Lose your keys again? OK, so maybe you just misplaced them. Still, life is too hectic to spend even an extra five minutes looking for house keys, or — worse — being locked out of your home. That’s where a keyless entry system comes in.
With all the technological innovations on the market, we may soon be sending keys to the museum. Our children’s children will laugh at the hilarity of those ancient civilizations that once used an odd-looking metal key to drive their cars or gain access to their homes.
Unlock the door to the future with a keyless entry system for your home. Here, we review three — Schlage Connect, MiLocks Electronic Touchpad and Kaba E-Plex — in terms of style and weigh their pros and cons to help you choose the one that’s best for you and your home.
Schlage Connect: Flexible Keyless Entry
The Schlage Connect comes with a Grade 1 Security Rating — the highest in the market. The company’s website says its deadbolt is “strong, motorized and has an anti-pick shield.” This keyless entry system is available in a number of styles and finishes to suit any home design, including stainless steel and decorative copper, and retails for $150-$200.
- System can support up to 30 users.
- Includes a fingerprint-resistant touch screen that allows friends/family to enter a code without a key.
- Tamper alerts, forced-entry alerts and activity alerts can be sent to your phone, allowing you to monitor your home wherever you are.
- Offers a built-in alarm that beeps from the bolt casing.
- Compatible with Z-wave technology.
- The high number of users could mean an increased risk of codes being passed around unknowingly (although you can easily change access codes).
- Alerts could become excessive when you have a big, busy family coming and going.
- Must be set up with a third-party home-alarm system to receive the mobile features. (Note: The Schlage Touch is a simpler keyless entry system whose features don’t rely on an alarm system.)
MiLocks Electronic Touchpad: Budget Keyless Entry
MiLocks offers three series of keyless entry systems: the D-Series, R-Series and Q-Series. All offer keyless technologies, but we will focus on the D-Series, since it reached #1 Best Seller status on Amazon’s doorknob category. These locks are available in satin nickel, polished brass, antique brass and oil-rubbed bronze to complement most home styles, and retail for $50-$80.
- Direct touchpad entry has up to six assigned user codes.
- Includes an option for an adjustable latch and fits standard doorknob settings.
- Has a 25-year mechanical warranty.
- Offers both keyless and standard key options.
- Available in deadbolt, knob, lever or handleset and bolt combination styles.
- Batteries may last up to 4,200 hours but still need to be monitored and changed.
- In case of malfunction or battery failure, you will need a key on hand.
- Locks simultaneously on both sides, or stays open on both sides; no option for one-sided locking.
Kaba E-Plex: Commercial-Grade Keyless Entry
While Kaba is more commercially inclined, we thought its systems were worth looking into. Kaba offers four main keyless entry product lines: E-Plex, Simplex, Powerplex and Embedded Access Control. We looked at the E-Plex series, as it is the most adaptable for the home. It’s available in standard chrome satin or bright brass, and retails for $350-$650.
- No door wiring is required, which can reduce pinched wires and mechanical problems.
- Up to 100 access codes can be programmed.
- Lock is programmed easily with keypad or with optional Excel-based software.
- Up to 1,000 lock events are recorded and can be viewed with optional software.
- System can be programmed to relock after a certain number of hours.
- Aesthetic options are limited, with only two finishes available.
- Limited two-year warranty.
- Up to 100 users means an increased risk of codes being passed around unknowingly and can lead to code confusion.
Keyless entry systems are convenient for busy families. They allow you to keep track of everyone’s comings and goings, and add a measure of security to your home entry.
Choosing the right one for your home depends on your individual needs. If you have a big, busy family, then the Schlage Connect might be ideal for you. Prefer a more simple (and less-expensive) system with minimal user codes? The MiLocks Electronic Touchpad is your best bet, as it offers only six codes and has the lowest price point. If you need more than 30 user codes, perhaps for a home business, then the Kaba E-Plex is the way to go.
Are you ready to go keyless? Have you gone keyless and love it? Or are you locked to your keys? We’d love to hear from you!