An RFID lock uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to provide controlled access to buildings, rooms, or objects. Many people install smart locks in their homes and offices, as a way to maximize security and convenience. This post will answer questions about what they are and how they work, while also providing details on some of the best products on the market.
What is an RFID Door Lock?
RFID locks use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and a key card reader which works as remote credentialing for access-controlled applications. The lock has an RFID electronic tag on it, which enables you to unlock it with an RFID card rather than using a physical key.
How do RFID door locks work?
An electronic tag attached to your key card, smartphone, or other device communicates with an antenna coil inside of the lock itself when you get close enough. This activates a small electric current, which unlocks the door using either mechanical or electronic means.
Most people install an RFID lock system at home to secure the front door. The front door is the most commonly used home entry point, both for burglars and people with legitimate access. Installing an RFID lock offers a much more flexible yet secure system for accessing your home.
RFID is a technology that uses radio waves to transfer information from one object, such as a key card or smartphone, to another. An RFID lock can be programmed with both fixed and dynamic codes ,which means you have the option of giving out keys on an ad-hoc basis without having to change any settings.
This makes a great option for homes that are used as vacation rentals (such as Airbnb), allowing for easy management by the host in just a few seconds. Hosts can use this technology to let guests in, as well as cleaning services and other contractors that need access to the home. You can also program the lock to work only for certain periods of time, which means you don’t have to give out keys all day long.
Do you have someone that comes into your home to walk the dog while you are at work? An RFID lock allows you to give them access during just those times without having to change the settings. This balances convenience and security, depending on what you need at any given time.
What features are important?
The features that are important to you depend on your particular situation. Some people need access to their home when they’re not around, while others want an extra level of security in case the power goes out or someone tries to hack into their system remotely. The balance between these options will depend on your goals.
An App to manage access
When you have a smart lock you can control it from the app on your smartphone. This lets you open and close doors remotely, or provide access to guests when they need it even if you are not present. Automating this process with an app saves hassle, time, and money.
If you want the flexibility to give out keys on an ad-hoc basis it is important that your key card can be reprogrammed. This allows you to share access with other people without having to get new cards ordered each time. NFC door locks are a subset of RFID locks that provide further enhanced security. Both RFID and NFC locks are generally more secure than their Bluetooth or wireless counterparts, which means if someone gets ahold of your card they won’t be able to use it after you deactivate it.
Time based access
Simply allowing or disallowing access is not enough for many people. Many users wish to change the settings based on when they need access. For example, you might want guests for a certain event to have temporary keys which are only valid at that time. NFC door locks make this an easy feature because it can be done remotely without having to physically reprogram the locks.
Auto-lock after a certain period
One of the most important features that you should look for is whether or not the lock will automatically re-lock itself after it has been opened. For example, if someone unlocks your front door remotely they still need to be able to close and lock it before leaving, which would prevent them from coming back in through an unlocked door later. This is a particularly important feature for Airbnb hosts because it will help protect their homes while they are gone.
Another important consideration is a strong anti-tamper feature, because it will help protect your property. If someone tries to break into your home and they fail, what happens? Will an alarm sound that can scare them off or alert you remotely so that you know there’s something going on at home? What kind of security measures does your door lock come with? This helps protect your home when it is unattended, and keeps out unwanted guests. Ultimately, this is the entire purpose of smart locks, so find a lock that does it properly.
Sometimes you need to be able to give someone access without them having a physical key or phone. Sometimes young children are not reliable with phones, or they might not be able to keep track of a keyring. At these times you need a way to give temporary access without having to change settings on the lock. This is where passcodes come in, providing limited access with easy-to-remember combinations that are quick and simple for everyone involved, whether they know how to use an app or not.
Physical keys for emergencies
Having a physical key is important for emergencies or if the power goes out and NFC door locks won’t work. At the end of the day, these locks are controlled by computers. And computers can crash. If you need to get into your home when the NFC system is not working, or there is a power outage, you will either need a key or someone who can let you in through an alternative method.
Recommended RFID / NFC door Locks
There are many different types of RFID locks that you can buy to upgrade your home security. For this reason, it is important to do your research before making a purchase. Here is a list of locks available that should meet your needs and budget.
The SAMSUNG SMART LOCK is one of the best ways to get a secure entry for your home or office. You can use digital locks with RFID cards or keypads with a PIN code to open and close the door when needed. When you have guests, you can create temporary pin codes so they have access without any worries of them stealing a physical key in the process. This lock will auto-lock behind you, and will lock itself down after 5 failed attempts in order to prevent anyone from trying to tamper with it.
The Sifely Smart Door Lock is a great solution for home security. Use the fingerprint scanner to grant temporary, one-time access, or generate long-lasting passcodes remotely and share them with friends without having to give out keys. Save yourself time changing locks just in case they’re lost. The keyless entry system is simple to DIY install. The convenience of multiple entry methods, a flexible auto-lock system, and the sleek design of the app make this lock a winner.
This RFID door lock kit is not an exterior door lock as we’ve been discussing, but is a Hidden RFID door lock for use on cabinets. This lock is battery operated, so there’s no wiring required, and installation is simple, requiring only screws or double-sided adhesive tape. This device allows for extra security of cabinet contents, which is great for families with young children or even teenagers. This does not offer features of an app for management, or time-based access, but it does work well for someone that does not want anyone to get into their cabinets when they are gone.
FAQs about RFID Locks
What are the benefits of using an RFID door lock?
There are many benefits to using an RFID door lock. You have the convenience of controlling who has access at all times by generating temporary passcodes which can be stored remotely with friends. If you’re trying to upgrade security measures on your home, you might want to consider getting a lock that uses RFID. It is the best way to add another layer of security without having to periodically change locks.
Can you use an RFID card if it is wet or damp outside?
Yes, you can use an RFID lock even if it is wet outside. The coil of wire that enables RFID to work is usually enclosed in plastic and is often encased in the card itself. If you are concerned about your RFID door lock being damaged by water or dampness, simply keep it away from these elements and carry on with using the locks as normal. But any quality front door RFID lock (including the products we discussed above) will be weatherproof.
What happens during a power outage?
Most RFID locks have backup batteries, but you can also choose to use a key for an additional backup. Make sure you keep spare keys in your home if power outages are common where you live, and be aware of how long the backup batteries on your door lock will last before they need to be replaced.
Will I need a key as well?
Yes, you never know when you might need a backup key, so it is always best to be prepared.
What happens if I lose my card?
During an emergency, or in case of accidental loss of your card, you can simply use your PIN code, or a backup key to gain entry. It is best to disable a lost card, though, so no one else can access your home or office without permission.
Are there different kinds of RFID Cards?
RFID operates on a few different frequencies, so you might see some cards that operate on different wavelengths than others. For example, your office card may use a 13.56 MHz frequency, while your home may be using 125 kHz or even 900 MHz frequencies to open the door lock and grant access. There are also different formats of data storage and encryption used to make sure your information stays secure.
Can I use my work key with my home lock?
If your lock can read the frequency of your work key, then it may be compatible. It depends if they use the same format and the management app allows you to use custom keys. This is a good option for people who travel and use different keys to open their home and office door locks at the same time. But in all likelihood, these products will not be compatible unless you go out of your way to find a home lock that is compatible with the existing lock at your work.
RFID locks are a great addition to any home or office. They offer many benefits over traditional keys and passcodes. The convenience of using an RFID card is something everyone should consider adding to their security measures if they can afford it. Make sure you know the features that are important to you, and make sure to choose a new door lock that can meet all of your needs.