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A Key Free Front Door Comes Courtesy of the U-Bolt Pro Smart Deadlock

Updated on May 14, 2020

Why An Electronic Lock?

There’s a lot of reasons why having an electronic lock for the front door makes sense: there’s no key to lose; it’s easier to punch tabs/buttons than having to pull out a key when your hands are full; remembering to lock the door becomes easier. There’s plenty more reasons but let’s add one for the senior population that often gets overlooked — that not having to turn a key in a lock can be a hardship where arthritis and other hand age-related infirmities occur. So cheers for electronic locks in general, but not all are poised to get a thumbs up. Ultraloq’s U- Bolt Pro Smart Deadbolt does.

The U-Bolt Connects

The U-Bolt has a number of things going for it and is indeed smart. But don’t worry about WiFi security breaches because it won’t access a home network unless the optional hub is purchased. That doesn’t mean U-Bolt’s I.Q. has just gone down a few notches — Bluetooth is the wireless means it can use. Which is a lot less problematic due to BT’s limited range and secure operating system. But its too early to talk about BT, because we should start with how U-Bolt looks, then go into its uncomplicated physical setup, then how it can now be used physically and end with the digital side of things.

The Physical

U-Bolt consists of two parts that are seen: the exterior which sort of resembles a hockey puck surrounded by a sundial of numbers, a center button and a bottom tab (with the company name getting its due). On the other side will be a vertical case hugging the door with batteries and a rotating knob at the bottom. Installation is stated as simple but does require following some steps exactly. Oh, let’s also mention that the front door needs to be a standard deadbolt lock: no Mortise locks or rim locks. We walked around our neighborhood looking at locks (and explaining far too often why we were doing it) and every front door lock was standard. YMMV but odds not.


Putting It Together

So you start by removing the existing lock and this usually takes about 10 minutes — removing screws on the inside, pulling off the front and back plate and then removing screws so that the deadbolt can come out. Now follow this by inserting a specialized deadbolt, and then U-Bolt’s front and back parts. Four high-powered “AA” batteries are then added. Of course what is being said here just touches on the procedure, so plan on reading the manual and watching a video or two on YouTube to make it all go down easy. It shouldn’t take more than 20-40 minutes at the most for the majority of people.

The Choices

You’ve now 5 choices as to how to open the front door (exiting is done in the usual manner of turning the knob to release the deadbolt — although now the front door will automatically lock once you have closed the front door behind you after a default time of 30 seconds. Choice #1i\\\\\s to place your index finger against that center “button” so it can be read and identified as you — having set this up earlier the deadbolt now retracts. Choice #2 is to punch in a sequence of numbers — 4-8 numbers can be used to create the code that unlocks the deadbolt (although the U-Bolt will light up to make seeing the numbers easier, an anti-peep function makes it hard for others to see what you punched in.

Choice #3 is to use a provided standard key, which requires flipping down the front to reveal the keyhole. This is a perfect failsafe if the batteries go belly-up (even though you are warned when battery power is running low). So that’s the 20th Century security, which now brings up the 21st Century choices. #4 is using a specialized iOS/Android app on your smartphone which works through Bluetooth. This let you lock or unlock the door once in BT range as well as monitor door use and create temporary codes for use by visitors/guests on an as-needed basis through dates and times. he app provides a lot of control, but it’s not invasive about it.

The final #5 also works with the phone — letting you shake it at the lock to have it open. Just make sure to keep a good grip on it as you do.

An Electronic Lock is Advantageous

The advantages of an electronic lock are self-evident, but the difficulty has been getting a quality product that will perform its task in a number of ways without being confusing. The U-Bolt Pro Smart Deadlock eliminates all the barriers against eliminating the front door key. Plus it retails for less than $200.00 ($189.99). For more details go to https://store.u-tec.com/pages/ultraloq-u-bolt-pro-bluetooth-enabled-fingerprint-and-keypad-smart-deadbolt

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