Best Laptop Locks: What Kind of Lock Does My Computer Need?

best laptop locks
Courtesy of Kensington
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Worried about leaving your laptop unattended? Now you don’t have to be. With the best laptop locks, you can lock your device while you’re away from the computer. Whether you’re leaving work for the day or are taking your work home with you, the best computer locks are designed to give you a little more peace of mind by securing your laptop, tablet, PC or smartphone.

Using your device’s docking station, you simply plug these locks into your device for a little extra security. They never interfere with your device’s functionality, and much like a bike lock, they’re designed to essentially freeze your device from opening. Unless you have the right combination or key, there’s no way you’re getting inside.

However, not all computers have lock slots, and there are many different types of laptop locks to consider. In this post, we’ll break down:

  • The three different types of laptop locks
  • What kind of lock your computer needs
  • The best laptop locks for every device.

There Are 3 Types of Laptop Locks

If you’ve ever used a sample laptop at an Apple store or Best Buy, then you’re already familiar with these security devices. With the best laptop locks, you can leave your MacBook unattended at the coffee shop without worrying about thieves. However, different devices require different types of computer locks.

There are three types of laptop locks:

  • Key or combination locks that attach to a lock slot on the side of your device
  • Locks that attach to a lock plate attached to the device’s surface
  • Locking stations that wrap around the entire laptop

The “lock slot” mentioned above is otherwise known as a Kensington Security Slot, which is used by most PC computers. Almost all laptops have this locking mechanism, which has been the industry standard since 1992. For reference, it usually looks something like this:

Kensington Slot Shutterstock

Newer lock slots may be longer and slimmer than the picture above, but if you’ve ever wondered what this mysterious rectangular dock was for, this is why your device has it. So if your computer has a slot that looks like this, you should be able to use most PC locks and all locks made by Kensington.

The Best Laptop Locks for Apple Devices

The second type of laptop lock is for Apple computers that don’t contain a Kensington slot. With these, you need to attach an anchor plate to the outside of the computer and then put the lock on that. This is the kind you’ve experienced fiddling around with Apple computers at the store.

Because most Mac devices don’t feature a Kensington lock slot, most Apple computer locks are in their own category. However, because of their design, they can be used with any device that has an open flat surface.

Finally, there’s the kind of lock that wraps all the way around your laptop. This type of laptop lock doesn’t require an anchor pad or a lock slot. Kensington is the standard for these locks; however, there are other types that will keep your laptop protected just as well.

When you want to add another security step before you even start to think about two-factor authorization, check out the best computer locks. We’ve rounded up some of the best options for hardware security.

  

1. Kensington MacBook and Surface Laptop Locking Station

BEST OVERALL

Most laptop locks attach to a Kensington lock slot or an anchor plate attached to the top or bottom of your device. However, this Kensington laptop locking station securely fits around your entire device, providing extra security. The adjustable security arms can accommodate MacBook and Surface laptops between 11 and 15 inches in width. The lock is opened with a key, like a bike lock.

kensington laptop lock Courtesy of Amazon

  

2. I3C Laptop Cable Lock Hardware

MOST VERSATILE

This cable lock brings a simple solution to the challenge of using it with a number of laptops, tablets and even mobile devices that don’t come with a standard Kensington lock. With an anchor plate that’s held in place with superior 3M adhesive, you can glue the hardware to the back of virtually any electronic device. If your laptop has a security slot, then installation’s even easier. You won’t need to remember a code to unlock this one, only make sure to keep your keys with you at all times.

I3C Lock Image courtesy of Amazon

  

3. Kensington Combination Cable Lock

BEST FOR PC USERS

This extra-durable combination lock is designed to help prevent tampering and keep your laptop safe no matter how hard someone tries to break it. Available in a premium and basic option, it’s made with cut-resistant carbon steel and features a smart 4-combination lock that’s easily attachable (and detachable), so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Kensington Lock Image courtesy of Amazon

  

4. 58 Kensington Desktop Computer Locking Kit

BEST ALL-INCLUSIVE DEVICE KIT

As the industry standard, it’s no surprise that so many of the best laptop locks come from the Kensington brand. This convenient high-carbon steel cable is able to secure multiple items together so you can lock all your devices together at the same time. Great for work and office use, you can wrap this cable around your desktop, monitor, keyboard, speakers and more for instant protection. Best of all, it’s extremely durable and built to last, so you won’t have to worry about some ne’er do well getting into your laptop or computer and exposing your files.

Kensington Desktop Computer and Peripherals Locking Kit Image Courtesy Amazon

  

5. FOLAI Computer Lock for Apple Devices

BEST BUDGET OPTION FOR MAC USERS

Made with durable twisted steel, this handy six-foot computer lock works with Apple devices. With two included lock keys, you can rest easy knowing your device is safe. Keep in mind that this lock is specifically made for Apple devices, which means it’s not meant to work with standard PC lock slots.

Laptop Lock Computer Lock Macbook Image Courtesy Amazon

  

6. Sendt Blue Laptop Combination Lock Security Cable

MOST POTENTIAL LOCK COMBINATIONS

This security cable lock offers six feet of heavy-duty security. The four-dial combination offers up to 10,000 different combination options, and the sleek design plugs directly into your laptop, tablet or any other device of choice for instant protection. For when you want a laptop lock that looks as cool as you feel, opting for a solid blue metal cable is never a bad idea. Note that this combination lock works in tandem with a Kensington security slot.

Sendt Blue Notebook : Laptop Combination Lock Security Cable Image Courtesy Amazon

  

7. RUBAN Notebook Lock and Security Cable

ALSO CONSIDER

This six-foot cable comes with a handy built-in standard security locking slot dock that’s compatible with most laptops, desktops and other devices with a standard docking station. Best of all, it includes two spare keys in case of emergency, because we all know this lock’s not going to open itself.

RUBAN Notebook Lock and Security Cable Image Courtesy Amazon

  

8. Computer Lock + Lock Slot Plate

BEST FOR ALL DEVICES

The perfect combination computer lock for your laptop, desktop, TV, monitors and hard drives, this hardware lock features a smart (and easy) push-button locking design and a resettable 4-numbered combination for added security. Different-sized gaskets and plates are included to match your device of choice. Simply plug it in, configure your combo and you’re good to go.

Computer Lock Image courtesy of Amazon