Keyless Door Locks – PROS & CONS YOU NEVER KNEW BEFORE


keyless door locks pros and cons

Keyless door locks have been initially developed for cars with remote entry system in the past but now are widely used on locks by the homeowners. Thanks to the evolving technology, this new concept has brought in a hassle-free of entering into our own homes without a fuss. Saying which, there are several additional benefits of deploying a keyless entry system at our homes and garages. But here comes the gimmick, since there are loads of marketed benefits of using a keyless entry system, let me also take you through a list of cons that these equipment are tagged along with.

By the end of this article, you would have a clear understanding of what are the benefits and downsides of deploying a keyless door locking system.

So the question is, should you get a dead-bolt lock or a keyless entry door lock? Here in the list below, we discuss the pros and cons that would help you determine what actually a keyless door lock has to offer.

We would be dwelling on the below topic from a safety perspective as that is our primary goal into deploying any sort of a locking mechanism, isn’t it?

ADVANTAGES

MULTIPLE ACCESS CODES TO GAIN ENTRY

If you have a plethora of people who live in your home, or a matter of fact if you are a business owner who wants to ensure that each person is given their own unique identity code, then having a keyless entry is the best possible thing you can do for your home and for your business. Your maid, your aunt, your mum, your children, all can have a unique code. This is however mostly applicable if you are the owner of a complex or a building, then having such a mechanism deployed at the main gate allows audited entry into the premises. This way, you are less vulnerable to break-ins and can quickly backtrack whose code was used to gain entry into the premise.

Whenever a person punches in the code, the backend database instead it is on the machine itself or tied to a server; registers a print with the details such as the code number, the date and the time when that code was used. This in its own self is a great feature this mechanism has to offer and provides a great sense of security to the owner.

Now you may ask, why do I keep on insisting that having a unique code is one of the significant and main benefits of having a keyless door lock system in place? I will explain this out to you in an example. Let us consider your mate who was allocated with a code to the device to gain entry into your premises loses his smartphone on which the code was stored. And some intruder uses that code to gain entry into your premises. The only way you would ever come to know that how someone got access into your property knowing that you only had this mechanism in place, is to check the logs on the device and find out which particular code was used in the disputed timeframe and then backtrack it to the person who was allocated it. Obviously, you shouldn’t be shouting out loud letting people know when handing out their entry-codes, that these are unique and the sole reason for this is to backtrack. You wouldn’t want to cause a breeze of mistrust between your accomplices now, would you?

Anyhow, having this unique feature that is only possible by the use of a keyless entry system; would you be able to find out who gained access to your property. In the case of a conventional dead-bolt lock system where each individual is handed out a key, you would never be able to find out in case of an intrusion by key; that whose key was it that was used to gain access to your property.

SAY BYE-BYE TO THE KEYS

SAY BYE-BYE TO THE KEYS

This is a pretty straight-forward benefit to the whole agenda of this topic. Key is something that can easily be misplaced or even stolen. In the case of an entry code, no one can STEAL your entry code. Unless you are like my wife, who writes her oh-so-fancy secret codes on a piece of paper and then slide them under the back-case of her smartphone. And the worst part is, it used to be labelled as “THIS IS THE CODE TO THE MAIN DOOR OF MY HOME” along with the list of other ambiguous statements and codes to the other stuff in our property. Ah, my days! So now if you do not write your code anywhere, and tend to memorise it; then you are in a lot more safer hands than the latter.

Another added benefit of having NO KEYS is that you now do not have to worry about forgetting your keys at home or at the office table while you are commuting to and back from work. Imagine having your keys left in your drawer at home, and you have finally reached the office. I know I would be in stress the whole day. And what if you forget your keys at work and now have to drive all the way back? Why am I elaborating a lot on this, is due to the fact that I have been on the receiving end of the onslaught that I had to suffer from my wife when I showed up at the front door with both standing outside and I was the one who was supposed to carry the keys, when they were forgotten safely in my office drawer. *Giggle*

ULTRA-ADVANCED LOCKING MECHANISM

Most of the manufacturers have started implementing a permanent-shut-out mechanism in the keyless entry locks these days. What that means is, that you can set a timer on the lock to lock itself permanently and no one else would then be able to unlock it unless the designated lock-out time has expired. This feature ensures that no break-in can take place even if the unique codes that are given out to open the lock are lost or fall in the hands of an intruder.

Another example of this topic is that if you are planning on staying away from your home for long periods, such as going on vacations. Then you can use this advanced feature to ensure yourself and have a peace of mind that your door lock is tight-shut and no can gain entry to it even if they use the code to it. Obviously, with smart locks, this can easily be controlled via the app that comes along with it. But we are not discussing smart-locks in this topic.

