The future is here and it comes in several attractive shapes and sizes. From electronic padlock designs to modified door handles that can read your finger’s signature in a matter of seconds. Fingerprint or biometric door locks are becoming one of the safest and most efficient locks on the market.
If you have enough keys that people confuse you with the local custodian, then it may be time to optimize your home with a biometric door lock.
In this article, we will be covering the five best biometric door locks in no particular order based on price, features, overall design, and ease of use.
The Samsung SHS-P718-LMK is as beautifully efficient as it gets and feels like something out of a science fiction movie. You can use the fingerprint scanner hidden under the automatic sliding door found just above the dial pad, which can memorize 100 fingerprint signatures. Alternatively, you can use the dial pad which can remember up to 31 different numerical combinations and RFID tags. It can recognize you when you are approaching with its built-in infrared sensors (like a science fiction movie) which trigger it to “wake up” and allow you to use the biometric scanner.
Samsung ensures that you can install this door lock in a short amount of time with relative ease though reviewers have noted this is not always the case and installation can be frustrating at times. It also offers more strict authentication modes if you are worried about security as well as a theft mode that detects intrusions.
As far as biometric locks go I don’t know if this is the best offer on the market but I can comfortably say I don’t know a better alternative. The biggest downside is its price point, and it is a big downside. This brilliant piece of machinery sits at more than 500 USD which is about as steep a price as you are going to find when it comes to biometric locks. But with all of its added functions, sleek design, and a security alarm that goes out when it detects suspicious movement, we would be ignorant not to include it in our top five.
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro is going to be found on just about every list you find rating biometric locks. The reason for that is because it is simply brilliant, it does what it needs to do well and offers more functions than most consumers even thought to look for.
Not only does it come with fingerprint recognition (which stores 120 fingerprints) but it also has a keypad (which stores 60 codes) that has an anti-peep function. What this does is say your home password is “1234”, well if someone you are wary of is behind you, you can enter “456712345432” and it will allow you in, as long as the original code is somewhere inside of the number combination.
With an auto-lock feature that makes sure you never have to worry about if you remember to latch your deadbolt, this biometric lock is a staple of the industry for good reason. You can unlock your door six different ways with this versatile lock and it sits at a very reasonable sub-$200 price tag, depending on where you look.
For those looking for a more financially friendly option without sacrificing quality and function, the Eufy Smart Fingerprint Door Lock is an exceptional choice. Its largest selling point is the lightning-quick recognition time of .3 seconds to approve your fingerprint. Outside of this speedy turnover, it comes with four different ways to unlock it, fingerprint scan, keypad, key, or through the accompanying app.
It’s resistant to inclement weather and keeps all data internally to avoid your security being compromised if your cloud storage was accessed. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of previous entries, it can be purchased for an incredibly budget-friendly price below $150.
Staying in the same lane of cost efficiency I wanted to take a look at one of the cheapest options you can find on the market that isn’t going to fall off when you shut the door. A lot of door locks that have a fingerprint scanner can be needlessly flashy, which may actually work against them. If a home is decorated with a giant, state-of-the-art biometric lock, it may indicate valuable possessions are inside of it. This is a simpler alternative that provides two easy ways to get into your home without the need for a key.
You will find this guy running at less than $100 and it includes the screwdriver you need to install it. It won’t stand out, it won’t cost you triple-digit prices and it still delivers the same reliable service that other biometric locks do.
Easily installed and delightfully simple to use, Smonet has created a very worthwhile fingerprint lock. As elegant as its name is long, this door lock offers a number of different ways to unlock your door from a personal key to fingerprint, code, integrated circuit cards, and even bluetooth. It’s fast and simple and allows a multitude of options for your house, office, or personal business.
It can recognize your fingerprint in half a second and has a battery life that will require you to fix this no than twice a year. If you purchase this new you are guaranteed a one-year warranty and its price is reasonable, in the ballpark of ~150 USD. It also will lock itself out for five minutes if the password is entered wrong five times or more, which may be a pro or a con depending on the person.
Features to Consider
Multiple Fingerprint Compatibility
When we talk about “smart homes” and “smart locks,” some of these products really earn that label.
The Samsung and Ultraloq locks discussed above each store over 100 different fingerprints. This means the device can remember the fingerprint of everyone in your household, plus extended family, friends, neighbors, dog sitters, nannies, and anyone else you want to grant access to.
