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Remotely Control Your Dook Lock With Okidokeys

OKIDOKEYS Smart-Lock and App

Whole-house, Internet-connected smart homes are coming at some point relatively soon. Unfortunately, "relatively soon" is hard to pinpoint: the killer system could come online next summer or we could be ten years away from something that works well. In the meantime, there's the Okidokeys remote lock system, a device that aims to do one thing really well: replace your deadbolt with a remote control system that can both make your doors easier to lock and unlock, with the bonus that you can also remotely grant access to friends or service people via the Internet.

OKIDOKEYS Smart-Pack

The basic Smart-Lock attaches to the inside of your door and can be controlled with an Android or iPhone via Bluetooth and an app that you put on your device. Installation isn't complicated: the Smart-Lock attaches to your existing hardware and then syncs with your phone after you create an account online.

You get your choice of white, black, chrome, antique bronze, satin bronze or self-paint covers. The system can be set up to notify you when anyone opens the door via the smartphone app.

Keep in mind that it's designed to work with single cylinder locks that use a thumb turn mechanism on the inside and a key lock on the outside and are separate from the doorknob. That setup covers the vast majority of doors installed in American houses. It's not going to work with a lock that requires a key on both sides. (Of course, you probably want to keep track of your key: the Smart-Lock runs on AAA batteries. They're going to die at some point.)

OKDOKEYS Access-Pack

The Access-Pack ($249) adds the Smart-Reader and a set of RFID tags (wristband, keychain fob and credit card) to the equation. The Smart-Reader attaches to a wall near the door on the outside and reads the RFID tags and sends a signal to open the Smart-Lock. It also functions as a doorbell. RFID tags are good for kids or anyone else who doesn't have a smartphone and additional/replacement RFID tags are reasonably prices (starting around 3 for $10 or so). Keeping a spare RFID tag in your wallet or car gives you a backup if your phone battery dies and you can't find your old-school key, which still works with this setup.

OKIDOKEYS Connect-Pack

The top-of-the-line Connect-Pack ($359) adds the Smart-Gateway, a device that acts as a bridge between the Smart-Lock and your home WiFi network. The wifi functions add the ability to track who opens your door with an RFID tag as well. You can also get notifications of any attempted break-ins and even remotely unlock and lock the door from anywhere.

You can add the Okidokeys system to your gate or garage door for $199 each and manage access via the app. You can also start with the basic Smart-Lock and upgrade to more advanced setups piece by piece.

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The cover for the Smart-Lock is made of plastic. If faux-metal finishes on plastic violate your home aesthetics, buy the paint-your own version and go crazy with the high-end paint job. The Smart-Reader is a plastic device that will go next to your door. It's not cheap-looking but it's definitely got more of an engineer's design aesthetic than a home decorator's.

The entire system is arguably more secure if you stick with the Access-Pack level. If you connect the entire system to the Internet with the Smart-Gateway, your entire setup is only as secure as your web password. If you've got good Internet habits, that should be more than enough. Anyone with a determined ex might want to be more cautious.

Okidokeys has built a system that doesn't require extensive rewiring and can be added to your house without extensive renovations. You don't even need a drill: it attaches with the screws already built into your existing lock. It's a process that should take less than an hour even if you make a few mistakes.

If remote lock access to your house sounds useful, this is a relatively uncomplicated and reasonably priced way to get started.

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