Orbicule's Undercover Vs. Absolute's LoJack

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Egosphere, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. Egosphere macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2006
    Which mac theft prevention software is better: Orbicule's Undercover or Absolute's LoJack?
    Please share any knowledge or experience that is pertinent.

    Personally, without the experience of using either, it seems to me that Undercover is better, more thought-out software (especially for macs, using mac features like iSight, and paying attention to mac qualities like Open Firmware) that has more potential to save your computer--potential that may not be achieved because of the inexperience of its behind-the-scenes people--and that LoJack is more simplistic software but with people behind it that have more experience in theft prevention and in dealing with the authorities. Specifically, because Orbicule is based in Belgium, I wouldn't think they have many contacts in the US among the police, especially considering police departments are separate. Maybe Orbicule is completely unfamiliar with US laws, or actually different state laws, or whatnot. LoJack is US based and seems to be focused on the US-Canada area, which is reassuring to me. However, these are just speculations. I'd love to hear what you all have to say.
    Also, LoJack's website is retarded. All those scare tactics are too conspicuous. They need a new publicist (or whoever is in charge of writing the content of the website).
  2. macdaddy121 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2003
    I looked at the sites and I like Undercover because it is made specifically for the Mac. But I highly doubt you can go wrong either way. And Undercover is cheaper and has a 2x moneyback promise. I don't see how you can go wrong.
  3. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    i'm no expert but i think orbicule's undercover is better because it is designed specifically for macs (lojack is both windows and mac) and works with the mac software and hardware. i like that it takes pictures using the iSight.

    one downside is that orbicule's undercover doesn't seem to be able to locate your mac and notify the police, only locate the mac through network info and i don't know how reliable that information could be. however, if sold or taken to apple, i think the thief would be in trouble there. lojack (from what i gathered by reading their website) is designed to notify the police and probably does not have the iSight feature or the screen dimming feature.

    it's a tough choice, i'll give you that. maybe other members have used one or the other, or both and can provide more insight.
  4. kathen macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2006
    My local Apple Store employee recommended Orbicule, although they did have LoJack in the store. I haven't gotten around to getting it yet but I'm planning on it soon before I go on vacation.
  5. superD macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2007
    Undercover works

    I had a recent chance to test Orbicule's Undercover software when one of our university MacBooks was stolen. I sent the registration info to Orbicule and they added it to their watch list immediately. They also asked for police contact info, and if a report had been filed. A few weeks went by without any trace of Internet activity from the stolen laptop. An agent at Orbicule sent a message just to check in and confirm this. One day the MacBook mysteriously turned up in the building with some damage to it, but it was usable. Curious to see what would happen if I turned it on and went online, I did so and received an email from Orbicule within an hour stating that the computer was connected from a campus IP.
  6. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    That's strange, what happened to it over those few weeks?

    The thief couldn't have stole it and spent all that time doing nothing with it.
  7. umiwangu macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2006
    It could be that whoever stole it went for two weeks without connection to the internet...
  8. md11 macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2005
    I'm planning to go with Undercover, the one time payment vs the lojack yearly payment is also an argument.

    Some more experiences?

  9. samuraikiss macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    Washington, DC
    I wanted to revive this thread because I have the same exact question. Does anyone have any advice? I'm at college and just got a MacBook. Which one should I get?
  10. Willis macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2006
    Beds, UK
    Undercover. I think its the better one. But like any mentioned, if it isnt connected to the internet, then chances of getting it back are slim.

    But on the flip side, almost everyone has access to the internet. But for peace of mind, get Undercover
  11. samuraikiss macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    Washington, DC
    I found this article on Forbes about Lojack interesting. Why doesn't Apple embed a recovery chip in its laptops, like the article mentions that HP, Gateway, Dell, and IBM do?
  12. Hasa macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    Undercover vs. LoJack vs. MacPhoneHome

