Door Unlock Automation? How do you reduce security risks?

Then why buy a smartlock?

I think using a keypad kind of defeats the purpose of why one might want a keyless lock. When you have a keyless car you can go up to it and as long as u are carrying your key it unlocks for you. So I think having the house lock do that is also convenient. As long as you are carrying the presence sensor then it should be able to unlock for you as long as certain other parameters for security are met. Plus typing in a pin code has the risk of prying eyes seeing what you are entering

I see where you’re going however I would present an alternate view on security.

A key is physical and fixed. (You can rekey but it’s painful). You can lose it, it can be stolen or copied. If anyone has your key or a copy of it they can unlock your door.

Key codes are virtual, ie you don’t carry anything. Plus you can change it instantly. So if there are prying eyes it’s a breeze to fix.

The other type is presence. Now that’s half way between a key code and a key. It physical like a key. Means it’s can be stolen or lost (not copied). If someone has access to your presence sensor they can now not only unlock your door it also disarm your security system and actually compromise your security more than just having a key.

While a key code still needs to be typed it is inherently more secure than a presence sensor.

Having said that yes a presence sensor is “easier” to use since you don’t have to use your hands (well you still need to unlatch and open your door).

So it’s a trade off between security and convenience :slight_smile:

As for looks the Yale YRD locks look just a sleek. In fact some models like Connexis support both keypad and RFID tags.

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In my case, I am quadriparetic and use a power wheelchair. Automation unlocks the deadbolt and then my service dog opens the door. :sunglasses::dog:

( not my dog, but mine knows the same behavior )


Primarily to lock the door for me. My family is HORRIBLE at locking the door behind them so my SmartLocks lock themselves after a certain period if the contact has not been opened.

Setting the Alarm also locks the doors.

I live in a condensed neighborhood as well but I am fortunate enough where our iPhones does a pretty good of geofencing. Unlocking when we arrive works 98% of the time.

Another great reason for a Smart Lock is Remote Access.

How about assigning a 1 time use key code or a key code that expires after a certain amount of time.

Oooo Oooh what about, “Alexa, Open “secret word”…

Oh wait here’s another one, Ring Ring Hmmm who is it, let me check. Oh, well instead of me walking down the stairs, how about I just press this button next to my bed…

Dammit! The internet is down. Don’t have a key…Thank God I have a key Code that works locally.

Ok ok last one. Alexa, “ Is the front door locked?”

These are all real world uses for me.


(bedtime, on the third floor) “Honey can you check if I locked the front door?” Smart locks have saved me many many late night steps in the last year. Plus, they tell me when our cleaners arrived and left so I can grumble about what our payment works out to hourly, compared to what the individuals who show up are likely making…


I don’t know if this helps, but one way to secure presence sensor activation is to create scripts that automatically re-lock the door if it has not been opened within X minutes.

I do this in webcore. Presence alone can unlock the door, but it re-locks within two minutes if the door is not opened. This does two things: 1. It gives me time to bring in the garbage/recycling pails, gather the mail from the mailbox, etc while still having an unlocked door to easily walk in (such as with groceries), and 2. It re-locks the door if I do not go in! So if I drive by or whatever and the door unlocks, the security gap is minimal.

Basically, someone would have to be waiting around my door all the time, ready to break in, to leverage that. The odds against that incredibly infrequent “accidental unlock” occurring at the exact moment a thief is trying to get in the front door are astronomical enough that I consider it a non-concern.

All that said, I like the idea of biometric access. Then again, if my face can unlock the door then why would I need a presence sensor at all?


I just took delivery of my Yale Conexis L1 lock. I purchased it with a z-wave module but just realised it’s the first generation z-wave so considering returning the z-wave module and buying the second gen from somewhere else. Does anyone know the difference between gen 1 and gen2? I believe security is better on the second gen and the first generation apparently has some vulnerabilities.

For I manually lock my doors, but have a five minute auto-lock.

For auto opening I rely on two presence sensors before unlocking door using WebCore.
My wife’s or my phone is the first sensor, and a SmartThings’s presences fob in our cars is the other one.
If any combination of the phone and car arrival within 3 minutes of each other a door will unlock.

Since the SmartThings fobs have a short range, I need to be in my drive way for it to register as arrived.

If you’re using the new smartthings app, how do you create the presence sensor of your phone to use in webcore?

After moving to the new app earlier this year, most of my automatics broke and I’m struggling to get this one (arguable the most valuable to me) working again.

Unfortunately, you can’t. They changed the design philosophy for security items in the new app. See the following FAQ, it’s the same issue for unlocking doors. :disappointed_relieved:

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The Classic app works great, so I’m curious as to why you want to move to the new app?

WebCoRE does not work with phone (mobile) presence sensors in the new app. Nor can it control SHM or Samsung appliances in the new app.

Edited my post to reflect phone presence sensor since it led to confusion.

WebCoRE does work with Samsung arrival sensors - the device you can purchase.

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You can use presence to turn on and off a virtual switch.

Some folks feel it’s mandatory to always be on the latest version of an app. Regardless of consequence.

I received notification that the old app was being sunset and that I needed to move to the new one. If that’s not the case, I’ll go back, it was a much better experience.

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Not anytime soon. They have a lot of work pending on the new app before it’s ready for prime time.
I believe the staff has mentioned that the Classic app is no longer being worked upon (except for critical security updates). This by no means says that it’s ready for sunset, if this were to happen anytime soon it would create total havoc as the new app (apart from not being completely stable and still slow) doesn’t support installing custom apps/devices as yet and is missing many critical features (such as routines, SHM control, lock/presence automations) which folks still use very happily on the Classic app.

So yeah, go ahead and use the Classic app and you won’t be missing out on much.

There’s no guarantee of when it will be. If they shut down the classic app tomorrow, there would be a group of power users (the majority of members of this forum) who would be really mad, but the majority of smartthings customers wouldn’t care. (they have told us many times that the majority of their customers have 15 or fewer devices and never use any custom code.)

Look at what Google is doing with the “works with nest“ program. My guess is Samsung is going to be watching customer reaction to that pretty closely. If google gets through that process without a huge PR hit, Samsung may be more tempted to drop the classic app sooner.

The untold story of Google I/O 2019 - The killing of "Works with Nest" developer program

There are now quite a few devices that work with the new V3 app but don’t work with classic.

Sunset is coming, we just don’t know how fast the planet is spinning. :wink:

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You’re right in principle but in reality in ST’s world things are measured in years :slight_smile:

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I use webcore to do it. My rule is:

  1. My phone or my wife’s phone are present for < 10 minutes
  2. The front door lock didn’t change in the last 10 minutes
  3. The storm door opens

So for it to be triggered when I’m not at the stoop would require someone to open my storm door when I have just returned to the geofence but I’m not yet at my door. It doesn’t unlock if I pass through, and if I don’t leave the geofence (like if I’m at the neighbor’s or the bar on the corner) it won’t unlock. It also won’t unlock a second time (like if the UPS guy comes and opens my storm door after I just came home).

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