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Can Security Camera Footage Be Tampered With


We’ve all seen those movies where vital security camera footage has been tampered with. The criminal gets off scot-free because somehow, they were able to alter the images or freeze the recording or even change the time stamp. But is this actually possible or is it just another of Hollywood’s shenanigans?

 

Unfortunately, the short answer is yes, the footage on your security camera can be tampered with! But how can this happen and are you able to see if your footage has been changed? Let’s take a look at these questions… and a few others too… in more detail.

 

What is Camera Tampering?

This is when a perpetrator tries to damage, access, vandalize or steal a security device. CCTV cameras can be vulnerable to vandalism as they are often mounted on outside walls. It is important to mount your cameras in places that are difficult see or difficult to get to – high up on walls or in places that are slightly concealed or in shadow. This might not stop tampering entirely but it will dissuade those who are simply out to randomly cause damage to property or acting opportunistically.

 

How Can Someone Change My Camera Footage?

Cameras form the basis of any video surveillance security system. You need to know that the footage recorded is safe and accurate. Unfortunately, with the advanced technology and software of today, anything can be changed. The physical safety of your surveillance system as well as the data security must be made a priority.

 

Physical Safety of Your Equipment

Strategies like Tamper Detection and Vandal Resistance can help in preventing vandalism especially if your cameras are located outside.

The most basic way that your cameras can tampered with is by simply disconnecting them. An unplugged camera cannot record. Make it a priority to check all your power cables to ensure none have been pulled out or cut.

A camera that has been disconnected produces an alarm. So instead of pulling out power cables, the perpetrators can simply move the cameras – either taking them off the walls or changing the viewing angles. Lenses can also be blocked. Check your cameras regularly to make sure nothing has been changed.

Some CCTV cameras use a key switch or a timer that arms or disarms the system. This is a greater risk when the system is remotely monitored. Check that the RVRC (Remote Video Response Centre) is working correctly and sending through alarms at the times it is supposed to.

Damaged or disconnected alarm sensors will not send alarm triggers at the central monitoring station. If your site is connected to a central monitoring station it could be days before they realise that the alarms are not working. Check that the RVRC is receiving the right number of alarms.

 

Data Security

To protect your data there are methods like Firmware Signing and Solid-State Storage. Securing your data correctly means that your video footage is secure too. Securing access to the data will also prevent tampering.

The time or date can be adjusted on the DVR (Digital Video Recorder) and this could be used to cover up a criminal act. Make sure that the date and time is correct. It is a cause for concern if even a time discrepancy of only a few minutes is found.

Many systems use a watermark on their footage. If the footage is tampered with this watermark gets broken. A line running through the footage will appear when the camera footage is replayed. This makes it easy to see if the footage has been tampered with.

 

How To Prevent Tampering

In order to come up with an effective solution to prevent tampering, you need to ask yourself the following type of questions: “How durable is the device”, “How is the camera mounted”, “Where is the best place to mount my security cameras” and “Who has access to the cameras and to the footage”.

We previously touched on some of the answers to these questions. Mount your cameras in high places and places that are not easily visible while still having a clear viewing range. Make sure your cables are protected and checked regularly. If your camera is mounted outside, make sure that it is durable and weatherproof.

Only allow a few people access to the camera footage.  Make sure they are people you can trust.  However, even if you do trust them, check up on them regularly.

Make sure that you keep backups of all your footage and store the backups securely.

 

Is It a Lot of Hard Work to See if My System Has Been Tampered With?

Yes, it can be!  Sadly, it can take a large amount of resource to do these tests.  However, there is software out there that can help you.

CheckMyCCTV is one such software solution. It monitors your security system all day, every day, from your smartphone.  CheckMyCCTV performs remote maintenance checks.  It will provide you with a list of the faults it finds, allowing you to decide if and when you want to fix the issue.

This software can pick up connection problems, camera failure, integrity of the images, hard drive failure, problems with recordings and the accuracy of the date and time stamps.

You can purchase this software on various sites online.

 

Image Forensics

There is no easy way to find out whether a video has been tampered with or not. Especially if the editing has been done well. However, there are subtle things that might give an edit away.

  • Technical giveaways

These are artifacts of the editing technique. For instance, mathematical formulae are used by editing software to blur images so that they do not match reality. By analysing the blurred edge, you could possibly determine whether the blur is natural or a created one. You would need mathematical analysis to assist you with this. Blurring can also be done on still images. Video editing is harder to detect than that done to still images.

Another giveaway on video editing is fake motion. It not an easy thing to fake motion. There is great difficulty in matching the motion so closely that it is hard to detect. Keep an eye our for anything that looks like a glitch in terms of movement on your video footage.

  • Visual Analysis

This is simply looking closely at the footage to see that there is nothing inconsistent in the recording. For instance, objects casting the correct shadow, or the angle of shadow, might show that something has been edited.

To be good at forensic image analysis one must study and practice considerably so that you become competent.  Even analysts that are highly skilled have difficulty in determining with absolute certainty that videos have been edited.  Such are the skills of the perpetrators!

There are plugins to aid you with your forensic analysis, but they are not always conclusive. One such plugin is called InVid. You can find it online on the InVid website.

 

So, your security camera footage be tampered with, but it is preventable.  You need to have the correct equipment and software installed and you need to make sure you are vigilant with checking up both on the hardware of the system as well as the footage recorded. Limit access to the footage and make regular backups.

Just as an added peace-of-mind, if you are using security cameras at your home, chances are the average thief out there will not have the skills to tamper with your camera footage and will only tamper with your physical camera. Providing you follow our tips as pertains to the placement of your cameras and visually inspect them regularly, you should be perfectly fine.

