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Hardware vs. Software Keyloggers

Posted by nik on May 19, 2009

What is a keylogger? It’s something that records keystrokes and is normally used without the consent of the user.

You’ve probably heard that keyloggers are a bad thing. It is when used for illegal purposes, such as having a keylogger app installed without your knowledge via spyware. But it’s not a bad thing when you are the one who installed it to keep track of what people are doing when using your computer. For example, if you’re a parent who thinks your child is doing not-so-good things on the internet, you’ll be able to find out what’s been going on with a keylogger.

If you decide to use one, you can opt to use hardware or software.

Hardware

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Above is a hardware keylogger from ThinkGeek. It connects directly to the keyboard connector, can be hidden easily and holds up to 128k of data. While that may not sound like much, bear in mind it’s all text so it is actually quite a bit. Additional features include password protection and keyword searching.

The only real drawback is that it is, as you can see, a PS/2 connector and not USB. However that can be easily remedied with an adapter should you use USB.

Cost is $59.99

There are other hardware-based keyloggers out there on the internet, just do a search for them and they’ll show up.

Software

You need not look any further than SourceForge to find freely available keylogging applications for Windows and Linux.

Best Free Keylogger, a.k.a. BFK, is one of the better ones.

Bear in mind you do have to set up appropriate permissions for this app, and if you use existing spyware/malware security software it may identify this app as “dangerous”. Obviously it isn’t, so if you see the warning(s), give the app the appropriate security “pass”.

Which is better, hardware or software?

Hardware is the better of the two because it’s not an app you can simply disable as it requires no software. The only way to disable the hardware is to literally unplug it.

Will either slow down my computer?

No. Either will run in the background seamlessly.

4 thoughts on “Hardware vs. Software Keyloggers”

kidd says:
The problem with hardware keyloggers: they don’t work on an integrated keyboard, like a laptop. The problem for parents using parental control software, is the software alerts the child that they are being watched. What teenagers do when they don’t know they are being watched is what parents should be concerned about.
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scopy says:
There should be law concerning this kind of equipment or software. The argument about parents is weak as there is many parental control software out there.

Come on, lets be reasonable here…

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Gertrude Kisitu says:
Thanks PCMech.com for an educative message and always giving us update information of the events or activities happening world wide.

It is a pleasure

Gertrude

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Budianto Gunawan says:
in some case like here in indonesia, in some cyber caffe they put the software just to steal user password. Just for having fun reading peoples email or change user social profile in some site.
any idea to share how to know if the soft is in some computer?
Its a good posting.
Thank you
(sorry for my bad english)
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