After my recent acquisition of R2D2, I started noticing the actual Droid commercials on TV, primarily the one with the alarm sounding for when the phone is stolen, or just missing. Of course I began with Google and a few clicks away I found the Prey Project.
My initial thought was that for a free service Prey sounded freaking amazing. Alarm sounding, lock out of phone and/or laptop, cross platform capability, GPS location of where it’s at, reports every 5 minutes, etc. I immediately installed Prey on both my laptop and droid.
Then came the holidays and I was telling my family about this great service known as the Prey Project. We did a test run while at my aunt’s house. Now, I’m not sure why, but even though I had it set to send me reports every 5 minutes, and even though I have my phone set for “performance mode”, it took a little over 3 hours for the alarm to go off, the stolen phone message to pop up and the GPS to give me a map of where the phone was. While it worked, it definitely didn’t update every 5 minutes. In fact even after the initial alarm sounded and we waited another 20 minutes to see if we could get a second report it didn’t send one. The other issue is that while it brought up a stolen phone screen, it was easy enough to just cancel out of that and continue using the phone. While Prey ultimately did locate my phone for me it’s not as fast or secure when it comes to the Droid.
However, when I tried Prey on my laptop it took about ten minutes of my laptop being online before it shut me out and sounded the alarm. The defense on the laptop was much better than on the phone and Prey completely shut me out of Windows to the point where I had to do a hard power off if I wanted to restart the system.
Personally, I’ll continue using the Prey Project’s service, simply because it’s open source and cross platform and though I couldn’t’ get their Linux version to work under Fedora, I’m sure in an update or two it’ll be fine. While the phone update may be slow, at least I know Prey will eventually tell me where it is, of course in three hours a lot can happen to a phone, but for free I can’t complain.
It’s probably worth noting that I’ve never had a laptop or phone stolen from me, so it’s more of a precaution than an actual requirement of mine at this point.