Are electronic locks safe? Which electronic locks are best?

Finger Scanner

IMAGE CREDIT: David Shankbone

Most of us have used an electronic lock at work at some point, and know just how much easier and more secure it can be to use a pin or swipe card to open a door. But this technology is not the clunky, expensive behemoth it used to be, and now you can have it in your very own home or small business with very little hassle.

The reason electronic locks are becoming more and more popular in personal homes is the security: while keys can be lost or copied, fingerprints, phone connections and swipe cards can’t be duplicated, while keypad pin numbers are unlikely to be misplaced.

Fingerprint scanners

“In my opinion, fingerprint scanners tend to be a bit gimmicky,” says Rob Gangi, senior electrician at Gangi Electrics. “They’re totally safe and certainly not dangerous, but they can be difficult to use if you have dirty or oily fingers.” According to Rob, they can be easily installed and are fun to use. However, he warned against buying from an unfamiliar brand. “You don’t want to be getting them off eBay – make sure it’s from a trusted supplier that we recommend to you.”

Keypads

Traditionally relegated to office towers, these are now affordable enough to fit in any home, business or school. They’re familiar and simple to use, but tend to require a little extra work on fitting them into the door. If you’re diligent enough to change the passwords regularly, they’re among the safest forms of door security you can get.

Swipe cards

“Swipe cards are one of the most popular types of locks at the moment because cards tend to be much handier than a key,” Rob says. While it’s true that cards can be lost or stolen, it’s easy to switch off access for certain cards. Replacing cards can be more expensive than replacing keys, but if security is a major concern for you, then it’s an option worth considering.

Phone-connected locks

By far the most exciting development in electronic locks are the new locks that use wireless communication to connect with your smartphone. With crowd-funded locks like Lockitron or the Goji “smartlock”, you can make sure you locked your front door anytime, from anywhere. Both of these systems use bank-level encryption, and if worst comes to worst and you lose your phone, they still allow you to turn off your phone’s capacity to control your lock. Of course, they both allow you the option of using a conventional key if you leave your phone at home. The Goji deadbolt also features a built-in camera that you can tap into any time with your smartphone, and alerts you with a picture every time the lock is opened.

For a slightly less futuristic aesthetic, the Kwikset Kevo lock offers similar functions, as well as allowing you to send temporary electronic passes to contractors or visitors who need access to your home if you aren’t around.

Which one is right for you?

If you’re looking for ideas on the right lock, the first thing you need to do is call Gangi Electrics, who will be able to advise you on the options available for your situation. There is no perfect lock for every home or business, because it all depends on budget, the number of doors that will be fitted, and the number of people who will be using the locks.

If you’re looking to simply upgrade existing locks, Gangi will also be able to let you know the most efficient ways of doing that for fast security. Contact Melbourne’s premier electricians today.