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It may be a little unusual to point out how a modern product benefits by not having WiFi, Bluetooth, Alexa, or really any connection to the internet or other devices at all. But sometimes, you can’t beat the old school feeling of physical touch — and the security of a can’t-be-duplicated fingerprint. That’s where a fingerprint lock comes into play.
How Do Fingerprint Locks Work?
As the name suggests, the best fingerprint padlocks use your unique fingerprint to unlock the device, meaning you can bypass annoying digital codes or passwords you never remember.
That’s far from the only benefit though, as a smart-padlock immediately eliminates the hassles of traditional locks — no more forgetting where you put the keys, or forgetting the combination altogether. With a smart-lock, the key was in your hands all along. One registered fingerprint is all it takes to pop it open, then close it back up and feel assured that your stuff is safe from being stolen.
While some smart padlocks are more secure than others, both in their mechanical design as well as fingerprint scanning quality, most are able to hold at least a few hands’ worth of prints. Not only is this more than enough for an entire family to have full access, but it’s also advised to get at least a couple of your own prints recorded into the unit, for the times when your initial fingerprint may not be recognizable. This can be a huge help when your main finger is covered in dirt, paint, or bandaged up.
There’s a varying degree of how much of the outdoor elements these locks can weather, but most are rated an IP65 on the Ingress Protection code scale, meaning that generally they can hold up to dust, wind and water. But before you buy a lock that’s going to live outside, or guard something important, always make sure it’s up to the task.
These four options are all fingerprint-friendly, and completely disconnected from anything that could leak your data.
1. Inovare Fingerprint Padlock
Inovare’s sleek, shiny silver lock features a smooth and minimal design, constructed from zinc alloy and ideally-sized for gym lockers, suitcases and tool boxes. It’s the best of modern technology without any of the unnecessary add-ons to complicate it, like number pads, WiFi, Bluetooth, memorizing passwords or accompanying apps that gain access to your phone and information.
The lock uses minimal power – one charge can last for months, and an included micro-USB cable charges it back up fast when it dies. It’s also able to be kept outdoors in most conditions, as its IP65 waterproof rating means it’s resistant to dust and rain.
Setup was incredibly easy, and took less that 30 seconds to get it up and running. Simply hold down the locking lever for five seconds until the light blinks, press your desired finger tip onto it at a few different angles, and that’s it. You’re also able to program up to 39 fingerprints to add more users (or more of your own fingers).
2. Master Lock Fingerprint Padlock
For nearly 100 years, Master Lock has been creating quality locks, and the company holds the first patent for the laminated steel padlock design.
A century later and they’re still at it. As soon as you pick up this fingerprint lock, a few words instantly come to mind: tough, solid, heavy-duty and made for the long-haul. Crafted from hardened boron alloy shackle to be extra resistant to cutting, this beast is built to secure sheds, gates, and storage units – even outdoors, as there’s a detachable, rubberized, weather-cover for protection against rain, snow, dust and storms.
All your personal data is kept safe since there’s no required app to pair it with. Setup took a few tries (as did getting it out of the extremely secure packaging), and requires inputting an initial entry code into the well-integrated keypad around the sensor. Once that’s done, you can start recording fingerprints, and a single print is all it takes to unlock the unit easily (though you can store up to 10).
The battery inside can last well over a year, and the keypad also acts as a reliable backup option, a nice feature that many other brands don’t have, and can often leave you sitting there with a portable battery waiting for your lock to charge back up.
3. IFOLAINA Fingerprint Smart Touch Lock
The IfoLaina’s body is built from zinc alloy, with the lock beam made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel that’s tough to cut.
Setup is similar to the others – hold down the bridge until it blinks, then start recording your print. The difference here is that it requires double the amount of your print from all different angles, which cuts down on misreads and errors in future unlockings.
The rechargeable lithium battery can last up to three whole months on a single charge, or even longer with light use – up to two years in standby mode, and can easily be juiced back up when it reaches zero. Up to 10 users can be added (with the initial owner’s authorization), no app is needed, and an IP65 rating means it’s safe to leave outside in wet and windy conditions.
4. eLinkSmart Fingerprint Padlock
This compact lock features a 1000mah lithium battery with an exceptionally long standby time – up to 12 months.
An aluminum alloy body and steel bridge holds tough against cutting and picking, and is designed to be unlocked over 2000 times before needing a full recharge. The unit alerts you when battery is low, and charges up in under an hour with an included micro-USB cable.
Setup is simple, and the detailed instruction manual walks you through it, complete with clear illustrations. This can hold up to 20 different fingerprints – enough for the entire family to add a few each.