MacBook Pros and Kensington locks

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NikFinn, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. NikFinn macrumors 6502a

    NikFinn

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    MA
    #1
    Like many other people, I'm going to college in the fall and am getting a macbook pro (I think). I'm going to be living on campus, and am slightly concerned about the safety of my (soon to be) shiny new MBP. One of my friends got a kensington lock, but I read bad reviews about them on apple.com as many people said they bowed the sides of their MBPs and generally weren't such a good idea. I was wondering if anyone else have used kensington locks on their MBPs, not necessarily only at college, but anywhere and how they affected the body of their machines.

    Thanks,
    Nik
     
  2. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    #2
    In my experience it'll only flex the side of the computer if you tug/pull on the cable...putting force on the machine.

    I'd imagine this was a larger issue on the older thin bodied MBPs as well. The Unibody has a pretty thick casing on it, so I think it'd be alright.
     
  3. Walt Dizzle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    #3
    Just hide that thing in a suitcase or something
     
  4. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #4
    those things are a joke, if some one really wanted to steal it, they would give a hard yank and pop that sucker out of there.
     
  5. spaceboots06 macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    The Rotten Apple
  6. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
  7. spaceboots06 macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    The Rotten Apple
    #7
  8. AdamLikesMusic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #8
    You're joking, right? No offense, but if I was a laptop thief, and ran into that, I'd probably just break your computer for actually doing that.

    Seriously, though, the inability to close your laptop kind of sucks. It also looks extremely cumbersome.
     
  9. spaceboots06 macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    The Rotten Apple
    #9
    It's insulting the thief! :D:D:D
     
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #10
    I used a Kensington lock with my old Core Duo MBP (2006) before it got stolen (no, the lock wasn't in use at the time ironically). There was no case warping due to the lock, but I'd imagine if you kept the cord under tension eventually you'd start seeing the results.

    With the new unibody construction I'd be even more surprised if the case warped.

    That being said, physical locks aren't great solutions in the first place. Why not go for a software solution like UnderCover? That's currently installed on my stolen Mac, and it's been sending information back to Orbicule over the past couple of days. Hopefully I'll recover it soon.
     
  11. Hal1980 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    #11
    Just be careful with it, keep it out of sight, and get lojack for it.
     
  12. Hal1980 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    #12
    I'm interested to know how well that works. Please keep us posted and good luck on recovering it.
     
  13. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #13

    Good job!!

    ... but what happens if the would be thief was to pour water on it?? wouldnt that be more annoying than having the machine stolen? :confused: if i was a thief, i'd toss it out the window whist it's try to zero the HD!!

    BTW, what's stopping the thief from stealing the mac and the wooden thing it's bolted to?
     
  14. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #14
    You sure you want one??
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6560787668346205814
     
  15. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #15
    I'm not sure which wooden thing you are referring to, but the MDF that the laptop sites directly on is attached to my desk with a steel cable, and the desk is bolted to the floor! I guess they didn't trust us with the furniture.

    There's not much I can do if a thief wants to damage the computer. It would be annoying, but at least they wouldn't profit off it, and some parts might be salvageable. I could keep it in a safe or a locked box or something, but that would be highly inconvenient. Just keeping it out of sight (locked or not) might work, but that would still be kind of inconvenient.

    Zeroing the hard drive should be impossible in theory. I always lock the screen with the screen saver when I walk away for even a minute. I could, but don't, have an EFI password that prevents someone from using the OS X CD to reset my account password, and the lock prevents someone from resetting the EFI password by changing the RAM (unless of course they defeat the lock).

    Of course, I my lock isn't perfect. It can easily be defeated with a drill, a hacksaw, cable cutters, big pliers, or a Dremel. A truly secure lock would have to hold the laptop with steel, which is much harder to cut than wood or aluminum, and it would have to be attached to the desk with a much thicker cable. I think I used 3/16" cable, but it would take at least 3/8 cable to resist everything but bolt cutters or a Dremel.

    I don't mind not being able to close the lid. I can still put it to sleep if I want, but usually I just leave it on 24/7. I only use this lock at my desk, so it isn't too cumbersome. Locking/unlocking it whenever I want to take the computer is an extra step, and I will admit that sometimes I leave my laptop in my room just because I don't feel like disconnecting everything and unlocking it to move it, but I got used to it. I don't think it is any more difficult to use than a regular Kingston lock. Taking this lock anywhere, like the library, would be very cumbersome, but I just don't let my laptop out of my sight if I'm not in my room.

    Theft was never a problem in my dorm. I think at most an ipod or two went missing. Basically everyone on my floor became friends or at least knew each other, so any outsiders would have stood out (and there are three locked doors to get from outside to the floor I was on, so it is hard for anyone to get in unless they are with someone who has a key). My roommate and I (though it was more my roommate) rarely locked our door, and nothing was ever taken. Theft around campus did become a bit of a problem towards the end of the year with a rash of armed robberies (this is in downtown Atlanta), so a lock wouldn't do me much good in that case, but that's why I also have Undercover. I would be more concerned about my car than my laptop, though.
     
