What is a Smart Lock?

Parsa Mazaheri
March 11, 2021
What is a Smart Lock? We will go through details to compare different types of locks in terms of security you can use for your property.

Nowadays, the travel industry is undergoing so many changes. Some are afraid of traveling in a pandemic, some are concerned over stranger guests who might be infected and/or carry the virus. Put aside the pandemic, security is always very important to properties. A new era of smart locks are here to help!

How do Smart Locks Work?

Generally speaking, over the years different companies have created different types of Smart Locks. From the early models of RFID & Keycard based locks to Z-wave and Wifi door locks. All they’ve ever got in common is their thrive for security & utility.

We’ve gathered a long list of Locks and we’ve decided to categorise the so-called “Smart Locks” into three different categories. Let’s see how each one works!

Dumb Locks:

Lock boxes, traditional locks, whatever you want to call them. If they use a physical key to grant you access to the interior we call them Dumb locks! These locks are the most common among us and we all know about them most definitely, the reason we call them dumb locks is the lack of utility. You lose your key you lose your privilege! You don’t have a key you can’t get in! Truth is, us humans are lazy. We all want the doors to be opened from farther away. We don’t want to walk to the door to open it. Utility is what we need!

Dumb Locks Lack Security in Comparison to Smart Locks

Bluetooth Smart Locks:

Who doesn’t like opening their front doors without digging for their buried keys under their stuff in their bags? Bluetooth locks grant you the ability to unlock your doors from far away! Sounds very luxurious of course, but security is pretty controversial. Digital locks can be slippery slopes when it comes to security, however software-backed Bluetooth smart locks are a new revolution against these security flaws.

Wifi Smart Locks:

Now Wifi locks are something much different, we already covered Bluetooth Locks and how useful they can be in terms of utility, customization and property management. But Wifi locks bring a whole new era of super powers to your property. There are lots of companies that offer various products in addition to their smart locks to ensure maximum outcome. You can get all kinds of features, about anything you want really, all you got to do is find a company or a Kickstarter that suits you the best!

Hybrid Smart Locks:

This innovation still has a lot to prove and is just getting started, imagine you’re creating a new email, you might want to set up second factor authenticators and all that just to ensure maximum security, what we call “hybrid smart lock” is something like that, it offers you different ways and patterns to access your property, it provides you with the features and utilities of a wifi smart lock and simultaneously it’s as easy as a padlock in terms of usage! Really exciting stuff! We here at Goki strongly believe hybrid locks which both use Bluetooth and wifi technology at the same time are far superior to any other types of lock in terms of security.

So, Which One Suits my Property?

Let’s first discuss the reason you want to change your existing lock. Let’s say - for example - there’s a hotel which needs faster check-in and transitions. “Dumb locks” don’t really work as well as Wifi locks in this case. As mentioned before Wifi locks provide various types of utility to your property. Heck, we here in Goki can put your whole property on autopilot!
Or as another example let’s take a rebel teenager who wants to set their very own secret cupboard! Fingerprint locks can provide maximum privacy with minimum cost. My point here is, be honest to yourself, what are you actually looking for in a lock? Is it only security or are you looking for more “fun” features?

Are Smart Locks Actually Worth it?

Depends on why you really want to use it for, is it only because it looks cool? Or are you actually looking for the extra features it brings to the table? Hypothetically let’s say you’ve got a home-office like I do, frequently you’ll need to open the door for your co-workers or family members to let them in. You can use Wifi Smart Locks to open the door from continents away! In short, yes Smart Locks are actually worth it but again, especially if you’re looking for the features it brings to the table. Ultimately it’s all up to you to choose the best smart lock for your property, look up smart lock companies and understand their features. Best of luck to you!

Goki Smart Locks

Security Comparison

The first locks humans made were but an instrument of security. Put aside all you just read about the utilities and features, here we compare lock types in terms of security.

We’ve done a lot of R&D on this subject, all we can conclude is “We think software-backed Smart Locks are the most secure of them all.” Here’s what we mean: Dumb locks really live up to their name in term of security. Keycards can accidentally open other locks, physical keys can be easily duplicated even with a single photo! Fingerprints can theoretically be cracked as well. You’ve got your fingerprints all over your door knob, criminals can potentially misuse this flaw. Smart locks are also digital locks, we all know all CPUs can be hacked and misused. Smart locks are no exceptions, however we believe a strong software system can complete the technology and maximise the security.

Time Limited PINs

Usually smart locks use e-key technology or PINs, any potential misuse of PINs can be prevented by implementing a system behind the lock to limit their usage time. Imagine locking down your entire property after midnight!

One-time PINs

These PINs or e-keys have very limited usage in terms of quantity. You can let anyone you want in and out of your property using one-time PINs. I’ve seen this feature being used vastly by hostels and hotels. The staff can easily grant access to a housekeeper at a specific time and the key expires after their work is done with the room to avoid any misuse.

Are Smart Locks Really Superior?

Well my own answer will always be yes. However other factors like lock pricing and/or lock type also come into play on this matter. All I can personally tell you is criminals always find a better way to do their dirty work, all we can ever offer is to bring the newest and most secure options to the table so not a single soul in the world can beat us!

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Parsa Mazaheri
Marketing/CS Specialist