What Are The Best Lorex Motion Detection Settings Available


 

If you’ve heard of the Lorex brand but aren’t quite sure what the company is all about, let me give you a quick rundown. Lorex is a highly respected security systems company operating for the last 30 years in the Unites States of America. They have created quite a number of award-winning products. They were the first company to market 4K resolution security cameras.  Recently they have released a solution for both wired and wireless cameras called the Fusion Collection. They are able to kit out your office or your home with the latest in security cameras ranging from video doorbells to smart home systems and 2K wire-free systems.

 

Why do you need a Lorex Motion Detection System?

If you are needing to keep an eye on pets at home while you are at work, or to make sure that an elderly relative is safe while they are on their own, or if you simply need to make sure that your home or business is secure, a motion detection system is a good way to go.

Lorex is a particularly good brand offering systems that have recorders with large hard drives built for continuous use and that can be upgraded easily. They provide systems that have the smartest motion detection and the highest quality night vision. Their systems are also weatherproof and will work year-round offering excellent performance for many years. Lorex offer super reliable security systems and to top it all, they come with a warranty.

So, back to the main question – What are the best Lorex Motion Detection settings available?

 

Table of Contents

Why do you need a Lorex Motion Detection System?

Standard Motion Detection

PIR Motion Detection

Advanced Motion Detection

Smart Motion Detection

Smart Motion Detection Plus

Person Detection

What are the most popular Lorex motion detection systems?

What are some of the Pro’s and Con’s of Motion Detection Systems?

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

There are a few different types of motion detection systems. All Lorex security cameras have motion detection but some of the systems also feature things like:

  • Advanced motion detection
  • Smart motion detection
  • Person detection

Let’s take a look at the different types of systems.

 

Standard Motion Detection

These systems will pick up all kinds of movement – it can be a person, a car, an animal, or an object, like a tree branch moving in the wind. The sensitivity of the motion detection can be customized and specific motion zones set. This is done through the recorder or sometimes through a corresponding app.

PIR Motion Detection

This type of system – Passive Infrared Motion Detection – detects

moving heat signatures. Cars, people, and animals will be detected easily by such a system due to the fact that they give off heat.

 

 

Advanced Motion Detection

These motion detection systems generally only detect people or vehicles. This can be advantageous is that it reduces the number of unwanted alerts. So, if a suspicious person is lurking around your home, the advanced motion detection will be triggered but the sensors will ignore Fido chasing his ball in the back yard.

 

Smart Motion Detection

So smart in fact, that it can determine if movement is caused by people or motor vehicles and give you separate alerts for each.

 

Smart Motion Detection Plus

Even smarter than smart this system allows you to choose between Smart Motion Detection and Face Detection. With Face Detection alerts will only be sent if a face has been seen coming towards the camera. This again cuts down on unwanted alerts from people walking by or vehicles passing in front of the system.

 

Person Detection

As the name suggests, this system only detects motion caused by a person. The Lorex App will send a notification to you via your smart phone immediately the sensor is triggered.

 

What are the most popular Lorex motion detection systems?

 

First on the lists seems to be the 4K 8-Channel Network Video Recorder with Smart Motion Detection, Voice Control and Fusion Capabilities, 2TB HDD. This system will cost you around $300. Lorex does offer various payment plans to assist you.

This system comes with a 4K resolution recording, Smart Home compatibility and a security-grade hard drive. It supports Smart Motion Detection Plus. It can accommodate two Wi-Fi cameras to open channels thus allowing you to expand your coverage.

 

Next up is the 4K Ultra HD Smart Deterrence IP Dome Camera with Smart Motion Detection Plus. This system comes with 4K resolution recording, SMD Plus, Smart LED light and a siren. It’s a great upgrade to the NVR security system.

 

 

 

Third on the list is the 4K Ultra HD 8 Channel Digital Video Recorder with Smart Motion Detection and Smart Home Voice Control. This system offers you great recording capabilities, security camera support and limits notification to people and motor vehicles. The security grade hard drive ensures that your data stays private and there are no data storage fees. It can be paired well with the Lorex Home App which allows you remote viewing. There is also the additional feature of voice control.

 

The next most popular system is a bit pricier. It is the 8-Channel 4K Security System with 8 Outdoor Cameras featuring Smart Motion Detection and Color Night Vision. The 4K DVR supports up to 8 ultra-HD 8MP security cameras and offers a maximum night vision range of 120 feet. It comes with a 2-terabyte hard drive. Other features include smart motion detection as well as Color Night VisionTM. It also has local video storage and is Smart Home compatible.

 

 

The 4K 16-Channel Fusion Network Video Recorder with Smart Motion Detection and 3TB Hard Drive is our next most popular choice. This system forms the center of your security system. It has a 16 channel 4K Fusion NVR, Smart Home compatibility and supports SMD Plus as well as Safeguard features. This is probably the best NVR currently on the market. It can accommodate two Wi-Fi cameras to open channels.

 

The last system I will take a look at today is quite expensive but worth it if you are looking for the ultimate in motion detection – the 4K Ultra HD 8-Channel IP Security System with 8 Smart Deterrence 4K (8MP) Cameras, Smart Motion Detection and Smart Home Voice Control. With 8 channels supporting 8 4K Smart Deterrence Cameras and 150 feet of night vision this is a professional grade security system that will provide top grade motion detection at your home or place of business.

 

 

 

What are some of the Pro’s and Con’s of Motion Detection Systems?

