Thursday, 22 September 2016

How To Pick A Lock If Are Locked Out Of Your Home!

Have you ever been locked out of your home? This can be very stressful especially if you are in a hurry or have kids with you. Not to mention the weather. In this situation you should really call a locksmith. However, what happens if your phone is also locked into the house!! The first option might be to break a window or kick in the door, however there might be a better way….


Most homes are fitted with a tumbler lock. With a bit of know how you may be able to gain access to your house without resorting to breaking something.


“Pin tumbler locks consist of an outer cylindrical casing (colored green) in which a plug is housed. The small gap between the outer casing and the plug is called the shear line. Remember that. It will come in handy here in a bit. The plug has an opening for the key. When the proper key is inserted into the plug, the plug can rotate, thus unlocking the lock. On top of the plug, a series of five or six holes are drilled. The holes contain key pins (colored red) of different lengths. They’re called key pins because they touch the key when you insert a key into the plug. Above each key pin is a driver pin that’s spring-loaded.


So you have an idea of how the pins look in action, here’s a gif of me inserting a pick into a see-through practice lock:




In the diagram above, there’s no key in the plug. Because of the different key pin lengths, the driver pins cross the shear line, making it impossible for the plug to rotate. If you put a wrong key into a lock, the notches on the key won’t lift up the key pins at the right height, causing them to protrude through the shear line as you can see in the diagram below:”



“In order for the plug to rotate, you need to lift each of the key pins and driver pins to the correct height — until the gap between the key pins and driver pins reaches the shear line. When all of the pins reach this position, the plug can rotate. That’s what happens when you put a properly cut key into a lock:”Read more here…


There are a number of tools that you can use to pick a lock. You just need to find something thin enough to fit into the lock. One of the best and most common object you can use is a bobby pin.

Using a Bobby Pin


“The first thing we have to do is remove the rounded tip from the straight side of the bobby pin. This can be accomplished easily by using fingernails, pliers, or even your teeth. Once the rubber end if off we can begin making our bends. Start by pulling the bobby pin apart and roughly straightening it as such.” Read more…


There are many other items you could use however. Have a look around and decide on the best. Check your pockets and around the back of your house and you are sure to find something which is usable. If you can’t find anything you shouldn’t take, just do a google search for example “locksmiths cork” and you will have plenty of options to choose from.


The Morals Of Picking Locks


“Many people assume only criminals need to know how to pick locks but In reality common criminals rarely pick locks, they almost always smash and pry their way through instead.
Lock picking has grown into a hobby for many. While picking most locks is surprisingly easy, lock-picking is really only if you want to be quiet, are in no hurry, and want to save the lock.
If something has a lock on it and it isn’t your possession it could be seen as a criminal act, regardless if you have good intentions or not. Don’t go messing around with other people’s property unless you have permission.” See full post here…..


So there you have it. Knowing how to pick a lock can save you a lot of time and money. However only use these skills on a responsible manner. You should only attempt to pick a lock as a last resort. You should of course call your local locksmith first.


Image Credit

The post How To Pick A Lock If Are Locked Out Of Your Home! appeared first on Xl Lock.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Turn Your Old Phone Into A Home Security Camera You Can Watch From Anywhere

If you've recently upgraded phones and you aren't sure what to do with your old one, you might want to consider turning it into a security camera. As long as your old phone runs and the rear camera is operational, you're set. The process is very easy to set up and often (but not always) free.

Step 1: Get a security camera app running on your old phone(s)

To begin, you will need to choose a security camera app for your phone. Most apps offer up much of the same features, such as local streaming, cloud streaming, recording and storing footage locally or remotely, and motion detection and alerts.
Once you're set up, you will be able to monitor your living space and control your security camera from anywhere, straight from your phone.
Security camera app for iOS

One of the best options for turning an old iOS device into a security camera is an application called Manything (a mash-up of monitor anything). With Manything, you can set up motion alerts, choose between a video or stills-only mode, and even integrate with IFTTT for virtually endless ways to configure your security camera.

Manything is a free download from the App Store and comes with a completely free plan, allowing up to one camera and free recording (which is set to change later this year).

To get started:
Download manything from the App Store to both the old and new iOS devices.
From the old phone, open Settings and disable Auto Lock under General.
Register or sign in to Manything using an email address or Facebook account.
Select Camera mode with the old iOS device and Viewer mode for the new device.
Press the red button from the camera device to start the live stream.
From the new phone, the live stream will appear in the list of streaming devices.

The situation is very similar on android. Despite so many options to choose from, one of the best security camera applications available is IP Webcam. There is a lite version available completely free of charge, but you will need to purchase the Pro version of the app for $3.99 to unlock all features.
IP Webcam broadcasts both locally and over the cloud using a service called Ivideon, so you can view your stream, live, from anywhere.

To setup your Android phone as a security camera:
Download IP Webcam from Google Play to the old device.
Launch IP Webcam and set your video preferences, effects, power management settings, and motion or sound detecting, if desired.

To broadcast the stream remotely, register or sign in to Ivideon, test compatibility and enable the cloud stream.
To start the stream, select Start server at the very bottom of the app.
To view the stream:

Find the provided IP address and port number on the phone setup as a security camera. From another device (computer, smartphone, or tablet), enter the IP address in the address bar of the Web browser.

Step 2: Choose a spot to position your camera

After you have the stream up and running, you will need to setup and position the camera. You may want it facing the main entry point to your home, your backyard, where you store valuables or a point you think might be particularly vulnerable. You can also setup an IP camera as a baby monitor.
If you have multiple old phones lying around, you can setup multiple cameras for fairly robust video coverage.

Step 3: Mount and power your new security camera(s)

To mount or position the camera, a small smartphone tripod or suction car mount can work wonders and help you position the camera in an inconspicuous place.
To broaden the field of view, consider buying a wide angle lens for your phone, which can be purchased for between $5 and $20 (under about £13 or AU$28) online.
Streaming video is very power-intensive, and the phone will be on 24/7. To keep the phone from dying in the first few hours, you will need to position it close to a power source. A 10-foot Micro-USB or lightning cable will add some flexibility to where you position the camera.

Turn your old phone into a home security camera you can watch from anywhere appeared first on CNET