I just purchased a three year subscription to LoJack for Laptops from Amazon.com.
What is LoJack for Laptops?
LoJack for Laptops is software that is installed on your Mac or PC behind the scenes and can report in to Computrace LoJack it’s location most of the time if your PC is stolen.
According to LoJack for Laptops their service works like this: if your computer is stolen:
1. You file a police report and notify our Recovery Team.
2. When your stolen computer contacts our Monitoring Center, it is placed on high-alert and starts calling us every 15 minutes, allowing our Recovery Team to closely track your computer’s location.
3. Our Recovery Team provides law enforcement with tracking information and documentation essential for procuring search warrants and leading them to the location of your computer.
4. The police recover your computer and return it to you!
The company claims to recover 3 out of 4 stolen computers that use their service. The company says that their software is tamperproof and still stays on your computer even if the drive is reformatted or a new OS is installed.
So why did I pay $90 to better protect my laptop?
Well for a couple of reasons.
First off I’ve had laptops stolen in the past. It really sucks. A lot of times what sucks even worse than the laptop theft are the files that are stolen with a laptop. Even more than this though is the sense of victimization that you feel when someone has stolen something from you. The satisfaction of knowing that someone who stole from me was caught and hopefully pays a legal price is probably worth more to me than even the value of the laptop itself.
Oftentimes someone who steals a laptop is likely involved in other crime and so it would also make me feel good if they caught them and other people got their stolen property back too.
Also I’m out and about quite a bit with my laptop. One of my main uses for my laptop is to offload photos that I take from my CF cards to the laptop’s hard drive. For this reason my laptop goes with me in my photo backpack every single day. Frequently I worry about walking around with so much expensive gear on me. Not only do I keep my laptop with me everywhere, but I keep my Canon 5D and 4 L Series lenses with me everywhere I go as well. There is a good chance that if someone stole my backpack and I could track the laptop that I might also be able to recover my camera, lenses, batteries and CF cards if they were stolen with it too.
I had my first Canon 5D stolen in the Bahamas two years ago and that really sucked too.
Chances are of course that your laptop will not be stolen. LoJack cites pretty high statistics though. They say 1/10 laptops are lost or stolen and 97% are never recovered. I think if you ask around you probably already know someone who has had one stolen before. For me, the cost of $30 per year for a little extra piece of mind is well worth it.
Thanks, by the way, to Martin Taylor who tipped me off to LoJack for Laptops. I found out about this service when I posted a note on FriendFeed saying I’d pay $200 for a chip to track my laptop with GPS and he brought this service to my attention.