If you carry your laptop with you, then chances are you might leave it unwatched for a few moments when you’re in the library, classroom, in a park or just in any other public place. And during those few minutes when your laptop is unguarded, someone might steal your laptop if you don’t take the necessary protection measures. Albeit there are anti-theft software solutions that could help protect or recover your lost laptop, nothing beats a physical cable or lock attached to your notebook, am I right?
I know that physically locking your laptop will no make you look cool, but at least you know it protects against thefts. What you need to check before searching for laptop anti-theft cables is whether your laptop is equipped with a small lock slot (called a Universal Security Slot) that works with laptop locks. I can tell you from my experience that all the laptops that I owned had one of these.
The anti-theft laptop cables and locks work just like a bicycle chain lock. You just have to find an immovable object to attach your laptop to. But the biggest effect these protection tools make is the psychological one. A physical anti-theft cable or lock is likely to make the thief call it quits when he sees it. There are many products that you could get for under fiver dollars, but we can’t guarantee their sturdiness or quality of materials.
10 of the most reliable anti-theft cables and locks for laptops
The leading company in providing anti-theft cables and locks for laptops is, without a doubt, Kensington. That’s why most of the products featured here are made by them. They’ve actually partnered recently with Acer to introduce one such cable with the C720 Chromebook purchase. Without further ado, let’s see which are one of the best laptop cables and locks to protect you against thieves.
The MicroSaver anti-theft cable and lock from Kensington is arguably the best currently in the market. The cable has a 6-foot length, is made of steel-composite that has a carbon, tempered-steel core. You’ll recognize the patented T-bar lock that’s present with most of Kensington’s anti-theft cables. This is an one piece design, without any other screws, brackets or glue. The attached lock also ensure that only the one who knows the PIN can safely unlock it. But the best thing about this one is the price – it is currently only $14.99, down from the original price of $50, so considering this is a huge deal, hurry up if you don’t want to miss it!
2. Kensington Combination Laptop Lock
Even if most laptop anti-theft cables don’t have a design that stands out, this one here is the model that I find to be quite appealing. And if you take a look at the appealing red version of this cable, that available for $19.53 from Amazon, you realize that you might protect your laptop and do it with style. The Combination Laptop Lock resists to tampering thanks to its superior strength lockhead. The push-button design makes it very easy to install the lock. You can choose from 10,000 possible combinations with the key-less 4-wheel combination lock.
Sendt’s anti-theft laptop cable is one of the cheapest and most reliable products you’ll find at the moment that has such a good rating. The cable has what seems to be a standard length of 6 foot and is made of zinc alloy material You can use it not only to secure your laptop but also other gadgets such as projectors, LCD and Plasma Screens. It will work with any laptop that has a USS or a Kensington security slot. You’ll have to lay down only $13.27 for this cable to protect your laptop against thieves.
Another one from Kensington, the Clicksafe Combination Laptop Lock is different from the similar above model because it comes with a more advanced Kensington Security Anchor lock. It allows you to register and store online your PIN combinations and retrieve them in case you forgot. Of course, maximum privacy and security is ensured. What makes this anti-theft cable standout from other Kensington products is that it comes with a lifetime warranty, which is is a big plus. The single drawback is that it lacks the T-Bar locking. It’s now $27.86 on Amazon, down from $35.
Not the cheapest anti-theft laptop cable around, as you’ll have to invest $50 to get it, Targus’ Ultra Max Laptop Cable Lock is made with its own proprietary industrial strength coated cable that offers an impressive pull strength to over 2,300 pounds. The cable is 8mm thick and is Kevlar reinforced cable, so even a determined thief will not manage to break it.
Codi’s Combination Titanium Cable Lock is being advertised as a product suited for schools or businesses as it allows the PIN locks to be set up by administrators or supervisors. Just like with one of Kensington’s anti-theft cables, you can register the lock combinations with CODi in case you forget them. It comes with a hardened steel lock head and a stainless steel washer to insure protection against tampering and increased security. It is available on Amazon for only $7.87.
Dell, one of the popular laptop makers, offers a keyed computer lock to save your laptops. Dubbed Dell Premium Laptop Keyed Computer Lock and priced at $29, the lock features a T-bar locking mechanism and comes with carbon-strengthened 5mm steel cable and a tamper-resistant lock head to offer a secure connection between lock and computer. It has a cable made out of carbon-tempered steel core that is claimed to resist cuts and offer better durability. Moreover, the company suggests that the lock comes with the highest level of security, preventing it from being picked easily, and has two keys with unique serial codes.
Targus’ DEFCON Resettable Combo Cable Lock is another good cable lock option you can consider buying. The cable comes in at 6.5 feet and is claimed to be made of galvanized steel to offer better durability and cut resistance. Since the lock relies on a combination code, using it is as simple as attaching the laptop to a nearby object and setting a key combination. Furthermore, to offer more convenience, the lock also includes a security base plate, which doubles up on security and provides an alternative way to lock down your machine. Overall, for a price of ~ $30, you cannot go wrong with this lock.
Similar to the Targus’ DEFCON CL cable lock, the Bestland Combination Cable lock, as its name suggests, also features a combination lock for better security. The lock costs $2.90 and offers over 10,000 possible combination codes with a 4-wheel combination that can be personalized accordingly. It has a 6.5-foot long cable made of stainless steel and is compatible with any device with a security slot. Besides laptops, you can also use the lock to protect other devices like desktops, TVs, monitors, hard drives, projectors, etc that feature a security slot.
One of the popular accessory makers, Belkin, also offers a security solution to help you protect your laptop from theft. The Belkin F8E550 Notebook Security Lock is one such option that, in addition to protecting your laptop, also helps you to secure your docking stations, monitors, and other equipments. Its cable comes in at 6 feet and is made of galvanized steel to offer better protection and resist cuts. The lock also includes a padlock with 2 keys, along with a nylon travel bag and is priced at $39.95.
Editor’s Note: The article was originally published in October 2013 by Radu Tyrsina and updated on 13th March 2020 by Yash Wate.