I’ve been using the GateKeeper 2.0 for the past 3 months, and thus far I’m extremely impressed. This nifty little device fits on your keyring, weighs only 10g and (as far as I’m now concerned) is a must have for anyone working on computers/systems with elevated permissions, confidential data access or for anyone that’s constantly stepping away from their desk whilst working!
- USB 2.0 (type A – so standard)
- Bluetooth 4.0 fob
- 30ft range
- Compatible with Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
- Military grade AES-256 encryption (applied to your stored credentials)
- Ability to setup 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) with your own “pin” (50 – 100 characters)
- Runs for up to 6 months on a single CR2032 battery
The GateKeeper fob is extremely compact and lightweight, measuring in at 50mm x 25mm x 6mm and weighing in at only 10 grams (0.35 ounces)! Built in to the fob is a metal “keyring loop”, allowing you to attach the fob to a lanyard, your keyring or (as I do) a retractable clip.
The GateKeeper 2.0 is made of a rubbery plastic, but feels extremely well built due to it’s compact size. It’s worth noting that whilst I have had this on a retractable clip for most of the time, I’ve also kept this on my keyring. After 3 months of daily use, I have minimal scratches on the surface.
There’s only one removable cover, which is there to allow you to change the (1 x included) CR2032 battery twice a year.
On the side of the GateKeeper 2.0 is a small button which, in the included software, can be configured to lock your computer regardless of range. This could prove useful if you’ve scooted 5ft over to speak to someone/look at something and you see someone glancing at your screen. UNFORTUNATELY, my button was broken when I started using the device therefore I was unable to put this to the test.
Setting up the GateKeeper 2.0 is a doddle. Simply:
- Download and install the software to your computer
- Slide open the battery compartment and install the included CR2032 battery
- Plug in the included USB dongle
- Follow the onscreen instructions to pair your fob with the dongle, as well as store your credentials
- Create a PIN for 2FA
A full user manual can be found here.
Within the GateKeeper software, you get some useful bits of information. There’s a readout to show you how far away your fob is from the USB dongle, there’s also a field to show your battery level, how frantically your fob is moving (not sure why this is included?) and your connectivity status. The software will also send you a desktop notification to let you know if your battery is starting to run low.
Further down is where you actually configure the range at which you want your computer to lock/unlock. You have the option of actually having to touch your fob against the USB dongle, to up to 30ft away.
I use a piece of software called Remote Desktop Connection Manager everywhere I work (if I have to log on to servers via RDP) and I found that the GateKeeper even authenticated me into sessions without my input!
Connectivity & Range
Connectivity between the USB dongle and GateKeeper 2.0 fob is handled by good ol’ Bluetooth, in this case the 4.0 variant. This gives you a theoretical 30ft of range between the USB dongle and fob, however I don’t think that spec. covers office use.
I found that I could easily get 15 – 20ft of range before my computer would lock/unlock.
I also found that, rather frequently, I would walk up to my desk – hit CTRL+ALT+DEL… and my computer would not log in. I’d then type my configured “pin” into the GateKeeper login prompt, only to be told that my GateKeeper was not in range even though it was less than 2ft from the USB dongle, on my desk. Regardless of this, it’s a quick and simple job to switch user account and use your normal password to log in. Walk away, and boom your computer will lock without an issue.
I’m now an avid fan of this device. It may be gradual laziness onsetting, but I feel that this is an extremely useful device to have handy. As an IT Professional fulfilling a Systems Administrator role as well as some end-user support, I’m stepping away from my computer a lot during the day. Having this device attached to my hip provides me with the peace-of-mind that when I’ve walked away, my computer is locked and no-one is peeking at any confidential requests that may have come my way, or are attempting to fiddle with any systems.
The GateKeeper also has a great place in everyone’s homes. Granted, it could probably do with a few extra features to make it home-user friendly, but I truly think that everyone should use one of these. It could save your “Expenses” spreadsheet that WAS saved on your desktop at home before your toddler deleted it in a keyboard smashing frenzy whilst you went for a cup of tea 😉
GateKeeper website: https://gkchain.com/
GateKeeper manual: https://dl.gkchain.com/docs/usermanual.pdf
This is not a sponsored/paid review. All opinions are entirely my own and unbiased.