FACIAL & FINGER RECOGNITION PROTOCOLS

With the technological advancements taking place almost on a daily basis, the keyless entry system is now also incorporated with finger, facial and even iris recognition.

The only downside to these latest mechanisms is that they tend to cost more than a conventional keyless entry locking system. I repeat, do not go after the shady after-market products as you wouldn’t want to smile to death in front of your facial recognition locking system and the lock not able to decipher that it is you who are permitted to gain entry. *Giggle*

DISADVANTAGES

BUTTONS LEAVE A PATTERN BEHIND

Dirt and debris are the main culprits behind the deterioration of any electronic device. We all would agree on this. A similar case is with the keypad locks that are deployed on these keyless entry locks. As and when during the use of these keypads to punch in the codes, the dirt and debris start accumulating onto these number pads, thus eventually revealing to an intruder what possibly could be the entry code to the premise.

This is, however not applicable if there are a handful of codes given out to people on one device since this pattern can then be all over the place on the number keypad. But let us consider if there is only code that has been handed out to multiple people, which is obviously wrong at so many levels and opens up a dirty Pandora box; then the situation can get a lot worst since the pattern is easily identifiable due to the code being punched in multiple of times leaving tracks on the physical keypad itself.

But hey, this is not the end of the world! You have multiple options here to counter this.

  1. Make sure you wipe clean the number pad every once in a while with a  clean cloth
  2. If you believe that the pattern of the code is visible to you, then you can always change the codes.
  3. Last and the final one, before you chuck-out the machine into the bin; try getting in touch with the manufacturer for a replacement keypad or send the device back for replacement and/or repair.

POWER OUTAGE IS A SERIOUS RISK

This particular point in the article is hugely debatable. It is highly dependent on what type of door lock you use.

Most of the advanced and well-renowned manufacturers are known to have a built-in battery installed into the device that kicks in as soon as there is a power outage. This gives you ample time to resort to alternative means to secure your door when the power outage happens.

In case you have a UPS or a power generator, then it would be wise to have an ATS (Automated Transfer Switch) installed between your keyless entry device and the UPS / Generator. This would ensure minimum to no downtime, and your lock would always be performing at its original level.

All in all, it is always advisable to have a power backup source connected to your keyless entry door mechanism to avoid the hassle. And also to safeguard yourself from burglars whose norm is to cut the power source whenever they see a keyless entry lock system in place.

KEYLESS ENTRY CODES SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN OUT TO EVERYONE

An entry code on a keyless entry device is somewhat a great alternative and an added security benefit when it comes down to comparing the concept against a standard deadbolt lock system. But the hiccup occurs when this code is lost or misplaced.

Let us assume the keyless entry device is configured in a place on the building where there is a lot of foot movement. People are generally hesitant to shrug someone off who is waiting right next to them to gain entry into the building. Well, you never know if they are the actual residents of the building or that person could just be an intruder waiting for you to punch in the code and they observe it and then use it to gain access to the property while you are not around.

It is always best advised to install this device in such a place where it is monitored by the surveillance systems as well. So that in case if an intruder uses a code to enter, at least the CCTV footage would then allow you to know and recognise who that person was. This also greatly aids the local authorities into investigating the cause and get hold of the culprit.

CODES CAN EASILY BE FORGOTTEN AND/OR LOST

If you are like me who likes to keep long-codes as their primary way to access the door locks, then you are suggested to make sure you do not forget it. Because in all honesty, setting shortcodes would be easily crackable. A considerable amount of brain-power is required to make sure that you do not keep these codes written down on a piece of paper. Since these papers would be easily lost and any intruder can then gain access into your property by memorising the codes written on the slip.

CONCLUSION

The final verdict indeed is that you should always opt-in for keyless entry lock systems if you can ensure that the advantages mentioned above, tips, tricks, and cons are kept in mind. Always ensure to have the lock fitted by an expert. Under no circumstances should you be requesting the person who is installing the lock for you to enable the codes for you. You should always learn how to set the codes yourself and often change them to remove the possibility of having a leaked code getting into the hands of an intruder.

Along with it, you should always ensure that the lock you are about to purchase for your next fit; has a backup battery installed in it. The length of the backup varies greatly and is reliant on the money you are planning on shelling into the product.

If you want to get rid of the hassle of codes and ensuring to keep them safe, then my best advice to you would be to pick up a facial, fingerprint, iris scanner to phase out the possibility of an intrusion by a leak. Yet still, these devices should be top-notch and never be bought from shady dealers.

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Zohaib S.

A technology enthusiast who has converted his home into a "JETSONS" edition.

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