My Personal Review Of The Best Keyless Lock
I always thought keyless locks were pretty cool (especially the electronic deadbolt types) as I am a gadget nut so when I decided to take a look at replacing my door locks I went into “research” mode to find the best, most secure keyless locks that were still affordable.
After many hours of research (something I love to do) which included visiting manufacturer’s sites, watching product videos and even calling the company of the lock I decided was the best I can confidently recommend the Sunnect AP501 electronic deadbolt as the perfect lock for any home today.
Why The Sunnect AP501 Is The Best Electronic Deadbolt
The main feature that makes this lock stand out is that it is pickproof and vandalism proof because there is no keyhole to put gum or glue in and no place to insert a pick or “bump key” that is so easily available on the internet and can be used by practically anyone to open a traditional lock without any special training. More on this later.
Other so-called keyless locks might use a keypad to unlock the door but every one of them has a keyhole because they all use a standard key as a backup method of unlocking the door making the lock vulnerable.
Keyholes – The Fatal Flaw In “Keyless Locks”
I mentioned before about bump keys. Have you ever heard of them? I hadn’t either until I started doing my research. It turns out that almost every lock can be “bumped” by making a simple key. Even the newer bump resistant locks can be bumped, it just takes a bit more time.
Normally, I wouldn’t think much about this until I saw that there were plenty of sites that showed how to make and use a bump key. The clincher was a news story that showed a child using a bump key on someone’s front door!
That’s when my antennae went up because if lock bumping was this pervasive it was only a matter of time before my small town would start seeing burglars and kids looking to have a little fun start to use this technique.
Since I didn’t want any of these “keyless locks” with a keyhole in it the field got narrowed down pretty quickly. I next looked into biometric locks. You know, the kind that can scan your fingerprint or eye like in the movies?
Why I Can’t Recommend A Biometric Lock
Well, it turns out that while these types of keyless locks are definitely cool they do not work well, especially outdoors where extreme weather conditions and sounds can cause them to malfunction. Add in the fact that fingerprint scanners and voice microphones can be vandalized and once again you end up with a vulnerable lock. Plus, I have read more reviews of people frustrated by fingerprint scanners not working than I ever wanted to.
How About RFID Technology?
The last type of lock I researched before making my decision were keyless locks that used RFID technology like the kind found on most new cars. My Toyota Camry Hybrid has this kind of lock and for a car it works great but not for my home.
The things that I didn’t like about these keyless locks were the sensor housings that could be compromised and the fact that they use more battery power if they are always in “on” mode or require an activation button which I felt was an inconvenience.
As I whittled away my list it became more obvious to me that the Sunnect electronic deadbolt was the only truly keyless lock that was worthy of further consideration.
In fact, National Locksmith magazine said that the AP501 is “one tough deadbolt…built like a tank” so I knew I was on the right track.
What Makes The Sunnect AP501 The Perfect Keyless Lock?
Sunnect started with a blank slate and designed an electric deadbolt that provides a high level of safety and security not found in other electronic deadbolts or traditional locking mechanisms at an affordable price.
The thing that stands out to me is that it is really keyless because it uses a backlit keypad or an electronic “key” to unlock it. It also has advanced security features like decoy digits to thwart hackers, an intruder alarm with adjustable volume and a special bypass circuit to stop high-voltage shock attacks on the lock.
How Strong Is The Sunnect Lock?
Given enough time and using heavy duty power tools no lock is 100 percent secure but the Sunnect electronic deadbolt lock is designed to make it one of the most reliable door locks on the market today.
The lock itself weighs six pounds and is made of a tough heavy-duty zinc alloy that is designed to withstand prying, hammering sawing and kicking. In fact, there is a famous video where the lock is shot several times and still functions!
The World Famous Bullet Test
All of the vital parts of the lock like the CPU, deadbolt drive, motor and batteries are mounted in a housing on the inside of the door making it safe from vandals and potential burglars.
Even drilling the lock will not help because of a specially-treated protective plate that blocks access to the deadbolt control mechanism. Most keyless locks do not have this protective feature and once the outside of the lock is compromised the deadbolt is easily accessible.
Inside the bore hole behind the protective plate is a deadbolt latch bracket that provides one more barrier to limit access to the Sunnect deadbolt latch control mechanism.
The heavy duty one-inch throwbolt is strengthened with a 5-mm thick carbon rod that resists sawing making it very difficult for anyone trying to saw the throwbolt and combined with a strong strike plate, strike lining box and door frame reinforcer the AP501 helps strengthen the door frame against force exerted against it from the outside.
High-tech criminals that use high-voltage equipment to try and burn out the printed circuit board of the AP501 to disable the lock will be frustrated because of the unique bypass circuitry that fully protects the circuit board from this type of attack.
As far as I can tell Sunnect has thought about everything that someone could possibly do to one of their keyless locks to compromise it and planned for it which makes me feel very comfortable about recommending it to you.
Here’s a quick list of some of the features of the AP501:
- Digital technology (Patent-pending) featuring keyless entry with backlit keypad, decoy digits (random digits can be entered before the real code), automatic locking, intruder alarm and master function
- Key components (motor, batteries, computer chips) mounted on the secure inside of the door to protect against extreme weather and vandalism
- Simple 3-step code registration (3 to 20 digits) and digital keys (up to 20 keys and 1 master) and quick and safe deletion of any lost keys
- Lost or stolen keys cannot be duplicated
- Standard installation with a Phillips screwdriver and guaranteed to fit any standard American door
- 2 digital keys and 4 AA batteries included, features visual and audible low-battery warning and a 9-Volt external temporary power terminal in case of a complete battery discharge
- Special bypass circuitry to protect against high-voltage attacks
- No keyhole to pick or vandalize
- Auto lock feature locks door after approximately 3 seconds when it is closed but can be temporarily turned off during periods of high traffic
- Three beautiful finishes to choose from Bright Brass, Satin Nickel or Aged Bronze
- Cycle tested 200,00 times which equates to 54 years of opening a door 10 times a day under extreme weather and temperature conditions
What Do Others Say?
People that have invested in this lock had this to say…
“The Rolls Royce of deadbolts”
“This is it. Top of the line.”
“Best deadbolt keypad I’ve ever seen!”
Here Is What The Pros Say About Sunnect Locks…
“In my 30 years in the locksmith business, I have seen quite a few residential door locks and the Sunnect AP501 is by far the very best. I installed the very first AP501 we got at my own home and my family absolutely loves it! It’s so well-made we can’t find a fault in this lock.”
-Ken Berkley, Manager of the 20 service centers at Baldino’s Lock and Key
“As part of serving our clients with extreme security needs, we deploy high-end surveillance systems and ultra-secure alarm systems, but what has been lacking is a rugged and effective electronic lock solution. From our testing of the unit we have acquired, the Sunnect AP501 meets all of our needs and the needs of the clients that we foresee in the future.”
-Stephen Weatherly, CISSP, Chief Security Consultant, Wise Guy Solutions, LLC, an information security consulting company, after testing the Sunnect AP501 digital door lock for their clients
Are There Any Negatives?
As far as I can tell the only real negative is the price. Most sites sell this lock for over $300 but the last time I checked on Amazon (that’s where I buy all of my stuff from) they were selling it for as low as $246.99 for the Satin Nickel finish with free shipping.
I know $246.99 sounds like a lot for a lock but like my friend said to me the other day, “You buy cheap, you buy twice.” Plus I figure my family is worth it.
I realize this was a long review about keyless locks but I wanted to be sure you had all the facts before you make a decision. Thanks for stopping by and be safe.
Filed under: Electronic Deadbolt
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