The pendrive is a versatile tool with which we can carry data everywhere and work in mobility comfortably. But these devices, such as storage units, also have multiple other uses, among which some are quite exotic. Today we are going to see one of the ones that interest us most in case we want to increase the security of our PC or laptop: convert a pendrive into a key for our equipment.
What is it for and what do we need
Although you can imagine it, the usefulness of this pendrive is to block access to the equipment when the pendrive is not connected to it and unlock access to the system when we connect it. Something similar to what we can get when we use the smart card system with which Windows is configured, but that has the advantage of using a simple device such as a pendrive, which is much easier to configure and has a cheaper price than those cards
So, to enjoy this use, we only have to have any pendrive, which can even be small or of low capacity, as well as a suitable program to execute the system lock function ( here is a list of pendrives if you don’t already have one). Since the available programs are several and diverse, we will see some of the most prominent.
Predator is a complete utility with which we can block any computer while we are not facing it just by removing the USB stick from the USB port to which we have connected it. In this state, the computer is left with a black screen and both the mouse and the keyboard are disabled. The moment we return the pendrive to the unit, it recovers its activity.
This application has the advantage of protecting various devices with their own rules for each of them, also having the option of setting time adjustments to close accounts according to your preferences. In addition, this software offers additional advantages such as sending alerts via email or taking photos when someone tries to access the computer without authorization. So it is not complicated to have control over both our team and who tries to skip that protection.
Rohos Logon Key
Rohos Logon Key is another interesting tool although it offers a somewhat different approach. This application is responsible for starting your Windows session for you, so you won’t have to worry about remembering your access password. Simply connect the pendrive directly to the unit so that the software takes care of everything without complications.
The best thing is that the keys used by the program have greater security than other similar applications, with an AES 256 type encryption. Something that makes the process of storing and using large and complex passwords much easier without risk. A functionality that is maintained in all modes of use of Windows including boot in safe mode, so that we avoid problems even if someone tries to sneak, through this function, on the computer.
For those who need some more functions, USB Raptor is an interesting alternative. This free tool offers you the possibility of blocking your device, just like the rest of the applications, but with some extra functions that give you more versatility. Among them, we have the possibility to configure an additional password, which closes the door to intruders who copy or subtract the pendrive and intend to access the interior.
Also interesting is the option that allows us to create a master key with which to open several devices at once. A suitable function for system administrators who have to work in closed environments and with a large number of equipment at the same time. In addition, we talk about a free application that can replace other payment for its functions and performance.
If you don’t want to get complicated when it comes to avoiding unwanted access to your computer, KeyLock is all you need. This application is extremely simple to use, with a simple interface both when configuring the various protection options and activating or deactivating access to the equipment. A free and simple option that, nevertheless, has a powerful protection when it comes to avoiding these unwanted accesses, while also including an event log that informs us of unauthorized uses and attempts of access.
Finally, it is time to talk about VSUsbLogon. A product that follows the line of the models that we have commented, although with other interesting developments. Among them is the possibility of working not only with pendrives, but also with all types of storage devices such as external hard drives, mobiles, tablets and other devices.
Also interesting is the function of creating user accounts and different passwords for each of them, so that the same device serves to log in with several users or vice versa, each user having their device and password. An advanced model that is finished off with options such as choosing what action occurs when inserting the pendrive or when removing it from the unit.
At this point, we already have everything we need to protect our equipment from those unwanted access. But this is not enough to have full security. And if we have not configured the options correctly, it is possible that someone can access our equipment by simply stealing or taking that pendrive. Therefore, it is highly recommended to include the additional protection offered by the PIN in some applications.
Another essential precaution has to do with the conservation of the pendrive itself. In case this is broken, we can find ourselves without access to our team. Something that we can prevent trying to always have the pendrive stored correctly, in order to prevent the contents of the device from deteriorating. And it is not a bad idea to add any additional account that allows us to enjoy a reservation pendrive, so that if the original fails we will not be unable to access our data.