 

Pro’s

Better Home Security

Criminals tend to target properties when the residents are asleep or when the property is empty. Houses / businesses with access points that are not visible from the street are also vulnerable. Motion detection systems can be great deterrents when it comes to opportunistic thieves. Lights that automatically go on when motion is detected and cameras that record the events can prove very valuable in these situations. Alerts are immediately sent to the owner’s phone, and they are then in turn able to alert the authorities.

 

Better Safety

Motion detection systems can help with more than just burglars.  In some parts of the country wildlife can pose a threat too – be it racoons in the garbage or bears in search of food, motion detection systems allow you to see what is happening from the safety of your home allowing you to come up with a plan of action.  Motion detection systems that trigger security lights also help you see where you are going if you are leaving your house in the dark meaning that you are less likely to trip over things and are better able to navigate slick, icy surface in the winter. More light, less injuries, more safety.

 

Better Convenience

How much better to arrive home in the dark with arms full of groceries and kids running around and have a light come on instantly to help you get safely to your front door. Dark icy mornings and evenings become safer as you can see the hazards in front of you. And if someone approaches the front door in the dark, the lights will be triggered, and you can easily see who is at the door from the safety of the inside of your home.

 

Better Saving

Instead of having exterior lights that stay on all night, a motion detection system allows you to save on your electricity bill by simply having lights that come on when needed and then switch off again.

 

Con’s

Too Irritating

Automatic security lights are great but can also be irritating if they are triggered by any and every movement be it from a waving tree branch to a dog running by. If a light keeps going on unnecessarily it loses its effectiveness.

 

Too Costly

The initial outlay for a motion detection system can be off-putting. Although there are cheaper options, the better systems are usually quite pricey.

 

Too Bright

The quality of the light and how often the light is triggered will determine how soon the luminaires will burn out.  This is an added and ongoing expense – especially if they don’t last as long as you thought they would. Getting better quality lights will eradicate this issue but will also add to the startup costs.

 

Too Hot

Heat sensors are set to sense temperature change within their coverage area. Possible problems can occur when the sensor is installed near an air conditioner or a heater. This will reduce the effectiveness of the system. Heat sensors often battle to work where temperatures are over 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This could cause problems in places with warm climates.

 

Too Slow

If a person or object moves very slowly directly towards the motion sensor, the sensor is less likely to pick up the movement. If a burglar is aware of the motion detection system, there is the possibility that by moving slowly they will not trigger the system.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What are motion detectors?

Motion detectors are electrical devices that use sensors to detect the movement of people or objects nearby. They form an important part of a security system and are able to send alerts straight to your mobile phone when the sensor is triggered.

 

Is there any difference between a DVR and an NVR?

DVR’s are analog and NVR’s are digital. They both provide you with the same basic functions – recording, storage, motion detection and remote connectivity. However, there are a few differences. For example, they differ in how the security cameras are connected and how the incoming video is received.

 

Do I need to update the Firmware?

Yes, you will need to update the Firmware. You will need to update on system start-up in order to enable remote viewing. You will also be required to upgrade your mobile apps or your client’s software.

 

Can my Lorex system be connected to my TV or computer?

All Lorex DVR’s and NVR’s come with VGA and HDMI video outputs. This enable connection with your HD TV as well as with nearly any other type of monitor.

 

Can the Lorex cameras withstand the weather?

Most of the Lorex cameras come with an IP66 or IP67 weatherproof rating. This Ingress Protection rating indicates how resistant equipment is to both dust and liquids using a 2-digit code. Lorex cameras with this rating can be used safely outdoors in nearly all climates.

 

What about Vandals?

Some of the Lorex cameras come with heavy duty metal exterior and have an IK10 vandal proof rating. This means that they are ideal for easier to reach areas and can withstand aggressive impacts. Most of the Lorex cameras do not come with an IK10 vandal proof rating. They are however still durable, and they are designed with cable protection in mind.

 

What are the audio capabilities of a Lorex system?

Some of the Lorex models do come with a built-in microphone that can capture sounds made around the camera. You need to check on your local privacy laws before doing any audio monitoring.  Audio recording is not always legal.

 

Wireless and wire free – is there a difference?

Wireless cameras still need a power source. This means they need to be plugged in somewhere. So wireless is not really completely wireless. Where the wireless part comes in is between the receiver attached to the DVR and the actual camera.  Wire-free cameras run on batteries. They don’t need plugging in to a power source. The wire-free cameras usually turn on only if any motion is detected.  These cameras won’t provide surveillance 24 hours a day 7 days a week and they tend to have trouble in high traffic area because the constant motion drains the batteries very quickly.

 

What is the best location for a wireless system?

In places where it might be difficult to run cables to it might be a good idea to install a wireless system – detached buildings, high up installations or where the camera needs to be placed in a remote area.

 

Why should I choose Lorex?

Lorex is the top of the range in terms of motion detection equipment. They use cutting-edge technology and can ensure the highest quality in video recordings. Along with being weatherproof and resistant to vandalism, they also have great features – 4K image sensors, noise reduction, Wide Dynamic Range Imaging and much more. They also have a wide range of motion detection products that suit just about all your security needs.

 

What is video motion detection?

Lorex DVR’s and IP cameras come with VMD abilities. Every pixel that is recorded is analysed so that the DVR / IP camera will immediately know if there are any changes in a group of pixels. The sensitivity settings can be changed to that only larger movements trigger the system. Recorders and mobile apps keep track of every movement event.

 

For how long are recording stored?

This depends on the system that you have purchased and on your personal settings. The size of the hard drive is the most important factor in storage. The oldest footage is constantly replaced with the latest footage thus the hard drive size determines how long recordings are stored.

 

Are the recorded videos compressed?

