One of the most convenient types of front door deadbolt door locks you can install on your home is a keypad deadbolt system. Typical keypad deadbolt door locks typically come with a digital keypad or pushbutton system for programming codes into your lock. The codes can then be punched in the correct order giving you access to your home without the need of a standard key.
Sounds simple enough and it really is. Keyless entry deadbolts are not nearly as cheap as standard dead bolt locks but they do install relatively easily enough and they offer homeowners a much more valuable product than standard locks.
Basically a deadbolt that requires a key cannot operate with different keys for different people. Obviously keys cannot be “deactivated either” meaning if a key is compromised either through theft, loss, or excessive duplication the only way you can regain the security of your home is to replace the lock in its entirety.
This isn’t expensive but it is annoying and will take an hour or two out of your day.
The keypad deadbolt door lock system is better. It allows you to program a single code to unlock your door for yourself and your family. This code can be reset to any other code at any time giving you the freedom to “change your locks” every month or year or whenever you feel the need to do so.
Imagine if you have a house sitter over for a weekend. You can program a secondary code just for the sitter to use. Then when you get home you don’t have to exchange keys again but can simple deactivate the push-button code you gave the sitter restoring the security of your home.
But are these keypad deadbolt locks safe and secure?
This depends of course on the lock you buy but for the most part they are perfectly secure so long as you buy a quality lock. Like all things in life you get what you pay for. If you buy one of the cheapest deadbolt door locks you can find then your lock may have electronic malfunction. You may be fine but why take that chance.
Quality keyless entry deadbolts can be found in the neighborhood of $100 or higher. Most come with an electronic keypad for you to program and use to unlock and lock your home. Additionally most come with a key and keyhole for backup in case of mechanical, electronic, or battery failure. These keyholes act just like a normal deadbolt system and are vulnerable to lock picking and lock bumping just like a normal deadbolt would be.
The safest route would be to buy a keyless entry deadbolt which does not have a keyhole. This would effectively make the door lock pick proof and bump proof but would require you to remember the programmed codes at all times.
Mechanical only deadbolt systems are sometimes a little cheaper than the battery operated electrical versions but many of them lack some of the options like multiple codes that electronic versions offer.
As far as safety goes a traditional deadbolt is vulnerable to lock picking and bumping which can be accomplished by experienced people in seconds. Pushbutton systems are safer in that it would take hours to try sequentially all the 10,000 possible combinations of a keyless entry system but of course someone could conceivable do this.
High end keypad deadbolt systems like the Schlage BE365VCAM716 Camelot Keypad Deadbolt thwart this by deactivating completely after multiple failed attempts to type in the code. This is yet another reason to switch your codes out from time to time when you have one of these locks and to stay away from the cheap deadbolt options.