Losing something as personal as a laptop is akin to losing a vital piece of your person. Being a victim of laptop theft is one of the worst misfortunes that can befall one in this tech age where a laptop is almost always most people’s best friend, diary, office, and personal entertainment center.
And as if losing your prized laptop, whether a mid-range Chromebook or a pricey and high-end MacBook
, and its contents isn’t bad enough, you also stand the chance of having the contents used against you. If you’re penning the next blockbuster manuscript on the system, then you’ll have to kiss that goodbye. Worst still, you might even suffer a bad case of identity theft if you happen to store confidential company documents and reports on the system.
The corporate world is not left out, especially as more companies are towing the path of the “Bring Your Own Device” policy. It, therefore, is a lot easier for intruders to breach and access a company’s database by stealing workers’ laptops than trying to go through the firewalls and other network security measures put in place by the company. In 2013 when there was a case of stolen laptops from the Coca-Cola Company, about 74,000 members of staff were exposed to identity theft because those laptops were unencrypted and contained names and personal information of the staff.
In the face of this challenge, what do you do to avoid such calamity?
The laptop lock is the answer. This is a measure taken to secure your laptop to a stationary and preferably large object, thus making it virtually impossible to move the laptop (well, unless the thief wouldn’t mind moving everything together). Usually, you may not really need the laptop lock in your house, especially if you’ve equipped your home with top-notch home security systems
that prevent thieves from invading in the first place.
Laptop locks are more useful in places where there are lots of open doors and unrestricted to and fro movements such as the dorm house, offices, or coffee shops. The laptop lock consists basically of two prominent parts: the lock head and the cable. The lock head
is inserted into the laptop locking slot on the side, and then the cable
attached to the lock head is threaded through a stationary object such as the grommets on your office desk
or pretty much any other object that is unmovable.
Now, literally chaining your computer to a table may sound a wee bit extreme, but in light of the information you stand to lose, not to talk of trying to replace the laptop itself, we don’t think it’s too much of a measure to take towards securing your laptop.
This buying guide is designed to provide you with relevant information on the important features to look out for when shopping for the right laptop lock for your laptop. Things like the type of locking slot on your laptop, the lock head on the laptop lock, the material of the cable and its length, the lock mechanism, and even the price, are vital to making the right selection.
Stay with us as we put you through, blow by blow, the afore-mentioned features so that by the time you go to our product review section, you’ll waste no time picking out the laptop lock you seek for your laptop from our lineup.
When it comes to buying security gadgets, scrimping and cutting corners to save a few dollars might end up making you cough out more money to replace the item you were trying to protect. In view of this, it’s always advisable to save up and go for the best that you can afford.
A laptop lock is usually not too pricey; you can get a good laptop lock for as low as $10, while others can cost as much as $70. Please, note that for the slim and ultra-slim notebooks from some brands such as Apple and Lenovo, can be remarkably more expensive than the range stated here; but most common laptops have their locks falling within the given range. Our featured laptop locks come at different price points within the mentioned range, thus ensuring that there’s a great lock for everyone.
There are many cheap laptop locks out there and we encountered many of them while carrying out our research, but those didn’t meet our standards. We’re quite sure you wouldn’t want to leave your laptop at the mercy of a laptop lock whose lock mechanism is easy to tamper with or one with a cable made from substandard material. These are some factors we considered before picking out these well-priced, top-quality laptop locks.
The security of your laptop should be at the back of your mind in your search for a great laptop lock, and so the following features should be on your checklist when shopping for a laptop lock:
- The Locking Slot on Your Laptop
- The Lock Head
- Material and Length of the Cable
- Lock Mechanism
- Other Features
Construction and Design
Laptops normally come with several ports and slots including the charging port, USB ports, card reader slots, and some other commonly-used ports. A further inspection will reveal a block-like port on the side of the laptop, and in case you’ve been wondering what that port is for, that’s the computer locking port of your laptop. This is used to physically secure your laptop when its sitting in an open place and you may need to step out for a moment or two. Of course, you can always shut down and carry your laptop along with you, but there’s really no need to interrupt the flow of your work if you’re just stepping out to go get coffee or take a leak in the restroom.
There are 3 main types of security lock designs that can be built into a laptop, and you have to first ascertain the type of lock design on your laptop chassis before investing in a computer lock. Most HP and other laptop brands use the universal Kensington Security Slot that for more than 22 years has been the standard for PC security in the industry. Fact is, this security slot is real popular, and most companies don’t even add the “Kensington” name to it, and they simply call it “lock slot”.
If you own a thin laptop, then you’ll be using the space-saving Mini Security Slot from the company. The entire Dell XPS line and the Precision and Latitude 7000 use an entirely different type of lock design manufactured by Noble Locks.
The cable is the link between the lock head of the laptop lock and the stationary object that you’ll be chaining your laptop to. This cable is usually made from a material that’s extremely difficult to cut so that it’s impossible to snipe with a cutter. The material of choice for most brands is carbon steel because of its durable and strong nature. Another favorite metal used in manufacturing the cable is zinc alloy. These two metals are almost impossible to cut, thus ensuring that the safety of your laptop is not compromised.
Most laptop locks’ cable are 6 feet long, which is quite adequate for securing the laptop wherever you wish to, while a few others might have longer cables. And unless the table you’re using doesn’t have grommets on the leg where you can thread the cable, the 6-foot-long cable computer lock should do.