  16. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Hell, AL
    #16
    Things to Do...

    If someone wants to nick your laptop, the Kensington lock will not even come close to deterring them. It deters the average person who would normally not mess with your computer.

    If you are very worried about your laptop, the Kensington will not hurt. A combination of that and being careful might do the trick. It also depends on your roommate and the crowd he or she hangs with.

    Regardless, the one thing you should do is buy personal property insurance. Assuming you are in the U.S., get your own policy and keep off of your parents' policy; if your parents own a house and have homeowners insurance, making a claim on a $2,000 laptop will likely not be beneficial in the aggregate as they may either get dropped by their insurer or have significant rate hikes.

    If you want to get some real security and a place to put things (like your iPod, camera, laptop, and personal information), then buy a strongbox of some type that can be bolted to the floor in your closet. Yes, bolting it to the floor will leave damage, but you can usually fix the damage with a simple dowel or pay a fee to the school when you vacate. The strongbox does not need to be a safe; you can find ammo boxes and tool boxes that might be suitable. Or you can buy a safe.

    Get a duffel bag large enough to fit the strongbox.

    Get a quality combination lock.

    Basically, you are looking to place the box in the duffel bag and then bolt it to the floor. It keeps the box a bit more discrete. Bolting is going to depend on the flooring, but regardless it should be braced for the inside to spread any stress of someone trying to pull it out.

    I am not saying you should do this, but it is an option and provides a bit more security than any lock that leaves an item in plain sight.
     
  17. toanavinai macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #17
    Yeah, I thought that desk looked familiar. Georgia Tech, right?

    I lived in Fitten dorms in my first year (going into my fourth now), and I had no problems with anything being stolen whatsoever. And I typically walk in groups after dark, so yeah, I'm safe on that front, typically, though to be honest I worry more about the safety of my iPhone 3G in Atlanta than my laptop. With Find My iPhone, though, I feel much better about my info. I can always get a new phone... like a 3GS. :p

    Then again, I'm a 6'2" guy, not scrawny but not a fattie, and I trained for 10 years in martial arts... so maybe I'm just not a target by most, heh.

    Sidenote: I have my car on campus too, but it's fine. Old '89 Buick Park Avenue, though, so again... probably not a target. XD
     
  18. gorn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #18
    I completely agree that a kensignton style lock is a joke for actual security, however in a dorm room you don't always need actual security. My freshmen year someone got his Powerbook 12" stolen because his door was open and neither him nor his roommate were in the room, they got back a minute later and the computer was gone. Everyone saw the people that did it, but they didn't go to our school and were long gone.

    Get a cable, keep it on your computer always when you first start. Later you can decide if you don't even need it or if you need something better.
     
  19. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #19
    I lived in Fitten too. I'm going into my second year.


    Did you get the last crime alert?
    Now this was off campus, but only just. The apartments are diagonally across 10th St and Northside Dr from the northwest corner of campus. I think any car that runs could be a target, and in this case being in a group didn't help, and martial arts training probably wouldn't have helped much either. It was basically an ambush situation. One trend is that most of the robberies happened during breaks when campus was almost deserted.

    I'm not too worried about it. I just try to avoid carrying valuables and stay alert if I'm walking around at night. My phone is a piece of junk not worth anything, so that's not a problem. If it gets stolen, I think I am eligible for a new one for free anyways.
     
  20. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #20
    I would think that the kensington lock ports would have a wire in them so if that wire breaks (by pulling the lock out forcefully) the laptop is crippled. However, that doesn't exist.
     
  21. toanavinai macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #21
    Hm, the most recent crime alert I have is more recent:

    Beyond that I have the huge email from GA Tech's President regarding upscaling campus police measures.

    Grand theft auto and the like, though - that's ATL gang activity. But good luck trying to take my car and fleeing with it. :p The transmission will lock up if you floor it, then the car stalls out. I'd say he'd not have gotten far. XD

    But as long as you don't put yourself in a stupid situation, like walking around Home Park or North Ave at 1AM with a laptop bag... you're going to be just fine. Only on rare occasions do I end up going anywhere on campus after dark with my laptop, and that's usually during dead week or finals week - you're never alone then. And even then, it was just to the library and back.

    Sidenote - do they still have all 2nd years pretty much going to North Ave Apartments? My second year they opened, and it seemed like everyone I knew, regardless of whether or not they chose it, got assigned a room in North Ave...
     
  22. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    2nd Star to the Right
    #22
    I've used a Kensington style lock on my classic MBP on and off for years now and have no bowing/bending problem.

    These type of locks won't stop a determined thief who is determined to steal your computer specifically, but they certainly do prevent those thefts of opportunity.
     
  23. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #23
    I didn't get that one. I did get the message from the president.

    I think most second years are in North Ave, but my friends and I were lucky enough to get into 8th street. I really don't want to live in North Ave.
     

Share This Page