Have you ever locked yourself out of your own home? Every single person has been in a situation where their keys are fighting them. It’s late at night, and you can’t get them in the lock for the life of you. It could be you’ve lost them, broken them, given too many away, or are only ready for a change.
Keyless entry home is easier than you’d think. There are several great options available for people of all tech backgrounds and comfort levels. For a comprehensive guide to the different types of keyless entry home systems and how to pick, read on.
Things to Consider Before You Start
There are a number of things to consider before you start this smart lock buying guide. For starters, you need to be aware of your budget and needs.
You can go from low-tech options like a keypad to biometric scanners and smart locks that sync to your phone. Depending on brand and level, you might end up spending anywhere from $100 – $400+ for your keyless entry home. Beyond that, you have to consider convenience and ease of use.
It’s essential to consider your own comfort level with the keyless entry home system you wish to install. It doesn’t matter how much security a smart lock provides if you don’t like using it. Some people don’t want to remember passwords, and other people misplace things.
Let’s say you go for keyless because you keep losing your keys. In that scenario, swapping them for a fob might not make much of a difference. Do your research and think about how each solution works.
Decide for yourself if any of them is something you could see yourself using every day without fuss. If the answer is yes, and your budget allows it, then go for the best one that fits your needs. That said, if you can get acquainted with them, smart locks are some of the best options you can get.
First, however, let’s dig through some of the best and most common keyless solutions.
Keypads are an instant classic. Everyone knows how they work, and they make for one of the best keyless entry home systems. You never have to worry about having your key with you or misplacing it.
All you need to do is remember your code. Here are some of the things you need to consider before installing keypad locks.
Pros of Keypads:
The pros of keypads seem pretty straightforward. Only you know the code, and you don’t have to share it with anyone. Think about the alternative: anyone could make a copy of your key if they had it.
Why worry about who has your key and how many there are? Keypads are also pretty affordable and easy to install. In terms of security, they offer great protection, and there’s a reason so many businesses use them.
A standard 5 to 6-digit code is usually sufficient to guard your home, but you can raise the bar if needed. Connecting your keypad to a home alarm system adds that extra layer of security. Say goodbye to keys with a proven, low-cost, and low-tech alternative.
Cons of Keypads:
There are some cons worth considering about keypads. For starters, you do need to remember something: the code. For those of us who can’t seem to remember all of our passwords, this can be a bit of an issue.
What happens if you forget the code or the keypad malfunctions? There is a way around this, of course. Many keypad systems have a backup system in case something like this happens.
The keypad housing often allows you to slide a key in as a last resort, for example. This is a keyless guide, though, so let’s assume keys are off the table. Some keypads have a fingerprint scanner as a backup, which many prefer.
Many of us with smartphones already know how this works. It’s convenient, and your fingerprint is unique. This option blends the best of keypads with another option later in this list: biometrics.
If, however, you don’t like any of these options, there’s always the last resort. As mentioned, most keypad systems are part of a larger home security suite. With a quick call, you can explain the situation and have the issue resolved in no time.
Fobs can be a hard sell, but they are pretty convenient. They have several great features and not that many cons, but they aren’t for everyone. Many hotels use them for a reason, and it’s one of the better keyless entry home systems.
Pros of Fobs:
One of the biggest benefits of switching to a fob system is how compact they are. You can hang them from almost anywhere and have them ready to use. Put them on a lanyard, a keychain, or even a belt loop, and enjoy the lower profile.
You can also put them with your other keys. What’s the point of having a fob if you have other keys, though?
The average person will always have at least a few keys. Not everything is keyless yet, and that’s okay. Progress takes time.
For the time being, you don’t want to fumble with your keys every time you come home. Some people also don’t want extra jagged edges in their pockets. A fob works the same way as a key without any of the bulk.
The fewer keys you carry, the easier your overall life becomes.
It’s also worth thinking about security. Each fob is unique and difficult to replicate. With a standard key system, you run the risk of never knowing who has access.
We give our keys out all the time to partners, friends, and neighbors. We move into and out of places, and sometimes we never think about if the locks were actually changed or not. The anxiety alone is enough to make people want to go keyless.
