The world we live in today is not one of leaving doors unlocked, windows open or even leaving hider keys under the doormat, flowerpot or even a fake stone with a compartment for a key that I remember my mum having. Now when we leave home or go to bed, we have to make sure that all the doors and windows are locked – home security is now a very important issue that we must all take very seriously. But with locked doors comes keys, we have keys for everything – doors, windows, cupboards, security boxes, padlocks and lots more.
What if you could take the time and hassle out of looking for keys to open a locked door? Maybe you have a room in your house that you like to keep locked (a home office for example) but don’t want to search for your keys every time that you want to enter. There is a simple solution, change the lock for a smart lock, an electronic lock that just requires your fingerprint to open it. Wouldn’t that make life much easier? The WELOCK Fingerprint Smart Electronic Door Lock does just that – it unlocks the door with the touch of your finger!
WELOCK is a leading smart home access solution provider that focuses on smart door lock development and have technology packed smart door locks that use a variety of methods to open them – keypads, smartphone, fingerprints, and RFID cards. They kindly sent me their Fingerprint Smart Lock Electronic Door Lock Cylinder Touch41 to try out.
Installing an electronic smart lock is a big commitment and can be met with lots of resistance. With no keys to unlock the door how do you enter if the battery dies? Surely it is easier to just use a key – a simple straightforward solution, but if you lose the key you are still in the same situation (and if someone else finds that key they could gain access). The WELOCK smart lock is smarter, it has low battery warnings so you shouldn’t run out of battery power but if you do it does have alternative options to open the door making it safer than having a key as no calling out expensive locksmiths.
A smart lock has advantages over keys:
- No need to search for keys or find the correct one in a bunch of keys.
- No need to worry about lost keys.
- No expensive locksmiths needed to change locks if keys lost.
- They can only be used by people that have been given access (fingerprint scanned), in possession of a valid RFID card or access to the app.
- They are quicker and easier to use than a standard door key.
- You can monitor who has gained entry to that room and at what time.
As already mentioned, I received the WELOCK Fingerprint Smart Lock Electronic Door Lock, it is a biometric smart door lock where your fingerprint is the key to unlocking the door. It can also be opened using a RFID card to easily give people guest access and for app lovers you can open the door via an app on your phone that has been paired to the lock.
In the box:
- WELOCK Fingerprint Smart Lock
- RFID cards (x3)
- Special Allen key
- Small Phillips Screwdriver
- Small Fixing Screws (x4)
- Silicone Plugs (x2)
- Small Storage Box for screws and tools
- Instruction Manuals (English, French, Italian, German and Spanish)
Whilst the WELOCK Fingerprint Smart Door Lock will work with a lot of doors it will not work on all types of doors or locks therefore you do need to check before any purchase. It is a simple process as you can find the all the information here and the WELOCK website has a handy chat function should you require more information. It is suitable for doors with thicknesses between 50mm-100mm and has a Euro Profile Cylinder lock.
- Cylinder dimensions: Diameter of knobs: outside 46mm / inside 38mm; length: outside 56mm / inside 57mm.
- Cylinder length: adjustable outside 40mm – 55mm / inside 30mm – 60mm.
- Suitable for doors with thicknesses between 50mm-100mm.
- Easy to replace the existing lock cylinder in your front door or apartment door without drilling.
I am really sceptical about having a smart lock on my external doors, that’s just my personal preference, so I decided to install the door lock on an internal door. After checking the WELOCK website and deciding that it would fit the door I wanted, it really was easy to install – no drilling is involved. It only took around 10 minutes to install using the small crosshead screwdriver and hex key that are supplied in the box with the lock. It is just a case of opening up the lock with the hex hey, adjusting the length, installing 3x AAA batteries (if you use good quality batteries, they should last 1 year or approximately 8000 openings). Once installed, add any users fingerprints and download the free app (available for iOS and Android).
Once the lock is installed onto the door, the door can now be unlocked using a fingerprint. You are not limited to 1 fingerprint; it can store a massive 100 fingerprints – 3 of them with admin function so that they can people can add/remove users etc.