    I am also interested in getting something for both my mac mini and my wife's macbook. I've never heard of undercover before today but I have heard of MacPhoneHome. Has anyone tried any of them?
  13. dbernie41 macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    Im going to be buying a Macbook Pro very soon and I think I am going to go with UnderCover. Does anyone who uses it notice it slowing down their computer at all? I dont want this to be like all the anti-virus software that does nothing except slow down your machine.
  14. samuraikiss macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    Washington, DC
    I went with Absolute's LoJack software, since I found a three-year subscription on eBay for $20! (The normal retail price is $100.) If you happen to buy the PC version, you can just go to the website and enter the serial number there and download the Mac equivalent. I installed it on my MacBook without any problems. It calls the Computrace every 24 hours automatically, but that will increase to every 10 minutes if I ever have to report it stolen. It's also transferable if you sell your computer and want to uninstall and reinstall on your new one. All in all, I'm quite pleased. I luckily haven't had the opportunity to test it out further. For me, LoJack's connections with American and Canadian law enforcement agencies swayed me.
    Hope that helps!
  15. hybriid macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2007
    Lojack and Undercover for MacBooks

    Would these two still be activated even if someone stole my MacBook and rebooted everything from my laptop? Like, say my laptop was stolen, and they deleted everything, and just reinstalled the OS. Would these two still work? Or I just lost my hope on trying to get it back?
  16. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    They are software based, so I would pretty confidently say "no."
  17. hybriid macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2007
    and one more question:

    Is Undercover activated immediately and how would you know if the macbook is taking pictures of the intruder? Would the green light by the iSight camera light up or what?
  18. stashmanguitar macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2006
    I currently have Undercover running on a MBP and my sister's MacBook both on Leopard. Picked up the family pack for $59, which is supposed to be good for up to 5 family-owned Macs. Orbicule recommends you (A) create a guest account to allow the thief to play around with the machine and potentially access the web, and (B) set a firmware password. This is to prevent anyone from simply reinstalling the OS or booting from another drive. The thief would need to crack the password first. This won't stop a determined pro, but most thieves aren't that smart and will either take it to an Apple Store to try to get it fixed - which will prompt the blacked-out screen and ask the Genius to report the thief - or give up and try to sell it. If they sell it, the same blacked-out screen is supposed to emerge after two weeks from being reported stolen, only this time there is an Orbicule-sponsored reward for whomever returns the machine. All in all, I think Undercover was the best choice for me, but I won't know for sure until I actually need it. Here's to hoping I never do.
  19. pbkiller macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2007
    Puerto Rico
    This system is actually pretty cool! But i have one question, what if the thief as soon as he steals the computer he does not go online and reformats the drive? Will this as well erase the program and obviously leave it not working? It says to set a firmware password to block the thief from reformatting the drive. Is that done thru undercover or thru apple's own OS?
  20. stashmanguitar macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2006
    That's done all through OS X. Here's Apple's Support Article that describes it's functions and setup.
  21. macpluslaptop macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    I got Orbicule. Haven't had to use it :)), but I did have to contact the company on a weekend and I got a return e-mail from a real person later that day. I checked out LoJack also, but the web site put me off. I like the inventiveness of Orbicule, and the responsiveness of the company.
  22. fobdout macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2007
    i'm leaning towards orbicule too. my mbp was stolen and i'mlooking for a replacement and i'm going all out in terms of security...

    anyway, do any of you know if the green light next to the isight turns on when orbicule takes pics??

  23. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I believe the green LED is hardware-tied to the iSight, so yes, it would turn on. A casual thief wouldn't even notice, though... I sure don't when I look at my own iMac.

    If there was a way in software to turn on the camera while disabling the green LED, I would be very worried for new forms of "spyware".
  24. papamaui macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2008
    Oahu, Hawaii
    I used MacPhoneHome for iMac Classic on ... but after paying reg fee for new iMac with OS X Leopard, MacPhoneHome failed to complete installation. I emailed Brigadoon Software four times, never a reply. They used to be a good and reputable company ... I certainly have my doubts right now!

    I'll probably go with Undercover ... it sounds good.
  25. DMann macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002
    Gadgettrack came out with Mactrak in November.


    Mactrak takes things one step further by utilizing Skyhook Wireless positioning technology, currently used in the iPhone, to accurately determine the location of your Mac within 10-20 meters, in addition to IP address and photo uploading. All information is emailed to you first, and at your discretion, authorities can receive the data, location, photos, and updates. Privacy is maintained, and at a one time price of $50, which covers your computer for life, and is transferrable to other machines, this beats the others in terms of price. This app is also available for the iPhone as well - Gadget Trak

    I've tested it on the iPhone (free download) and it tracks my location pretty accurately when I track the phone online from a desktop. This is definitely worth looking into.

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