Eikon Mini

Best overall: Eikon Mini

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The Eikon Mini is an affordable, yet accurate and compact fingerprint scanner that works just fine with Windows 10 and Windows Hello. What this means is you'll be able to improve the security of both your home and work PCs with nothing more than a finger. When logging in, Windows 10 will ask for the fingerprint, which will subsequently unlock the OS should authorization be provided.

Bottom line: For savings and functionality, you really can't beat the Eikon Mini at just $19.95.

One more thing: Be sure to read our in-depth review of the Eikon Mini with Windows 10.

Why the Eikon Mini is the best option for fingerprint security

Eikon's Mini is not only affordable at just $19.95, but the fingerprint scanner actually works. As covered in our review of the Eikon Mini, it's one of the smallest fingerprint readers around, which means portability and the ability to leave the dongle plugged into your laptop.

USB 2.0 is utilized so you'll be able to insert and use the Eikon Mini on older PCs, as well as new machines rocking USB 3.0 and above. The only issue with the Mini is the requirement of decent access to a USB port on the computer case, but for laptops and other portable Windows 10-powered machines, you'll be absolutely fine. The best part is that you'll not have to install anything to make this fingerprint scanner work — just plug it in and security is a fingerprint away.

It is worth noting that the Eikon Mini is a "swipe" scanner and thus you'll need to swipe your finger across the reader, as opposed to resting the finger like on most smartphones that use fingerprint authentication.

Best premium scanner: Verifi P5100

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The Verifi P5100 is an expensive option in this roundup, priced at $139. If you have the money to spare to invest in a fingerprint scanner and wish to purchase a durable and accurate one-touch reader, the P5100 is worth the purchase. For the average consumer who may not be registering their fingerprint numerous times a day, it may appear to be overkill compared to other options.

Bottom line: It's expensive, but is a premium finger scanning peripheral should you desire one.

One more thing: Be sure to check out our review of the Verifi P5100!

Compact: PQI My Lockey

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PQI may not be a familiar brand, but the company has utilized Synaptics technologies that are frequently found in laptops and other PCs. Also, at around $27 you really cannot go wrong.

Bottom line: It's a super-small yet reliable fingerprint scanner that'll keep your PC secure without damaging your bank balance.

One more thing: It makes full use of Synaptics technology.

Best touch scanner: BIO-Key EcoID

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The EcoID by BIO-Key is a placement finger reader, which means instead of having to slide your finger across a scanning strip you simply rest your finger on the glass to be authenticated. Aggressively priced at around $40, the EcoID is a superb stopgap between the Eikon Mini and Verifi P5100.

Bottom line: The EcoID lets you rest your finger on the scanner to register your fingerprint but doesn't cost a fortune.

One more thing: Remember that you need to place your finger on the reader. Don't swipe.

Conclusion

While there are some solid options available that won't absolutely destroy your budget, we can't help but steer you towards the Eikon Mini. It represents an ideal balance between affordability and functionality.

Best overall: Eikon Mini

See at Amazon

The Eikon Mini is an affordable, yet accurate and compact fingerprint scanner that works just fine with Windows 10 and Windows Hello. What this means is you'll be able to improve the security of both your home and work PCs with nothing more than a finger. When logging in, Windows 10 will ask for the fingerprint, which will subsequently unlock the OS should authorization be provided.

Bottom line: For savings and functionality, you really can't beat the Eikon Mini at just $19.95.

One more thing: Be sure to read our in-depth review of the Eikon Mini with Windows 10.

Updated May 29, 2018: We looked over and modified our guide so it still offers the best in the business when it comes to fingerprint scanners.