Chris Hubbard over at Intel posted a review of Computrace by Absolute Software earlier this month. This review came on the heels of an announcement that Absolute Software's Computrace product would be built into the hardware level of select Lenovo ThinkPad T400 notebooks, the first notebooks to ship with support for Intel's Anti-Theft PC Protection and Computrace built right in.
Chris' review of the product is quite thorough, from the "quick and painless" installation to how the product works. As Chris describes:
"When using Computrace, once a day your laptop will use the available internet connection to phone home to the Computrace servers on the internet. Under normal circumstances, the laptop will receive an "all clear" signal from the servers and disconnect until the following day. All this happens silently in the background without user intervention."
Chris goes on to describe the process that is initiated if a laptop is marked as lost or stolen. When that laptop reports back in, after it's been marked as missing, a sequence of pre-determined actions will take place. Depending on what is preferred, that could include deleting the sensitive data from the hard drive, tracking down the laptop and/or preventing the laptop from booting at all.
"When paired with disk encryption, this is a powerful countermeasure to laptop theft. If the data is protected by encryption and the notebook is unuseable because of the Intel Anti-theft technology, the laptop effectively has no value to anyone. With the LoJack capability, a stolen laptop actually becomes a liability since it could be telling the local authorities where the stolen laptop is."
Chris continued to test the product, using a variety of tactics such as reporting it stolen, having it phone home, and entering incorrect passwords. As Chris hopes, the strong security countermeasures make the Lenovo T400 laptop series quite unattractive to most thieves. You can read more about his review here and can sign up to view a demo of Computrace here.