Everything you need to know about electronic locks (2023)

The security offered by electronic locks extends from the security of the general public to the security of private property. These locks are like all electronic devices and serve a wide range of needs. Everything from residential to the highest government security has been handled with electronic locks. allbest safe makersSelling units with electronic lock. And now most cars have some kind of electronic key system. But what are the dangers of technology? Are you and the things you're trying to protect safer with electronic locks? Not all technology is created equal, and with electronic locks, the keys you use to open them are just as important as the locks themselves. Electronic locks are the "choose your own adventure" of the security world. Combinations of unlocking and locking devices will shape the end result of your protection. It is very important to take personal needs into account as well as the ever-changing landscape of new technologies. New electronic security methods are always being improved and new products are being developed. So how is the market now?

What are Electronic Locks?

Electronic locks are locked or unlocked with the help of an electric current. Electric current is used to power an electromagnet, a solenoid (single coil electromagnet), or a motor. These devices will activate the lock in a failsafe or failsafe manner.


A fail-safe lock on the entrance side will open in the event of a power outage or an emergency alarm being activated. This is possible because electrical current is used to keep the door locked and removing power disables the locking mechanism.


  • Protect workers in times of emergency.
  • Allows the safe exit of large buildings with many visitors (gyms, museums, schools, etc.) and the entry of emergency services.


  • With the loss of power, the building will not be safe.
  • Pulling emergency alarm will unlock emergency exits with this feature.
  • Likely to commit crimes during an actual emergency as well as a staged one.


A failsafe lock is the exact opposite of the failsafe feature. It uses electrical current to retract the screw. And in the event of a power outage, the latch will remain in the locked position.


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  • Protect valuables in times of emergency.
  • An EMP (electromagnetic pulse) or power outage will not disable the interlocks.


  • It is not ideal for large buildings with many visitors (gyms, museums, schools, etc.) because it prevents emergency services from entering.
  • Evacuation can be avoided if used in door locks.

Not all devices can be considered failsafe and failsafe. Most of the time, the operating mode of the device will determine whether the loss of electricity will close or open the door, gate, hatch, etc. For other electronic locks, building codes may restrict the use of failsafe or failsafe. The main types of electronic locks are:

electric strikes

Everything you need to know about electronic locks (1)

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Electric locks have a spring-loaded gate that manipulates the bolt of the lock. Without the proper entry tool, the gate will remain locked in place. Only with due verification with the porter, loosen and let the screw retract. This type of lock can be failsafe or failsafe, and depending on the building codes in your area and the type of structure, you may have no other option to install. The device is installed on the door frame or, in the case of double doors, on the fixed door (inactive leaf). Most of the time this type of lock is made to get out of the building safely and in most cases it will open from the inside even if it is failsafe. This is done with a manual override such as a button or switch. A key can also be designed to replace the lock from the outside.

Electric lock retraction

Everything you need to know about electronic locks (2)

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This electronic door lock is designed to be exceptionally foolproof. The device has "retract" in its name to describe that its screw works by retracting when electrical current is applied. The bolt will remain retracted until power is turned off or inhibited. The bolt will remain secure when there is no power, so special precautions must be taken for emergency preparedness. As this is a high security device, a separate power supply is required for a fire alarm to open these doors (if desired or necessary).

electromechanical locks

Everything you need to know about electronic locks (3)

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This lock is available with failsafe or failsafe features. They get their name from their content and inner workings. A cross section of such a lock will show a screw and gear system which can be manipulated using the lock cylinder and/or an electrical current. In the failsafe version of this latch, the electric current will cause the bolt of the latch to remain extended. In the event of a power outage, the door will be fully unlocked, and in the event of a fire alarm, the door can be set to lose power. The failsafe version will use electrical current to retract the lock and therefore will remain locked until power is restored to the system.

electromagnetic locks

Everything you need to know about electronic locks (4)

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An electromagnetic is one of the most common types ofmagnetic locks🇧🇷 It uses a magnet that is created when a current is moved through a wire with multiple coils around an iron core or a solenoid (single coil wire wrapped around a metal core). When the current is interrupted, the metal wire is no longer magnetized. Due to the very nature of an electromagnet, it cannot be failsafe, which means that in an emergency or power outage, the doors will unlock. The built-in unlocking function as a result of a power failure (the so-called fail-safe) was the founding idea of ​​the electromagnet. The lock was first manufactured as a commissioned security feature for the Montreal Forum in Quebec, Canada. The problem they were created for was the threat of the doors being locked in an emergency. The fear was that, in the event of a fire, employees would have to go to all the doors and open them, or simply leave all the doors in the building unlocked.

