The U.are.U Pro for Active Directory from Digital Persona is, as its name suggests, a product to bring biometric identity verification to a Windows Active Directory environment (including Windows Server 2003). It may be fully integrated at server level or used on a standalone workstation.
The model 4000 unit supplied for test is certainly sleek and attractive in design, if a little lightweight in constructional terms. With its soft rubber footpads, it sat on the desk quite securely and was a pleasure to use. This device would match the current crop of corporate PCs quite well in visual terms, and is easily connected via a USB.
The U.are.U Pro software has always been attractive in design and intuitive in operation. The trend continues with this product with an easy to install, attractive interface that will present no problems to even the most casual PC user.
In addition to the seamless integration with the Windows logon process, the user may also replace web site passwords with a fingerprint, or encrypt and decrypt files, using the fingerprint as a password.
This encryption/decryption fun-ctionality is easy to use, with a dialogue initiated via a fingerprint scan or by simply right clicking the file in question from Windows Explorer. An encrypted file is indicated by a padlock icon. The fingerprint sensor was not fooled by deliberate impersonations, and everything worked as expected.
This product grows on you with extended use, quickly becoming an important part of your desktop. Using a fingerprint to log on to the workstation or to access a password-protected application soon becomes second nature.
When reviewing previous products from this supplier, we praised the inclusion and clarity of the proper manual included in the box. This is still the case, with the product being supplied with an attractive 114-page manual, a quick install guide and a CD-ROM with the program material. The online help is also a model of clarity and logical presentation.
Systems administrators or typical users will have no trouble in understanding, installing and using this product. It represents a good example of contemporary biometric technology applied to a familiar working process.
For those wishing to evaluate the potential of biometric workstation or network access within an office environment, the U.are.U Pro product would be a good first stop. Indeed, it may be all you need.