The answer to this is yes. The security footage is automatically compressed. This saves you a large amount of data and also extends your recording times. No quality is lost in the footage. In the analog systems, the video is compressed in the DVR. In IP cameras the data is compressed by the camera itself and then the data is sent to the NVR.

 

How do I download my videos?

A portable USB drive or an external USB hard drive can be used to download your footage.

  • Insert the USB media into the DVR or NVR’s USB port,
  • Bring up the main menu by right clicking on the live view,
  • Log in,
  • Click the “backup” option,
  • Select the channel and the start and end times
  • Click the files that you want to backup
  • Click start

 

Why is the night vision in black and white?

Infrared light is invisible to the human eye because is has a longer wavelength and thus falls outside of the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. In situations where the light is dim, the cameras can’t pick up the visible light wavelength. It can pick up the infrared wavelength however and thus the image is black and white. In order to produce color images at night or in the dark, color vision cameras need ambient light. CNV cameras have extremely powerful image sensors. These are far more sensitive to light than normal sensors. These image sensors can absorb a greater amount of light and are thus able to see color at night. However, if there is no ambient light, the footage will be black and white.

 

Where can I buy the Lorex Motion Detection Systems?

You can purchase all the Lorex products directly from Lorex or you can visit Amazon.com. Some of the major retailers like Costco, BestBuy and Sam’s Club also stock Lorex products.

 

Where are the best places to install motion detectors?

Before we look at where is the best place to put motion detectors, let’s quickly list where not to put them! Don’t place the behind large pieces of furniture – this will completely block their view of the room. Don’t place them near a heat source or in rooms that might get too hot like attics or sunrooms. Don’t put them on stairs – the kids running up and down will cause far too many false positive triggers. And don’t put them across from doors – again, a lot of false positive triggers will be caused by people going in and out.

The best places to install the smaller types of motion detectors are:

Corners – place them in the corner of a room facing toward the entry way.  Anyone coming in the room will set off the alarm.

Valuables – place a sensor looking directly at your valuables.  Anyone approaching those items will trigger the system.

Patios – a sensor on an outside patio or near a back door is a great place to install a motion detector.

Upstairs Bedrooms – even if you think it unlikely that a burglar will try to break in upstairs, it might still be a good idea to install a sensor near your bedrooms. This way you know you will be alerted in anyone tries to break in at night.

Basements – if you place motion detectors in the basement make sure they are not clocked by clutter. A good place to install one is near the basement staircase.

Ceilings – try to place the sensors where a burglar won’t see them. A ceiling is a great place for this and because sensors will work at any angle your system won’t be compromised in any way.

Inside Decorations – hide sensors inside your home décor. This will keep them from being easily spotted by intruders.

 

Finally…………

Motion detectors provide an extra set of eyes that can watch over your home or business when you can’t. They provide an extra layer of security allowing you peace of mind.

From all of the above I think it’s safe to say that when you buy a Lorex product you are buying a very good brand. Are there going to be problems? Possibly. But that’s going to happen with any product you buy. If you come armed with the correct information, such as, where are you needing to install cameras, is it accessible to a power source, what am I needing the cameras to capture etc. then you will be able to make an informed choice and find the best Lorex motion detection product to suit your needs. There is such a wide range to choose from that the best system can really only be determined by which one suits your requirements the most.

There are a variety of reviews available on these products on Amazon. Most people appear to be really happy with their purchase. The systems are easy to install and easy to use. Tech support is available – but only during business hours.

So, whether you are looking to install a very basic system of automatic motion triggered security lights or a full-blown security system with all the bells and whistles, Lorex has a product for you.

Tips To Securing Your Sliding Door From Burglars


Your sliding door can be the most vulnerable door of your house. It is essential to make sure that these doors are secure and can withstand attempted break ins. How to secure them is another issue – and quite a daunting one at that. Being much larger than a standard door means that securing a sliding or patio door can be tricky. And you don’t want something that is bulky and unaesthetic.

Let’s look at some of the options that are available for securing sliding doors and you can decide which one is best for your home.

 

What Makes Sliding Doors So Unsafe?

First let’s see what makes a sliding door so vulnerable to burglary. These types of doors most often use latches rather than locks. Burglars can easily get the better of these latches simply by grabbing them and giving them a good strong jiggle or two, or they can merely remove the glass door from its track – a job that doesn’t even necessarily require any special tools except maybe a crowbar! And of course, there is the good ol’ brick through the window trick! A tried and trusted method of many an opportunistic thief.

Another reason glass patio doors can be unsafe is that they are often not in plain sight. Most often they are around the back of the house where they provide entry into the back yard. And because they are at the back of the house, they are often left unlocked.

Sliding doors are made of tempered glass. This type of glass, while making glass stronger and more resistant to being broken, can still be broken using enough force. The glass however does not shatter into sharp shards but breaks into blunt pebbles – thus the burglar can enter your home without causing any injury to himself!

 

How Do I Make My Sliding Door Secure?

Here are a few tips and tricks that can assist in making your sliding glass door secure.

 

  1. Curtains or Coverings

While this will not stop a burglar breaking in through your patio door, it can help to deter burglary simply by hiding the contents of your

home that a glass door puts so openly on display. Use blinds or curtains to cover your door when you are out of the house and especially at night.

 

  1. Security Bars (Blocking Bars)

Security bars, also known as blocking bars or door jammers, are adjustable metal bars that can be inserted along the bottom track or set at waist height, running along the full length of the door. This effectively jams the door shut, so even if a burglar manages to break the lock, he is still unable to move the door out of place. Amazon has a wide range of security bars available with prices generally ranging between $20 and $40. Alternatively, you could make your own DIY blocking bar by cutting a wooden broomstick or metal bar just slightly shorter than the length of the door track (when the door is closed) and laying it in the door track.