The solution was a door that unlocked in the event of a power loss, and additionally a series of doors that could be opened triggering a fire alarm. When there is no emergency to disable the locks, the magnets can be manipulated with a key that temporarily interrupts the electrical current. After a few seconds, the current will return, and once the door closes, it will magnetically connect to the door frame. This lock configuration is constructed by attaching a metal (usually iron) magnetic plate to the door and the electromagnet to the door frame. The strength of the magnetic force keeping the door closed will depend on how the electromagnet coil is wound and constructed; the strength of the current (how much electricity is being used); and the material around which the coil is wound.

electronic input modes

An electronic lock needs to use an electronic signal to open and close, otherwise it would always be locked or open. The answer is an electronic key. This is not necessarily a key in the classic sense of the word. These keys could be anything from a code to a retinal scan. All devices have their strengths and weaknesses, but a similar strength they all share is how easy it is to grant and deny access. Common electronic entry keys that most people are familiar with includecar key chainsit's himtransponder chips in car keys🇧🇷 With digital keys, there is no need to rekey a lock after detecting a security threat. The required key can simply be changed universally or for a specific lock.

authentication token

They are sometimes referred to as tokens because they are a physical device required to interact with the lock, much like a bus or arcade token interacts with a machine. These authentication devices can be magnetic cards or a digital device that sends an infrared signal. These locks are defined by the need for a line of sight between the user and the lock. You must use the device near the lock.


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  • Devices can be configured to open some ports and not others.
  • Locks can be reset to disable any of these devices at any time.


  • Devices can be lost.
  • Devices can be damaged.
  • Some devices can be expensive to replace.

Access code

A password is a series of interactions in a specific order, with some type of keyboard. This type of electronic lock is very common in mosttypes of safes🇧🇷 The variations of these codes are endless, making them extremely secure against guess-based attacks. The codes can be numbers, letters or even addresses. Color coding can even be used to make the code look like a numerical code when it is actually a sequence of colors. With the infinite capacity to be creative, it makes sense that this method suffers from the problem of human error. Code can be viewed and copied or simply forgotten.


  • This system only requires memorizing a code and a way to enter it.
  • Different codes can be used for different ports as well as master codes that work for all ports.
  • The length and number of options can make it very unlikely for you to guess the code.


  • The code can be seen by others and copied.
  • The code can be forgotten by those who need to use it.
  • Using multiple codes increases the chance that the code will be guessed.

radio frequency device

A radio frequency device or radio frequency identification device (RFID) is similar to an authentication token. The main difference is that the signal can open the lock from further away. You do not need a direct line of sight for this device to interact with the electronic lock. It has similar advantages and disadvantages to the token, with the added trade of an extended interactive range. This type of technology is used inaugust or kevoe similarsmart locks that can be opened with your smartphone(Bluetooth).


  • The range is larger for the key.
  • Devices can be configured to open some ports and not others.
  • Locks can be reset to disable any of these devices at any time.
  • Let your smartphone be your key.


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  • Devices can be lost.
  • Devices can be damaged.
  • Some devices can be expensive to replace.


biometric locksthey're the way people in spy movies and the future lock their doors, but this technology has been around for a while. The new iPhones and the DMV use biometrics like fingerprint scanners, but biometrics are more than just fingerprints. Retinal and iris scans of the eye, facial recognition, and voiceprint recognition are examples of biometric scans. The quality of the sensor will determine the effectiveness of this type of access. If the biometric sensor is too forgiving, it might not protect you at all. On the other hand, if the sensor is very perceptive, a simple glitch can alter the function being read enough to keep it blocked. Most important is a correctly calibrated sensor that allows for a small margin of error.


  • There are no keys or codes to lose or remember.
  • You are the key to your locks.
  • The biometric data that the locks accept can be changed at any time without the need to rekey or redo the system.


