I usually buy a new laptop every few years, and although I work at home 98% of the time, there is one piece of software that I always install first: LockItTight. If the machine ever gets lost or stolen, this gives me a much better chance of finding it. And although it has been around for years, it is still free. Note that CNET can receive a portion of the income from the sale of the products on this page.
How big is this problem? According to a 201
The only thing worse than a stolen laptop is that he knows there is no way to get it back. After all, it's not like it can "call home" to report its location.
Actually, with the right software installed, you can. For example, absolutely at home and in the office (formerly LoJack for laptops) may follow a stolen system, but this enviable option costs $ 15- $ 60 per year, depending on the subscription option you choose.
Track your laptop for free
Fortunately, there is a cheaper alternative: LockItTight, a utility and service for laptop recovery that you get for zero dollars. It is a surprisingly capable solution, and while it will not really deter a thief, it is one of those tools that is definitely worth having.
Like comparable recovery solutions, LockItTight has a small background client that remains more or less inactive until it is remotely activated. In other words, if you log in to your account from another PC, you can see the location of your lost or stolen laptop on a map and receive a warning when it enters and exits the designated zones. You can also take a screenshot, webcam photo (caught, thief!), Keystroke log, browser history, and so on.
Of course this is all based on your laptop connected to the internet. If a thief is just fencing off the system without first turning it on and connecting to Wi-Fi, LockItTight will probably not do you any good. Similarly, if you protect your laptop with a password, which you should probably do, there is little chance that it can connect to Wi-Fi to report the location. But, as I said before, it's worth having, because without this, your chances of recovery are much closer to zero.
LockItTight offers four different price plans, but I suspect that most users will be perfectly happy with the surprisingly free. Allows you to track up to five devices including laptops, Chromebooks, iPhones ($ 699 with Amazon) and Android phones – although the latter two clearly have their own tracking options thanks to Apple and Google.  Upgrading to Standard, Premium or Ultimate only provides an increase in the number of saved reports and how often they are produced. If your main goal is just to follow, I definitely recommend starting with the free version. You should also check out Prey, a similar service that offers free protection for up to three devices (including Mac and Linux laptops).
I'm not saying that LockItTight, Prey or any other tracking system guarantees the recovery of your stolen laptop. I say one of them is worth it because they work as advertised and cost nothing. Your thoughts?
Note: Originally previously published. Updated to show various changes.
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