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Prey + Control Panel, it does work!

As you may know, a few weeks ago we launched a new way of controlling Prey, by using a web control panel that allows you to activate it remotely with just a few clicks.

Being still in early stages, we had thought that this new service would start off slowly but things have been quite different: we’ve already passed the 1000 user mark! Best of all, it seems to be working really good and it keeps to grow steadily, so we’re very pleased with how things are working out. So big thanks to everyone.

Now, as you may imagine, the control panel does get some load (after all it’s being constantly hit by requests from Prey in devices all over the world), so we decided to take some precautionary measures to reduce the server load, and make sure it keeps up and running as a rock. Most of the stuff you won’t even notice (it’s mainly got to do with caching), but there’s one which you will, and that is that devices will hold a maximum of 10 reports from now on.

Basically nothing happens until you reach your 10-report limit. But if you do, new reports that arrive will “push” the old ones out, deleting the oldest records as well as their associated files.

Being a free service, we simply cannot offer an unlimited amount of record-keeping for devices and certainly not unlimited storage (for your screenshots and webcam snapshots). In fact, with how things are going we’ll probably have to upgrade soon to a bigger server! Anyway, we think that 10 reports is a good number, and probably more than enough to keep track of your computer (heck, probably with just two or three reports you’d be able to catch the guy!).

We’ve also received some requests to raise the maximum number of registered devices on the control panel, but for the same reasons as above we’ll have to say no for the moment. Now, what we are indeed figuring out is whether or not to enable some kind of premium (payed) accounts, that allow registering more devices on the control panel (and perhaps access to more features). We still haven’t made out our minds on this, so we would love to hear your opinions to have a better view of things (through the mailing list please!).

Anyway, you must know that if we do enable premium accounts, we will still (always!) have free accounts for everyone (with a limit, but free as in beer). And of course, needless to say, Prey will be open source software for the rest of eternity. That, you don’t have to worry about.