Author Archives: Christopher Null

Lockly Secure Plus Review: Biometrics comes to the smart lock

Lockly’s big sell is that most smart locks aren’t very smart at all, that “90 percent of smart locks can easily be accessed by individuals who you do not want in your home or office.” Lockly hints at the reason for this problem (more on this later), but it’s ultimate claim is that Lockly’s devices are more secure. While that might be true, one has to wonder: With a lock so difficult to install and manage, how much security can it really provide if it never makes it out of the box?

Operationally, Lockly takes the smart lock in a few different directions than the typical lock. It has nearly all the features you could look for: Smartphone control, touchscreen access, a failsafe lock for a physical key, and even a 9-volt battery backup on the exterior if your AAs fail while you’re outside and you don’t have your key. The lock is available in six total combinations of door type (deadbolt or latch, with a sturdy handle), finish (satin nickel or Venetian bronze), and security level (Secure or Secure Plus). Secure Plus (reviewed here) includes a fingerprint reader—a rarity in smart locks—while the Secure version does not.

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Cove Home Security review: In search of the simplest security system

Consumers might shy away from DIY security systems for a few reasons—perceived lack of genuine security, fear that their investment will be wasted on a broken system—but one of the biggest is a perennial DIY con: It might be too difficult to install and manage. That’s a fair criticism of many smart home products, and it's led some manufacturers to focus squarely on that very problem. Products like SimpliSafe even put “simple” in their name in the hopes of proving that a do-it-yourself security setup can be as easy as operating your toaster.

Newcomer Cove takes direct aim at SimpliSafe (and Ring’s Ring Alarm) with its offering, and it’s designed to be as foolproof as is humanly possible. The secret sauce is that Cove is largely configured for you before it's shipped. You specify what sensors you want when you purchase it, and these are paired to the Cove hub at the factory.

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