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Laptop Locks

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by masterazn, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. masterazn

    masterazn Banned

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    Laptop Locks

    I know this is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to stop having your laptop stolen.

    I have a few questions regarding this. Firstly, is a brand-name laptop lock (ie. Kensington) really worth the cost of their products? I was told that if someone really want to take your laptop, they could easily cut the cord and take off with it. With that said, I was also told that the lock is there to deter theft and also to make the laptop hard to sell because the lock is stuck to the chassis (supposedly, that is the difficult part and not the cable?). In any case, what I'm saying is, should I really pay the extra money for "kevlar coated" and "high strength reinforced steel"? Or would any old lock look and act the same as a Kensington? (A Kensington lock typically costs from $30 upwards while any old lock with some random brand costs me less than $4).

    Next, key or combination? Obviously, you can lose the key and you'd be in trouble but I was thinking of dropping one of the keys at the bank or leaving it with a trusted friend in case you ever lost yours. But then again, maybe that lost key falls in the wrong hands and your laptop takes off in the mean time. As for combination, obviously, someone can crack it. But again, someone can pick the lock. What's the best way to go about it here?

    I guess that's it, I can't really think of anything else.

    Thanks,

    -masterazn
     
  2. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    What do you lock it down to?
     
  3. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    The leg of a desk.

    The locks won't protect your goods from a determined thief. They're meant to keep casual thieves from walking into your dorm room while you pop into the toilet and taking off with the goods.

    Given that, I think the cheap version would be just as good at the job as the Kensington. It's most important to show the guy that he can't lift the machine and walk away instantly.

    EDIT: If you're afraid of losing the key, go with the combo. One less thing to worry about.
     
  4. Stompwampa

    Stompwampa IncGamers Member

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    I would spend the extra cash on the Kensington lock, but that's me. It also depends how much the laptop is worth to you. Granted, having a laptop of any worth get stolen would suck, but I'd be more apt to get a high end lock for an AlienWare laptop as oppsed to a 5 year old Dell.
     
  5. ragnar_ii

    ragnar_ii IncGamers Member

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    An expensive lock could also been seen as a challange worth pursuing to some thieves. Probably not all that likely, but it could happen
     
  6. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,64987,00.html
    Most Laptop locks are susceptible to that.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Uv45y6vkcQ&search=bump key
    99.9% of all locks with keys can be opened with that.

    Combo locks now take the longest to open, but if I cut the cable and walk away I have all the time in the world to crack the combo. There are even little machines to open some combo lock designs. Others have instructions online on where to file down the metal and pull out the pins/disks which only takes a few minutes.

    Locks really aren't safe, keeping an eye on your laptop is really the only way to be secure.
     
  7. masterazn

    masterazn Banned

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    But in any case....Kow, does spending all that extra money pay off? Will a thief actually look and see that it's a known brand and know from experience that it's hard to break?
     
  8. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    I'm saying it doesn't matter. Most locks can be comprimised in a few seconds.

    Others take a bit more time, but still worth it if they turn around and sell it for a few hundred dollars.

    At best it will stop someone who didn't go out to steal a laptop and aren't prepared. I'm just saying don't think locking your laptop up will make it safe. If I want your laptop the lock will add 20 minutes of work tops(and that is without power tools)

    EDIT: Brand doesn't really matter there are $2500 locks that can be opened in less than 3 seconds with a bump key. Cheaper locks may take longer to cut through, but nothing significant.
     
  9. Stompwampa

    Stompwampa IncGamers Member

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    What exactly is a bump key? I watched that video, but didn't quite get how it is made or why it works.
     
  10. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    You take a key and file it down so each valley is a "9"(deepest cut). You stick the key in, pull it out a bit and then hit it with something and twist. The bottom pins sit in place and the top pins move up, allowing the lock to open.
     
  11. Stompwampa

    Stompwampa IncGamers Member

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    So if I got to the local hardware store and ask for a bump key, will they make one? Or do I have to give them a key and ask them to file all the grooves down to a "9" for me?
     
  12. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    Some stores will do it some won't, you can buy a blank key and make your own with a file in less than 15 minutes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lOsXeJ2Jfg That explains the whole thing a bit better.

    If you make one yourself test it on a few locks you don't need first, it doesn't really help if you can't get the key out of the lock(meaning you cut the grooves too deep)
     
  13. ragnar_ii

    ragnar_ii IncGamers Member

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    So, you can use a bump key on a car door and then on its ignition, right?
     
  14. Stompwampa

    Stompwampa IncGamers Member

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    wow. you'd think that it would be illegal to publish that kind of information.

    I heard once that it is illegal to own a lock picking set (unless your a locksmith) but it is not illegal to pick a lock.
     
  15. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    Both lies, it is only illegal to pick a lock you don't have permission to pick.

    There is no information that is illegal to give out unless you are under contract(like doctors, employees, government agents). Besides, what if that was posted by someone in another country?

    Now it may not be a good idea to have a lock pick set on you just because it could be 'evidence' against you somehow.


    You can't pick a car's iginition with a bump key because they are a different type of lock and more importantly most cars have a transistors in the keys that won't let them start without a current running through that specific transistor type. There are ways to get around that though and you can get the information how by calling an insurance agent or looking in the user manual.
     

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