I wanted to review smart locks, but they all seemed overly expensive and complicated. Enter igloohome Bluetooth locks and Scott Cairns from Secure Your World to explain to me the ins-and-outs of the various technologies.
Scott gave me the 101 (dummy) version and then we had a closer look at igloohome Bluetooth locks.
GG: I wanted to review Wi-Fi enabled smart locks
SC: Wi-Fi is fine if you have the range (or use an extender or Bridge at extra cost) to get to your front door. It allows remote access via the cloud, and some have an integrated security camera and two-way comms.
They are good if you have rock solid Wi-Fi and Internet that
never goes down, but what if it does? You are back to using a key or a keypad.
You can usually connect to a voice assistant (Google Home,
Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, etc) and via IFTTT hook up a security camera to see
who is entering. Also, remember that it takes quite a lot of battery power to
keep a Wi-Fi connection going let alone do anything else so be prepared to
recharge these very regularly.
My advice: A lock needs to be foolproof, and Wi-Fi is not
GG: What other types are available?
SC: There are
Cellular (mobile 3/4G) that can be handy if you do
not have good Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to a smartphone.
Bluetooth is more reliable, and you can use it
with geofencing and multiple smartphones
NFC but these require a token or an NFC smartphone
GG: Take me through the Bluetooth option. How do you gain remote access functionality, e.g. Airbnb with that?
SC: Let’s look at igloohome Bluetooth locks as I know them the
The range includes Mortise (replaces most standard Mortise front door locks), Deadbolt (replaces most standard deadbolts without new holes), Keybox 2 (to hold physical keys) and Padlock.
When you first get the lock (all types), you pair your smartphone via the app and set a master pin. In the background (cloud) the lock receives a unique algoPIN that is like what the banks use for a banking token.
In other words, the lock knows every possible encrypted combination
pin you can generate from your paired device. These can be permanent, one-time
use, time-sensitive use etc.
Say you want to give your cleaners a pin to let them in on Wednesdays from 12:00 to 3:00 PM.
You generate a recurring pin on your phone and send it to tehm via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS, email and more to them. The lock understands what that pin means.
It is perfect for short term rentals, real estate agents, Airbnb etc. as you can send a pin to them that allows access from say 2:00 PM on the day of entry to 10:00 AM on their departure date. It integrates with Airbnb, Booking.com, Booking Sync, HomeAway, AgodaHomes and more. And it is approved by insurance companies like Allianz and AXA.
The best part is that the guest/cleaner does not need to download an app – just enter the pin.
GG: I went to a major hardware chain and went away more confused
than ever. Where can I get good advice?
SC: Retailers sell what makes them the best margin or what
seems to sell the most.
There are several hundred around Australia that can look at
your circumstances and recommend the right lock. Many are now expanding into electronic
home security products like Arlo, Uniden, Swann, Ring, Nest etc. They install
these things every day and know what works.
There is a good chance with the igloohome locks that they will fit existing templates (cut-outs), but if not, then you may need a new door. It can be a DIY or handyman project.
GG: Where do you get igloohome Bluetooth locks?
In Australia, Secure Your World distributes igloohome Bluetooth (as well as Lockwood, ABUS, Mater Lock, Whitco, Samsung and many more).
It has a “The Comprehensive Guide to Digital Vs Smart Door Locks” here. We have borrowed the table of smart lock features below.
GG: Last words?
SC: Joe and Jane Average will be very happy with their existing manual lock – no batteries to replace, no app etc.
But if you require access for guests (short term rentals), real estate agent, cleaner, gardener, pet walker/carer, and more, it’s a real pain to be there all the time to open the door. igloohome Bluetooth locks are the simplest, trouble-free solution.
igloohome and Airbnb promotion (until 30 June 2019)
igloohome is partnering with Airbnb to help more people to monetise their spare rooms and/or properties by becoming Airbnb hosts. igloohome Bluetooth can automate the check-in processes for guests by eliminating all accidental lockouts and frustrating key handovers.
Participants can receive a FREE smart lock
by executing the following steps:
Purchase the igloohome Bluetooth lock from Secure Your World or its resellers
It looks like any other heavy-duty, black padlock except it
has 12 buttons on the front to enter a PIN code. Or you can use your smartphone.
It also has a decoy pin feature to stop criminals ‘dusting’ for prints.
The hardened stainless-steel shackle will not rust and its U-shape, 24mm (interior measurement) shape stops the use of bolt-cutters to break it. If the size is to small you can get a wide shackle. The body is Zinc Alloy, it has an IP66 rating for all weather use and from -20 to +50°.
It also comes with a special Torx key to open the back so
you can change the CR2 Lithium Photo battery. Claimed life is up to one year,
and a replacement costs $12.50 at Woolworths (and a lot less online). The app and
the indicator light notifies you of remaining battery. If it runs flat, there
is a tricky little way to unlock it with the pin and a 9V battery.
And you can factory reset it via the app if you want to give
it to someone else.
Download the app
Set up an account, properties etc
Pair the lock to a new master pin (7-9
You can generate one time, permanent, recurring or specified
time pins and simply SMS, WhatsApp, email, or call them. The pin works
immediately – no need to wait on cloud or Wi-Fi access.
The lock understands the algoPIN you generate as it is similar
technology to the RSA bank tokens.
Guest can then use a pin or Bluetooth to unlock.
And if the guest mucks things up (tries five times), you simply
reissue a new key for immediate use.
Other igloohome Bluetooth lock features
The door locks have a door open sensor and provide physical
four-sided security keys to open them.
The IP65 Keybox 2 has room for at least six keys and seven keycards (like an Opal card, SIM card etc). It fits over most doorknobs, or you can permanently mount it to a wall.
GadgetGuy’s take: igloohome Bluetooth is it then, eh?
Now that Scott has educated me to different types of smart locks,
I can see why igloohome went the Bluetooth way. A lock must be 100% reliable,
and Wi-Fi cannot guarantee that.
This started as an Indiegogo project, and it has taken a
couple of years to get it right – it is now.
And you can still have a movement operated camera and light
like the Arlo Ultra (Review here)
instead of mucking around with IFTTT.
I am going to get a padlock for my parcel locker so couriers can deliver to it and a Mortise to replace my front door lock so it can come into the 21st century – keyless entry.