So, you got that shiny new smart WiFi door lock and you’re getting ready to install it — or you have your eyes on one anyway. The next step, besides setting it up, of course, is adopting it into your daily routine. How do you use it? What are some pro tips? What are some lesser known features you should be aware of?
In a general sense, smart locks are essentially the same at least when it comes to their common features. It doesn’t matter whether you have a lock from Schlage, August, Kevo, Next, or an outlier, this guide is a great place to start.
Here are five awesome things you can do with your new — or soon to be — smart WiFi door lock.
1. Issue Guest or User Keys
With conventional locks, you have to dole out physical keys which means making a copy at your local hardware or department store and then handing them out to friends and family. If something goes awry, you then have to take the keys back. You may even have to change the locks to your home, especially if things are dicey.
Some smart locks still use physical keys, yes, but it’s best to keep those for you and your family. Everyone else can be issued either digital keys or pass-codes. This essentially gives you full control over access to your home. You can see when, where and how many times users are unlocking the door. You can also revoke access instantly if there’s a problem.
And the best part, no one has a physical key other than you — unless you choose a lock that doesn’t use them.
2. Unlock the Door with Your Phone
For those times when you have your hands full, or you’re in a hurry you can simply unlock the door using your phone. Now, this process will vary from lock to lock. Some, for example, require you to use a proprietary app or widget. Other locks will work via NFC to unlock as soon as your device is in proximity.
In any case, it’s now possible to unlock your door using your phone. This is especially great when it’s late at night and pretty dark; you don’t have to fumble with a set of keys to find the right one.
3. Improved Security
On top of seeing — in real-time — who’s coming and going, you can also see alerts pertaining to your front door. If someone tries to tamper with the lock or enter false codes, you’ll know right away no matter where you are.
This gives you ample time to contact the authorities or someone nearby to check on your home.
Pair the lock with a smart video doorbell or smart security cameras, and you can actually see right away what’s happening on your doorstep. How’s that for improved security?
4. Auto Lock Support
At some point, we’ve all done it. You leave home and forget to lock the door. Or, maybe you don’t remember whether or not you did. That’s where smart locks are incredibly handy. Not only can you check on a lock’s status remotely through an open or over the web, you can enable an auto lock feature that will ensure the lock is enabled after a certain amount of time.
Your door will essentially lock itself.
5. Remote Access
Have someone coming over who doesn’t have their own key? Want to let the package courier inside real quick so your expensive package isn’t sitting on the front doorstep? The remote access support offered by smart locks allows you to do exactly this, no matter where you are. You could be at work, right down the street at a neighbors, or even in another country. Granted, both the smart lock and your remote device will need access to the internet, but that’s a given.
If You’re on the Fence, Jump It!
At this point, you should have some great ideas for getting the most out of your new smart WiFi door lock. And if you don’t have one yet, you have enough reasons to go grab one!
Smart door locks are incredibly convenient and offer a multitude of features and use-cases that conventional locks never will. Couple that with the fact that you never have to worry about using physical keys ever again — or getting them back from people who borrow them — and there’s no reason not to upgrade your existing lock.