  • A tolerant sensor might allow a photo of you to open the lock.
  • A relentless sensor can keep you out of your own doors/locks.


Everything you need to know about electronic locks (5)

There is a lot to consider when considering electronic door locks. With this information, you should now be able to discern for yourself what you need. I always emphasize the importance of practicality and diversity in your safety. Implement methods that work for your personal needs and match the different locks in your home or office. At the root of great security there must be foresight and planning. Anything you haven't considered is something for a thief to exploit.

Preparedness is the root of prevention and protection, especially in the security industry. Electronic locks are a big investment, so they may be better suited for a business than a home, but there's no better personal investment than protecting your property. Remember to be practical with your solutions and think not only about how it protects you, but also how it will affect you and others who will be using your locks. You might not have a problem with having three key codes circulating after using one, but that might be difficult for other people to use. Be practical, be prepared and safe.


What do I need to know about electronic door locks? ›

Electronic locks are locking fixtures that lock and unlock by use of an electric current. This current can use a solenoid, electromagnet or motor, and the choice of fail-safe or fail-secure is available. Fail-safe locks unlock automatically if the power cuts, whereas fail-secure locks will stay locked.

What are the different types of electronic locks? ›

Electrified locks come in various types from bored locks, mortise locks, exit devices, and magnetic locks. Some locks have more options than others. Power supplies and electric power transfers will be needed for all of these locks to operate.

What are the 7 types of locks? ›

There are plenty of other door locks, and many fall within the seven categories of knob locks, deadbolt locks, cam locks, padlocks, mortise locks, smart locks and keypad locks.

How do electric locks work? ›

Electric locks use magnets, solenoids, or motors to actuate the lock by either supplying or removing power. Operating the lock can be as simple as using a switch, for example an apartment intercom door release, or as complex as a biometric based access control system.

Do smart locks work without Wi-Fi? ›

Non-WiFi-enabled Smart Locks

Non-WiFi-enabled locks usually incorporate the Bluetooth protocol. This helps connect the lock to your smartphone, allowing both devices to communicate with each other. Its features, functions and performance aren't affected by an Internet connection.

What is the difference between a smart lock and electronic lock? ›

The difference between smart door locks and digital locks comes down to one simple factor – smart door locks can be controlled by an app on your smartphone, while digital door locks cannot. Because of that, there isn't really a one-size-fits-all answer as to whether or not a smart door lock is better.

Can electronic locks be hacked? ›

Like any other technology, the keyless entry system can be hacked. When you install a keyless front door lock, there's always the possibility of it becoming a target for hackers and thieves.

What are the disadvantages of using electronic locks? ›

Electronic door locks have few drawbacks and, here are some of them listed below:
  • High-Cost. Generally electronic door lock costs are higher than the traditional door locks. ...
  • High Installation Effort. ...
  • Jamming and Hacking. ...
  • Power Failure. ...
  • Same Access Code. ...
  • Forgetting Your Password. ...
  • Non-Recognition.
Jan 18, 2021

Do electronic locks lock automatically? ›

With a keypad lock, all your child needs to have is their personal security code, and they can enter it into the keypad to unlock the front door. Once they're inside, the keypad lock will automatically lock behind them, ensuring that they're safe and sound.

What locks Cannot be broken? ›

ABUS Granit™: one of the world's most secure padlocks with a tensile resistance of over six tonnes. Granit locks have a tensile resistance of over six tonnes, making it almost impossible for attackers to release the shackle from the lock body by force.

What is the most secure type of lock? ›

ANSI Grade 1 door locks offer the highest level of lock security. These locks are very difficult to pick or break and are resistant to any tampering with the lock's parts like removing pins, screws, etc. They're mostly used in high-security and commercial settings like banks and office buildings.

What is a level 5 lock? ›

5 lever mortice locks can be locked and unlocked from either side of a door. As the key is turned, 5 levers move into place to allow the lock to open, making it harder for would-be intruders to gain access by picking the lock.

What happens when an electric lock runs out of battery? ›

Your Smart Lock will give you low-battery warnings for multiple weeks before it loses power. However, if your Smart Lock dies entirely before you can replace your batteries, your key will still work. This is the same deadbolt key that you've always used - the Smart Lock doesn't change the key needed.

