Electronic Door Locks vs. Mechanical Locks: Which One Is Safer?

Lately, it seems like almost everything is going digital. Our door locks are no exception.

Gone are the days when traditional mechanical locks were your only option at the local hardware store. Now, a trip into town or online reveals a wide variety of locking systems, ranging from old-fashioned deadbolts to ultra-modern electronic door locks.

While these new models definitely have more bells and whistles than the ones you grew up with, are they really safer?

Today, we’re diving into this topic so you can stay as informed as possible. We’ll share the benefits and drawbacks of each kind of system, along with its associated security features.

Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.

The Issue of Access Control

Have you ever told someone to check under your doormat if they need to find your spare key? Or, have you ever made a copy of your physical key to share with someone else?

One of the main pain points of mechanical door locks is that once someone knows how to open them, they have free, unlimited access to your home. There are some instances in which you might prefer this! For instance, you might have a housekeeper, babysitter or relative who needs to enter your home on a regular basis when you aren’t there.

However, you don’t want a potential intruder reaching under your mat and obtaining the same key. While you can always change your hiding spot, you can never guarantee that it won’t be discovered.

On the other hand, electronic door locks are keyless. To permit someone to enter, you simply need to assign them a personal, four-digit or six-digit PIN. When they no longer need access to your home, you can disable that PIN. Some advanced systems will even allow you to customize a set time of day that the PIN is valid, so no one can enter at midnight without your approval!

High-Tech Options and Add-Ons

Door handle with Electronic keypad

While modern electronic lock systems are more sleek and difficult to hack than ever before, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, until recently, these types of systems were no more secure than a manual deadbolt.

Anyone in proximity to the door at the time of opening could discern the PIN code and essentially gain access to the “key.” Moreover, the most basic systems still allow the use of a mechanical key cylinder.

However, more recent models operate via wireless control, offering an additional level of security and peace of mind. A useful feature whether your electronic system has a keypad or not, most of these systems use common communication technologies, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, to operate.

The only drawback? This setup opens the doors for potential cyber criminals to hack into the door system, overcoming myriad security obstacles to gain entry. Thankfully, there are a few best practices that concerned homeowners can follow to keep their property protected. These include:

  • Choosing a challenging, hard-to-crack access code
  • Not sharing your code with any unauthorized person
  • Keeping all codes in a secure location
  • Keeping any backup mechanical keys in a secure location
  • Changing your code after any security incident
  • Keeping batteries up to date and electronic systems well-maintained

In addition, users should take the time to leverage all the safety features that their electronic locks include. These can range from remote connectivity and integrated alarm technology to auto-open and auto-lock tools.

Emergency Access

Anyone who’s ever fumbled at their front door while balancing an armful of groceries and a set of keys knows that mechanical locks can be cumbersome. Even the best locks can be a pain to open, especially when you’re in a hurry.

That’s why, in the event of an emergency, when you’re in a rush to get inside of your home, electronic door locks are preferred. The quick access allows you to enter in seconds. You can also automatically open the door for a loved one via your smartphone, even if you’re miles away.

Having quick access to this technology makes all the difference in the world if there is an intruder or any other suspicious person on your property.

Alarms and Notifications

If someone breaks into your home by breaking your mechanical door lock, the only notification you’ll receive is the sound of your home alarm if you set it up. While this noise can alert neighbors that something is amiss, it isn’t much of a deterrent if you live in a more rural area.

Yes, you might receive a personal notification is if you’ve invested in a professionally monitored home alarm system. However, research shows that only 22% of homeowners have done so.

The good news? Most modern electronic door systems include tamper alarms, remote access capabilities, and user notifications so you’re made aware of any compromise in real-time. This can empower you to take quicker action.

Installation and Troubleshooting

Another benefit of an electronic deadbolt, keyless deadbolt and locking systems? In most cases, they’re easier to install than their mechanical counterparts. They’re also a cinch to retrofit onto an existing doorframe.

In addition, troubleshooting support is typically offered through the manufacturer in the form of a mobile app, online chat function, or digital library of Q&A guides and step-by-step instructions.

Stay Safe by Investing in Electronic Door Locks

Ultimately, both mechanical and electronic door locks have their pros and cons. While the former might be tried-and-true, it’s also not tamper-proof and can easily be compromised.

At the same time, while electronic locks have made major strides since their initial debut, they still remain susceptible to hacking and cybercrime. Ultimately, homeowners will need to decide which system is more appropriate for their properties depending on the pros and cons of each.

Are you interested in more ways to keep your home or business as safe and secure as possible? We’d love to chat. Get in touch with us today and let’s connect!


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