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Category : Locks

  • Keyless Entry: Unlocking a Car Door

    Posted on April 1st, 2014 0 Comments

    keyless-entry-and-ignition-starter

    Keyless entry systems rely on a small transmitter to unlock the car. The transmitter is located in the key fob. When the transmitter triggers the receiver, the door is unlocked. The receiver inside the car is programmed to respond to a certain frequency and code combination.

     

    How does the keyless entry system work?

    When a button is pushed on the key fob, a radio transmitted issues a signal containing a code. If the receiver recognizes the code, it acknowledges it by opening the door. Every system for each car with a remote keyless entry system has a set of rolling codes. Every time the remote is used, the codes are changed. The code is transmitted to the receiver every time the person makes an attempt to unlock or lock the car door. A 40-bit code enables for the use of over a trillion combinations. The code is encrypted, making it difficult to access. 

     

    Why is the keyless entry system secure?

    The system relies on codes and the latest encryption technologies to keep the car secure at all times. It is difficult to gain access to a car with this technology enabled. Incidents involving a car being stolen using a keyless entry system is rare. It is quite difficult to crack the code.

     

    Can the signal to a vehicle be intercepted?

    The process of grabbing an encrypted code to unlock another vehicle is possible. All that is needed to accomplish is temporary access to the code. While the person unlocks the vehicle, someone could intercept it and clone the signal. This makes it possible to gain access to the vehicle in your absence.

     

    Unlocking the car door

    When exiting a car, there are several ways to lock the door. Doing this from within the car using the lock button inside the vehicle or locking the car manually with a key is the safest way to lock the vehicle. If walking away from a vehicle, you can use the remote keyless system via your keychain. This secondary method transmits the code and makes it possible for a third party to gain access to your vehicle. 

     

    The most important thing to remember is that it is still quite rare for one to gain access to your vehicle using the keyless remote entry system but it isn’t impossible. Minimizing the use of your key remote chain reduces the number of times the signal is transmitted. 

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  • E-key Technology: The Lockitron

    Posted on March 13th, 2014 0 Comments

     Lockitron

    E-keys are unique because they improve upon the faults that traditional keys have. You cannot lose them and permanently compromise your security. If you’re late to come home to meet someone like a family member or a friend, you can send them an e-key and tell them to make themselves at home before your arrive. You can’t do that with a traditional key. Oh, and you can retract the e-key if you change your mind. Traditional keys cannot offer these options. E-keys significantly improve on these points. We’ve seen a number of keyless locks let’s see how this compares.

     

    What does the Lockitron boast?

    • Send an e-key to anyone, wherever they are and at any time.
    • Temporarily disable or permanently delete a user from the system.
    • E-keys have no expiration.
    • Traditional keys, and keyfobs are available
    • Access is as simple as walking up to the door.

     

    Usage Tracking

    • See who sent or accepted an e-key
    • See who was enabled or disabled access
    • See who was deleted from the system
    • See real-time push notifications when someone knocks on the door.
    • Check to see if you door was locked or not for peace of mind.

     

    The Lockitron is compatible with all phones and doesn’t need WiFi access to be used. The great thing about the Lockitron is that it has 24/7 support, so that if a phone is lost your locks won’t be vulnerable once you’re able to get into contact with a technician. We really like this lock. It’s one of the first big competitors we’ve seen take aim at the Kēvo by Kwikset. This lock hits the e-lock security market at the right time. Products like the Danalock by Poly-Control and The Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt, have drawn wide interest. All are different in appearance; all apply the functionality at the sake of being user-friendly, reliable and most importantly safe. 

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  • The Future of Key Copying

    Posted on March 6th, 2014 0 Comments

    worryfree-keyme

    KeyMe copies keys. That’s it. But they do it through advanced scanning technology and robotics. According to them, although we have no actual science to back this claim, their keys are more accurately cut then at locksmith and hardware stores. Right now KeyMe has 24/7 kiosks around the city, five or so. At the kiosk you can print a key within minutes. If you need a key for delivery they can do that. And it doesn’t take too long. It costs about $20.00 to complete the order. Shipping and same day is also available. You can do all of this by adding their phone app and scanning your key into the cloud. Once it’s there, you’ll never have to fear throwing money into a locksmith’s pocket for a lockout again. The kiosk key costs $2-$5. That’s possibly a 100% price difference upon a locked out scenario. 

     

    How does it work?

