Prey is a free tool that will help you track down your laptop if it’s stolen. The app sits hidden within your system (until you wish to activate it from the web interface) and collects valuable information about the whereabouts of the laptop and sends them to the Prey server (when the tool gets Internet access). The tool can also be configured to send you emails directly to your inbox.
The information collected are the general status of the computer, a list of running programs and active connections, fully detailed network and Wi-Fi information, a screenshot of the running desktop and also an image of the person presently using it if there is a web cam available on the laptop.
1. Silent Operation: The app sits silently on your computer and comes into action once it is remotely activated. Then it gathers the information about the whereabouts of the laptop and updates them on the Prey Web Control Panel. All of this happens without getting watched by the thief.
2. Two Modes of Operation: There are two modes of operation “Standalone” and “Control Panel”. The earlier do need to create an account with the service but needs expertise to configure whereas the latter is configured by default all you need is sign up for an account, add a device and start the tracking (when necessary). If you wish to know more about how it works please see this link.
3. Tracking Info: The information that the application sends to find the laptop is
- Geo-location: The precision of the location is quite impressive.
- WiFi Auto-connect: The tool checks for a working Internet and if it fails it automatically connects to any WiFi network in the vicinity.
- Image of the person presently having the laptop in his possession. However you can only have this facility if your laptop has an integrated web cam.
- Other than these you also get screenshot the present desktop, list of running applications, modified files, active connections etc.
4. Alarms and Alerts: If you fear that your laptop has been sold by the thief then you can alert the present owner by triggering alarms and sending messages. Though you should be careful about using this as if the laptop is still with the thief he will be alerted about the chase.
5. Light-weight: The tool uses very little amount memory resources.
6. Compatibility: The tool is available for Mac, Linux and Windows operating systems.
It is almost obvious that the person getting hold of your laptop will format the hard disk to be safe. So the tool will have no chance of informing you. However the developers believe that thieves tend to look in stolen computers for valuable information, so there’s actually a chance you can catch the guy. Considering that, I must say, you have some chances to bust the thief. Grab your free copy and be safe as something is always better than nothing. Isn’t it??