It’s safe to touch: fingerprint scanners reviewed

Jun 25, 2007
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If, like me, you dread deleting the cookies in your browser because you've forgotten most of the usernames and passwords to regularly-visited sites, then a simple fingerprint scanner might be a good option.  Yes, a mixture of Hollywood scaremongering and honest security concerns have seen us nervous of people either cutting off our digits or copying them with Jell-O, but for general avoidance of login screens there's little denying the convenience of biometrics.  Todd Haselton over at Ars Technica gathered up four and tried to fool them with Vista, Firefox and Silly Putty.

 

Gelatin Fingerprint copy

With scanners ranging from $34.25 to $116 from four different manufacturers, Todd found a range of features and, more worryingly, compatibility issues.  For instance, while the Microsoft unit is sold as Vista-compatible (with an upgrade patch) it only worked on his system for a day and then, no matter what was tried, refused to work again.

Check out the review for details on which are worth the money and which will make you want to give them the finger, as well as the results of Todd's gelatin-digits test.

Ars Technica


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