28 February 2007

Recovery statistics

As almost all of our cases for the past year have been closed, we are ready to report our recovery statistics for 2006, our first year of operation. A lot of our clients have asked for these statistiscs, so we are happy to finally publish them. In order to make reading and / or skimming easier, we are publishing the facts, followed by our comments.

About 2.2% of all Undercover-enabled Macs have been stolen in 2006
This number is even higher than we anticipated. This means that during the average lifetime of a Mac, which is about 4 years, you have a chance of about 8% that it will be stolen.

Of all stolen Macs, 72% are connected to the Internet at least once
This percentage refutes the common misconception that most thieves will never use a stolen Mac on the Internet. Think about it, almost 3 out of 4 thieves will go online with the stolen machine!

Of all stolen Macs that are connected, we were able to recover 96%
If your stolen Mac were to be connected to the Internet, even if it's just for a few seconds, you can be almost certain that we will recover it. Since some cases haven't been closed yet, we hope to end the year with a recovery rate that's even closer to 100%.

All in all, we are extremely pleased with these numbers and we are very proud to report them. We are confident to have one of the highest recovery rates in the industry. The bottom line is that we recovered 96% of the stolen Macs that we were technically able to recover, as there is no way to track a Mac that has not been connected.

You might ask yourself, what happens to the other 28% of stolen machines which are never connected? With the current generation of theft recovery software, they are pretty much out of luck. No software currently on the market today is able to geographically locate a Mac that does not phone home. We want to change that, however, and we want to go for the remaining 28% (= 100%- 72%) that's never connected. The next upgrade to Undercover will be even smarter and it will be able to play its cards, even if the stolen machine never goes online. And before you are asking: yes, the upgrade will be free.

14 February 2007

Global Undercover Tracking System (gUts)

As promised, we will offer you a glimpse of Undercover's future. The first aspect we would like to talk about, is the server backend. A lot of our users might not realize it, but the Undercover software is just one part of the equation. A recovery would be impossible without our servers and our custom server software.

Based on our recovery experiences we have completely rewritten this backend system, streamlining the entire recovery procedure from the moment you report your Mac as stolen until we get the final confirmation from the police that your Mac has been located. The new system enables us to get an even better overview of all thefts, while making it easier and faster to change the status of a stolen Mac.

Over the past few days, we moved all previous thefts to this new system, called gUts, or the global Undercover tracking system. As of today, we started using gUts as our sole recovery system. Unlike its predecessor, gUts is completely written in Ruby and Ruby on Rails.

Many of guts' benefits might not be immediatley apparent to our clients. However, the system will enable us to easily add new features to Undercover, such as reporting a theft through our website. At present, victims of theft have to either email us, or grab a phone and call us. In the very near future, it will be possible to report your Mac as stolen through our new web interface, adding a third reporting possibility.

Another benefit of this new system is that we can gather recovery statistics by pressing one button. As we are just finishing our first year of operation, this feature has been very handy to compile our recovery statistics for 2006. Since so many people have asked us to share statistics and recovery percentages, we will be publishing our statistics for 2006 on this weblog. Stay tuned!

11 February 2007


For more than two months, this weblog has been very quiet. That's about to change: over the next few weeks, we will use this blog to outline our Undercover plans for 2007, share more recovery stories and statistics and give you a glimpse of the things we are currently working on. Stay tuned...

PS: We love you Poe!