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Eikon To Go adds a layer of security to your Mac. Just don’t forget to bring the USB fingerprint reader.
Passwords? Bah! If you’re a forward-thinking security nut, you’ll use a biometric scanner to lock down your Mac, your website accounts, and even certain applications. Enter the Eikon To Go, which reads fingerprints to determine that it is you, and not some brazen office snoop—or spouse, child, or parent—who wants access to your machine.
While the ETG’s fingerprint scanning works as advertised, its limited OS X software makes the device little more than a $50 alternative to typing in your user-account password for a number of common scenarios.
The ETG is built like a small flash drive. You expose its fingerprint scanner by sliding out the USB connector that plugs into your Mac. The fob is made of lightweight plastic, but feels sturdy enough to survive pockets and briefcases. As for performance, the ETG consistently read our fingerprints correctly, and substituting one finger for another never fooled it.
To “enroll” one of your fingerprints into the security system, you swipe your finger across the scanner, and then associate that print with your OS X account. From then on, when OS X requires your password, you can simply scan any one of your enrolled fingerprints—assuming, of course, you haven’t done anything to offend the software’s finicky ways.
And therein lies the rub. OS X doesn’t see the Protector Suite software beyond your initial login. Once you relock the keychain, you’re back to typing in passwords by hand—fingerprint scanning is no longer available.
For security reasons, a single fingerprint can’t be associated with multiple accounts, but the Protector Suite software does let you associate multiple fingerprints with a single account. You can also choose to unlock some or all keychains at login, and, if you’re an administrator, you can change global authentication options (account logins can require a password, a fingerprint scan, or both).
These are nice features, but the Windows version of Protector Suite can do much more: You can encrypt folders, register a website’s password and unlock it with a scan, and match fingerprints to applications and launch them with a swipe. None of this is available in the Mac version. What’s more, the ETG only protects against hands-on snoopers, not Internet hackers, and if thieves get their hands on your Mac, we don’t see how fingerprint identification would be much better than a strong password.