    The first thing one does is download the KeyMe app. Once that’s downloaded, scan your key into the system. A small grid comes up. Your key should be about 4 inches away and under a white piece of paper for the required scan. From your phone you can request immediate keys or use a kiosk near you. It’s that easy. You can even go to a locksmith and have them duplicate the key if you don’t have the original on hand.

     

    Here are the benefits so far

    • Backup your keys
    • Share and duplicate keys 24/7
    • Request immediate delivery or planned delivery of keys
    • Never again get triumphantly ripped off by a locked out service.

     

    Security

    What are the security issues? Well, KeyMe has thought about that too: They promote that they store as little information about you as possible. They do not store information which links you to a residence. Well, that’s good. They also require verification of transaction. You need mobile registration and email certification for digital completion. At a Kiosk you need to finger print and credit card. Additionally, scanning of a key cannot be done in a “flyby” way. Meaning, someone can not just take a quick picture of your keys and get them duplicated. Email notifications are sent when any transactions are made to ensure your safety. The only issue we have is concerning how safe your information is on the cloud. They say it’s safe, but that would be the only thing to be weary of.

     

    The Wrap Up

    In reality, locksmiths are facing a lot of changes coming to their industry. Recently KeyMe teamed up with Shapeways and are working on how to scan and print keys on 3D printers. Overall, these scanning apps, and kiosks are only the beginning. Check out the current KeyMe locations. There are few, but they are coming to battle the E-key for the time being.

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  • Inexpensive Ways to Increase Your Home Security

    Posted on February 27th, 2014 0 Comments

    inexpensive home security

    Unfortunately there’s no massive yearly sale for home security systems. But we wish there was. It’s hard to upgrade security and at the same time ensure that you’re on the best end of the purchase. Here’s what we’d do in your shoes to capture the best sale when you’re in the market for an upgrade.

    15 Inexpensive Ways to Increase Your Home Security

    1. Fake Video Camera

    Some people don’t want CCTV camera systems, but would like others to think that they have that advanced security. Whether you can or cannot pay for the service, or just don’t want the actual security system, installing faux cameras can deter burglars. Just make certain that they appear real enough to deter.

     

    2. Pull the Flyers

    Flyers, coupon books, and the yellow pages, when not cleaned away, show you’re not home, often. Clean up. Appear like you’re home.

     

    3. Keep the yard clean

    Keeping the yard clean is an effective way to deter burglars. If they see that you’re not clipping the hedges and mowing the lawn, chances are you’re on holiday. Make sure you have someone keep the yard clean regularly, especially if you’re going to be away for an extended amount of time.

     

    4. Electronics

    Try not to leave your new computer, tablet, or plasma television boxes outside and in plain view. The best way to show a burglar that you have valuable items is to advertise them. Next time you get an electronic item, break down the box and fold the cardboard inside out. While protecting your belongings you’ll also be helping out with recycling.

     

    5. Put the Ladder Away

    Often times that second story window only seems scalable by spiderman. But, if you leave that ladder out any old man can climb on through the hatch and start to ransack.

     

    6. Social Media

    Internet hacking has been around for a while… For all you people that take those big fancy vacations, don’t post that you’re in Asia having an exceedingly swell three week vacation. Unless you wanted a home cleansing experience, don’t post this stuff to the worldwide web.

     

    7. Snow Tracks

    If there was a time to not cover your tracks this is it. Burglars can easily see if someone has been in and out of a home by the amount of footfall or tire marks set in the snow. Ask your neighbors to make a few tracks while your away. Even snow angles deter the burglars.

     

    8. Quick luggage loading

    Suitcases mean your going somewhere for an extended amount of time. If you load your baggage slowly into your vehicle, this gives time to someone who may be passing by to observe if you’re leaving town for a while. Load quickly.

     

    9. Hold the mail

    If you’re mail box gets full, or packages are sitting on your doorstep it indicates you’re not home. Have the post office put a hold on your mail until you return.

     

    10. Upgrade or Quick Fix Windows

    Upgrading your windows isn’t that expensive, but if you can’t do it, place a dowel or a broom handle on the window or sliding glass door so that if the door or window is pried it will not open.

     

    11. Speakeasy

    Hiding your belongings may be a useful tactic. If you have decent hiding places in your home use them to put your valuables away. Most burglaries occur within 8 minutes. The more difficult your valuables are to find, the less likely they are to be stolen.

