When Untethered Labs reached out to us to try their product GateKeeper, we were excited to get our hands on our first computer proximity lock. We perused the site, became familiar with the product, and awaited delivery day. Here’s our official review on the Bluetooth PC Unlocker GateKeeper.

GateKeeper: A Bluetooth PC Lock for Active Users On-the-Go

GateKeeper is a Bluetooth proximity lock for laptops and computers. Designed for the active user, it prevents people who are leaving their desk or workstation often – like professionals and doctors – from having to unlock their computer each time they return. Using Bluetooth proximity technology, the device sends a signal to the computer it is hooked up to and logs back into your computer hands-free. After doing a little digging, we found that GateKeeper was originally a Kickstarter project that gained traction back in February 2014. Though it was originally meant to mimic the popular Tile tracker – Untethered Labs eventually pivoted to focus on developing a unique technology for the working professional.

Benefits of Bluetooth Proximity PC Locks

Bluetooth proximity locks are not uncommon in the tech world. Many people have them for their suitcases and doors to make entry secure yet convenient. When it comes to computers, having the added security on your laptop can be monumental. With the use of Bluetooth proximity locks, though, you can be assured that once you leave your computer or workstation, your monitor will lock and your data will be secure (until you return, that is!)

st-tech Trial + Review of GateKeeper

When we received GateKeeper, we put it through a few rigorous trials over several weeks. We really wanted to understand how it worked in real-world settings and how easily it could fit into someone’s life. Alicia, our resident software nerd, went through the process of unboxing and testing GateKeeper. Here’s what she had to report:

What st-tech Loves About GateKeeper

In the simplest way, GateKeeper works as intended. When we donned our GateKeeper after setting it up, walking about 50 steps away from the computer caused the screen to switch into Microsoft 10s picturesque login screen. Success! It didn’t hesitate to lock and was consistent every time. When we returned, we tapped the receiver onto the USB dongle and returned back to our workstation just as before. The feeling was great – it felt intuitive, smart, and easy.

GateKeeper Is Easy to Attach to Keychains

The device itself feels great. With a smooth rubber outside and a hand-held size, GateKeeper is truly for those on-the-go. We really appreciated the small circle on the top that allows you to attach it to key chains, laptop bags, and other rings to keep it close-by at all times.

GateKeeper Provides 3 Methods for PC Unlocking

We were surprised that a device so intuitive as GateKeeper still allowed for some user customization. Users have three options for PC unlocking:

1) Let GateKeeper do the work and login automatically

2) Tap the GateKeeper to the USB dongle to login

3) Login using a predetermined PIN (with the GateKeeper close by!)

Personally, we liked the second feature, tapping the GateKeeper, the most. It felt like being in total control without having to input anything into the machine – an action we believe GateKeeper does a great job of avoiding.

Find Your GateKeeper Functionality

On both the app and desktop software, you are able to ping your GateKeeper in the event that you lose it. It will alert the device to start sending off a quick-fire sound to help you locate where it is in the room (or otherwise). Because of the size of this product, we thought this was a great added feature.

Where st-tech Believes GateKeeper Can Improve

GateKeeper’s iPhone + Android Appgatekeeper-bluetooth-pc-unlocker-for-laptop-security-4

While we, generally, sing our high praises about GateKeeper, there are a few things that need improvement. After doing our research, we discovered the earlier version – or the GateKeeper 1.0 – as we discussed earlier in the article. We excitedly downloaded the app – being app fiends – and were sorely disappointed with the limited functionality and UX.

From what we can deduct, this app lived a former life with GateKeeper 1.0. While it
is still able to sync to the version we received for free, the app lacked real purpose other than to locate your GateKeeper…and it was really hard to even figure out how to do that. As you can see pictured, the app was alerting us that the GateKeeper was out of range while sitting right next to the iPhone.

GateKeeper Desktop Software UX

Being the software geeks that we are, we were excited to try GateKeeper’s program. The program is packed with extremely useful features but is riddled with confusing UX that would cause an average Joe to cock their head and become flustered. Because this product is perfect for someone on-the-go, working toward making the program an easy-to-digest dashboard for some of the key need-to-know things about the GateKeeper would help with adherence.

GateKeeper’s Installation Manual + User Guide

We commend GateKeeper for their manual and links to the User Guide on the documents packaged with the product. However, some of the people on our team had difficulty reading the small print and following along. We hope that as Untethered Labs returns to this product to make updates that they consider a more user-friendly guide on how to use the product, not just how to install it. Our friends at Untethered Labs have been kind enough to pass a discount code our way for our readers. Just visit the GateKeeper Chain store page and use the coupon code 15OFF to receive 15% off your order!


So, what do you think? Are you ready to get your hands on your own Bluetooth PC Unlocker? Would this tech product be helpful for you at work or home? Let us know your opinion on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn!

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Alicia Cassey

Chief Content Officer (CCO) at st-tech
Alicia is a search strategy professional and software fanatic. She is fulfilling her high school superlative - Most Tech Savvy - as the Chief Content Officer and super search nerd at st-tech.

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