The Apple MacBook family of computers are beautiful machines with smooth functionality and enough horsepower for both work and play, but the line has lacked one significant feature for those concerned about security: integrated fingerprint readers. Eikon has filled this need with its $49.95 Upek To Go Digital Privacy Manager, a portable USB-powered fingerprint reader that keeps prying eyes away form sensitive data.
Measuring 2.8 x 0.9 x 0.4 inches and weighing just 0.5 ounces, the lightweight Upek Eikon To Go is very pocketable and features an attractive glossy black body. The top portion of the device, when slid forward, simultaneously reveals the USB 2.0 connection and biometric fingerprint sensor. Our only gripe is that the construction is somewhat flimsy, which raises questions about this accessory's long-term durability.
After installing the Protector Suite for Mac software on a MacBook Air using an external DVD drive, we connected the Eikon To Go to the notebook via a bundled USB 2.0 cord and began the fingerprint-registration process. It was a remarkably simple affair: after rebooting our Mac, we were prompted to slide the fingers that we'd like to keep on file over the sensor four times, the images of which were scanned against one another to verify the match.
After doing so, we were pleased to see that we were prompted to swipe our fingers within any area that required a password, such as logging into the MacBook Air, making system preference changes, or installing software. This accessory also works in conjunction with Apple's Keychain (which stores passwords) to allow you to log into Web sites with a finger swipe. A PC version of the software comes bundled on the included installation CD, which gives Windows users the ability to launch applications by swiping a finger, but that functionality isn't available to Apple users.
Despite not having the ability to launch applications by moving our finger over the biometric sensor, the $49.95 Eikon To Go Digital Privacy Manager for Mac is a solid accessory for Mac users who want to secure their systems in case of loss or theft. It does its job well; just make sure to put in an area of your bag where it won't be crushed by other gear.