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Tapplock One review: Tapplock puts the future of padlocks at your fingertips

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The Good The Tapplock One offers the classic design of a padlock with added smarts.

The Bad Security researchers have pointed out physical and software security issues with the Tapplock One. Firmware updates are reportedly in the works.

The Bottom Line The Tapplock One offers multiple ways to unlock, but security flaws and questions about physical durability mean we can't recommend this lock in its current version.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

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Editor's note, June 1: It's come to our attention that the Tapplock One may have a design flaw, one that allows an attacker to twist off the back plate and use a standard screwdriver to quickly disassemble the lock. We've haven't independently confirmed this yet, and are currently investigating. We'll let you know what we find out.

Update, June 15: We've tested repeatedly, and can confirm: Not every Tapplock is vulnerable to the suction cup trick. The Tapplock's digital security also appears to have major issues. In response, the company says it's solving security issues with a firmware update rolling out now. After the first report of phone hacking, another security researcher found anyone can obtain sensitive information, locate and open the lock by pulling the information directly from the company's API server. The Tapplock One is no longer available for purchase directly through Amazon. Tapplock is reportedly working on these issues, but until they are fully resolved, we can't recommend the Tapplock One. 

Our original review, originally rated 3.5 stars, follows:

Padlocks might not be the stars of the home security world, but they've quietly offered reliable security for decades, guarding tool sheds, bikes, middle school lockers and everything in between. In recent years, Padlocks have evolved to include technologies like Bluetooth and even fingerprint reading.

Tapplock One is a $99 padlock that unlocks via Bluetooth, fingerprint or Morse code (yes, really). With two methods of entry in addition to Bluetooth, I'd recommend Tapplock as a flexible way to secure and monitor valuables without a combination code or key. So if you thought you'd always have to remember to turn your lock three times to the right, once to the left and back to the right again, those days are over. Now you just need a fingerprint.

tapp-lock-1

The Tapplock One is a $99 Bluetooth padlock that also includes Morse code entry and a fingerprint reader. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Tapplock One is the debut model from Tapplock, and it's available internationally, with the $99 price converting to roughly £71 and AU$129. The padlock comes in sterling silver, gunmetal gray and midnight black finishes. On the front there is a square fingerprint reader that the Tapplock team claims can unlock the padlock in under 0.8-second. In my testing with a stopwatch, I was able to clock a sub-1-second time on several attempts.

Tapplock app 

Setting up the Tapplock requires downloading the Tapplock app. There, you'll create a login and pair the padlock to your phone via Bluetooth. Once you've paired them, you'll be able to lock or unlock the Tapplock One and create fingerprint profiles and Morse code combinations in the app. The Tapplock stores up to 500 fingerprints, so you can grant access to a long list of friends and family before fingerprint entries run out. 

Of course, adding people and fingerprints to the system requires the person to be physically present, and only the master account can make those changes. That's good, since it prevents a friend with shared access from adding another person without your permission.

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