     

    12. Light Sensors

    Light sensors or motion sensors which activate lighting can be significant deterrents to home invaders. They are cheap and easy to install. Plus, new technologies can send real-time updates to mobile devices to ensure you’re up-to-date with what’s going on at home.

     

    13. Alarm Viewing

    Keep security systems out of sight from windows and doors. If for some reason you’ve forgotten to turn the alarm on, you won’t alert a burglar that they should enter unconcerned.

     

    14. Security Decals

    Security decals, although maybe not representative of an actual system, can sometimes be effective. Security companies like to show that their product is being used by community advertising efforts. Buy some false advertising. It may actually benefit you this time.

     

    15. Reinforce Your Locks and Doors

    Reinforcing your locks and doors is not that expensive. Plus, lock-rekeying is an effective way to promote your safety without having to replace an entire locking system. 

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  • What is a Rim Lock?

    Posted on February 12th, 2014 0 Comments

     

    rim lock

    A rim lock is essentially a type of locking system that can be attached to the surface of a door. It looks like a box that is located directly beneath the doorknob on a door. The rim lock is usually attached on the side of the door that is facing into the room. Ordinarily, there will be a keyhole on the rim lock as well as the knob that will activate the lock itself.

    Locking System

    This type of locking system has two different ways to lock the door. The first way is to use a key. By inserting a key into a the keyhole that is on the rim lock and turning it to the right, the lock on the door will be moved so that the door cannot be opened without moving it again. This is a more common type of method of locking the door and is merely available on the rim lock for convenience. The second way that a door can be locked using a rim lock is by turning the knob that is on the rim lock. The knob will essentially work the same way as the key. When the knob is turned, the lock is activated and will move so that the door cannot be opened without moving the lock back into place. Some rim locks can be opened again with the appropriate key, while others can only be opened by reactivating the lock from the other side.

     

    Variations

    There are a few different variations on the rim locks, as well as ways that customers can customize them to fit their decorating needs. They can either choose to make their rim locks look antique, or they can choose for them to look modern. Some rim locking systems will have chains attached to provide a second level of security, while others will merely have a deadbolt.

    Rim locks can be purchased both from online retailers and traditional stores. Both retailers will be able to ensure that the customer purchases the most appropriate locking system for his or her door and is fully satisfied with his or her purchase. 

     

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  • Keyless Technology is Here to Stay

    Posted on February 5th, 2014 0 Comments

     

    keyless hotel

    Smart Phones

    How many times have you lost a hotel room key? Most likely, a couple times in your life but help is on the way. As keyless entry technologies roar, hotels are beginning to adopt their use. Aloft Hotels in New York City and Silicon Valley are the latest guinea pigs adopting these technologies. Proposed technologies are said to gift one with a “virtual room key” while hoping that the check-in process is easier and that room key loss becomes extinct in itself.

     

    I dont want to wait in line

    Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen believes that check-in lines are too easy to get swallowed in. So, with an Android 4.3 or higher and iPhone 4s or higher, smartphone goers will be able to skip the lines and the human interaction almost entirely. Although momentarily unclear, his vision seems to extend itself to all hotel management being tasked through smartphone use. He mentions, “… It will become table stakes for managing a hotel.” Whatever that means, we have yet to find out.

     

    Not Exclusive

    This feature isn’t going to be the exclusive access system. As far as we know, traditional losable keys will still be available for some time. The pilot program seems to favor persons who frequent these hotels and know the routine. Therefore they will favor an expedited entry, exit and payment option with their mobile wallet by clicking just a few buttons.

     

    How does it work?

    The technology at use is Bluetooth. What happens is this: your phone connects to a sensor in the door, (much like Kēvo by Kwikset), the technology renders your proximity and by using the app and like- binary codes allows you access to the room. The locks on the doors are battery operated, so in the event of a power outage they will still work in some way, but are possibly subject to Wi-Fi connection failure.

     

    Conclusion

    If all goes well, Aloft and W hotels will be equipped with these keyless entry, check-in and check-out technologies by 2015. That’s around the corner! Keep an eye on our posts to see what happens next. 

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  • Bicycle Locks

    Posted on January 29th, 2014 0 Comments

    lock88

    Today many people own bikes that are worth much more than vehicles in price and value. Especially, those who inhabit cities. Bicyclists use their legs to expedite journeys to work, activities and overall life events. Commodious apartments, a post right in front of the cafe, or the space by your desk are prime places to park your two-wheeler. But, when these spots are taken or inaccessible riders are susceptible to penny-farthing theft or velocipede larceny. Ouch.

