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Should you buy a PC fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello authentification?

Eikon Mini
Eikon Mini

Should you buy a PC fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello authentification?

Fast and secure

Windows Hello is a Windows 10 feature that allows you to log in to your device with your face or fingerprint. Apps can also work with Windows Hello so you can log in to apps with your biometric data. This is convenient and is becoming more useful as more apps and services support it. For example, there are multiple password managers that support Windows Hello. You not only save time logging into your devices but also jumping in and out of apps.

In addition to being more convenient, Windows Hello helps secure your device. Many people either use the same password across multiple devices or use very simple passwords. With Windows Hello, you can create a complicated password once and then use your fingerprint to sign in in the future. You may still have to occasionally enter your password, but you'll still save time overall and make your tech tougher to access.

Many new devices ship with fingerprint scanners or biometric cameras. However, if you're happy with your PC's hardware but just want to add Windows Hello support, an external fingerprint reader could be perfect for you.

Desktop or portable

The type of fingerprint scanner that you'll need varies greatly on your setup. Tablets, 2-in-1s, and laptops will be best served by fingerprint readers that are roughly the size of a small USB drive. These allow you to pop in the fingerprint reader and leave it in there as a permanent solution that doesn't raise your device's physical profile (obviously you can also take it out when necessary). That's where the Eikon Mini comes in. These also tend to be a lot cheaper than wired or camera solutions.

Desktops and all-in-ones are often hidden under desks or have ports that are hard to reach. A wired solution that lets the fingerprint reader rest near your keyboard and mouse are best for these setups, If you have a desktop PC you might also want to consider a biometric camera that supports Windows Hello. Unfortunately, these come at a much higher price. These also increase security and convenience and might suit your desktop better than a fingerprint scanner.

We've recommended two scanners below, one for each type of setup. As you can see, the prices vary wildly, but that all depends on if you want a permanent, wired solution or a smaller, low-profile version.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.