Are fingerprint door locks any good?
Using a fingerprint lock on your front door means you don't have to worry about carrying lots of keys with you. Additionally, it can help eliminate the fear of losing the physical key and possibly re-entering or replacing it.
Additionally, some fingerprint locks come with remote access capabilities. That said, you can connect the lock to your smartphone and control it from miles away via an app on your phone. Sounds good, right?
But how secure are these locks? Let's find out!
None of the fingerprint locks on the market offer the same level of security, so if you care about your home security, you'll want to buy one. So while a fingerprint lock can give you easy access to your home/property and has other great features, you want to make sure you're not trading security with another factor.
Are fingerprint locks secure?
That said, when looking for a fingerprint door lock, your first consideration is security. Therefore, you want to choose a well-known brand that is known for producing fingerprint-secured smart locks.
If you're currently looking for a secure fingerprint lock, here are our recommendations (for now).
What is a fingerprint lock?
Fingerprint door locks are smart locks equipped with a fingerprint reader. The scanner works like a mechanical key or passcode in that you use it to unlock your door. So instead of using a passcode or physical key to unlock the door, you can simply place your finger on the scanner to unlock the door.
Locking the system grants access only to authorized personnel, that is, those whose fingerprints have been approved by the system. Users can store multiple fingerprints on the lock - depending on its storage capacity.
As you probably know, everyone has a unique fingerprint, which means no unauthorized person can unlock your door with a fingerprint reader.
How do fingerprint door locks work?
Fingerprint door locks work by scanning and registering your fingerprints on the door system. The first time you put your finger on the scanner, the conversion is complete and saved as a template.
So the next time you place your finger again, it will automatically recognize your fingerprint and try to match it to any pattern stored on the system.
If it can find a match, the door lock will grant you access and open the door. However, if your fingerprints do not match, you will be denied access and the door will remain locked. So, in order for a fingerprint door lock to grant access to any of your family members or guests, their fingerprints must first be scanned and registered on the system.
Can fingerprint door locks be hacked?
Unfortunately, the answer is "yes". Although they can be difficult to trick, bypassing fingerprint locks is not entirely impossible.
Like all other smart door locks, they can also be hacked. Especially if the lock uses a capacitor scanner, it may be possible to circumvent it by creating a mold of your hand. When this happens, you may need to completely replace the lock or use a PIN and fingerprint combination instead, as fingerprints aren't as easy to reset as regular passwords.
Also, if your fingerprint lock has remote access and you are connected via Wi-Fi, it is likely vulnerable to cyberattacks because the connection is via the Internet.
But you can avoid this by following basic cybersecurity tips, like avoiding public Wi-Fi, setting strong passwords, and updating your apps.
Anything else to worry about with fingerprint door locks?
Aside from hacking, a few other things can be a challenge to using a fingerprint door lock.
One of them is delayed fingerprinting. This can happen when the lock's fingerprint is not too sensitive and it can take seconds or minutes (after several attempts) to unlock your door.
Also, if you have a scar, scratch or cut, the scanner may have difficulty recognizing your finger. You can overcome this problem by switching to passcode entry or another entry method provided by your lock.
Besides the above, fingerprint locks can have the same general issues as other smart locks. This can include short battery life, problems connecting to smart home systems, etc. You can avoid this by buying the best fingerprint lock from a well-known brand. See options above.
How long can fingerprint door locks last?
The lifespan of a fingerprint lock varies by brand, usage, etc. However, on average, fingerprint locks can last up to 2 years before showing signs of wear.
But do not worry. Some fingerprint locks can last longer, also depending on your budget. Inexpensive fingerprint locks are unlikely to last long, so if you're looking to buy a more durable one, you may need to stretch your budget.
As mentioned earlier, usage also determines how long your lock will last before you consider replacing it. If the lock is used on a high traffic commercial door, the service life may be significantly reduced. Additionally, regular maintenance can help prolong the life of the door lock.
How many fingerprints can the fingerprint lock store?
It all depends on the type of fingerprint lock you choose. Some locks can store up to 30 unique fingerprints, while others may have fewer or more.
Can I unlock the fingerprint lock with a physical key?
Yes. If your fingerprint lock has a keyhole, you can unlock it with a mechanical key.
Of course, some fingerprint locks often come with keyways and other modes of entry, such as passcodes and remote access through designated apps on your phone.
Therefore, when the preferred mode fails, the user can switch to another input mode.
How is the fingerprint door lock powered?
From now on, all fingerprint locks are battery powered. Depending on the brand/model, the fingerprint smart lock can use either alkaline or lithium batteries.
Battery life also depends on brand, communication protocol, usage, etc. Click here to learn more about smart lock battery life.
Certainly, fingerprint locks (like other smart locks) have many advantages, such as keyless entry, remote access, integration with smart home systems, and voice control.
But you don't want to trade the convenience of keyless entry for security. So make sure you get a secure fingerprint lock from a reputable brand.
You can also improve your home security with smart security systems like AirEKey