There are currently numerous commercial laptop-tracking solutions, most of which register the laptop with a central server and then report back periodically. Tracking solutions are often used when a laptop is lost or stolen, where users are able to disable the laptop remotely, take a log of user activity or take a photo using a built-in webcam whenever there is unauthorized usage. Adeona is the first free and open source laptop tracking client, and supports most of the common features found in other services.
Users download the open source client (for Windows, Mac or Linux) and install, and the laptop is then registered onto the OpenDHT network. The client will collect information, such as current IP address and any location information it can gather, along with a photo if there is a webcam. It will periodically encrypt this information using PKI and then send it to the OpenDHT network – from where the original user can collect, decrypt and view.
Using an open source client and the OpenDHT network means that there isn’t a reliance on a single company or a single server in the communication chain. There is no concern of a provider going out of business, a client not being supported or having to pay for the recovery information (ie. the bounty system). Most interesting is that such a field would have previously been considered outside of the realm of an open source solution – but because of the distributed and secure OpenDHT network, services such as this are now not only possible but are being developed. OpenDHT is more than just about anonymous pirates exchanging files, and its open and decentralized nature lends itself well to services where reliability, anonimity and security are important.