The lock head on the laptop lock is the part that inserts into the lock slot on your laptop. All the available laptop locks have their lock heads designed in the T-bar form, with the lock mechanism protruding conspicuously on one end and the small head that inserts into the security slot on the other end. The cable forms the extended part of the computer lock.
The type of laptop you’re using will determine the lock head you’ll go for. If you’re using a laptop with the universal Kensington lock slot, then there are so many brands out there designing computer locks with Kensington lock heads. But if you’re using any of the ultrathin notebooks, tablets, or laptops, then you’ll have to exercise a little bit more caution so you don’t end up with a laptop lock that doesn’t fit the system’s security slot.
Performance and Ease of Use
Most laptop locks have a plug-and-play design. Once you’ve threaded the cable through the leg support of the stationary object you’re using, all that’s remaining is to insert the small part of the lock head into the security port, and your PC is secured. Some lock head designs have a small push button that, once pressed, allows the lock head to snap smoothly into place with a satisfying click. And as soon as the lock head clicks into place, it becomes almost impossible to separate it from the laptop, unless you have the key or combination.
The lock/unlock mechanism of a laptop lock may be a key or combination lock and both are tamper-resistant and highly secure. Some brands that design laptop locks with keys have an online office where you can register your computer lock key in case you misplace it and need a replacement.
A laptop lock with a combination locking mechanism usually features a 4-number combination system so that you have over 10,000 possible combinations to choose from, making it virtually impossible for an intruder to crack. The combination lock also means you have one less key to worry about if you’re the type that misplaces keys often. There are a few laptop locks that come with both key and combination dial locks for enhanced security, but although this might sound like an overkill, nothing is really too much to safeguard your precious laptop and its contents.
The wire cable of most laptop locks is covered with a thick plastic material that enhances the resilience of the cable by making it more stressful for a thief to cut through to the main metal wire inside. Some cables have a thicker diameter (up to 6mm thick), so you might want to check if the laptop lock you’re going for has a thick diameter.
There are some docking stations built to hold the laptop lock. Some of them have built-in locks designed to prevent your laptop from being ejected unless you unlock it with your key. If you have any laptop that doesn’t come with a security slot (such as the MacBook), you can get a plate with the slot attached to it and then glue it to the top cover of your laptop and use the computer lock with it. There are also those that attach underneath your Apple laptop, and these types have rubber stands that prevent them from scratching your table.
Whatever make or model your laptop or notebook is, there’s bound to be a form of security slot that’s adaptable to it; you need to get it so you can rest assured that your hardware and the soft copy information stored therein are safe at all times.
Yes! We’re totally convinced that the information you’ve gleaned from the buying guide is more than adequate to aid you in your search for a suitable laptop lock. Being alert with eyes wide open as you go through our individual product reviews is the best way to ensure you pick a laptop lock that’ll fit the bill. So, go right ahead to our product reviews.
Known for its stylish and elegant carrying cases for notebooks and accessories, Targus has been providing classic and top-quality products meant to pamper your device and its accessories. Its major product line is carrying cases of all types and sizes, designed for vast brands and models of notebooks. Its products have been the leading template in the industry and the true definition of what carrying cases for notebooks are all about. Leveraging on innovative technology, the brand delivers more productive, easier, and enjoyable products for its numerous customers around the globe. Its products are guaranteed to make your tech life more fun and above all, safe. Its role as a renowned supplier of mobile solutions ensures that it has offices in all the continents, and hence ensures that customers from different countries can get help from the customer services that’ll handle their enquiries effectively.
Protect your laptop with the Targus DEFCON KL Computer Key Lock, designed to be highly compatible with the security slot already built into your system. No upgrade or downgrade is required before the lock can fit in and secure your device. Its versatility ensures that you can use it for your LCD screen, printers, all notebooks, and other devices with a Kensington Security Slot on its chassis.
Its 6-foot-long cable is adequately-sized so you can affix the lock to any stationary object of your choice, whether in the office, school, dorm room, or even the local coffee shop. The coils of extremely hard zinc alloy metal tightly twisted around each other is a strong deterrent to thieves and almost impossible for wire cutters to cut. And unless the thief is exceptionally desperate and has all the time in the world to battle with the cable, your device is safe.
Its lock head is made from a sturdy metal in a barrel-form that has little or no leeway for an intruder to tamper with, and since the locking mechanism is a key lock, there’s no issue with forgotten code. And in case you happen to lose your key, there’s always the second key in the pair to fall back on until you can replace or find the misplaced one.
If, by any chance, a desperate thief happens to successfully dislodge the Targus DEFCON KL Computer Key Lock from your system, there’s absolutely no way that the system will not be damaged visibly, thus rendering it unsaleable for the thief—amounting to wasted effort. And well, since most laptop thieves operate on a fast hit-and-run strategy, there’s little possibility of a thief wasting precious minutes trying to dislodge this lock from your device.
Although this lock is extremely difficult for an intruder to compromise, it’s decidedly super easy for the authorized owner to operate; all you need to do is attach the head to the security slot on your system and turn the key to lock. To unlock, just turn the key and pull out the head. That’s pretty easy, right?
Now that you’ve gone through the laptop locks we’ve lined up, it’s time to place an order for the laptop lock that caught your fancy. Though we showcased just one laptop lock from each of the brands, you should note that our featured brands have other models of laptop locks apart from the ones reviewed here that you can explore if necessary. Thank you!