Intel, in association with retailer Croma has announced the launch of its “Anti-Theft” technology in India. The technology would be made available for all second generation Core laptops and would come preinstalled on select laptops. While the service is compatible on laptops sold in stores other than Croma, as of now new laptops retailing only from Croma would get these preinstalled.
Users with existing laptops can go to their nearest Croma stored to get the service installed on their systems for a fee. As for the technology, while not exactly allowing users to “track” a lost laptop, the service acts as a deterrent to thieves stealing the device. Once a lock is triggered after the device is stolen the laptop is effectively rendered useless. Even if the thief changes the hard drive, flashes the BIOS or tries to reinstall the Operating System, the laptop would remain locked not going post the POST screen.
The process can be reversed only by entering a password the owner had set. If the password matches with the one stored on Intel’s servers, only then would be the device unlocked. The computer will require an Internet connection for it to be unlocked even if you have the password so that it can check with the server about the authenticity of the same when the user enters the password.
As for the hard drive, the user gets an option to encrypt data stored on the disk. The hard drive is tied to the original hardware and unless it is mated to the same chipset it was shipped with, it would be impossible to retrieve data from it by any means. For users who do not have the service already, Croma offers customers the same for a nominal subscription fee of Rs.199 for 2 years.
We would have loved it if there was a GPS based tracking system which would allow users to track their device. In a brief conversation with an Intel representative he agreed that the idea was good – but added that it would require the approval from OEM’s about the factor of adding a GPS chip that marginally drives the cost up.
Anyway, the next time you buy an Intel powered laptop, you might as well check if it has the “Anti Theft” logo for we think it’s a not bad option – especially at Rs. 199 fora two year subscription which is quite affordable.