Biometric Readers
Pros: no combination to remember; nothing to misplace; can be integrated with a computer or security system
Cons: expensive, delicate; should be installed indoors
Price: $1,300 to $2,800
Shown: Star 2000-FP (Image #6), which can store up to 640 different fingerprints

For the ultimate in gee-whiz technology, there are biometric readers that can recognize a hand shape or fingerprint. These devices — the most costly keyless locks on the market — typically store 100 individual prints and can be connected to a computer so you can keep a history of comings and goings. Like proximity-card readers or hardwired keypads, biometric readers are designed to operate either magnetic locks or electric strikes.

The problem is these readers are so sensitive that they must be protected from the elements, extreme temperatures, and vandalism. As a consequence, manufacturers recommend that they be used indoors to control access to certain rooms or areas of the house.

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