How to track down your stolen laptop using a free utility
By Koder at Mon, 11/09/2009 - 22:11
|Before we go into the actual installation of the application and show you how it works, I would like to make it clear that this is not the only application of its kind that will do that. More sophisticated and commercial applications do exist in the marketplace, which might even be more stealthier and better. There are pros and cons to any piece of software, the biggest pros on this is that its lightweight, it can run on any platform and operating system and its open source and completely free. |
Prey does not consume any resources in your day today operation of your laptop, it sits there silently, until is activated remotely through the Prey Projects website. When activated, it gathers all the information and sends it to Prey's central web control, which comes in very handy in locating your laptop and apprehending the culprit.
Last but not least, there is one caveat, the laptop does need to make some sort of internet connection in order to send you the relevant information, hence the culprit would have to bring it online in order for the notifications to be sent.
- Go to Preys website and register http://control.preyproject.com/signup
- Log on to the site and click on Add Device
- Provide Title, Type of Device (Portable or Desktop) and Operating System (Windows, Linux or Mac)
- Make note of your new Device Key
- Under User Information, make note of your API key
- Download from http://preyproject.com, Start installing Prey, click next to proceed
- Agree to the agreement
- Choose Default Start Menu folder
- Click Finish
- When you click Finish the Prey Configurator will come up. Choose the method to be http and fill in your Device key and API key you obtained earlier.
- Now to see your Device and modify it, go to PreyProject.com, login and click on your device (Ours was called name Desktop).
That's it, Restart your machine and dont forget to set the device missing to off when done your testing.
There will always be the big debate, as to, what if the thief formats your hard drive ? Yes if the hard drive is formatted, then the monitoring program will be gone and you will not be alerted. There are commercial programs available that operate at the system BIOS level which can not be wiped even if the hard drive is formatted or replaced, but this is a simple, free and open source piece of program. It will at least provide some protection, which is better than to have no protection at all, like it says, it keeps "that tiny bit of hope alive". Experience and statistics show that thieves tend to "look into" the stolen laptops more often than to just format the hard drive or replace it right away.
If you want to share your ideas, any other software of the similar kind that you use, or simply want to provide feedback, you can always contact us by leaving us a comment here or by using the Contact Us form.