Smart Locks vs Electronic Locks: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to securing your home or office, understanding the differences between smart locks and electronic locks can help you make an informed decision. Both types of locks aim to provide enhanced security, but they come with their unique features and benefits.

You might be wondering what sets smart locks apart from electronic locks. In a nutshell, smart locks are integrated into your smart home system, allowing you to control them remotely with a smartphone or other device. This means you can lock or unlock doors without relying on traditional keys or pin pads. Electronic locks, on the other hand, often utilize keypads, card readers, or other physical inputs to grant access, without necessarily connecting to the internet or offering remote control options.

As you delve into the world of smart locks and electronic locks, you’ll discover various features, such as virtual keys and door sense technology, that could help you determine which type of lock is best suited for your needs. Keep in mind, though, the key to choosing a lock is to find the one that matches your security requirements, budget, and user preferences.

Understanding Smart Locks

As you explore the world of smart locks, it’s important to have a clear understanding of their functions and features, as well as how they integrate with smart home systems. This will help you make an informed decision about whether a smart lock is the right choice for your home.

Functions and Features

Smart locks offer several key functions and features to enhance your home security and make your life more convenient:

  • App control: Unlike electronic locks, smart locks can be controlled and monitored through mobile apps or web interfaces, allowing you to lock and unlock your door remotely.
  • Virtual keys: You can grant temporary or permanent access to family members, friends, or service providers by sending virtual keys through the app.
  • Door sense technology: Some models come with door sense technology to notify you if your door is left open or not properly closed.
  • Alarms and monitoring: Smart locks can also send alarms and monitor status or event-related activities, enhancing overall security.

Integration with Smart Home Systems

One of the key advantages of a smart lock is its ability to integrate with other smart home devices and systems:

  • Voice control: Many smart locks have compatibility with virtual assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, allowing you to unlock or lock your door using voice commands.
  • Home automation systems: Smart locks can be integrated with popular home automation systems such as IFTTT, Z-Wave, and Zigbee, enabling you to set up automated routines with other connected devices.
  • Security systems: Pairing your smart lock with a security system or video doorbell provides an extra layer of protection and visibility for your home.

By taking these functionalities and integrations into account, you can make an informed choice when considering whether a smart lock is right for your home security needs.

Exploring Electronic Locks

In this section, you’ll learn about electronic locks and their key features, including their working mechanism and the common types available in the market.

Working Mechanism

Electronic locks work similarly to traditional key-based locks but don’t require a physical key. Instead, they rely on electric currents to activate or deactivate the locking mechanism. Electronic locks increase security by using a combination of passwords, PIN codes, or access cards that you can easily change or update in case of loss, theft, or the need to grant temporary access to someone.

Common Types

Various electronic lock types dominate the market, each with unique features and applications:

  • Keypad locks: These locks use a numeric keypad where you input a pre-set code to unlock the door. The advantage of keypad locks is the ease of sharing access codes with guests or service providers without needing to make duplicate keys.
  • Card reader locks: These locks work with a card containing electronic information, such as a magnetic strip or RFID chip. You swipe or tap the card near the lock to grant access. You’ll often see these types of locks in commercial buildings and hotels.
  • Biometric locks: High-tech and highly secure, biometric locks use your unique biological information to grant access. Fingerprint scanners are a common example of biometric locks, although some models also use facial recognition, voice recognition, or retinal scanning.

Now that you have a good understanding of electronic locks, it’s essential to explore smart locks to see how they differ and what additional features they offer.

Key Differences

Security Features

When comparing smart locks and electronic locks, it’s essential to consider their security features. Smart locks often come with a range of advanced security options, such as virtual keys and door sense technology, which are not available in most electronic locks. Electronic locks, on the other hand, typically use pin codes and can sometimes offer additional features like remote control and integrated alarm systems.


One of the primary differences between smart locks and electronic locks is their convenience. Smart locks provide keyless entry and can be operated from your smartphone app, which means you can lock and unlock your door from anywhere, even when you’re not at home. Electronic locks generally require manual input, such as entering a pin code on a keypad, and don’t offer the same remote access capabilities as smart locks.


Another key difference between the two types of locks is their connectivity options. Smart locks have built-in connectivity features that allow them to connect with your smartphone and other smart devices in your home. This offers you greater control over your entire home security system, as well as the ability to manage multiple locks from a single app or device.

On the other hand, electronic locks usually do not have such connectivity features and tend to operate independently. While certain electronic locks may offer some level of integration with other devices or systems, they generally lack the extensive connectivity options found in smart locks.

Choosing the Right Lock

Consider Your Home Environment

When deciding between a smart lock and an electronic lock, think about your home’s connectivity and the level of security desired. If you have a smart home setup, a smart lock might be a better option, as it can communicate with other devices and be controlled from anywhere via mobile app. On the other hand, an electronic lock offers a decent level of security with a keypad for access, making it suitable if you don’t require advanced features.

Budget Constraints

Next, consider your budget, which plays a significant role in your decision. Generally, smart locks tend to be more expensive than electronic locks due to their advanced features and connectivity options. Electronic locks, while offering fewer features, are typically more affordable. Weigh the costs and benefits of each type of lock to determine which one is the best fit for your financial situation.

Installation Process

Lastly, consider the installation process and your level of technical expertise. Electronic locks usually have a straightforward installation process that doesn’t require professional help. Smart locks, on the other hand, may require additional steps, such as integrating with a smart home system, and could benefit from a professional installation. Think about how comfortable you are tackling the installation or if you’re willing to hire a professional to ensure proper functionality.


In summary, both smart locks and electronic locks offer increased security and convenience for your home. However, the main distinction between them lies in their connectivity capabilities and features.

Smart locks are designed to integrate with your smart home system, allowing you to control and monitor access using your smartphone. You can easily grant or revoke access to specific individuals and receive notifications on your device. In addition, smart locks often include advanced features, such as virtual keys and door sense technology.

On the other hand, electronic locks utilize keypads, card readers, or remote controls for access without the need for a physical key. Although they lack the more advanced features of smart locks, electronic locks still offer a higher level of security than traditional locks.

To help you choose the best option for your needs, consider the following:

  • How important is integrating with your smart home system?
  • Do you prefer the convenience of using your smartphone for access?
  • How essential are advanced features such as virtual keys and door sense technology to you?
  • What is your budget for upgrading your home’s security?

By weighing the pros and cons of smart locks and electronic locks, you can confidently decide which lock system is the best fit for your home and lifestyle.