Cipher Locks: Know Before You Buy

A cipher lock features a keypad, which can be used to unlock the door or object. By entering a short code into the keypad, a person can open the door and gain access to what’s inside.

Cipher locks are a handy tool for access control, and are often much easier to manage than keyed locks. On their own, they’re not the most robust way to protect sensitive or valuable assets. But in conjunction with other security measures, they’re a great way to secure a door.

When shopping for a cipher lock, the most important question is: how tough a lock do I need? You can find inexpensive locks for under $100, and these will be enough to deter most people. This Signstek cipher lock, for instance, is a great pick for most purposes.

A Signstek cipher lock.

For greater security, you might also consider a lock that meets the ANSI grade 1 standard. Any lock that meets this standard have been tested to withstand six strikes of up to 360 pounds of force. But tougher locks are more expensive, and grade 1 locks typically run just shy of $300. That money can be worth it, especially if you’re protecting especially valuable or vulnerable assets.

For a grade 1 lock, the Alarm Lock Trilogy model won’t disappoint. This sturdy lock has been tested and certified to take a serious beating.

An Alarm Lock Trilogy T2.

Which lock you pick comes down to what you need to secure. A public bathroom at a coffee shop probably doesn’t need a grade 1 lock, for instance – any one who takes that out with a sledgehammer is probably in dire need of some time in the bathroom. But to protect a server room that holds sensitive data, it can’t hurt to spend a little extra on a stronger lock.

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Michael X. Heiligenstein

Michael X. Heiligenstein is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Firewall Times. He has six years of experience in online publishing and marketing. Before founding the Firewall Times, he was Vice President of SEO at Fit Small Business, a website devoted to helping small business owners. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in English and History.