REVIEW: BIO-key’s plug-in fingerprint readers for Windows 10 computers

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At a Glance
  • BIO-key SideSwipe Compact USB Fingerprint Reader for Windows Hello Biometric Sign-in

    $39.99 MSRP $119.97
    on Amazon

A biometric fingerprint reader makes it convenient to sign into your computer, by just pressing or swiping your finger on the reader which scans your fingerprint. It bypasses the need for entering a password while increasing the level of security for the computer -- anyone can enter your password if they get it somehow, but not your finger, after all. It can also be a convenient and secure system to set up on a computer at work that should be accessed by only a specific person or persons.

In late September, BIO-key launched three fingerprint reader devices for the business and everyday computer user. Each sells for $40: the EcoID, the SideSwipe, and the SideTouch. You plug these readers into an USB port on your computer. They’re meant to be used with Windows 10 and this OS’ biometric sign-in feature, Windows Hello. (The EcoID and SideSwipe also run on Windows 7.)

The SideSwipe and SideTouch are designed to be plugged into a notebook or tablet. (Each includes a bracket to better physically secure it when it’s plugged into a Microsoft Surface tablet.) The EcoID’s form factor allows for it to be connected to a desktop computer with an included USB cable.

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