  1. A Security Pin

When your sliding door is closed and secured, drill a small hole through the door frame that slides and into the stationary door frame. Insert a steel security pin. This will hold the two doors together preventing an intruder from sliding the door open.  These are a cheaper option to security bars and can be purchased on Amazon for about $11.

  1. Window Security Film
    A shatterproof window film will add extra security to your glass door while still allowing you to see clearly through the glass. These films can be clear or tinted according to your preference. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, these films will even help to repel debris that is blown against your door. Window film also helps to reduce glare, protects your furniture from fading in the sun, blocks 99% UV rays, and by obscuring direct visibility, they offer a greater level of privacy. While not making the glass impenetrable, a window security film does keep the window from shattering on impact.  It will take quite some effort for a burglar to break through a sliding door protected in this way. You can purchase security film from many different online stores or by doing a quick web search you should be able to find a supplier near you. They come in a wide range of sizes, colors and patterns. While some of these films can be quite expensive, there are more budget friendly options.
  2. Alarm System
    An excellent way of securing any entry point to your house is to install an alarm systemand have it monitored by a local security company. These types of alarm systems should come with glass break sensors that are a great way to secure sliding doors.

 

  1. Impact-Resistant Doors
    These types of glass doors are also known as hurricane sliding doors and they are built to withstand the impact of debris and other objects being flung against them. They are thus harder for a criminal to break.

 

  1. Track Maintenance
    Keep an eye on the door track and make sure that it is clean, and that the door can open and close easily and without impediment. If your track is broken it will mean that the security of the sliding door is compromised, and it will be easier for burglars to remove it from its track.

 

  1. Good Quality Locks
    A good idea would be to remove the original latches and / or locks and replace them with high quality locks. You can find many of these on Amazon. Take a browse around and see which one suits your needs the best. Prices usually start from around $10. A really good quality lock is a multi-point lock mechanism which allows you to lock the door at multiple points with one turn of the key.

 

  1. Two-Bolt Door Locks
    These locks are easy to install, and you can install them at any height. They work by sliding a steel bolt directly in the door frame when the door is closed. A key is required to open the door both from the exterior and the interior. This is a great improvement on the usual latch mechanism that comes standard with a sliding door. A two-bold lock is quite an inexpensive option and you can easily purchase them on Amazon.

 

  1. Smart Locks
    These locks are a relatively new technology that is transforming how we secure our houses. There are only a few models on the marketat the moment that are suitable for glass sliding doors. These types of locks are strong and more resistant to tampering with than your normal sliding door lock. In case of an emergency, these locks are easier to open that the usual key operated locks. Take a look at some of these locks on Amazon. They are obviously a pricier option but well worth it for those who are serious about their safety.

 

  1. Security Gates
    Security gates are an easy and obvious choice when wanting to secure your home’s sliding doors. They can be a little bulky and not particularly pretty, but by providing an additional layer of hardened security, they get the job done! These gates can either be fixed or expandable. The expandable ones save space and when folded up can easily be hidden behind a curtain or window dressing.

And Finally…

Sliding doors are a wonderful entrance option for your home. They allow tons of natural light to flood into your home creating a warm and inviting environment for your family and friends. They provide easy access to your outdoor entertainment areas and when closed they still offer a feeling of space and openness.

Don’t let the worries of security stop you from installing these attractive and useful doors. As you can see, there are many options available to make your glass sliding doors more secure. And you don’t have to spend a fortune doing it! Most of the security options are both easily affordable and easily installed.

So go for it! Install that patio door in your new house or add it to the plans for your renovation. If you already have a sliding door, check that it’s in good nick and then take your pick from the list of security options above and decide which is best for your home and budget.

Your security is worth it!

How Effective are Door Security Bars? Here’s the Truth!


Trying to find the best option for securing the doors in your home or office can be tricky and a little bit stressful. You want to make the best choice possible. After all, the safety of your family is of the utmost importance. There are a variety of options for securing your doors and one of these is door security bars. But how effective are they really? Let’s find out.

Most burglaries occur through the front entrance door of a building. It is therefore essential to provide a security layer to protect the entry to your home or workplace. You will need to invest in a safety device that is going to be effective in stopping home invasion. Security bars are a very good option, particularly in protecting you against front door forced type entries.

So now that you’re thinking that security bars might be the way for you to go, let’s find out a bit more about what a door security bar is and why you should use one, how they work and are they effective for every type of door. We’ll take a look at installation requirements and also check out a few different makes and some of the costs involved.

 

What Is a Door Security Bar?

A door security bar is a security bar that extends across the breadth of a door. These bars are usually made of a steel, and some have built-in alarm systems as an extended security feature.

 

Why Should I Use One?

Perhaps you are wondering why you should use a security bar when you have installed sturdy locks on your front door already. Sadly, burglars are expert at breaking door locks of all kinds and removing sliding doors with ease. Making use of a superior quality door security bar assists in protecting you and your family, as well as your property, from these types of break-ins as they provide an extra layer of security that will deter the opportunistic burglar when attempting to enter your home.

 

How Does a Security Bar Work?

 These bars are a much better security measure when compared with door locks and some other devices. They can be very light weight – some weighing about one pound – and yet they can hold out against up to roughly 350 pounds of force.

The bars come in a variety of lengths to suit a variety of different door widths. They usually range from between 38 and 43 inches.  Most door security bars are adjustable and can therefore be used on most types of doors. They are easy to use and simple to lift and remove when they are not needed.

Door security bars can also be used on patio or sliding doors. In fact, door bars are essential for these types of doors as these are usually the most vulnerable doors in a home.

