Smart home products have become a natural part of our lives. The number of IoT objects in our daily activities continues to grow everyday. But here’s the thing: not all the smart home objects are appreciated. In fact, we still have safety concerns regarding some of them. The smart locks are the most obvious examples.
For example, there are a number of ‘’smart lock doesn’t work’’, “why smart lock doesn’t work?” queries in the Internet forums and communities. In other words, the developers of smart locks have a lot to do to gain our trust and peace of mind.
Notably, according to “Smart Locks for Smart Customers?” study, the main reasons for the hesitation to get a smart lock were:
- concerns about safety (50%),
- not wanting to spend money on it (44%),
- the technology was not advanced enough (13%).
With this in mind, let’s discover why smart lock doesn’t work, and what you can do in those cases. Besides, we will discuss what you should care for when selecting a smart lock.
1. How smart locks work?
What is a smart lock?
The smart lock gives an opportunity to get rid of the house key by using your smartphone to lock and unlock the door. For this reason, this technology uses wireless protocol and a cryptographic key to send signals from the device. It means, that you can give access to the third party even if you are not in the city.
But this is not the only function. In addition, smart locks can monitor access and send alerts in critical situations.
Smart lock’s main functionality
Smart lock systems use Bluetooth and WiFi solutions to open or close the door. You can use Bluetooth when you are close to your lock. But via the WiFi, you can open the door from anywhere. Particularly, most producers have key fobs connected to the lock that gives access to a physical object.
A key fob is a small security hardware device with built-in authentication. It is used to control and secure access to computer systems, network services, and data.
Smart lock systems provide mobile apps and websites for sending virtual keys. Moreover, you can grant access to your friends and relatives by sending SMS or email.
Smart Lock Access Control System
If you want to know how smart locks work, you should understand the Smart Lock Access Control System.
It consists of the following elements: a lock controller, a smartphone, and the cloud.
The smartphone works as the mediator between the lock and the cloud: it receives an encrypted message from the lock and forwards it to the cloud server, and vice versa. The cloud server authorizes the smartphone and gives the lock a command to open if the user has access rights.
Smart lock security
By now, you should be worried about smart lock security. Let’s understand how current smart lock security works.
- Those messages that are sent from the lock to the cloud via the smartphone and back are encrypted.
- Bluetooth channel may also offer security features.
- HTTPS protects the privacy and integrity of the exchanged data.
- The key is only shared between the cloud server and the chip.
However, it is clear that only encryption is not enough for providing security. Indeed, a hacker can catch the message sent from the cloud to the lock, save it and use later.
Now, it is obvious that smart lock security issues are the main reason why smart lock doesn’t work. Last year, security consultant Anthony Rose revealed huge security flaws in Bluetooth-enabled door locks. In fact, of the 16 locks he tested, Rose managed to break into 12.
Smart lock common problems and possible solutions
Smart lock security issues are not the only ones. As a matter of fact, other problems occur as well. Regarding this, we have gathered not only the common problems of smart locks but also their possible solutions.
A smart lock doesn’t lock or unlock.
As the matter of fact, most users had very bad days when they couldn’t lock or unlock their smart locks. In case, if you have one, this can be the possible situation for you too. Here are some solutions when smart lock doesn’t work.
- Check for low batteries.
- Try to see if you can manually lock the door.
- Check the network communication.
- If the door couldn’t lock because it wasn’t shut properly, then it should be re-calibrated to work again. Additionally, there may also be problems with user codes or physical obstructions to the lock.
There is no light on the front of the lock although the lock has power.
In particular, for the solution, check the LED. Maybe it is damaged and you should replace it. Remember, that light is also an indicator of connection as power.
Speaker does not make noise when unlocking and locking although it has power.
In this situation, it is possible that the speaker is broken or busted within the device. Then you should replace the speaker according to the guide. Then, if it doesn’t work replacement of the motherboard may be helpful.
My smart lock doesn’t respond. It is not powering and the front light doesn’t flash. In this case, the device can’t connect to any smartphone.
Frankly, the only solution will be the replacement of the batteries.
My smart lock manually locks but doesn’t connect to the phone.
Firstly, go to the settings and check the Bluetooth connection. Make sure that the Bluetooth is on and connected to the device. If Bluetooth is on and connected, then there may be an issue with the motherboard.
The gears are not functioning.
Maybe, one of the gears that are located at the bottom of the lock is broken. Thus, for replacing them you should follow the guide.
The accelerometer is not working.
Obviously, the accelerometer is one of the important parts of the smart lock. It controls the turning of the device and its speed. So, if it is not functioning properly then you need to replace it. And again, if this doesn’t fix the problem, then there is a possibility that you may replace the motherboard.
Smart lock consistently reports that the front door is unlocked.
Briefly, there can be two possible reasons for this problem:
- The Z-Wave network isn’t strong enough to properly ping the lock. In this case, the repositioning of the hub can be helpful.
- The lock’s Z-Wave module is damaged and isn’t sending the right lock status to the hub.
In conclusion, f the smart lock doesn’t work, they may have damaged electronic components. Obviously, things can go wrong with the lock itself.
If you can’t fix the problems with your smart lock you can connect to appropriate help centers. Moreover, you can write about your issue in the Internet forums and user communities. Indeed, there you will find some people with the same issues. So, they can give you possible solutions to your problem.
3. What should you care for when buying a smart locks system?
Now, let me show how you can choose the best smart locks.
Obviously, smart lock security is the main concern for every user which requires special attention. So, for excluding possible attacks you should think carefully about security settings and options. Moreover, many producers offer the Activity log which gives additional security and control. Some smart locks also have Autolock function. This gives a relative advantage compared to the classical lock.
More importantly, it will be great if you can choose the producer that offer additional use cases, in-home delivery, and in-home services. Moreover, many companies have special web-pages for supporting customers and raising their awareness.
When buying a smart lock, make sure that you clearly understand what function it offers and how it works. Indeed, the ideal device should work fast, effective and be easy to install and use.
By the way, if you use other smart home products, then you should think of their integrity. Choose those producers that offer the possibility to connect all the smart home products.
If you want a quality smart lock, it is critical to buy it from the well-respected, well-known producer.
Another important thing, the smart lock should include a secondary, physical mode of entry. This can be a key, a keypad, a fingerprint reader. Never rely on a wireless connection for 100 percent. Also, consider having another door with a standard lock, so you can enter your home in an emergency situation.
As a final point, make sure your family members are familiar and comfortable with the smart lock. And remember that in any case, you can check out our guide for the top 6 smart locks and smart homes security devices recommendations.
The smart lock technology is becoming more and more advanced. But smart lock doesn’t work often, so we still use our physical keys.
In this article, we have discussed the reasons why smart locks don’t work and why we still can’t incorporate it into our usual life.
Now, it is clear that smart lock security is the main concern. There is a lot of work for developers and producers. Also, we still can’t get comfortable with the idea that our keys now should be like electronic message or application. The problems with wireless connection, low batteries, and faulty device caused many troubles for smart lock users.