.

However, it is impossible to connect it, which could be a concern for tourist use. If it is possible to send a key remotely, it will however be necessary to be near the lock to program it.

On the power side, there is a battery, a more ecological choice, but less flexible since it takes more than 4 hours to refuel via a micro-USB charger.

A more secure than average model, therefore, but also more expensive and less flexible than most of its competitors.

Somfy Connected Lock: the choice of weapons

Very present in the field of home automation, Somfy obviously has its own connected lock solution. Quite imposing, the latter however has the good taste to be delivered with three different shells (white / gold / silver) which allow it to be a little more discreet.

On the installation side, we are here in the presence of a model requiring a replacement of the barrel. The opening is carried out via Bluetooth via your phone, but it is possible to add a connected bridge for remote control. A badge reader doubling as a digital code is also part of the game, but its price (210 €) may cool some. To accompany this reader, we can invest in badges, bracelets or even cards. In short, there’s something for everyone.

The power supply is provided by AAA batteries and the announced autonomy is one year.

Somfy therefore offers a complete and easy-to-use solution, but the bill goes up quite quickly depending on the accessories you need.

FAQ

Are smart locks compatible with all doors?

The models available in our regions adopt the European profile and are therefore compatible with the vast majority of doors. Most of the time, it will suffice to change the existing cylinder and exchange it for the one supplied. Some high security locks will therefore not be compatible.

How am I going to open my door?

It depends ! Most locks on the market use an app and your phone’s Bluetooth. Some models offer digicodes, badges or even fingerprint readers. Finally, all locks offer a physical emergency key.

Is it possible to open my door remotely?

Some locks are able to be opened remotely from anywhere in the world. The most common solution requires going through a bridge that will communicate between the lock and the Internet.

Should we reload the lock?

Who says electronic says energy and your lock therefore needs current. The vast majority of models therefore use AA or AAA size batteries. Battery life varies by model and frequency of use and generally ranges from 3 months to a year. We therefore recommend that you invest in a few rechargeable batteries to limit costs (and waste) over time.

What happens in the event of a power or internet failure?

Do not worry in the event of a massive Internet or power cut, most connected locks are capable of operating locally and are also equipped with their own battery. However, some remote control functions will not necessarily be available. And in the worst case, it is always possible to use a classic key in an emergency. Be careful though, this requires having access to said key, so giving a copy to a relative is a good idea.

Are smart locks really secure?

If you are looking for a 100% tamper-proof lock, go your way. Forcing a door is only a matter of time for a motivated intruder and mechanically these locks are identical to their classic cousins.

Their connected side even opens up additional attack avenues, the locks themselves suffer from potential vulnerabilities. Security researchers make it public on a regular basis … So buy a connected lock for its convenience and not for its security.

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