Automatically Lock and Unlock Your Computer with GateKeeper – Review & Giveaway

How many times have you walked away from your computer at home or work and forgot to lock it? If you’re around people you trust, this may not be an issue for you. However, if you have nosy co-workers, family members or house-mates, then you’ll definitely want to think twice.

GateKeeper is a tool that helps to keep your computer safe. It does this by automatically locking your computer when you walk away and unlocking it when you return.

By using GateKeeper, you won’t have to worry about or wonder if you locked your computer because once you’re a certain distance away from the USB Lock; the Key will disconnect and automatically lock it for you.

In the GateKeeper box you’ll find a Key, USB Lock, two CR2032 batteries (one is a spare), a key ring and a quick start guide.

Here's what's in the GateKeeper box.

Before setting up GateKeeper on your computer, you’ll need to power up the Key. You do this by opening the back cover and inserting one of the included batteries.

When opening the Key cover, I noticed that it was a bit difficult to take off. Plus, it seems like it can easily be snapped or broken if too much force is used; so you’ll need to be extra careful.

Be very careful when removing the GateKeeper Key cover.

Once the cover is back on, it’s safe to insert the USB Lock into a USB slot on your computer. It’s best to use one that is closest to you so that the Lock can easily connect to and communicate with the Key.

The GateKeeper Lock is the one on the right side.

Next you’ll need to download and install the GateKeeper software. It’s available for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, as well as Mac OS X (version not specified). For the purpose of this review, Windows 8.1 was used.

A few dialogue windows will pop up during installation of GateKeeper.

While the GateKeeper setup is running, you’ll also see a Device Driver Installation Wizard window. This is so that you can install the software driver for the USB lock. You may also see a Windows Security window appear, asking if you’d like to install the device software from “Texas Instruments, Inc” (GateKeeper’s Publisher); be sure to “install” it.

Registering the GateKeeper key only takes a minute.

Once everything is installed, you can open the GateKeeper application.

To register your Key, click on the “Register Key” button. You’ll be asked to touch your Key to the USB Lock. Keep the Key touching the USB until the green progress bar reaches the end, letting you know that it is paired.

You must input your credentials in order to use the unlock feature in GateKeeper.

You should see an Input Credentials dialogue window appear. You must fill in your computer username and password here if you want to use the unlock feature. Failing to do this (for instance, by clicking the skip button) will disable the “unlock computer automatically” option.

A working GateKeeper Key will appear like this.

Finally, you can go back and set your preferred Lock Distance. When you’re done, be sure to save and close the window. As long as the GateKeeper window is open, your computer will not lock and you won’t be able to test it.

Getting the perfect distance to suit your preference will take some trial and error. It’s best to have someone else help; they can sit at your computer and watch for the screen to lock and unlock while you walk back and forth to see how long each distance takes.

While testing, I found that the Key needed to be out in the open to best communicate with the Lock. Keeping it in my pocket or balled up in my hand, caused unwanted actions (randomly locking, not locking or unlocking at all). To combat this, I sat the Key closer to the USB lock while the computer was in use, which stopped it from randomly locking and unlocking the screen.

GateKeeper also has an Android and iOS app that works in conjunction with the Key. It enables users to locate and track objects. Unfortunately, I could not get the Android app to work; it would not detect my Key in order for me to add it. Being able to keep up with your valuables is definitely an added bonus – if you can get it working.

Needless to say, GateKeeper provides some beneficial features. It’s easy to set up and even easier to use. Although I did find it a bit buggy at times, it does provide a convenient extra layer of security to your computer and is a joy to use.

Thanks to CoolCAD Electronics, we have 3 GateKeeper sets to give away. To participate in this giveaway, all you need to do is connect with your email address (so we can contact you if you are the winner). This will earn you a single chance. This giveaway contest has ended.

Here are the winners:

  • Hovsep
  • Hania
  • Kevin

The winners have been notified of their winnings.

Thanks to CoolCAD Electronics for the kind sponsorship. If you would like to sponsor a giveaway, contact us here.

GateKeeper