As operating systems and websites begin to support fingerprint biometric scans, you’ll find modern-day laptops typically come preinstalled with a fingerprint reader. If you’re running on older hardware, however, don’t think about throwing it away just yet; you can still add this functionality by grabbing a USB reader instead.
Here’s our selection of the best USB fingerprint readers on the market today.
PQI’s Mini USB Fingerprint Reader is a fantastic choice for bringing your old hardware up to speed. It’s designed to be compatible with Windows 10’s new Windows Hello feature, but it is also suitable for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users too.
One of the best features of this reader is its 360-degree scanning capability. You don’t have to worry about how the USB device is oriented; just plug it in where it’s most convenient. When it’s time to scan your finger, the reader will take your orientation into account when comparing it to the record it has on file.
It has enough room to store up to 10 different fingerprint profiles. This is great for shared use, as well as having backup finger in case one gets dirty or injured. PQI’s reader is available at a very affordable price, which makes this a good choice for someone starting out with fingerprint scanners. An added benefit is its petite size so that it’s easy to carry around with you.
If you have a desktop setup where you can’t easily reach the USB ports, it’s best to use a scanner that you place on the table beside you. The Verifi P2000 Fingerprint Reader is one of the best examples of this kind of scanner, and is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a reader that will sit neatly on your desk.
The scanner is made of a rugged metal that will withstand a lot of use. Despite its robust design, it has a good fingerprint detection ratio, so you’re not constantly swiping your finger over it to get a match. In most cases, just a single swipe will be enough.
Verifi was about to design the P2000 with a robust and durable screen without affecting the scan results. As such, while this reader is lightweight and easy to carry, you’ll find that it’ll withstand a lot more usage than other models.
For the ultimate small fingerprint reader that does it all, try the Kensington VeriMark. It has 360-degree fingerprint scanning and is small enough to be portable. What makes this scanner worthy of your money, however, is the additional features that come with it.
It keeps all of its stored data secure. Once it scans a fingerprint image and encrypts it, you aren’t able to reverse the process to unencypt the images. This makes it resilient against hackers who target the hardware to extract sensitive biometric data.
It also uses a bespoke fingerprint template that only Kensington knows how to use. This makes it more secure and keeps your biometric details safe as a result.
It can also be used in older USB-A ports, regardless of the version type. If you use USB-C, you can plug it into a USB-C to USB-A adapter to get it working. This makes it a great choice for pairing up with older hardware that doesn’t include newer USB ports.
Benns’ Fingerprint Reader Analyzer takes some of the hassle out of fingerprint scanning. Normally, a scanner would take a single snapshot and compare all future scans to that one image. This means that if something’s a little off with the initial image, you may find your future scans have a lower success rate.
This scanner, however, features an algorithm that builds a profile of you as you use it. The more you use it, the smarter it gets, and the higher the success rate on scans. This learning algorithm also makes it efficient at preventing forged fingerprints. With knowledge of all your previous scans in its database, it makes it more efficient at catching out any phony prints that hackers can use to subvert the system.
In fact, the data shows it’s very effective at catching hacking attempts. Its False Acceptance Rate (FAR) is less than 0.002%, meaning hackers will have a hard time cracking into this device. At the same time, it doesn’t come down hard on legitimate users, with a False Recognition Rate of just three percent.
If you’d like some customization options with your fingerprint scanner, try the IDEM BioScan Compact.
You can download optional software from their website that enables some additional functionality. This includes encrypting files and folders with a fingerprint scan, as well as saving your username and passwords for websites in its password manager. This then allows you to logon to any site with just the swipe of your finger.
Away from the additional software features, the BioScan Compact is still a solid fingerprint scanner. It can store up to 10 fingerprints, has a small physical size, and includes anti-forgery technology.
The Blucoil SecuGen Hamster Pro 20 is the ideal USB fingerprint scanner for professional settings. However, its advanced security does come at a cost; it is almost double the price of the other scanners on this list.
It is also one of the very few scanners on the market that has official Linux support. So, whether you’re a Linux or Windows user, this fingerprint scanner should be more than suitable for your needs.
The SecuGen Hamster Pro 20 is resistant to dust, water, scratches, shocks, and impact damage. It is even able to detect, and reject, traces of fingerprints left over from previous scans. It conserves energy too, shutting off when not in use.
Adding Extra Security With Fingerprint Scanners
From phones to operating systems, we see greater compatibility with fingerprint scanners as the years go on. If your machine doesn’t support fingerprint scans, there’s no need to despair; there’s plenty of great options for you to choose from!
Now that you’ve got yourself a scanner, how about using it to log into Windows 10 with your finger scan?