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Is getting a locking PC case worthwhile?

September 5th, 2005
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If you are shopping for a PC case when building a PC for yourself you will come across a whole host of different case features. These features range from front mounted audio connectors to modded cases filled with LEDs and fans. Another feature that you'll more than likely see is the locking PC case. The idea behind these is that it helps to protect your PC and your PC's components (RAM, hard drives, CPU, etc) from theft.

Are they any good?

My answer: It depends!

A lock is really only a defense against an honest person - dishonest people will look for ways around your lock. Now if you have a stonking massive lock on something that's going to take a lot longer to circumvent than a cheap-and-nasty lock, but nonetheless, if there's something behind that lock, a dishonest person will give it a go.

This leads me to the first problem with PC case locks - they're rubbish! In fact, I can hand on heart say that I've never come across a single locking case that has a lock on it that's any good. They're all just plain junk. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that they are nothing more than cosmetic. You can open most of them with a paperclip or just by applying a little force to the case. I've also seen a shed load of cases where one side of the tower locks but the other doesn't - you only need access from one side to nick stuff.

But what if you did have a good lock on a PC? I still think it's no good because if someone can't get through the lock they'll go around it - a PC case is not a secure "safe" that you pop your components into, it's just a metal box held together with small screws and rivets.

Hardly robust stuff.

My advice - don't bother. Far better to invest in a good door for your office and chuck people out when you're not there. Either that or get good insurance coverage!

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