Price (RRP): $139
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.
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 there yet.
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 best.
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.