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How can I unlock my front door when I'm out of town?


Other Z-wave Devices

Schlage's software lets you do more than just lock and unlock your doors. It also lets you set multiple codes and then keep track of when those codes are used. First, instead of giving each family member a key, you assign them a personal code. The Schlage software keeps a 90-day log of every code used to unlock the door.

Parents might find this option particularly useful. Imagine you're the parent of a teenage boy. He claims he got home at the agreed-upon hour of 9 p.m. You can pull up your LiNK software program and check the records to see if he's fibbing. All you have to do is look for his code and the time stamp for when it was used that night. Or you can set your system so that it sends you a text message whenever someone uses a specific code to get into the house.

The LiNK system isn't limited to networking locks. You can also purchase other Z-wave devices such as modules for lights, thermostats, window shade controls and video cameras. These modules can receive commands from the Bridge. That means that with the right equipment, you can control everything from your house's temperature to its lighting from the other side of the world.

If you connect a camera to a Z-wave module, you can look at a live video feed. Mounting a camera outside your front door allows you to see who is there at any time of the day. This can come in handy if you want to let someone in but don't want to go through the trouble of giving that person a temporary code. You can have the person call you when he or she arrives at your house. Then you can use the camera to verify the person's identity before you unlock the door. You can also set the video camera to record footage -- potentially useful if someone is trying to break into your home.

Will Schlage's system revolutionize home security? The list of features is certainly impressive. But the technology comes with a fairly hefty price tag and requires an ongoing monthly subscription fee of $12.99. It remains to be seen if consumers think the value of the system justifies the price.

To learn more about wireless technologies, take a look at the links on the next page.