When I received the call to review Absolute Software's Computrace LoJack
for Laptops, I was excited. I had heard about LoJack but had not had an opportunity
to try it myself. That's not to say that the thought of theft had never
crossed my mind.
What would I do if my notebook were stolen? What if the thief gets access
to my data? Will I ever see my notebook again? Computrace LoJack for Laptops
Premium Edition addresses these issues by allowing the end user to erase sensitive
I truly would not have known that LoJack was installed if I had not done
the installation myself. There are no icons, program directories or even performance
issues to indicate that LoJack is running. If a protected notebook were to
land in the wrong hands, most thieves would never know that their every move
was being tracked.
I used a Toshiba Satellite A210 notebook, which was on the supported hardware
list, to test LoJack for Laptops.
The premium edition comes with a $1,000 guarantee if Absolute Software cannot
recover your device. What's more important to government agencies is
that LoJack can delete data remotely on lost devices. However, I was unable
to test this feature because the notebook has to be reported stolen in order
to delete data or utilize tracking abilities.
One of the greatest attributes of LoJack for Laptops is its ability to reinstall
itself should it be removed or the computer re-imaged. Absolute Software calls
this "persistence," and the feature appears to be supported on
most business-class notebooks.
Average value of a lost notebook based on replacement cost, detection, forensics, data breach, lost intellectual property costs, lost productivity, and legal, consulting and regulatory expenses
Source: Ponemon Institute
I installed Computrace LoJack for Laptops on a Windows XP partition and let
it run for a few days before deciding to wipe it out and start over. I was
skeptical of the software's ability to reinstall itself and had to see
it with my own eyes. Once Windows was installed, I let the computer sit overnight
in order for the agent to reinstall. Though I couldn't find the agent
on the system, it was working the next day.
Not all systems are compatible with the persistence module, but compatability
can be checked online. Some firewalls may prevent the program from checking
in to Absolute Software's server.
I also had an issue with response time from technical support. They typically
took at least two days to respond via e-mail. If the notebook had been reported
stolen, I would hope that support is more responsive. The website that indicated
the agent status was also frequently incorrect. The website consistently showed
that the last time the agent checked in was several days earlier. But I was
assured by tech support that the agent was checking in.
Overall, the subscription price for Computrace LoJack for Laptops is small
considering you're upping the chances of having your stolen notebook
returned. Additionally, with the premium subscription you can delete sensitive
data that could jeopardize agency security or cause a public-relations nightmare.