How long do electric locks last? ›

In the Case of Digital Locks, they can last long for about 5 years depending on the brand and quality. Electronic Door Locks have their advantages and can stay last long if you do proper care. If you've Automatic Door Lock then these simple tips will help you to take care of it so it'll last longer.

What are the advantages of using electronic locks? ›

Common benefits of digital locks
  • Copies of keys cannot be made. The holder is certain of the number of keys in circulation.
  • One key for everything. ...
  • The security code cannot be seen. ...
  • Lost keys are not a problem. ...
  • No need to guard your keys. ...
  • Access rights can be updated. ...
  • Remote updates. ...
  • Very secure systems.
Apr 27, 2020

What are the disadvantages of smart locks? ›

Cons Of Having A Smart Lock

Smart locks communicate with your phone, usually via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. If your phone is stolen, you lose it or it dies, you could get locked out if you don't have a backup plan (like logging in to your account on another device).

What happens to smart lock if Wi-Fi goes down? ›

Most smart locks let you manually lock and unlock the door even without a network connection. You will just lose the convenience of using your phone as a key.

Do smart locks affect insurance? ›

Some models even allow you to assign special privileges to friends or family members. If you do have one, you should make sure that you keep the door lock apps updated, the passwords secure, and have a PIN enabled. Electronic door locks or digital door locks don't currently affect your home insurance.

Do smart locks run out of battery? ›

Electronic keyless locks are extremely reliable, but like any other battery-powered device, there will eventually come a time when the battery's power will run out.

Can hackers hack smart locks? ›

Are smart locks hackable? Any technology that connects to the internet has the potential to be hacked. However, smart locks that work with a traditional locking mechanism, that can only be physically opened with a key, offer the best resistance against hackers.

Which is better combination or electronic lock? ›

The other concern I often hear is “are digital safe locks more or less secure than tumbler locks ?” In short, yes digital's are much more secure than spin combination locks.

How long do electronic locks on safes last? ›

The last thing you want when you go to open your safe, especially in an emergency, is to find out the batteries are dead in its electronic safe lock. Liberty Safe recommends that you replace the battery in your safe lock every six to 12 months.

Are electronic locks safer than key locks? ›

These additions provide even more security and convenience to your day by letting you know when someone is at your door or when someone has unlocked the door. Are Smart Locks As Safe As Traditional Locks? Yes, smart locks are as safe as traditional locks.

Can a locksmith open an electronic door lock? ›

The answer is yes! Emergency locksmiths are trained in many different areas and can most certainly handle unlocking your electronic lock if you're in an emergency situation. Since emergency locksmiths need to deal with emergency situations, they are trained to be prepared to handle any security system.

Do keypad locks work when powers out? ›

Myth #1: Keyless locks will fail during power outages.

Fortunately, this is not the case. Keyless locks operate on battery power, which means that even if you experience a power failure in your home or business, your keyless lock will still function as normal.

Can smart locks be opened remotely? ›

Wi-Fi & 4G smart locks provide remote access

If you want to unlock your door remotely with a smart lock, an ideal solution would be choosing a smart lock that has Wi-Fi or 4G connectivity. You could then be anywhere in the world and, as long as you have an internet connection, you would be able to unlock your door.

What lock can bolt cutters not cut? ›

A closed shackle padlock is basically a standard padlock with a fortified body that extends up the sides to cover most of the shackle. The shackles are typically thicker than average and made from hardened steel or even boron steel, which is 80% stronger. This is a bolt cutter-proof lock by design.

What is the hardest lock to cut? ›

What is the hardest lock to cut?
  • Abloy PL 362 Shrouded Hardened Steel Padlock. ...
  • Abus 83/55mm Rock Steel Padlock CS. ...
  • Abus Granit Plus 37RK/80. ...
  • Stanley laminated steel padlock. ...
  • Stanley 24/7 all-weather padlock (solid brass) ...
  • Master Lock High Security Pro Series Padlock. ...
  • Secure self-storage solution.
Aug 5, 2021

Which is better Schlage or Kwikset? ›

Overall, Schlage takes the crown as our most recommended brand. Even if you have to pay a little more for Schlage locks, the added features and functionality of those models makes them stronger and better to use overall than Kwikset counterparts.

