Biometric Lock Systems – Are They Worth It?

biometric locks

Find out what biometric lock systems are and what are the advantages of using them. 

Shorty put, biometric locks rely on fingerprint or face recognition in order to verify a person's identity prior to enabling them to access a room or building. These locks are no longer only part of Sci-Fi movie scenarios but have become a palpable reality of the times we live in. Even our smartphones have started to use fingerprint or face scanners in order to simplify the locking/unlocking of the phone, sign into apps, or authorize financial transactions. So why would we continue to be surprised or bewildered at the thought that we could be soon controlling the access to our homes with literally the tip of our fingers?

If you are convinced that your home or commercial space needs a full security upgrade, and you would like to make the switch to biometric technologies, or you are simply curious to learn more about the trends, keep reading.

What Are Biometric Locks?

Biometric locks are special types of high-tech locks that enable a person's access to a certain location while using their unique body traits. These locks can either come in the form of retinal or fingerprint locks. However, retinal scanners are not yet intended for personal use on a large scale in the security field, at least at the moment. So we are going to refer to fingerprint locks as biometric locks from now on.

Biometric locks are locks that use an optical or thermal scanner in order to accurately read, analyze, and store the fingerprints of people who are authorized to enter a certain room or open a lock. For example, the employees who are allowed to enter the server room or a medical laboratory, or the guests/contractors you will decide to enable access to your home while you are away.

Biometric locks require a two-step process in order to open a door:

  1. Pressing your fingertip or entire hand to a scanner, which will trigger the device to identify your unique fingerprint details;

  2. Typing a code into a keypad that will be used to authenticate your identity and ultimately open the door.

Since human fingerprints are unique for each individual, biometric locks can use this valuable feature and easily recognize and identify or separate different people.

The scanners used in the process can also be different:

  • Optical scanners take fingerprint photos of one's finger and store the respective photo for later matching. They are more vulnerable, as they enable the use of a simple photo of the respective print and allow user's access.

  • Capacitor scanners are more advanced, as they create electronic fingerprint molds. However, it is also possible for someone to create a mold of your fingerprint and present it to the scanner.

  • Ultrasound scanners are the most reliable types of scanners as they use high-frequency sound waves that enter the outer layer of the skin. This means they are capable of reading your fingerprint at a much deeper level. This should eliminate the risk of improper fingerprint recognition because of grease or dirt on the fingers. These scanners are also a lot more difficult to track, but they are more costly.

Locks That Feature Multiple Factor Authentication

Multiple factor authentication is a special means of gaining access to a room by using several authenticating features. For example, swiping an access card and typing in a password could grant one access. In terms of biometric multiple factor authentication, one could use fingerprint recognition and a keypad code. Failing to produce one of these authentications will automatically result in the lock refusing to open. Higher levels of protection can be more easily obtained when this type of authentication is used.

Characteristics Of Biometric Lock Systems

Since you cannot forget your fingerprints somewhere on a restaurant table or back home, it will be practically impossible to deal with any accidental home or office lockouts. Don't worry; in case there is some sort of a system failure you will need to deal with, the majority of biometric systems will allow you to use an alternate key instead to grant you access. The failure could be caused by a battery that needs to be recharged or replaced.

Fingerprint locks enable immediate access to authorized persons and can save precious time and energy.

Drawbacks Of Fingerprint Locks

As with any other type of lock out there, these locks also come with a few drawbacks. For example, the fact they require electrical power in order to function. Residential locks usually rely on batteries that can run out when you least expect them to.

Plus, as stated before, most fingerprint scanners can be tricked with the help of relatively simple tricks.

Tips For Buying A Fingerprint Locks

  • Opt for a lock that has a low false rejection rate. This rate refers to how often the lock will reject a fingerprint that has already been stored.

  • Choose steel or brass biometric locks instead of aluminum options which are more easy to break.

  • It is best to buy a lock that also comes with an override key or a keypad that will allow you to open the door despite a broken fingerprint scanner.

Keep in mind a biometric lock with a deadbolt is also a good idea as the first step toward your home security upgrade. Having doubts?

Get in touch with us and let us advise you on the best types of fingerprint or traditional locks would work best for your particular needs.

What Customers Say About Us

W. 29th street
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Dave is great! He was punctual and professional. And after installing the new locks on all of our doors, he cleaned up after himself! The same cannot be said for the last service I hired… would definitely recommend and use again!

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S Kenton Ave
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We live not too far from Chicago and I spend about a hour and a half to get to my office. Mornings are always in a hurry for me and a broken door would be the worst I could expect. However, this was exactly what happened. I had no time to lose and so I called 247 Ontime Locksmiths. The expert guy from Locksmiths could fix the problem and I could go to work.

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E Van Buren St
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My car door didn’t open at all. Just a phone call to 24/7 Local Locksmiths and in less than 15 minutes I could drive my car again! Good job!

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