Our friends at Brando have released a new 2.4 GHz wireless optical mouse which is not what quite meets the eye.
As always Brando have been generous enough to provide a unit for some DigitalReviews roadtesting .
The Brando 2.4 GHz Wireless Optical Mouse looks just like any other mouse on appearance. My unit is in red and black livery which reminds me of a ladybird. It has two buttons, a scroll wheel, a DPI button and a forward and back button on the side. On the undercarriage side is a on/off toggle and a connect button. A recess is provided to house the USB dongle.
On my Windows 7 machine it automatically detected and installed the USB dongle. The mouse worked immediately without any issues.
The included CD provides a small utility that assists in customising your mouse usage such as the need for short or long distance and standby time to save battery.
What sets this mouse apart is the "Folder Encryption" function. Using the utility you can selectively encrypt and decrypt folders accessible to your machine. Once encrypted, the folder does not appear on Windows Explorer or even on a Command Prompt (I’m old school). Using the Subu utility and decrypting the folder will make things appear normal again.
This was not an issue for me, but the mouse is decidedly right handed so left hand mouse users will find it less functional. Secondly the USB dongle storage slot is quite fitted and I found it challenging to remove the dongle. On the bright side, the dongle would not just fall out. Unfortunately though returning the USB dongle to the storage does not turn off the mouse. Power is controlled by a dedicated button.
Whilst the encryption functionality of the Brando Wireless Optical Mouse is a great idea. What bothers me a little is the complete lack of user specific requirements for the encryption algorithm. It is simple, easy to use … click to encrypt, click to decrypt. There is no random data collected or user specific PIN.
Given the clues within the utility, I would suspect that another similar mouse would be able to decrypt the folders. Yes it would mean someone would have to know about the equipment you use, but if they are determined to target you then this is unlikely to suffice.
Dimension: 102 x 65 x 35mm (approx.) (Mouse)
Features: Two-way both distance and speed are adjustable, power down and key locks when device wakes up are available which give power saving
Battery Status Indicator tells when the battery is running low
Easily and quickly to encode the folder for security
2.4GHz transmission and up to 10 meters of wireless range give user more freedom and no interference of movement
Up to 1,600 dpi offers accurate, precision control and clicking ability
USB mini receiver, plug and play
Wireless Frequency: 2.4GHz devices within the range of 2405MHz to 2475MHz
Working Channels: 16, auto channel hopping
Resolution: 600 / 1000 / 1600 dpi adjustable
Tracking Engine: Optical
1 x 2.4GHz Wireless Mouse with Folder Encryption
1 x USB Receiver
2 x AAA Batteries
1 x User’s Manual
1 x CD Driver
The Brando Wireless Optical Mouse with encryption is a great idea but falls a little short on delivery. It would suffice for a group of users but without some basic security principles implemented, I would not use it in a sensitive environment. The mouse will be useful to home users or someone with a casual requirement to secure some files. The lack of personalisation to the security bothers me from an information security view point.
For those who have lesser security requirements, then it is a handy and simple to use device that merges additional features into a "must have" device. It is available in green, yellow, silver or red colours from Brando for USD$22.00.