Unlocking the door is simple, just press the button and put your finger or thumb on the scanner (whatever finger/thumb you have used to scan your fingerprint, it must be the same one to unlock the door) and the door will unlock within 0.5 seconds. The fingerprint recognition has a 98% accuracy rate, although I have not had any problems (I would imagine problems arise from dirty fingers or not placing your finger on the scanner properly – the same type of problems you will have if using your fingerprint to unlock your phone).
You don’t just have to use fingerprints either, you don’t want to be adding fingerprints of everyone that just needs temporary access. If you have guests for example, you can use RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification) cards (there are 3 are supplied with the lock and up to 20 cards can be paired with it) – just give a card to someone and they just press it against the lock – very handy for giving someone temporary access to the room and the cards can even be enabled/disabled on the app in case one is lost. You can also unlock the door using the app on your phone.
I have already mentioned that this lock is powered by batteries, 3x AAA to be exact. Good quality batteries should last 1 year (depending on usage of the lock) or approx. 8000 openings. The battery status is displayed on the screen and will alert you as to when the batteries are low and need changing. This is simple and quick to do using the tools provided. If you do happen to leave the batteries to completely discharge, unfortunately you will be locked out of the room, but fear not, there is another way to unlock it – you can still open the door using a portable powerbank by plugging it in to the micro USB port near the batteries and this will unlock the door and you will be able to change the batteries. Don’t worry, you need the tools to gain access to the port, no one can just turn up and plug in a powerbank to unlock your door.
I installed the lock on an internal door but if you do decide to install on an external door the WELOCK lock is IP65 weatherproof rated. This makes it suitable for doors that have a roof covering such as a porch, not doors or gates that are permanently exposed to the weather (garden gates for example). It has a working temperature of between -10°C and 60 °C.
Overall, I think that the WELOCK Fingerprint Smart Lock Electronic Door Lock is a great lock for internal use. It can be used on external doors if they have a roof covering and some protection from the weather. Never having to search for keys is great.
If you have a porch or covered external door, depending on how comfortable you are with having a smart lock installed on it you don’t have to worry about forgetting your keys, the kids can let themselves in after school without the need for a key etc. and there is no need for hideaway keys.
Personally, I am very happy using the lock on internal doors for rooms like a home office that I don’t want everyone going in and out of (would be excellent for offices at work as well). For those worried about remote hacking of the lock, it is not internet connected so someone sitting outside in a car can’t hack it and open the door – they would need tools and time to open the door, the same as with a standard door lock except that this one can’t be picked. For app use, you need to be up close and personal to the door to use Bluetooth to unlock with the app (within 10ft), so even if that could be hacked in any way someone trying to gain unauthorised would have to be close to the door and risk being caught.
The lock is extremely easy to install if you have a suitable door and cylinder lock. No drilling is required and the tools you need are supplied with it. It is simple to setup and use, fingerprint, RFID card and app access can be monitored within the app so you can see what times the door was opened and who entered.
The lock itself, as well as being hi-tech with its keyless entry, is aesthetically pleasing in black and silver and it doesn’t protrude too far from the door. Unlocking is simple with a fingerprint and then twisting the knob to open – you open as normal from inside the room, no fingerprints, cards or app needed. It makes opening a door quicker than looking for your keys and is more secure.
It is a very good hi-tech lock that I would say is much more suited for internal security, office doors (home or work-based), door from the garage into the house, storage cupboards and doors that you don’t want kids to access (maybe doors to a basement etc.). It is great for the convenience of not having to search for keys and adding some internal home security to doors within your home.
It is quite expensive at £170 but it is packed with technology that works fast and is easily monitored, if you use the code XM50 at checkout you will get a €50 discount (approx. £45) off the purchase price. I think that with the discount it is good value for money as it is a hi-tech lock, no extra keys need cutting and it doesn’t need expensive expert professional installation as it is so easy to do yourself.
Don’t spend time searching for key, let your fingerprint be all the the security you need to unlock a door.
For more information or to buy, visit www.welock.com.