Prey Anti Theft software review: Recover your stolen Laptop & Cellphones

Your laptop generally has a lot of important and sensitive data which comprises of both your personal and business information. This is the main reason that you need to make sure that your data is not misused in case of a theft. Also, you might want to make it possible to retrieve your laptop after it is stolen.

Although there are a few paid premium services to help you protect and track your stolen laptop but there is an equally effective free alternative service available. Prey is a cross-platform, free open source anti-theft laptop recovery software that can potentially help you secure your data and track your laptop.

Fig 1- Review of Prey

Prey Anti Theft software review

The first thing which needs to be done is installing prey on your laptop. Installing prey is a fairly simple process which is consistent with installing other applications on your computer. After it is installed it leaves practically no trace on your computer and sits quietly in the background and cannot be detected in the activity manager.

Once prey is installed on your computer it is paired to an online account which can be accessed through a regular browser. You can use this account to configure and monitor the various alert and security settings as per your requirements.

Fig 2 - Review of Prey

How To Recover Stolen Laptop/Phone

As soon as your laptop goes missing you need to alert Prey using your online account. It can subsequently monitor and track your laptop through this account. As soon as a missing laptop is reported, prey’s service jumps into action. The next time your stolen laptop connects to the internet, it sends back valuable information from the laptop.

This information includes a list of running applications, detailed Wi-Fi and network information, a screenshot of the desktop and if your laptop has an integrated webcam – then a picture of the person using the computer. You will receive regular email notifications as long as the laptop is connected to the internet. Prey provides additional security features which can help you erase sensitive data, lock down your computer and also send a message to the person using the laptop.

Fig 3 - Review of Prey

Prey also provides a premium paid option which provides you access to more detailed and real-time reports and other add-on benefits. One of the major shortcomings of Prey is that it can be uninstalled by a tech-savvy thief in the same way a regular application is uninstalled. Also since it is not embedded in the BIOS, like some of its paid counterparts, therefore it can be rendered useless in case the hard disk is formatted.


Prey is a good application to have on your mobile computers and phones. It enhances your chances of protecting your data and retrieving back your stolen laptop/phones. Most importantly, it is free and open source. You can download and read about Prey on its official page here.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN


  1. JHSyd

    “After it is installed it … cannot be detected in the
    activity manager.” I’m a little uncomfortable with installing any executable on my machine that can’t be seen by Task Manager. There is no good reason for the functionality offered by Prey to be operating in such a cloaked background mode.
    Have you checked whether this software is in regular communication with a remote host?

  2. Caleb

    I am guessing that this could be probably be to avoid detection by the other party, should the laptop be stolen or found by someone else.

  3. rajeev

    hi developers, my question is , if laptop is stolen and theft are format the windows and installed the new windows then prey are working or not.

  4. Leeman Ahmed

    LockItTight is better for Android devices and Windows based laptops. this must have app is more secure, reliable, less intrusive and very easy to use along with this they have best support too. definitely is recommended.

  5. Kirby Buchanan

    Prey is software, A thief formats the hard drive and your outta luck. No way to track your laptop.

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