What’s the Most Secure Way to Install Smart Locks in an Older Property?

In the realm of home security, smart locks have surged in popularity. Offering both convenience and a heightened sense of protection, these keyless systems are rapidly becoming a household staple. However, the question often arises: what’s the most secure way to install smart locks in an older property? Provided here is an in-depth exploration of this query, focusing on the top smart locks in the market, their installation process, and the security considerations to keep in mind.

Navigating the Market: Choosing the Best Smart Lock

Purchasing a smart lock is not a decision to take lightly. Numerous factors come into play, such as your property’s entry points, the lock’s battery life, and app compatibility. However, there are two brands that consistently rise to the top: Yale and Schlage.

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Yale smart locks are known for their robust build and impeccable design, adding a touch of elegance to your door. Not to mention, Yale locks offer a variety of access options like biometric entry, mobile app control, and even the traditional key entry. Their battery life is also commendable, requiring a change only once every year on average.

Meanwhile, Schlage smart locks are a favourite among tech enthusiasts. The Schlage app provides access to a wide range of features including remote access, guest keys, and a detailed access log. The build quality is also commendable, with a solid deadbolt providing a sense of security.

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Both Yale and Schlage smart locks come with their respective installation guides. However, it’s essential to consider the best practices for installing these locks, especially in older properties where the doors may not be in the best condition.

Installing Smart Locks: A Step-by-Step Guide

It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned DIYer or a novice, installing a smart lock is a straightforward process. However, the condition of your door may pose some challenges. Here, we’ll walk you through the process for the Yale and Schlage smart locks.

Before starting the installation, inspect the door thoroughly. If it’s warped or has visible damage, it may need professional attention. Remember, the security of your smart lock is directly tied to the condition of your door.

Yale smart locks typically have two main components: the keypad and the deadbolt. Start by removing the existing deadbolt and replacing it with the new one. Ensure it’s properly aligned with the door frame for smooth operation. Then, install the keypad on the outside of the door, connecting it to the deadbolt.

Schlage smart locks, on the other hand, come with a touchpad and a deadbolt. Like the Yale locks, start by replacing the deadbolt. The touchpad is then installed on the outside, connected to the deadbolt. A unique feature of Schlage locks is the installation of a backup battery, which is located on the inside part of the door.

Security Considerations When Installing Smart Locks

While smart locks offer superior convenience and security, they can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Therefore, it’s essential to consider security at every step of the installation process.

The key to a secure smart lock is a strong, unique password. This not only applies to the lock itself but also to the mobile app. Avoid using easily guessable passwords such as birthdates or names. Opt for a mixture of numbers, letters, and special characters.

Additionally, ensure your home’s WiFi network is secure. Encrypt your network with a strong password and consider enabling a separate network for your smart devices.

Troubleshooting and Maintenance of Smart Locks

After the installation, it’s paramount to routinely check and maintain your smart lock to ensure its optimal performance. Regular checks can help identify potential problems early on, preventing security breaches.

Battery life is a crucial factor for smart locks. While Yale and Schlage locks have a battery life of about a year, it’s wise to check the battery status regularly. An exhausted battery can render the smart lock useless, so it’s best to replace the batteries ahead of time.

Lastly, regularly update your smart lock’s firmware. Manufacturers often release updates to fix bugs and improve security features. If you’ve purchased the smart lock from Amazon or any other platform, sign up for updates from the manufacturer’s website.

In conclusion, while older properties may pose some challenges when installing smart locks, they aren’t insurmountable. With the right lock, proper installation, and regular maintenance, you can turn your old property into a modern, secure home.

Maximizing Smart Lock Efficiency with Smart Devices and Security Systems

Smart locks function best when they’re part of an interconnected home security ecosystem. This ecosystem often includes other smart devices such as security cameras, alarm systems, and even smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

When these devices are connected, they can work in tandem to create a secure and convenient home environment. For instance, with a voice-enabled device like Amazon Alexa, you can use voice commands to lock or unlock your door. In scenarios where your hands are full, this can be particularly useful.

Schlage Encode and August Smart locks are both readily compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This allows for easy integration into your existing smart home setup. The Schlage Encode, in particular, even has built-in WiFi, eliminating the need for additional adapters or hubs to connect to your home network.

Security systems can also be paired with your smart lock for a heightened sense of security. When the system detects a potential break-in, it can automatically lock all doors, providing an extra layer of protection. Brands like August Smart and Yale Smart offer integrations with popular security systems, ensuring a seamless security experience.

However, keep in mind that every additional connected device is a potential entry point for hackers. Thus, make sure all your smart devices, including your smart lock, have the latest firmware updates installed and are protected by strong, unique passwords.

Strengthening the Front Door: Additional Security Measures

While a smart lock greatly enhances security, it shouldn’t be your sole line of defence especially for an older property. Consider other measures to strengthen the security of your front door and make it resistant to physical attacks.

Firstly, consider reinforcing the door frame. A common way burglars gain entry is by kicking in the door. By installing a reinforcement plate or a security bar, you can make the door more resistant to such attempts.

Next, invest in security cameras. Visible security cameras are a great deterrent for burglars. Even if a break-in does occur, the footage can be invaluable in identifying the culprit. Make sure to choose a camera that offers clear, high-definition footage, motion detection, and night vision.

Lastly, consider adding a door sensor. These sensors alert you when your door is opened or closed, allowing you to monitor your home even when you’re not there. Some sensors even allow you to set up notifications on your phone, providing real-time updates.

In conclusion, while installing a smart lock in an older property may seem daunting, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. A well-chosen smart lock, coupled with a secure installation process and regular maintenance, can provide keyless entry convenience and fortified security. When integrated with other security systems and smart devices, it can play a crucial role in transforming your old property into a modern, secure haven. Remember, the key to smart lock security is not just in the lock itself, but in how it is installed, maintained and how well it integrates into your overall home security ecosystem.