 

Installation

Some security bars will need to be fitted into the door casing. Don’t let this put you off. This is a very quick and easy installation and can be accomplished in a few minutes.

Other types of bars attach to the frame of the door, and these provide the most dependable protection.

When door security bars are fitted accurately, they make your entrance door essentially kick-proof. So that really does answer the question as to whether security bars are effective! A definite yes!

 

 

Types of Security Bars and Costs

There is quite a wide range of security bars out there on the market. Below are four options to give you an idea of what you can get and what the average costs are.

  • Master Lock 265D Security Bar

Amazon Price:        $20.95

 

Master Lock’s 265D Security Bar is an excellent door jammer. It’s heavy-duty steel construction promotes a reliable security performance.

It is quite a versatile product with a multi-purpose design and good durability.

 

 

 

  • South Main Hardware Security Bar

Amazon Price:        $21.99

 

This is one of the more stable, affordable options available. It has a robust steel construction but still comes in at a low price.

 

It is a good option for sliding doors. It offers this usability on sliding doors because of its removable head – something that most other bars don’t provide.

 

 

  • Brinks 675-83001 Home Security Bar

Amazon Price:        $24.36

 

The Brinks 675-83001 Home Security Bar has a retractable design that makes it a good choice for the frequent traveler. It’s an essential aspect because it allows for the bar to be easily stored and transported. It can therefore be used on hotel room doors to protect your items while you are on holiday or travelling for business.

 

 

 

  • Patio Door Security Bar with Anti-Lift Lock

Price:                      $23.16

 

This security bar is made specifically for patio doors. It is adjustable and slides easily from 25.75” to 47.5” to for easy installation.

The SK110 patio door security bar and saddle are screwed directly into the door frame and profile. This provides a reliable protection that won’t shake loose or fall.

The SK110 swings up and stays out of the way when it is not in use.

 

 

Related Questions

 

Are Door Jammers Different to Door Security Bars?

Door jammers are transportable. They also don’t require any installation. They do a similar job to security bars. They are easy to transport and can increase protection when using a public toilet or for hotel room doors. The smaller ones are so compact they can be carried in a handbag or backpack. They work using a bar that is supported by the floor at one end, with the opposite end hooking underneath the door handle.

 

Do Door Security Bars Work on Carpet?

Unfortunately, door security bars do not work as well on carpeted floors because they use a rubber pad on the bottom and need to have good traction. A smooth and hard surface therefore works best.

 

Is There a Type of Exterior Door That Is Best For Security?

An exterior door that is practically impossible to break through is a steel door. These doors are among the best front doors in terms of security.

 

Are Window Security Bars Any Good?

Yes! Not only are window security bars (burglar bars) designed to withstand the most force that a burglar can throw at them, but they are also a very visible and immediate deterrent for anyone contemplating breaking into your house.

The Top 3 Keyless Door Locks


Your car key, your home key, your office key: between them all, your keychain is admittedly quite full. It’s also pretty weighty in your pocket or your purse. Sometimes you wish you could forego keys entirely. You’ve had a neighbor switch to a keyless door lock recently with very good results, and you’re thinking maybe it’s time to do the same. What are the best keyless door locks for home security?

The top 3 keyless door locks are:

  • Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt Z-Wave Plus
  • Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro + Wi-Fi Bridge
  • August Smart Lock

Read on for reviews of each of these three exemplary keyless door locks. We’ll also discuss the benefits of going keyless and how to choose the right lock for you.

Let’s get started!

The Top 3 Keyless Door Locks for Your Home

Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt Z-Wave Plus

Schlage is one of the leading names in keyless door locks, and their Connect Smart Deadbolt Z-Wave Plus is quite renowned among homeowners. Z-Wave Plus S2 security is not only great for peace of mind with its top-notch encryption, but this technology instantly syncs with your preexisting home automation system. You’re then free to lock or unlock your door anytime from your smartphone or computer.

If you own an Amazon Alexa or Echo and rely on it in your day-to-day life, the Z-Wave Plus plays nicely with this tech. Just access your hands-free speaker using voice commands and Alexa or Echo will take care of the rest. If you’re on the Alexa app, you can also lock or unlock your door this way.

Have a big family? The Z-Wave Plus lets you create 30 different access codes for everyone in your household. You can add or revoke door lock access anytime using your smart hub like Alexa. To connect with the Z-Wave Plus, your family only needs to press a button or scan a QR code.

Besides Amazon products, you can also sync your Schlage Z-Wave Plus with Google Assistant, Ring, Nexia, Wink, and Samsung SmartThings. Schlage also gives you a wealth of door lock styles, colors, and finishes to select from to match the Z-Wave Plus to your home décor.

The Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt Z-Wave Plus costs $165.

Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro + Wi-Fi Bridge

The next keyless door lock we heavily recommend is the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro. With six-in-one keyless access options, you have your choice between using a mechanical key, Magic Shake, Auto Unlock, a code, a fingerprint, or the Ultraloq smartphone app to get into your home. That will keep anyone you want out left on the doorstep.

With the Wi-Fi Bridge, you get a handful of useful features. First, you can track home activity even when you’re away with remote activity. Also, you can lock your door from anywhere, even if you’re miles and miles from home.

If you have a visitor or guest who needs to get in while you’re not home, you can also send an eKey or a code through the Wi-Fi Bridge. Then, when this person goes in your home, your Ultraloq app pings you and lets you know.

A US standard door should be able to support the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro, and the company calls installation “simple.” The keyless door lock doesn’t need to be drilled or wired and requires only four screws for installation.

Like the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt Z-Wave Plus, Amazon Echo is compatible with the U-Bolt Pro, as is Google Home. When you speak with your favorite home assistant, ask it to lock or unlock your door and it’s done.

