The array of smart locks available may scare a beginner away. It's hard to make a decision when choosing to switch over to keyless locks when bombarded with tech jargon and specifications. While the basics are easy to understand, many aren't aware of the differences between WiFi-enabled and non-WiFi-enabled smart locks.
We'll shed some light on these differences to help you decide.
WiFi-enabled Smart Locks
Photo credit: August
WiFi-enabled smart locks are controlled and managed via WiFi connectivity to some degree. It's suitable for those seeking integration capabilities as the lock's functions are further enhanced when connected to the Internet.
Non-WiFi-enabled Smart Locks
Non-WiFi-enabled locks usually incorporate the Bluetooth protocol. This helps connect the lock to your smartphone, allowing both devices to communicate with each other. Its features, functions and performance aren't affected by an Internet connection.
There are some key points to take note of when you're deciding between these two categories:
Non-WiFi-enabled (NWE) locks are considered to have increased security standards as compared to WiFi-enabled locks.
Without the need for Internet, NWE locks are less susceptible to WiFi hacking. WiFi-enabled smart locks are vulnerable to a host of tech issues, and it's easy for a tech-savvy burglar to hack into your WiFi network (which your smart lock is connected to). Your attacker can disable your door without needing to be onsite.
Non-WiFi-enabled locks are often also more reliable than WiFi-enabled ones.
You should always be able to gain access to your home, why leave that in the hands of an Internet connection? Should WiFi connectivity fail you, you may not be able to access or control your smart lock - leaving you locked out of your home.
Those using non-WiFi-enabled locks aren't affected by Internet or WiFi related flubs. It's a great choice for those living in remote areas with an unreliable Internet connection because your lock still functions normally!
Photo credit: August
Many WiFi-enabled locks require an external hub. These hubs are usually an additional USD$100 to the cost of the lock. Hence, a non-WiFi-enabled lock is affordable due to no extra costs.
WiFi-enabled locks can have more remote functions than non-WiFi-enabled ones. Firstly, You're able to monitor the ins-and-outs of your home whenever and wherever you are. You can also let guests into your home by unlocking your door remotely from your smartphone.
Non-WiFi-enabled locks require extra steps to perform similar functions. A great example is the igloohome smart lock - despite working offline, you can grant access to guests via PIN codes and Bluetooth keys remotely. Additionally, you can view access logs when you're within Bluetooth range. If Bluetooth keys are used to unlock your door, you'll be notified in real-time.
e) Device Integration Capabilities
If you're big on smart homes and home automation, this is an important factor. Integration with smart devices usually involves a smart hub. WiFi-enabled smart locks allow for said integration.
The smart hub acts as a one-stop shop to control the multiple smart devices on one platform or application, streamlining the numerous third-party apps.
Photo credit: CNET
Mostly, you'll want to connect to smart speakers to control your lock via voice assistants. Lock or unlock your door remotely or check access logs using voice commands and more for a more convenient experience.
That's not saying that non-WiFi-enabled smart locks aren't able to integrate with other devices. The igloohome line of smart locks and lockboxes work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa; of course, it can't unlock doors remotely unless an external hub is present.
Here’s an overview of the pros of both categories:
There's more to explore depending on the brand and manufacturer. Whether you choose a WiFi-enabled smart lock or not is dependent on your needs and preferences. Ultimately, smart locks bring convenience to its users and enhances your quality of life regardless of the one you pick.
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