Put to the Test: Absolute Software Geofencing
Geofencing is a feature available now with Computrace Complete by Absolute Software. Geofencing allows users to create predefined boundaries to contain the physical location of the devices in a school’s deployment. Once these boundaries are defined, the school can create a condition to apply to the geofence, such as detecting a device that remains outside of a geofence for more than 24 hours. If this happens, and a device contravenes the condition created, the administrator receives an alert so he can investigate and determine if further action is required.
Pros: This software uses a map to let the user construct the fence to a specific area, where most competing products use broader zip codes or city names to define the area protected. Geofencing allows users to define an area as small as a schoolyard. Alarms can be set that allow for the device to be out of the area for a specific amount of time. With GeoFence installed, the computer is used as normal and the user does not know it is installed. If the user goes outside the fence for the specified amount of time, an alarm is sent to the administrator.
Cons: Although the product comes installed in the BIOS of major brands of computers, it may have to be installed on the hard drive of others. When installed on the hard drive, the program can be removed if the hard drive is reformatted.
Overall evaluation: Since Geofencing is invisible to the end user, it does not disrupt the usual performance of the computer. This product is especially good for netbooks since they are so small and easy for students to hide. The deep discounts for large quantities also make it very affordable.
Retail price: $52.95/year; quantity discounts available.