Using a fingerprint lock on your front door means you won’t have to worry about carrying a bulky set of keys around. Plus, that may help eliminate the worries of losing physical keys and probably re-keying or getting a replacement.
More so, some fingerprint locks are equipped with remote access functions. That is, you can connect the lock to your smartphone and control it from miles away—via the app on your phone. Sounds good, right?
But how secure are these locks? Let’s find out!
Are Fingerprints Door Locks Secure?
Short answer: yes. Like any standard smart door lock, fingerprint locks provide enhanced security in your home or office. However, the locks are not completely immune to burglary attacks as they could be bypassed through forcible entry techniques.
All fingerprint locks on the market do not offer the same level of security, so you need to get a secure one if you care about the safety of your home. So while a fingerprint lock may offer you the ease of entering your home/property, with other juicy features, you want to ensure you don’t trade security with any other factor.
That is, the first thing you want to consider when looking to get a fingerprint door lock is security. So you want to go for a reputable brand notable for producing secure fingerprint smart locks.
If you’re currently looking to get a secure fingerprint lock, here are our recommendations (as of now).
Top Fingerprint Door Locks to Consider:
- Lockly Fingerprint Smart Lock
- Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Fingerprint Keyless Lock
- SMONET Fingerprint Lock
- Kwikset Halo Touch Fingerprint Smart Lock
- TackLife Fingerprint Door Lock
Not sure how fingerprint locks work? The next paragraphs have more information for you.
What Are Fingerprint Door Locks?
Fingerprint door locks are smart locks equipped with fingerprint scanners. The scanner functions like a mechanical key or access codes, as you can unlock your door via it. So instead of using access codes or a physical key to unlock the door, you can simply place your finger on the scanner to unlock your door.
The locking system only grants access to authorized persons—those whose fingerprints have been approved by the system. And users can store multiple fingerprints on the lock—depending on its storage capacity.
As you may know, everyone has a unique fingerprint, meaning no unauthorized person can unlock your door via the fingerprint scanner.
How Do Fingerprint Door Locks Work?
Fingerprint door locks work by scanning and recording your fingerprint on the door’s system. The first time you place your finger on the scanner, the conversion is done and saved as a template.
So, the next time you place your finger again, it automatically recognizes your fingerprint and tries to match it with any saved template on the system.
If it can find a match, the door lock grants you access and opens the door. But if there isn’t any match for your fingerprint, it denies you access and the door remains locked. Therefore, for a fingerprint door lock to grant access to any member of your family or guest, their fingerprints must first be scanned and saved on the system.
Can Fingerprint Door Locks Be Hacked?
Unfortunately, the answer to this is yes. While they may be difficult to fool, it is not completely impossible to get around fingerprint locks.
Like any other smart door lock, they can also be hacked. Especially if the lock uses a capacitor-based scanner, it might be bypassed by creating a mold of your hand. And when this happens, you may need to replace the locks entirely or switch to using a combination of PIN and fingerprints because fingerprints are not as easy to reset as one does a normal password.
More so, if your fingerprint lock features remote access and you connect via Wi-Fi, then it might well be vulnerable to cyber-attacks as connectivity is through the internet.
But you can prevent this by adhering to basic cybersecurity tips such as avoiding public Wi-Fi, setting up strong passwords, and keeping your apps updated.
Are There Other Things to Worry About in Fingerprints Door Locks?
Apart from hacking, a few other things might serve as challenges with using fingerprint door locks.
One of these is delayed fingerprint recognition. This may happen when the lock’s fingerprint is not quite sensitive and may take a few seconds or minutes (after several attempts) to unlock your door.
Also, in the event you have a scar, abrasions, or cuts, the scanner may find it difficult to recognize your finger. You get over this by switching to access codes entry or another entry mode your lock offers.
Other than the above, fingerprint locks may have general problems as other smart locks. This may include short battery life, problems connecting to your smart home systems, etc. You can avoid this by getting the best fingerprint locks from reputable brands. See our picks above.
How Long Does a Fingerprint Door Lock Last?
The lifespan of fingerprint locks varies—based on the brand, usage, etc. However, on average, a fingerprint lock may last up to 2 years before it shows signs of wear and tear.
But don’t fret. Some fingerprint locks may last longer, and this also depends on your budget. A cheap fingerprint lock may not last long, so if you want to get one that lasts longer, you may have to increase your budget.
As mentioned, usage also determines how long your lock can go before you think of a replacement. If the lock is used on commercial doors that get heavy traffic, then the lifespan may well reduce. Also, periodic maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your door lock.
How Many Fingerprints Can Be Stored on a Fingerprint Door Lock?
This depends largely on the type of fingerprint lock you choose. Some locks may store up to 30 unique fingerprints, while others might be lesser or more.
Can I Unlock a Fingerprint Lock with a Physical Key?
Yes. If your fingerprint lock features a keyhole, you can unlock it with a mechanical key.
Of course, some fingerprint locks usually come with a keyway and other entry modes such as access codes and remote access via designated apps on your phone.
So a user can switch to another entry mode when the preferred one fails.
How Are Fingerprint Door Locks Powered?
As of now, all fingerprint locks are battery-powered. Depending on the brand/model, fingerprint smart locks may use Alkaline or lithium batteries.
The battery lifespan also depends on the brand, communication protocol, usage, etc. Go here to read more about smart locks battery life.
For sure, fingerprint locks (like other smart locks) come with many benefits such as keyless entry, remote access, integration with your smart home system, and voice controls.
But you don’t want to trade security with the convenience of keyless entry. So be sure to get a secure fingerprint lock from established brands.