Three-split image of the TL116/TL117 Smartbolt (left), TL111 Digital Lock (center) and TL113 Smart Bike Lock (right).

What Are the Different Types of Smart Locks?

Smart locks are fast becoming common fixtures in American homes and businesses, thanks to greater affordability and expanded capabilities. They place control, convenience and security in your hands for real-time peace of mind. Smart locks come with a wide range of functions, so understanding the different types can help you decide what suits you best.

You can choose to install a smart lock that fits over your existing door hardware. However, most of what you’ll see on the market are replacement locks. Either option is generally easy to set up, even for those of us who don’t speak computer.

Keypad and Combination Smart Lock

Closeup of the TL111 Knob-Styled Digital Smartlock with Keypad
The Bluetooth-enabled TL111/TL111 PRO Digital Smartlock with Keypad.

Smart locks with keypads require a master passcode to unlock your door. You can also set up passcodes for different people. Combination keypad smart locks come in several varieties: keypad deadbolts, keypad deadbolts with a knob or lever and keypad deadbolts with a handle set. You may have a touchscreen or physical buttons to push. Many models easily connect with other smart home equipment.

Garage Door Locks

Imagine being able to open your garage remotely for the Amazon Prime delivery — a smart garage door lock can make that happen. Smart locks for garage doors come in several types. Many of them work with an app on your mobile device or hook up with a Z-wave hub. You get notifications whenever your garage door is open, which would be really nice to know if you’re away. Make sure that the smart lock you want is compatible with your garage door lifter.

WiFi Smart Locks

Some smart locks feature WiFi connectivity that can be paired with a smart home hub like Amazon Echo. Working via apps, these products let you lock or unlock your door from anywhere with a wireless connection. You can also track opening and closing history and share e-keys with family, neighbors, repair technicians or other trusted individuals. No more making copies of keys and trying to remember who has them!

Bluetooth Smart Locks

Bluetooth options with smart locks offer the same functionality as WiFi without draining your battery as quickly. With this capability, you can connect your locks directly with your mobile device instead of a smart home system. You’ve got WiFi capabilities plus a sensing feature that unlocks automatically when your mobile device is within a set distance from the smart lock, usually 30 feet.

Some Bluetooth-enabled locks forgo WiFi connectivity altogether. This is arguably a more secured option, since Bluetooth requires proximity to work; meaning, a potential hacker would need to be within at least 3 feet of the lock to even attempt to engage with it. The 2020 Turbolock catalog of smartbolts function in this way as an added security measure. If a Turbolock model is also app-enabled, like the TL111 Pro, TL115 and TL117, then you could use the Turbolock Plus app to manage and monitor the lock, but you couldn’t engage with the lock remotely. That means, no one would be able to simply hack into your WiFi and gain control of your locks.

A Matter of Style: Knob vs Deadbolt

Another thing to consider is the style of the smart lock; importantly, knob-style versus deadbolt locks. This is sometimes a matter of preference. But some people truly feel more secure with deadbolt-styled locks. For those people, our deadbolt smart locks, from the TL114 to the TL117 will do more than just help you feel more secure, you’ll be more secure!

Key Fob-Styled Smart Locks

Closeup of someone using the key fob to engage with the Turbolock RV Smart Lock.
Our RV Smart Lock gives you three options for entry control: physical keys, a key fob and the keypad.

Some digital locks combine some or all of the above options (Bluetooth, WiFi, keypad, smartphone app) with a physical key fob for engaging with the smart lock. This acts as a sort of physical backup key to use for added speed and convenience. Our RV smart lock does this very thing. You could use the keypad to enter your passcode. Or you could simply use the key fob to gain entry access to your RV or camper trailer.  Obviously, you need to be super careful and make sure not to lose the key fob. And if you’re given multiple fobs, like we provide, then you’ll need to make sure you keep tabs of who has one.

Fingerprint Smart Locks

A fingerprint or biometric smart lock scans your fingerprint and converts it into a numerical template. You can grant others access by sharing that template. This is an excellent security option because you can’t forget your fingerprint, and it’s extremely difficult to fake — unless you’re James Bond or Mystique from the X-Men! It’s best to buy a biometric lock with a mechanical lock or keypad in case of emergencies.

Smart Safes

Image of the TurboSAFE app on a smartphone and a man opening the TurboSAFE smart safe.
Keep your important documents and valuables secured with the WiFi-enabled TurboSAFE from Turbolock.

In addition to tamper-resistant construction, smart safes offer innovative technology that keeps you connected and your valuables secure. They use apps to let you check function history, schedule self-diagnostic tests, change motion sensitivity and add trusted individuals to monitor the safe remotely. Smart safes may use RFID or biometric scanners to provide another layer of security. They may also have an auto-lock feature that automatically locks when you shut the door.

Security FYI: Because of the nature of smart lock boxes, a digital smart safe might have an app that’s sole purpose is to monitor the lock rather than to remotely lock or unlock the safe.

Smart Bike Locks

Closeup of a woman securing her electric bike with a TL113 Digital Bike Lock.
Secure your bicycle with a TL113 Digital Smart Lock with Keypad from Turbolock.

Bike locks have stepped up their technological game with smart technology too. They are durable and have Bluetooth and app connectivity functions to let you create, share, schedule and track e-keys. You get keyless security on your bike, scooter, grill or outdoor furniture. A smart bike lock can be ideal as a keypad gate lock that lets you control access to your property remotely as well.

When shopping for a smart lock, you need to consider several factors. Do you want a quick retrofit install? Can you integrate your choice with your home system? Do you want to manage your lock with your phone? With Turbolock, you have access to an extensive line of innovative lock systems that can make security smart, convenient and exciting for you.

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