The 10 Best Biometric Door Locks
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in October of 2016. If you're looking to enhance the security around your home or place of business, consider installing one of these biometric door locks on your property for some extra peace of mind. Depending on the model, our selection of devices can use a combination of fingerprint identification, passwords, smartphone activation, voice control, and RFID cards, for versatile and convenient access to premises. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 29, 2020:
In addition to increasing security, biometric looks should enhance convenience. With this in mind, we did our best to include models that offer reliable scanning of fingerprints, as well as several entry methods. Every option here provides at least two ways to gain access, biometric and a numeric passcode, with most adding a couple more into the mix, such as via a paired smartphone within a certain proximity or remotely over Wi-Fi. We also made sure to include deadbolts for use on the front door, and models that include handles, as well as some that don't.
June 07, 2019:
Added the Lockly Secure Plus for its patented shuffling algorithm for randomizing the location of its keypad numbers. That can be a really handy feature when it comes to "smart criminals" who are crafty enough to determine which portions of a numeric keyapd are accessed more than others. Sufficiently randomizing these numbers will ensure equal usage of the entire keypad over time so that nothing sticks out. Also included the ZKTeco AL40B for its remote unlocking functionality, intuitive voice programming options, and ability to generate temporary passwords. I thought the Mengqi-Control System was a versatile choice, given that it can use any combination of fingerprints, passwords, and RFID cards for authorized entry. Maintained the Samsung SHS-P718 due its integrated thermal detection sensor and the unique design of its handle for accommodating pushing and pulling motions for entry and exit instead of having to turn a doorknob. Finally, I included the ZKTeco Digital for its built-in infrared camera and innovative 3D facial scanning technology.
Marks 175 Bio Series Available in a satin chrome finish, the Marks 175 Bio Series has a 4000-event audit trail and an ability to read up to 80 separate points of a person's fingerprint to ensure accurate matches at all times. Marks USA
YDM 4109 As part of the digital door lock collection, the YDM 4109 offers 1-touch fingerprint verification and patented Smart Touchpad technology that allows a user to complete the door opening process by touching the keypad with their palm after entering the correct password. yalelock.com
Fortifying Your Fortress With High-Tech Security
This scanner generates and transmits an ultrasonic pulse against a finger in order to penetrate the outer layers of the skin.
Most of us can probably relate to the inconvenience of accidentally leaving house keys somewhere, walking out of the house without remembering to take them in the first place, or simply having to fiddle with them while carrying bags of groceries on the way into the house. Any one of these situations compromises one's sense of ease and security. It is a stretch to claim that any single type of security is completely foolproof, as each option carries with it its own set of advantages and concerns. However, biometric recognition is one of the most technologically-advanced options to keep in mind when considering the safety of your home, family, and possessions.
While a mechanical lock involves the use of a metal key and an internal locking mechanism of tumblers, the biometric lock is a battery-powered security option that grants access by way of scanning, identifying, analyzing, and remembering a person's unique body traits, namely a fingerprint. The fingerprint is the primary form of identification that the lock uses to distinguish it from other, unauthorized fingerprints. When it is first scanned by the lock, it is converted into a numerical algorithm and saved to the device's internal database. When a user attempts to unlock the door, their fingerprint is scanned and compared with the data already stored within the biometric system. A match results in successful entry, while a non-match denies access entirely.
Biometric locks use many of the same types of scanning technologies as mobile devices, including: optical, capacitive, and ultrasonic. Incorporating an array of LEDs to capture a photo of a fingerprint, the optical scanner uses algorithms combined with areas of light and dark on a captured image to recognize surface patterns in the skin. The higher the resolution of an optical scanner, the greater its level of analysis.
The capacitive scanner also generates an image of a finger's ridges, but does so using an electric current composed of capacitor circuits that create an electronic mold of a fingerprint instead. This provides the scanner with more details about the nuances of the fingerprint for comparison, making it a more sophisticated option than its optical counterpart.
The ultrasonic scanner delivers the highest level of security possible through the use of its transmitter, receiver, and high-frequency sound waves. This scanner generates and transmits an ultrasonic pulse against a finger in order to penetrate the outer layers of the skin. A portion of this pulse is absorbed by the skin, while the rest of it bounces back to an internal sensor. The sensor calculates the intensity of this returning ultrasonic pulse at different points along the scanner. The longer the scanner spends capturing this data, the greater the range of depth that is analyzed, resulting in a highly-detailed, three-dimensional reproduction of a person's fingerprint for identification.
Considering Ease Of Use, Options, And Safety
Aside from eliminating the concern of misplaced house keys, biometric door locks offer several additional advantages. They are significantly more difficult to compromise then manual locks because they require a specific form of identification unique to the homeowner, making them an important addition to a home security system in areas with high crime rates.
It should be engineered from durable materials that can withstand both tampering and severe weather.
Biometric locking systems are user-friendly, as they don't require complex programming to function, so finding a solution with a straightforward setup shouldn't be difficult. Unlike its traditional counterparts, the biometric system locks its corresponding door automatically, eliminating the chance of forgetting to lock the front door when leaving the house.
Your chosen biometric door lock should give you the option of using either its scanner or an on-board numerical keypad to gain access into your home. Keypad functionality provides an alternative if your fingerprint scanner malfunctions, allowing the device to be used like a keyless entry system.
Consider the number of people who will be coming into your home when investing in a lock. The majority of biometric door locks store up to 120 unique fingerprints to memory, which is helpful in situations where multiple family members or trusted friends are constantly coming and going. Also, keep the lock's battery power in mind and consider which option will work best for the expected foot traffic.
One should make note of the overall construction of the biometric lock, especially when planning to install the device outdoors. It should be engineered from durable materials that can withstand both tampering and severe weather.
A Brief History Of Biometric Door Locks
The concept of biometric recognition dates back thousands of years, beginning with evidence of cave walls being adorned with paintings from early human civilizations. These paintings were surrounded by hand prints thought to be a signature of their creators. There is also evidence of fingerprints having been used as identifiers as early as 500 BCE to conduct and record Babylonian business transactions.
Since that time, the popularity of this technology has had the opportunity to grow to include systems capable of securing doors and even mobile devices.
Practical considerations for use of the fingerprint as a forensic tool didn't evolve until the mid-19th century. British surgeon Dr. Henry Faulds used his studies of fingerprints found on prehistoric pottery to devise a form of biometric identification and classification from the artifacts. In 1880, Faulds sent his research to an ailing Sir Charles Darwin. Though Darwin couldn't assist directly, he forwarded Fauld's data to his cousin, Francis Galton. That same year, Faulds published the first paper on forensic fingerprinting as a means for personal identification.
In the decades following the rapid growth of cities during the Industrial Revolution, there arose the need for a formal classification system of identities from a criminal justice perspective. By 1903, the New York State Prison system began using fingerprints in the United States for identifying inmates.
Modern biometric identification systems have a relatively short history that spans the last few decades following the advancements in computer engineering during the 1960s. Since that time, the popularity of this technology has had the opportunity to grow to include systems capable of securing doors and even mobile devices.