Back in February I posted an article about the GateKeeper Chain and Lock System that will automatically lock your computer when you walk away and I mentioned I wanted to get one of these and do a review on it. Well that day has come. The guys over at GateKeeper found that article and sent one over for a review.
What is the GateKeeper Chain and Lock System
The GateKeeper Chain and Lock System was designed to help you and your computer users protect you and your company’s assets. It can be used to protect both PCs and Macs in hospitals, workplaces, dorms and many other locations. It can even be used for those who want to keep noisy strangers and friends from seeing what’s on your computer when you walk away and forget to lock it.
How Does the GateKeeper Chain and Lock System Work
All it takes for the GateKeeper Chain and Lock System to work is the GateKeeper Chain and the USB Bluetooth device. Once the the system is connected and paired with your computer all you have to do is walk away from the computer. Once you leave the area that your GateKeeper Chain and the USB device’s set range, the system will automatically lock. Usually within seconds. Once back in Range, it will automatically unlock all without having to use your login passwords. Now there is no need for you and your users to remember to lock your computer!
The keychain also works as a Bluetooth tracking device! Do you loose your car keys? If so attach the keychain to your keys and the next time you loose your keys used the GateKeeper app on your smartphone to find your keys!
Review: GateKeeper Chain and Lock System
As I mentioned before, I was given a GateKeeper Chain to test out and do a review on. After receiving it, I tested the device on a Windows 7 Notebook and a Windows 8.1 Asus Transformer Tablet using the keyboard with the USB port active. But before I go into detail about those experiences I want to go more into detail on the what you get in the package and build quality.
Package and Build Quality
When I first opened the product, I found that it comes with the key chain, USB dongle, a cheap key ring, two watch batteries, and instructions. No install software, but you need it in order to use the locking system. So you have to go to the website and download it.
As for the quality, its built out of plastic and the USB connection is one of those that’s just the connector that inserts into the USB port. No protective surrounding. Personally I prefer to have that protective frame around it, but it doesn’t need it if you take care of your devices.
As for the key chain fob, its about the size of auto key’s remote lock fob and its made of a thin light weight plastic. As long as you keep the two plastic parts together it won’t break unless you are rough with it. I will warn you that when you take it apart to install the watch battery, the little tabs that hold together can break off. I broke one off before I realized how delicate those tabs are. But it still closed up tight and works great.
The little Key Ring is a lock and groove style. I have used this style key ring before and it’s quick and easy release works great for quick release. But at the same time it could come loose when you don’t want it to. I’m going to get a little carabineer to hang the Key Chain from.
The Install Process
Once the battery is installed in the keychain, then you want to go to the download page that is printed in the instruction guide.
Once you find the right file to download (Mac or Windows), download and install the downloaded file. Make sure to follow the instructions and install the software and the drivers needed to for the computer to communicate with the USB device. If you don’t, you may have issues like I did.
After installing the software and driver plug in the USB device. Once installed, the computer should find the device and start loading or installing drivers again. If it doesn’t read it, make sure its plugged in correctly. If it is plugged in correctly, you may want to uninstall the software and try again.
On my Windows 7 notebook, I had issues with the system find the USB device. I after some troubleshooting, I realized that the drivers weren’t installed properly. I then uninstalled the software and reinstalled again. This time it found the USB and connected to it.
On my Windows 8 tablet with Bluetooth Keyboard /USB port, it found it right away and did its updates.
If you follow the install instructions it should work. My Windows 7 device has always issues with the USB device and that is why I choose for the test. After some troubleshooting it worked.
Configuring the Lock System
Now that your USB Device is connected to your computer, settings windows should pop up. When it does, touch the GateKeeper Chain to the the USB Device and hold it there until the settings windows says the two devices are synced.
Next add your username and password so the system will automatically unlock the computer. Once your logon info is entered, save it and close the window. Now your computer is ready to use the GateKeeper Chain and Lock System.
Testing the Usability
On each device I tested the GateKeeper and Lock System, I was able to walk away from the computers and each time I walked away the computers locked with seconds passing out of range. I left the keychain out of range to see it was locking. Once I realized it was working, I moved to the next computer.
When I walked back into range it started the unlock process and it was open as soon as I was at the keyboard again.
Bypassing the Locking System
The first test I tried, was to “forget” or “loose” the keychain when it was out range. Once back at the computer, I logged in as I normally would by manually entering my logon details. Once logged in, the system relocks!
Next, I tried to unplug the USB device. Once logged in, the lock system popup asking you to connect the USB Device. If you do not connect or try to connect you can close that window and you can continue to use the system.
So as long as no one but you knows your username and password they won’t be able to get into your computer (unless it’s a hacker, but then you have more to worry about than just them getting unauthorized access to your computer and network).
Once the keychain is found, install the USB device and sync the system again.
If you do not want your users to access their desktop without the Key Chain, then you will have to install the USB device in a desktop computer in one of the back ports and lock the desktop down so the users can not remove it.
Currently I have the GateKeeper Chain and Lock System installed on my Windows 8.1 tablet and it works great and I will continue to use it. It isn’t a system resource hog and doesn’t take up to much space to carry it. Since my tablet only has one USB port I will have to disconnect the locking system at some point.
At that point, I will then put it in my desk and use it when I travel or when I am at the office. At home there really isn’t a need for me to secure our computers.
In the corporate world, I can see this device being useful. This device would not only give the network one extra step to help securing your network but it will keep users from forgetting to lock their computers or accidently locking themselves out of their computer because they forgot their password.
One thing I would suggest is not clipping the key chain to the users key chains. Not everyone carries their key with them. I normally lock my keys in my desk or gear bag when I am on site. Many others are the same way.
I would suggest clipping them to a required lanyard that the users must wear at all times. This could be added to their lanyard and ID badge if your site requires one. If not, they need to wear one so they won’t have to worry about keeping the Key Chain on them at all times.
I hope in the future the creators of the GateKeeper in their next version use an aluminum case or use a stronger plastic that will hold up to corporate users that do not care about taking care of other people’s property. But for small companies and individuals who want the very best and easy solution to securing your computer when you walk away, this device is a great tool and built well.