Include the rest of your family on the U-Bolt Pro, whether temporarily or permanently. Then, with the Ultraloq app, they can press a button to get in. Magic Shake is another access option where you shake your phone to unlock the door. You can manage users and review a log record of who got in anytime on your app.

The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro + Wi-Fi Bridge costs $189.99 and up.

August Smart Lock

The third and final keyless door lock we want to discuss is the August Smart Lock. Undoubtedly the smallest lock on the list, it’s also the only one that doesn’t feature an emergency key slot. That said, it’s meant to go over your deadbolt, so you can still get in the old-fashioned way if you need to (such as when you don’t have Internet access).

According to August, you’ll install the Smart Lock in about 10 minutes, maybe even less. As we said, it fits over your deadbolt. If yours is a cylinder shape, then the August Smart Lock should be a perfect fit.

The Smart Lock, like the other keyless door locks we’ve reviewed, also pairs up with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. You can review your door status, unlock, and lock the door using voice commands, which is quite handy. The Smart Lock also boasts Apple HomeKit compatibility so you can chat with Siri and lock your door at the same time.

Two-factor authentication and data encryption keep your door lock safer and more secure. You can even turn the Smart Lock off if you misplace or lose your phone as a security precaution. Otherwise, when you usually have your phone with you (or your Apple watch), the accompanying app lets you track who’s entering your home thanks to notifications and a continually updating activity feed.

How would anyone else get in? With guest keys, of course. These are handy for fellow family members as well as housecleaners or babysitters. Another cool feature you get with the Smart Lock is DoorSense. This built-in technology lets you know if your door is ajar or safely closed.

The August Smart Lock costs $199.99.

What Are the Benefits of Keyless Door Locks?

If you’re not sure whether paying upwards of $200 for a new door lock is a smart investment, we can assure you it is. Just check out the following benefits you’ll enjoy with your new keyless door lock.

Saves Time

Each minute you spend on your doorstep fumbling around for your keys in the dark is another minute you’re not paying attention to your surroundings. That can prove dangerous, especially if you live in a high-crime area.

With a keyless door lock, you only need your phone handy (and sometimes not even that, as some locks work with Apple smartwatches) and you’re in your home within moments.

Choose Who Gets In

If it’s been years, even decades since you’ve gotten your housekey produced, you might not remember who has it. A keyless door lock lets you choose exactly who’s allowed entry and who’s barred.

Also, the next time you have a friend housesitting, or you hire a housecleaner or dogwalker, you won’t have to run to the store to get more copies of your key made. You can just give them temporary or longer-term home access through the keyless door lock.

Acts as an Extra Means of Security

A locked door might be viewed as a challenge to some criminals, but a keyless door lock is another thing entirely. They likely won’t be able to figure it out, so they won’t even try. Instead, they’ll move on.

Greater Peace of Mind

Traditional doors are secure, but a keyless door lock gives you a whole new sense of peace of mind. Instead of lying in bed at night torturing yourself over whether you locked the main door, you can check your app and do it remotely. You’ll be asleep in no time.

How to Choose the Right Keyless Door Lock for You

We may have only reviewed three keyless door locks, but these are considered the best of the best on the market right now. If all three seemed appealing to you in their own way, here are some factors to keep in mind that will make your decision easier.

Compatibility

Each of the three keyless door locks we reviewed is compatible with Google and Amazon voice assistant products. If you want greater compatibility, then the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt Z-Wave Plus is your best bet. As we discussed earlier, this also syncs with Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Nexia, Ring, and Google Assistant as well. The other two keyless door locks do not.

Ease of Installation

Keyless door locks are generally pretty simple to install, but the August Smart Lock may be among the easiest. It fits over your deadbolt, so you already know where to put it.

Price

Few factors will help you decide which keyless door lock to go with more than price. We’re not advising you to choose the cheapest lock just because of its price. If it has the features you need for your home security, that’s what should convince you to buy it.

The least expensive of the three keyless door locks on our list is the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt Z-Wave Plus. The August Smart Lock and Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro + Wi-Fi Bridge are both more expensive at almost $200 apiece.

Still, considering the Z-Wave Plus is $165, you’re only talking about savings of like $35 or so, which isn’t very significant.

Conclusion

A keyless door lock lets you lock or unlock your door remotely via your smartphone or voice assistant like Alexa or Siri. You also get to choose who can get in, and you’ll receive notifications, so you know when your door is safely closed.

Whether it’s the August Smart Lock, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro + Wi-Fi Bridge, or the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt Z-Wave Plus, these three keyless door locks are all solid picks for a safer, happier home.

The 10 Best Home Security DIY Hacks Under $20 That Actually Work


Having some form of security in your home has almost become a necessity in today’s world. Depending on where you live, taking care of your home can be stressful. Some towns take neighborhood security very seriously while others tend to struggle with it.

One of the biggest hurdles you can encounter as a homeowner is the costs associated with security. Full-fledged alarm systems can be expensive and even require subscriptions in some cases. How do you increase your home security without spending a small fortune?

These 10 home security hacks all cost less than $20 yet actually work:

  • Home security signs (even if you don’t have security cameras)
  • Fake security cameras
  • Light timers for outside and inside
  • Motion sensor spotlights
  • Etched glass window film
  • Sliding door braces
  • Alarms for each window
  • Cabinet and drawer smart locks
  • Doorstop alarms
  • Peepholes

In this article, we’ll go into more detail on each of these awesome home security hacks. We have an impressive range of options for potential solutions to common home security concerns. Read on to see which steps you can take to make your home safer and more secure. You’re not going to want to miss this!