Are smart locks easy to break into? ›

Some smart locks, as well, might be fairly easy to break into if they are poorly made and not sold through a reputable company. A safe smart lock will have all of the built-in safety measures of a standard lock in addition to safety measures in place to prevent hacking.

What is better than a deadbolt? ›

If you take your home security seriously, there's no better protection for your front door than the HAVEN Mech Door Lock. Over 10 times stronger than a deadbolt, this door lock is designed to keep intruders out. The HAVEN Mech Door Lock is not just any ordinary lock for your front door.

What is a C4 lock? ›


The C4 Cylinder is a high security Europrofile cylinder. It features an anti-picking design thanks to its 10 pins. Front anti-drilling protection with 1 bar in the body and 2 in the rotor, in hardened steel. All pins, tumblers and springs in stainless steel.

What is a Grade 6 lock? ›

Abloy Grade 6 padlocks Strongest padlock in the market For applications where maximum security is required. Case hardened steel body with raised shoulders and a toploaded cylinder provide the highest level of security and protection.

What is a Class C lock? ›

Class C. Class C containers and locking devices are designed to protect Security Classified Material. They offer a medium level of resistance to surreptitious and covert attack, and a low level of resistance to forcible attack.

Why is my electronic lock not opening? ›

A dead battery is the most common reason an electronic lock won't open. We encounter this issue at least once a day. To help you avoid this inconvenience, we recommend replacing your battery once a year.

Are electronic locks reliable? ›

Pro: Reliability

Electronic locks tend to be subjected to less wear and tear and last longer than traditional locks. They have also evolved a lot over the years and have become just as reliable as traditional mechanical safe locks.

How much does it cost to install an electric lock? ›

It costs about $175 to $450 for professional installation of a keyless lock. This includes the cost of the unit itself and labor costs. The price could rise if a new door needs to be installed. Further costs include changing the doorknob.

Are electronic locks easy to install? ›

Difficult to install: Out of all the IoT products we've tested, smart locks were the hardest to install, especially if you have to hardwire them into existing deadbolt setups.

Are there any disadvantages of using electronic locks? ›

- Forgetful?: You may be the one to forget your keys now and then, and it can be easy to forget you PIN code for the lock and when your in a rush to get into the room or building or it is night time and dark, you don't want to be changing the code in the middle of the night or when it's raining!

Are electronic door locks easily hacked? ›

Not only can many smart locks be hacked, but they also are proven to have other vulnerabilities like the ability to be removed with a flathead screwdriver. Since smart locks often work with an existing deadbolt, this may mean they have the same level of security as traditional locks.

Are electronic door locks reliable? ›

Are electronic door locks safer than keyed door locks? Definitely not, but they are just as safe as keyed locks, and if a person is tech-savvy and wants ease of access instead of having to search around on their person for the keys to their home door, an electronic door lock is most definitely a good idea.

How long do electronic locks last? ›

In the Case of Digital Locks, they can last long for about 5 years depending on the brand and quality. Electronic Door Locks have their advantages and can stay last long if you do proper care. If you've Automatic Door Lock then these simple tips will help you to take care of it so it'll last longer.

What is the downside to smart locks? ›

The most obvious disadvantage of smart locks is that they are more expensive than traditional locks. Because the upfront cost is higher, installing them can be an investment.

How long do batteries last in electronic door lock? ›

In fact, most keyless locks can operate anywhere between 3-5 years off the original batteries. Most electronic keyless locks also come equipped with a low battery indicator light or warning sound, which will alert you well in advance when the battery is getting low.

Do electric door locks work without power? ›

Electric Locks Need Electricity

For any modern door that uses an access control system, the lock will be powered by electricity — this is what we call an electric lock. Electric locks fall into two categories: Fail-safe and fail-secure.

What is the strongest type of door lock? ›

Deadbolt door locks are the most secure type of key lock and are usually used on a home's exterior door. Available in single- and double-cylinder styles, deadbolts are rated according to their strength from Grade 1 to Grade 3. A Grade 1 is the highest grade and provides the most security.

How long do electronic deadbolt batteries last? ›

Several factors play into how long your batteries will last, including environment, temperature, and weather stripping. Typically, battery life ranges from 6 months to 1 year.


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