You could change your locks or re-key them, but that’s an extra expense. The problem could still repeat down the road. A fob works as well as a key without the issues.
Cons of Fobs:
There aren’t many cons when it comes to fobs. The obvious one would be needing to carry it with you as if it was a key. For some, they like having something physical, but for others, it’s a hassle.
You also often have to remember to keep your fob working. Some need battery replacements, while others don’t do well in water or the elements. These are all issues you can fix with the right one, but they are worth considering.
We’ve all seen enough spy movies to know how keycards work. A keycard is slim and easy to store in your wallet, and with the right scanner, you might not even need to take it out.
Key cards face many of the same benefits as fobs but are even more convenient. You also don’t have to deal with issues with battery life. There is even, of course, the ability to take it to a higher tech level.
Pros and Cons of Key Cards:
The cons of key cars again have to do with the inconvenience of carrying something physical. You could lose the card, damage it, or have it stolen. In many ways, you have to care for it as much as a key, except it’s simpler to use and carry.
A major pro of key cards, however, is the tech can transcend the card. You could have your “key card” on your phone. QR codes have been the key cards of modernity for a while anyway, so why not take advantage?
Some people are even able to get a working membership card to a store tattooed onto their body. You could do something as convenient by digitizing this keyless solution.
When it comes to a keyless entry home, biometrics is top-notch. The ability to use your fingerprints to get into your house creates a level of security you can’t easily match. Someone could steal your key or try and memorize your code, but your prints are unique.
If you wanted to play up the movie drama, you could even go for something expensive like an eye scanner. This will cost a hefty sum and is unnecessary for home security, but everyone has their guilty pleasures.
Pros and Cons of Biometrics:
The pros of Biometrics are clear. Improved security is a major bonus, and the convenience of only needing to bring yourself is big. That said, there are downsides.
It can be worth changing your locks for a variety of reasons. You could have security worries. It could be that your current system isn’t working for you anymore.
At the end of the day, though, your chosen solution has to work all of the time. Anyone who has used fingerprint scanners on their smartphone knows the frustration when it doesn’t work smoothly. If you have to fidget with your finger to get into your house, then how is that better than fumbling with your keys?
With that said, it’s important to make a clarification. The biometric scanners used for home security are much more sophisticated and consistent. Comparing your phone scanner wouldn’t be fair.
Yet the risk does exist that your biometric scanner won’t work every time. The complexity of the tech can also create a learning curve for installation, adjustment, and maintenance.
Home smart locks are some of the most convenient you’ll ever use. They make it super easy to unlock your door without any of the traditional hassles. They usually work based on your phone, and you can calibrate them in various ways.
You can require a button tap on your phone, or you can even unlock your door based on proximity. That said, there are some things to consider.
For one, there is a learning curve, and for two, smart doesn’t always mean better security. It’s important to be realistic but also to go for the option that has the features and quality you need.
Pros of Smart Locks:
Let’s start with the obvious pros of smart locks. Never again do you have to fumble for your keys or try to balance what you’re holding to reach into your pockets. You could set it to unlock when you get close enough to the door or when you tap a pad with your phone.
You can also hand out access via the app to the people you want to have it. You can think of these like virtual keys. You also don’t have to get rid of the traditional key slot.
You can use the smart lock for its convenience and always have a traditional lock as a backup. Through the app, you can also easily make adjustments whenever or wherever you want. With a smart lock, it’s also super easy to get a home security system for extra security.
Cons of Smart Locks:
There are downsides to smart locks, of course. Most of them have to do with questions of security. While smart locks are convenient, they do have a requirement that some don’t like.
Smart locks usually need smartphones or some sort of external device. In the case of a phone or device, it can get stolen. This would be the same as if someone stole your key.
For this reason, it’s paramount that you pair a smart lock with a robust home security alarm system.
The Key to Picking the Right Keyless Entry Home System
When it comes to having a keyless entry home, there’s a lot to consider. You need something which works for you, without being too expensive or uncomfortable. Some will prefer a low-key keypad solution, while others want a smart home lock.
No matter what you go with, it’s best to have experts who know what they’re doing. At Car Keys San Antonio, we pride ourselves on offering only the best service. To find out for yourself, don’t hesitate to contact us today.