Prey vs Hidden for Anti-Theft?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by newyorkcity, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. newyorkcity macrumors member

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    #1
    Which one of these should I use for Anti Theft? They seem pretty similar so I'm not sure what to pick, I just want to go with the one that is known to work best if anyone has any idea. Other than these 2 are there any more I should consider?
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #2
  3. Cubytus macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Maybe his Mac OS X doesn't support Back To My Mac?

    I would advise against Prey. It is inefficient, doesn't do what it advertises, and comes with absolutely no support whatsoever. That comes from first-hand experience.

    And the paranoid even went as far as questioning its creator's intent with offering a free tracking software, knowing it never received any security audit.
     
  4. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #4
    What do you want to achieve?

    Deterrence?
    Recovery of the Mac?
    Data security?
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #5
    Are you looking to protect your data or prevent theft? If the latter how do any of these products stop a thief (honest question)?

    I use FileVault 2, to protect my data, in case the laptop gets stolen, I don't know what technology/services exist to either stop a theft or recover the laptop after the fact.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

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    I was referring to Find my Mac not Back to my Mac. All FMM needs is a Mac that can run Lion or later.
     
  7. Cubytus macrumors 65816

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    And what for those who refused to run this buggy Lion or lose compatibility? What for other OSes?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

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    It seems pretty obvious a third party solution would need to be used then.
     
  9. newyorkcity thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    I mainly want 1 of these to recover my OSX if it were stolen. I'm going to be using dropbox for important/work data so i should be able to remove that remotely if it comes down to it.

    The reason for one of these over Find My Mac would be that it can take screenshots, can log keys, and remote control the computer and other features which can help retrieve the mac if lost. So far hidden looks like the best option but still looking around
     
  10. Cubytus macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Given cops don't do anything even when provided with such detailed information, I am not sure how it can be useful in the end. Helping a citizen doesn't put money in the city's bank account.
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

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    The problem with Hidden and apps like it is they will not work with FileVault on and the thief has to login to the Mac for these tools to work. For me anyway, it is more important that I protect my data with encryption than getting the laptop back. With encryption turned off it takes the thief about 30 seconds in the recovery console to reset your admin password and they now have access to all your data.

    Find my Mac does work with FileVault encryption on, so you still have some chance of recovery, albeit without some of the added features of apps like Hidden.

    http://hiddenapp.com/support/installation/does-hidden-work-filevault/
     
  12. glenthompson macrumors 68000

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    #12
    For my needs FileVault with a strong password and Find my Mac are sufficient. Add to that good insurance coverage and I feel secure. I'm more concerned with protecting my data than the loss of the hardware. The hardware can be easily replaced.
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #13
    Unfortuntely I don't think that's viable. Once a Mac is stolen, it will either be parted out or wiped. You'll not really have any chance to remote into the Mac. Even if you do, once the thief sees what you're doing, he'll disconnect it from the web and you'll be SOL.

    The cops don't really get involved in trying to locate stolen laptops with Find my Mac so your recovery options are nil imo.

    The best thing is to encrypt your data so they won't have access to it.
     
  14. Cubytus macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I tried to enable FileVault on this one Mac, but unfortunately it cut the SSD transfer rate in half.
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

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    I see a very small speed hit with FV on, but nothing like half. Tests here show the same small difference.

    Newer Macs with the i-series (i5 etc) really speed up FV.
     
  16. rigormortis, Nov 25, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #16
    if you lock your mac down with filevault 2.0, then back to my mac is totally useless. someone needs to be able to log on to the mac , connect to a wifi network, and respond to back to my mac., or lojack or similar services.

    in that situation maybe you should just file vault your home directory and not the rest of the operating system. but thats not a default setting on Yosemite

    if you do not have a firmware password, and they erase the hard disk, then back to my mac is useless..

    if you want back to my mac to work, then you need to allow guest logins , and you need guest logins authorized to unlock the hard disk.

    your macs or any computer's location is only a best guess, because it only has wifi and not a real gps receiver.


    lojack is good , they have a cash reward if they cannot get your computer back, but the reward goes down over a period of time. and unlike windows computers. lojack is not built into the firmware on macs. on a windows pc the bios reinstalls the agent if the operating system has been erased and reinstalled.

    lo jack's cash reward needs the computer to be able to connect to their services one time after its been reported stolen
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

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    #17
    My transfer rate is decent, I'm only incurring a small performance penalty, are you on an apple SSD or a third party?
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #18
    You are mistaken about how Find my Mac works with FileVault2. If you enable FV2, it creates a Safari only guest account at the login screen. If you click on this account it loads straight to Safari on the recovery partition and pings the location to FMM. You don't need to otherwise login.
     
  19. rigormortis, Nov 25, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #19

    i admit it. my post might of been a little wrong. i think most of it was based on os x Yosemite developer preview.

    but as long as the guest person is logged on to your mac and you go to find my iPhone. all it will say is your computer is locked. the only thing you can do to your computer is play a sound. erasing the mac or locking the mac is not available. the location that it gives you might be current or it might not. all it says is locked 5 minutes ago.

    clicking the refresh button, like you would do to refresh the location, makes the mac just say locked xx minutes ago. i don't know if its a live location. need more testing.

    when the location is live you can click refresh all you want and the location will change and the counter will change as well


    erasing the mac and / or locking the mac is only available if the file vault volume is unlocked. those options are greyed out on the find my iPhone app until the file vault is unlocked, this is also true of www.icloud.com


    so what i said was still true.

    locking the mac , using find my iPhone puts a firmware password on that mac making booting the computer impossible until the 4 digit pin number has been entered. its more and in addition to a file vault lock

    a curious discovery is it seems that guest users are allowed to boot from a different startup disk. heh
     
  20. Cubytus macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Third party, of course.
     
  21. Weaselboy Moderator

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    This is not what I am seeing testing just a few minutes ago.

    If I restart and leave it at the login screen no location is reported. But as soon as I go to the guest account and it restarts into the "Safari only" mode, I can see the location in FMM on my iPhone and I can refresh it. That's the whole point of having that Safari only mode with FV2.
     
  22. rigormortis, Nov 25, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

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    #22
    when i clicked refresh. the time since it was locked did not change. indicating that the location might not be the current location , but where the mac was when you locked filevault

    it seems to be working now. the time on the map is reflecting its current. and the app reports when u locked it. so people who use the app might think the location is old

    but the bottom line is if you are using file vault, you can't erase your mac or lock the firmware while filevault is on and guest users can change the startup disk
     
  23. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #23
    That is correct. But it will tell you the location from the Safari only guest mode as I was saying.
     
  24. Alrescha, Nov 25, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014

    Alrescha macrumors 68020

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    #24
    I would think if you wanted to secure the firmware with a password, you would do that now rather than after your Mac was stolen. With that and FileVault turned on your prospective thief is not going to have a lot of fun with your property.

    A.

    Addendum: Some testing reveals something I did not expect, in that the Safari-only guest user can change the startup disk without having to type in a previously-set firmware password. This seems... unfortunate.
     
  25. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #25
    How are you doing that? In that mode mine (with FV2 on) goes straight to Safari and can't do anything else that I see.
     

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