     

    BUT

    Danierl Zajarias-Fainsod and Franz Sazmann have come up with a solution gaining traction on Kickstarter. Having both had college bicycles stolen, Sazmann and Zajarias-Fainsod decided to make a move for the bicyclist well-being in 2012. The two have designed a keyless bicycle lock that has garnered publicity from news mountains like BBC and Bloomberg Buisnessweek. The commotion was about a new bicycle lock that posed a nightmare to bicycle thieves. Their lock is called the Lock8 and it’s the super device of bicycle locks.

     

    The Features

     

    • Keyless – Smartphone operable. The e-key is on the rise; but, if the smartphone dies a key fob will grant users access to their bicycles. So, you can eliminate having a heavy bicycle lock and carrying a physical key with you again! You don’t have to worry about losing your keys and not having an extra copy because it’s right on your phone!

     

    • Integrated GPS -If your bicycle was misplaced or stolen, you’ll be able to track the device at all times. The GSM chip connects your bicycle to the internet for real-time relocation information.

     

    • Alarm – Lock8 has a variety of protection utilities. The device sports a motion sensor and gyro-accelerometer, but also a temperature sensor which trigger a “painfully loud” alarm when tampered with. All send you push notifications to alert you of this activity.

     

    • Induction Charged – Lock8 has no batteries that need to be replaced. Induction is harvested while cycling. Each time the bicycle is put in motion the charge begins accumulating life.

     

    • Rent and Share – Lock8 is making a push to be the Uber of bicycle use. With the Lock8 one can share their bicycle with anyone they desire by mobile touch, and profit from the transaction if they want to. Brilliant.

     

    The Rise of Bike Share

    The rise of bike share has spread from city to city. But let us be frank, their bikes are hideous, clunky and feel like a government permission. Not to mention the bicycle docks are always in cruddy areas. In 2014 Danierl Zajarias-Fainsod and Franz Sazmann plan to launch their brand in Great Britain and the United States. If you want a smartphone bicycle application that sends you push notifications when your bike is being tampered with, invest in one of these locks. Another incentive to invest is that there is no bicycle subscription! If you decide to rent your bicycle out the cost is a paltry $2 a month. That means that in time your bicycle will pay for the lemon. Until then keep tabs on your two-wheeler.

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  • The Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt

    Posted on January 27th, 2014 0 Comments

    Yale Real Living Deadbolt

     

    Reviews are in on the Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt. The lock has a malleable design interface that adjusts to almost any door type and its sleek body adds a fashionable aesthetic. It comes in three different finishes. This hot locking device offers a number of great specs for users, but check out the good, the bad and the ugly before your go with the Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt.

     

    The Good

    Privacy Mode – Lock out all key codes and allow access to entry when you want.

    Auto re-lock function – Easily enable or disable auto re-locking functions.

    Parlez-vous…? – The Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt speaks to you in three languages: French English and Spanish.

    Durable acrylic touchscreen – Screen illuminates for nighttime access and is durable and tamper resistant.

    Use on all doors – The Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt can be installed to any interior or exterior door.

     

    The Bad

    No current extreme weather testing – Unfortunately there are no reviews to see how people deal with this product in bitter cold climates. That’s a chilly risk.

    Bulky – You may need a large inside door space to use this locking apparatus. It looks nice, but it does take up some real estate.

    Temporary access is unavailable – Temporary entry access is unavailable, although you can manually sign in to grant someone access. The downfall is that you must delete their access number afterwards. If you forget, they may have your number stored until you delete it

    Access to online service – Is not available unless paid for and installed with various service providers. This requires you to purchase more apps or devices to fully use the product. That’s a bit of a pain and raises costs.

     

    The Ugly

    Batteries – Even though this lock has a lot of great features, the ugliest feature is the battery crutch. Be it that this thing runs out, you may be locked out of your home at the wrong time… However, one of the Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt models comes with a key lock option. So the ugly is gets can be allayed.

     

    Conclusion:

    The best thing about the Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt is that there are no basic system access fees. The bad side is that upfront the device costs a pretty penny and that you will only benefit from the entire design by spending even more money. Though, overall the device takes great strides in becoming one of the most tech heavy locks to hit the big consumer market.

     

     

     

     

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