 

10 of the Best Home Security DIY Hacks For Under $20 That Actually Work

Everyone loves the feeling of confidence in the security of their home. The problem is, it can be difficult to afford a security subscription, especially with a lot of them costing an average of $80 to $100 a month. That’s in addition to other expenses as well.

Don’t worry, because we’re here to help. Let’s check out some simple, low-cost DIY hacks to make your home more secure without breaking the bank.

 

  1. Home Security Signs

When it comes to protecting your home, deterrence can be a big benefit. Criminals will typically avoid homes that give off indications of being protected for fear of being caught. Even if your home doesn’t have any type of home security system installed, you can still create the illusion you’re protected. It’s a lot easier and cheaper than you think, too.

All you have to do is place one of these home-security signs on your property.

You can set up a sign in the yard, or you can opt for one on your fence. Many of these signs are both waterproof and UV-protected, ensuring you’ll be able to rely on them for a long time.

 

  1. Dummy Security Cameras

This hack goes hand in hand with our previous one. If you can’t afford a top-of-the-line security system but you want it to look like you can, go the route of dummy cameras instead. These fake cameras are designed to look just like the real thing, and they go a long way towards making potential burglars think twice about trying to break in.

Dummy cameras can be bought inexpensively, such as the one in the link above, and they’re easy to install in and around your home.

Keep in mind when setting up your cameras to mount them in the same areas you would with a real operational camera. This will help reinforce the illusion of them being part of a legitimate working security system. Thieves won’t be able to tell the difference, either.

 

  1. Indoor and Outdoor Light Timers

You may work an overnight shift, which leaves your home empty at the most vulnerable time. Even if you have a nine-to-five job, perhaps there are days where you end up at the office until after dark. Putting your home’s lights on daily light timers can help in both these situations.

These timers will switch your lights on and off automatically. This can give off the vibe to any potential burglar that your home is occupied.

Light timers are very easy on your budget. They’re also versatile, as the timers are made for both indoor and outdoor use. These can be a great deterrent at a reasonable price.

 

  1. Motion Sensor Spotlights

Motion sensor lights are another smart DIY addition if anyone ever tries to approach your home in the darkness. These lights are triggered when movement is detected in an area. Burglars will think they’ve been spotted on your property and should try to make a run for it.

You can install a standard motion sensor light on your own with little effort. That coupled with the low cost makes these lights a fantastic pick. If you’re looking for extra protection, consider purchasing a set, which you can place around different parts of your property.

 

  1. Etched Glass Window Film

Many homeowners have large sliding windows installed in their homes. Others own sliding glass doors that let in a lot of natural light and give a nice view of the outdoors.

While these make indoor living a joy, any valuables that can be seen from outside have the potential to catch the eye of burglars in the area. Take precautions to try and avoid this situation with etched glass window films.

These films cover the windowpanes, making it more difficult to see who and what’s inside your home. Most films are adhesive-backed, making them very easy to apply. You’ll also quite like the feeling of privacy you get from these window films.

 

    1. Sliding Door Braces

Speaking of large glass surfaces, a sliding glass door can be one of the least secure entrances to any home. A criminal only needs to lift the door enough to move it off-track, then they can get it off the lock catch easily. This gets them almost instant access to your home and everything inside it.

 

The simplest way to secure a sliding glass door is by using a brace bar. These bars can be extended to match the width of the sliding door and keep it locked in place. Some even have rubber pads on the ends to prevent surfaces from getting unwanted scratches. If you can’t get your hands on a brace bar, placing a large wooden dowel in the door track will work just as well.

 

  1. Individual Window Alarms

Windows are a very common entry point for burglars, not to mention they can also be dangerous for young children who get too close. Give yourself some peace of mind by purchasing individual alarms for your windows.

Window alarms will sound an alert when the window is opened by anyone. They work independently, so you can either put one in every window of your home or be selective about their placement. You can also set them to emit a loud alarm or a chime alert. These are very effective and much less costly than a full security system.

 

  1. Smart Locks for Drawers or Cabinets

One of the best ways to keep your most valuable possessions safe from burglars is by locking them up where only you can access them. Smart locks make it possible. These request a pin code before you can access your drawers or cabinets, so only those who know the code can get in. Burglars won’t bother trying for long, as they’d waste too much valuable time.

As an added bonus, these locks are also a good idea to protect small children from inadvertently getting their hands on sharp objects such as knives or scissors.

 

  1. Doorstop Alarms

The idea of getting a doorstop alarm may be one you scratch your head at, at least at first. However, if you live in an area that has a higher crime rate than most, this could be a useful option for you. Doorstop alarms are also a handy security tool for the frequent traveler who spends a lot of time in hotels.

The alarm goes at the bottom of a closed door, just like any doorstop would. Should anyone attempt to forcefully open the door, a loud alarm will sound, scaring away whoever is trying to get in. The alarm is battery-powered and can be turned off if you’d like to use it as a regular doorstop.

 

  1. Peepholes

Our last cheap home security hack is one of the simplest we can offer, but it’s quite effective, too. By putting a peephole in the door, you only have to spend a few minutes and little effort to make your home more secure.

Peepholes let you see who’s at your door before you decide to answer it. The kits are generally easy to install and can be done without any help. While maybe not as good as a Nest or Ring, on a budget, this is more than a sufficient replacement.

 

Conclusion

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a security system to make your home safer. As you can see, there are plenty of low-cost DIY hacks you can implement in your home to increase your sense of security. Everything here can be purchased and installed for less than $20.

Whether you try one or two of these hacks or even all 10, hopefully you find these as beneficial as we do. Best of luck!