Physical Key Backup
There are some instances when “smart” devices don’t feel so smart. Occasionally a power outage, internet problems, or device malfunctioning will make us long for the good old days when everything worked without WiFi and Bluetooth connections.
In these moments, you will be glad to have a biometric lock that also allows you access with an old school, physical key.
Fingerprint recognition technology has improved tremendously in the past decade, and there are reliable fingerprint-activated devices now available at prices that are approachable to the average consumer.
Nonetheless, it is great to have a backup plan in case your fingerprint isn’t recognized. If you are unlocking the door with dirty hands or while wearing gloves, a physical keypad will be much more reliable.
Most biometric locks come standard with a keypad. And some of these keypads add advanced features like “anti-peep” protection and multiple code storage.
Material & Build Quality
The devices on the above list are all built to serve as exterior door locks. And no matter how impressive the technology may be, exterior door locks are still vulnerable to physical manipulation. If you purchase a biometric lock that can’t withstand much physical force, your home will still be prone to break-ins and theft.
Power Source & Power Backup
Be sure to consider the power source of your door locks, also. Having a battery backup is crucial to avoid being locked out of your home unexpectedly. And it is important to always have spare batteries on hand.
The other key feature here is that you should always have access to another method of entry to your home. This may mean having a biometric lock that also uses a physical key as backup, or else a back door or other entry door which can be opened in the event of device failure.
Advanced Security & Break-in Detection
Depending on your budget, some fingerprint locks pack some excellent added features. Geo-fencing, RFID tags, and infrared sensors are available with some biometric locks, but it will usually come with an additional cost.
“Anti-peep” features and security alarms can also be found on some of these devices.
Choosing a reliable lock with a warranty will save you from frustration. Brands like Samsung and Eufy are major players in smart home technology, while the other products on our list are upstart companies with good scores for reliability.
Since these are direct-to-consumer products, most of the locks on our list can be installed by a DIYer with limited skills. But it is still safest to choose one of these products which installs with relative ease. If you end up needing to hire a professional to install the lock, expect to add a hundred dollars (or more) to the bill.
Integrating Biometric Locks with Smart Home Systems
As the smart home trend continues to evolve, the need for seamless integration of various devices and systems becomes a critical aspect. In the world of biometric locks, such integration can result in improved functionality, convenience, and overall security.
Many top biometric locks can be integrated into broader smart home systems, allowing for better control and coordination with other smart devices. For example, when integrated with a smart home hub, you can program your door to unlock automatically when your smart thermostat detects that you’ve arrived home. Similarly, integration with a smart security system might enable your lock to automatically engage when the system is armed, increasing security and peace of mind.
Consider devices that are compatible with popular smart home ecosystems like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or Apple HomeKit. Also, consider the connectivity method; while Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are common, locks that offer Z-Wave or Zigbee compatibility can offer more robust and reliable connections to a smart home hub.
Remember, however, that integrating your lock with a smart home system may introduce new vulnerabilities, as any part of a networked system can be a potential weak link. As such, make sure any devices you choose to integrate with your lock are secure, well-reviewed, and regularly updated by the manufacturer.
There is no shortage of great biometric locks but for our money, these sit at the forefront of the pack. Whether you are looking for something simple and cost-effective or a handle that looks like it was used in the U.S.S Enterprise, this should get you well on your way!
How reliable are fingerprint scanners on biometric door locks?
Fingerprint scanners on biometric door locks are generally very reliable. Improvements in biometric technology over the years mean that these scanners can now accurately read and approve fingerprints in a matter of seconds.
However, certain conditions such as wet or dirty fingers can sometimes affect their accuracy, which is why many locks include alternative methods of entry such as keypads or physical keys.
What happens if the power goes out? Can I still use my biometric door lock?
Most biometric door locks are battery-powered, meaning they will still function even during a power outage. Many models also feature indicators to warn you when the battery is running low, giving you plenty of time to replace it.
As an added security measure, some locks also have a physical key option for times when the battery might unexpectedly run out, or the lock’s electronic components fail.
Can a biometric door lock be hacked?
While any electronic device is potentially vulnerable to hacking, manufacturers of biometric door locks take security very seriously. Many locks use advanced encryption techniques to protect data, and some store data locally rather than in a potentially vulnerable cloud server.
As an additional precaution, many models feature anti-peep keypads, intrusion alarms, and auto-lock functions to provide multiple layers of security.