Prey (software)

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For the video game, see Prey (video game).
Prey Logo (Radar).png
Developer(s) Fork Ltd.
Initial release March 24, 2009 (2009-03-24)
Stable release 1.3.7 / March 10, 2015 (2015-03-10)[1]
Development status Active
Written in Bash, Java, Objective-C, Python, Node.js, Ruby
Operating system Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, iOS
Type Laptop tracking software
License GNU General Public License; proprietary (Prey Pro)

Prey is a freemium web service for tracking and monitoring laptops, smartphones and other electronic devices, based on an open-source software agent that connects to a host computer, also referred to as the control panel. The host can signal the agent, prompting it to reply with information about its current location, and can trigger various other actions.[2]

Prey runs on most versions of Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android and iOS. The desktop version of the Prey agent is written primarily in Bash, while the mobile counterparts are written in their native languages, Java and Objective-C.[3][4] All of the client-side source code is published on GitHub and distributed under the GNU General Public License. The official server code, however, is proprietary,[5] although an open source version is also available for public use.[6]

On desktops, Prey provides location information by triangulation, either when connected to a Wi-Fi network or not. On mobiles, this is done by using the device's built-in GPS tracker.[7]


Fork Ltd. is a private-held software company with offices in the US, Chile and Hong Kong. It was founded in 2009 by CEO Tomás Pollak and COO Carlos Yaconi.[8]


The first version of the agent was released for Linux and Mac OS X in March 2009 and for Microsoft Windows in April 2009.[9] Version 0.3 was available in September 2009.[10]  Version 0.5.4 was released in December 2011;[1][11] on April 4, 2012, it was replaced by 0.5.3.[1] The current version is 1.3.7.[4][12]

Prey provides Wi-Fi auto-connect, data securing, screenshot grabbing, webcam image capturing, hardware scanning, screen locking, remote messaging, and sonic-alarm triggering.[13] Each feature is managed as a module that can be activated on demand.


  1. ^ a b c "Prey Release Archive". Fork Ltd. Retrieved Oct. 4, 2013 from the Internet Archive (capture date Aug. 15, 2013).  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ Purdy, Kevin (Sep 21, 2010). "How to track and (potentially) recover your stolen laptop or Android with Prey". Lifehacker. 
  3. ^ Pot, Justin (July 15, 2010). "Track down and recover your stolen laptop with Prey". MakeUseOf. 
  4. ^ a b "Download - Prey". Fork Ltd. Retrieved Jan 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Terms of Service for Prey’s Control Panel". Fork Ltd. 2012. The Control Panel … application is currently not licensed, and [is] maintained only by Fork. 
  6. ^ "Prey Standalone Control Panel". Fork Ltd. 2013. Simple app to trigger reports for Prey Standalone users. 
  7. ^ "How to enable Geolocation". May 6, 2014. 
  8. ^ "About our company". Fork Ltd. Retrieved May 6, 2014. 
  9. ^ Pollak, Tomás (Apr 14, 2009). "Prey: Y rastrea tu computador robado (Prey: And tracks your stolen computer)". Bootlog. 
  10. ^ Wallen, Jack (Sep 17, 2009). "How do I use Prey to help recover a stolen laptop?". TechRepublic.   Mkeighley (Sep 18, 2009). "Comment (Open-source app requires .NET framework??)". 
  11. ^ Singh, Swapnil (Jan 29, 2012). "Make your laptop/mobile impossible to steal for free". TrickTackToe. 
  12. ^ "Prey Release Archive [as modified Oct. 3, 2013]". Fork Ltd. Retrieved Jan 27, 2014. 0.6.0/  06-Dec-2013 21:39 
  13. ^ Mathews, Lee (Oct 28, 2010). "Prey tracks stolen Windows, Mac or Linux laptops, or Android smartphones, for free". Switched. 

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