Thu, 22 Jul 2010 Undercover 4 review
Afraid your MacBook Pro might be a little too easy to nick? Undercover traces your computer and even shouts for help
- Manufacturer: Orbicule
- Pros: WiFi location; online activation and deactivation; report theft online
- Cons: You won’t know how much it’s worth until you need it
- Price: £35
- Star rating:
If there’s one criticism you can make of Apple’s computer range, it’s that they’re not cheap. You pay a premium for the unique styling and the tried and tested hardware. So, when you leave a MacBook Pro on the train or it disappears from your side while you’re out for coffee, it’s a pretty big deal.
If you live in horror of such a thing happening, then Undercover is for you. The software is well known for security features that can be triggered remotely. If your Mac is nabbed, you log in to your Undercover account online and report it as stolen. That triggers the software the next time the machine comes online.
Within minutes, Undercover starts taking screenshots of your machine in use and sends them back to you. The built-in camera is employed to grab mug shots of the thief as he or she uses your computer. In version 4, you can also geolocate your machine to within 10 or 20 feet, using WiFi.
You’ll even be able to see your Mac’s location on a Google map. Armed with this information, what can you do? It’s best not to storm down there on your own. Undercover’s recovery team can advise you of the best course of action – which is normally to use the data you’ve gathered to file a police report.
If the location tools don’t bear fruit, you can go to Plan B. Literally. Flick the ‘Plan B’ switch and Undercover simulates a hardware fault, gradually darkening the screen so that the machine becomes unusable. You can also choose to lock down the machine and display a message that tells users it’s a stolen machine. Complete with an audio alert that cries “Help, help...”