Laptop locks are an excellent way to protect a device if you ever plan to leave it outside, but even the best Windows laptops don't all have lock slots these days. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that appears to be the case here. With many laptops and devices lacking lock slots but having headphone jacks (in many cases), Multplx created the Anchor adapter that converts any headphone jack into a lock slot.
Multplx reached out to me about the Anchor adapter recently and sent me one as part of an bundle with a security lock cable to test out. I've run it through its paces, dangled an old laptop from its headphone jack (😬), and tested it out on an old phone as well.
The Anchor adapter costs $35on its own, or you can grab it with a lock cable for £49.50. The bundle with a cable often goes on sale for $55, so it might be worth waiting to grab until you see that sale price.
Bottom line: This adapter allows you to convert headphone jacks into lock slots. It's not going to be as sturdy as some built-in solutions, but it's a quick and easy way to create a deterrent to thieves.
- Easy to install
- Fills a void for many laptops and devices
- Works with standard laptop and device locks
- Works with headphone jacks, which aren't as sturdy as some built-in solutions
- Adds a bit of bulk that might block ports
Multplx Anchor Adapter What I like
The Multplx Anchor Adapter is a straightforward little piece of tech. Many laptops and devices don't have lock slots but have headphone jacks. The adapter inserts into a headphone jack, and then you use a screwdriver to expand it within the jack to secure it into place. You can then use a standard lock, such as a Kensington combination cable lock (opens in new tab) to lock up your device.
It's a simple and almost elegant way to fix a problem. While many laptops have lock slots, they aren't standard across the board. There are plenty of devices, such as the Surface Pro 7, that people will use in public places and around offices that could benefit from a lock slot. The Multplx Anchor Adapter makes that quite easy.
I didn't want to test the durability of a lock on my work laptop, so I broke out my old Dell XPS 12 (RIP) that I haven't used in years. I dangled the laptop from its lock and tried to pull it apart. For the most part, it held up well. I'll touch on how I was able to break it more later in the review, but that required breaking a piece of my laptop.
I also tried the adapter out with an old smartphone of mine that has a headphone jack. I don't think there's as much of a demand to lock up smartphones, but the adapter certainly worked with it.
Multplx Anchor Adapter What I dislike
The biggest flaw in this adapter is caused by the problem that it's trying to solve, headphone jacks aren't meant to be lock slots. The adapter secures to a headphone jack well, but the security of your device is then beholden the strength of your headphone jack.
The jack on my Dell XPS 12 has plastic parts that I was able to damage so I could rip out the adapter. I want to be clear that it was not easy to do this, but it is possible. I attached the lock cable to the adapter and then pulled as hard as I could before I cracked the headphone jack. I honestly can't say how a dedicated lock slot would hold up to this same testing, but I assume that it would do more damage to a PC to rip out a lock through a dedicated lock slot, even if it is possible to do by hand. Lock slots are built into the body of a laptop, so ripping a lock out through them would do some damage.
No lock is impervious to damage. Even the best laptop locks can be cracked. If a thief has access to your device, has enough time, and has the right tools, they'll be able to get through anything. While I don't plan on stealing any laptops, I'd just think cutting the cable and dealing with any locks later would be quicker than ripping apart a PC.
Because of this, I don't view this as a major knock on the Multplx Anchor Adapter. It still serves as a deterrent for thieves who would have to exert quite a bit of force and damage a laptop or cut a cable to steal your device. A lot of security comes down to ease of access. If a thief has a choice between a locked laptop and an unlocked laptop, they're probably going to grab the one without a lock rather than taking the time to analyze the strength of a security setup.
Depending on your specific device, the Multplx Anchor Adapter might block a port. On some devices, the headphone jack is far enough away that it wouldn't be an issue, but if your headphone jack is snuggled up next to other ports, they may be blocked.
Multplx Anchor Adapter The competition
This isn't the only type of adapter that can add a lock slot to devices. Kensington has several different types of adapters that add lock slots to devices. For example, you can attach an adapter to the kickstand of the Surface Pro or Surface Go 2. There are also bracket attachments that you can use on more traditional laptops.
All of these are fine ways to add a lock slot to your device. Kensington is the standard when it comes to device security, but you often have to pay more for their products and adapters. Some of the adapters from Kensington are also permanent solutions, such as ones attach with an adhesive.
The benefit of the Multplx Achnor Adapter is how it works with such a wide range of devices. Most laptops have headphone jacks, and the Multplx Anchor Adapter can easily slot into all those devices. It's also easy to remove with the right tool if you ever want to swap it to another device.
Multplx Anchor Adapter Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
You need a lock slot on a device that doesn't have one
The Multplx Anchor Adapter is a straightforward piece of hardware. With it, you can easily add a lock slot to any device with a headphone jack. It's not as durable as some built-in solutions, but it should serve as a deterrent for thieves.
You should not buy this if ...
Your laptop has a lock slot
If your laptop has a dedicated lock slot, you shouldn't pick up this adapter. Dedicated lock slots are built into the body of a device and provide a more secure setup.
I hadn't seen an adapter like this before Multplx reached out to me. The Multplx Anchor Adapter impressed me with its simple yet effective design. No lock is theft-proof, but I think this adapter could serve as a deterrent for a thief on the move.
The Multplx Anchor Adapter does exactly what it says on the box. It's easy to install, works with a wide range of devices, and provides you a way to secure your device that doesn't have a dedicated lock slot.
Simple and secure
A quick and easy way to add a lock slot
This adapter allows you to convert headphone jacks into lock slots. It's not going to be as sturdy as some built-in solutions, but it's a quick and easy way to create a deterrent to thieves.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
Sorry, but what's the point of the lock? I've only ever seen used in retail and never at home... Is that in case your laptop is stolen when someone breaks in?? Cuz I'm pretty sure whatever is locked to is just as breakable if they really wanted it... Not that it's a bad accessory i suppose.
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