Alternative to the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader for Vista 64-bit



March 28th, 2008

As you might already know, Microsoft doesn't support the Fingerprint Reader on Vista 64-bit, and, based on the following email that I received from "a Microsoft spokesperson" the other day, it's never going to be supported:

I wanted to let you know that after some investigating, I learned Microsoft will not be upgrading the Fingerprint Reader Digital Persona software to support 64-bit because the Fingerprint Reader is targeted for consumer use and convenience and Windows 64-bit is used mainly by businesses.

With that out of the way, it was time to search for a fingerprint product that would work on Vista 64-bit.  A bit of time Googling turned up the UPEK Eikon Digital Privacy Manager.

UPEK Eikon Digital Privacy Manager

It looked good so I ordered one from Amazon.com and waited ... each day pestering my mailman with calls of "where's my fingerprint reader?"  Fortunately, for the mailman at any rate, the package arrived within a few days. 

Installation was a snap.  Pop the CD in the drive, run the setup application, and once that was done, plug the device into a free USB port and Windows picked up on it and it was ready to use.  Once you've enrolled a few fingers you're ready to start using it.  You can either spend time inputting a the passwords you need into the software or you can do it as you go along.  The software is actually pretty clever and can stop when you type usernames and passwords into websites and applications and offer to store them for you. 

UPEK Eikon Digital Privacy ManagerNote:  Before someone starts saying that these devices aren't secure and that a fake silicone finger can bypass them, I'm not storing super-sensitive passwords into this device.  It's mostly for convenience.

I've had the fingerprint reader installed now for almost a week and so far, so good.  It has worked each and every time I have used it and it doesn't let any unauthorized users get past its biometric eye.  Also, the device feels a lot more robust than the Microsoft Fingerprint reader because it makes use of a solid-state sensor.  Oh, and it doesn't contain a blindingly bright red LED, which is good for my overall mood.

So, overall, $50 well spent.  I'll let you know if I run into any gotchas down the line!

This entry was posted on Friday, March 28th, 2008 at 15:21 and is filed under Kit!, PC Doctor's Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Alternative to the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader for Vista 64-bit”

  1. Two thumbs up for this fingerprint reader | Ed Bott’s Windows Expertise | Says:

    [...] few weeks back my buddy the PC Doctor went off in search of a fingerprint reader that would work on Vista 64-bit. He found Eikon’s Digital Privacy Manager, which I bought, based on his recommendation, for [...]