The 10 Best Laptop Locks
This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in June of 2016. Even if you haven't paid a fortune for your laptop or tablet, the inconvenience of having to set up a new one and either retrieve or recreate all your files is a major inconvenience, not to mention the risk of identity theft or loss of data. Keep your device safe from sticky fingers when you are at the library, in a coffee shop, or any other vulnerable place, with one of these useful laptop locks. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
January 14, 2021:
Most laptops use one of two options for their security slot, namely the Kensington and Noble systems. We, therefore, added one of each variety to our list, starting with the Noble TZ07T, which has a common reinforced-steel cable and loop functionality. It is notable, however, for its barrel lock which incorporates a "peripheral trap", through which you can secure chargers and other devices.
Next, we added the Kensington K64590US, as while we also include the Kensington K64673AM on our list, this model has a set of keys as opposed to a combination mechanism, for those among us who prefer the more traditional option.
Spanning these two choices is the Targus Defcon 3-in-1, which, true to its name, incorporates two types of Kensington lock and a Noble lock attachment, making it especially useful if you wish to secure devices with differing systems, or upgrade to a new laptop model with a different security slot.
July 23, 2019:
Sure, a laptop is an expensive item to have stolen, but what really hurts is the theft of your data that lives on your computer and the services to which it has access. According to a report by Kensington, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds. If you don't want yours to be a statistic, it's smart to add another layer of security by getting one of these laptop locks. They won't stop a truly determined or professional thief, but they will prevent the opportunistic "grab-n-go" scenario where someone walks off with your device when you get up to refill your coffee.
Most of them work by attaching a steel cable to a lock slot that is already built into your computer, and you then anchor the other end of the cable to something immovable. We also selected some units that use a docking approach so you can secure any laptop whether it has a slot or not.
The locking mechanism is operated by key or by combination. Both are effective--it just depends on your preference. If you're prone to forgetting your banking PIN, then you should probably go with a keyed model. You want one that has a generous cable length because a cable that is too short can limit your placement and positioning options.
In this update, we evaluated items based on value, effectiveness, and ease of use. We removed an outdated item due to concerns about its availability and added the Kensington Station Combo in one of our top slots. We like that it can hold even ultra-thin notebooks, such as the MacBook and Microsoft Surface, that don't have built-in lock slots.