A laptop is a lot of things—it’s a mobile entertainment center, a portal to the web, and a way to get work done away from home. More than anything, though, it’s a freakin’-expensive piece of hardware that you absolutely do not want to lose.
Of course, the best way to keep your laptop is to not get it stolen in the first place. But if you do, you can be prepared to try and track it down. Plenty of companies are more than happy to charge you a recurring fee for this sort of protection, but you can actually get it for free. A software package called Prey allows you to remotely monitor your stolen laptop, retrieving screenshots, webcam pictures, and Wi-Fi hotspot information that you (and the police) can use to track down your property. It’s open source, it’s free, and we’ll show you how to use it.