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Track Your Missing Laptop With Adeona

Sep 25, 2008, 06:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nathan Willis)

"Almost every laptop on sale today comes equipped with the Kensington security slot on the side or back, through which you can connect a theft-deterring locked steel cable. The system's down sides are (a) that a would-be thief can damage or destroy your equipment trying to yank the cable out, and (b) that you have to buy the cable separately. As an alternative, the free software utility Adeona won't preemptively deter theft, but it will help you track down your stolen equipment and better the chances of its recovery by police.

"Adeona runs in the background, and works its magic by waking up at random intervals to record data about the equipment's location and status, which it encrypts and then silently uploads to off-site storage. If your laptop (or, for that matter, your co-located server) goes missing, you can retrieve its latest records from elsewhere, learning such information as its internal and external IP address, local network configuration, and more. Armed with that info, you can call John Law and take a big step toward recovering your goods.

"Adeona is distinct from commercial equipment tracking alternatives in that it takes multiple measures to ensure that the off-site status records are anonymous, untraceable, and encrypted. To accomplish this, the system randomizes many of its parameters -- the length of time between status checks, the time between status check and upload, and the destination node of the off-site storage.

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