Many IT, facilities, and operations managers set out on the simple errand of finding a security tether kit for cable adapters or other cords, only to be flooded with options. Some tethers look stronger than others, some are definitely more sleek, still others seem easier to install—and the price points vary dramatically.
If you’re looking for an easy way to make sure you’re getting the best security locks and tethers for your office, lab, classroom, etc., it’s simply this: The best security tethers are strong, easy to install, adaptable to various types of cables and equipment, and the right size and aesthetic for your space.
Surprisingly, not all security tether kits meet these requirements. IT, facilities, and operations managers who understand this can help their companies invest wisely.
Do You Really Need Security Tethers?
PC, Apple, VGA, HDMI, and other cables frequently disappear from offices and classrooms, and the cost of replacing lost or stolen cords can run as high as $50 or even $100 per piece.
Many of these spaces are not open to the public, but employees often leave—on purpose or on accident—with both their laptops and the company’s cable adapters. In fact, 75% of employees have stolen from their employer at least once.
You need a simple, strong, cost-effective solution for keeping cables, cords, and adapters secure.
But which security tethers are best? Here are five questions to ask as you compare options.
1. Are the cable locks easy to install?
Cable tether kits generally come in one of two assembly levels:
- Parts only — The most basic kits come with pre-cut tethers, made from wire rope, with metal sleeves included in bulk or slid onto each end. These generally take one or two minutes to install (each), or more if the user has no prior experience and/or if the proper tool is not included.If not locked in place, the metal sleeves easily slide off during installation. This causes unexpected delays and hassles, which can add up if you’re securing multiple cable adapters.(If you have lots of experience with parts-only kits, you can save a few more dollars with our parts-only kits.)
- Locked-in — Full-service kits include pre-cut tethers and have the metal sleeves assembled and locked in place. This allows for faster installation, without sacrificing the ability to adjust the tether to any size PC, Apple, VGA, HDMI, or other cables needing to be secured.The best security tether kits—those with locked-in metal sleeves and installation tools included—can save time and money (and hassle!) by making 15-second-installation a reality.
Another, less common, factor to watch out for is security tether kits that include plastic to shrink wrap over the metal sleeves. These require a separate heat source, of course, which complicates installation. They also require up to four minutes for each installation, when heating and cooling time is accounted for.
2. Can the security tethers be used on a variety of cables?
The best security tethers will work on almost all cables and adapters used in offices, conference rooms, and meeting spaces—without sacrificing security or ease-of-use.
PC, Apple, VGA, HDMI, video, mouse, internet, and telephone cables tend to range from 0.5 to no more than six inches in width. That means that an adaptable security tether would be around 12 inches in length.
3. What’s included in the tether kit?
This information might not be on a website, but it’s worth calling or chatting with customer service to find out. The best security tether kits will include an installation tool (often a specific size of pliers or crimping tool), printed directions, and clear customer support contact information.
4. How long are the security tethers?
Twelve inches is a good length to ensure that security tethers suit all of your needs, but some do come in longer sizes. If you have a specific use case in mind that requires a longer cable, find a tether than you can customize. If not, however, you probably don’t want them much longer than 12 inches.
Security tethers longer than 12 inches hold cables and adapters too far apart to be helpful to the user. Apple adapters, for example, are no larger than two inches in diameter, and VGA and HDMI cables are roughly the same. The tether should keep cords and adapters right where people need them.
5. How will the tether look in your space?
It might not seem like the most important consideration (which is why it’s last on the list), but you may want to consider the profile of your security tethers too. In addition to holding cables too far apart, tethers that are too long create clutter on a workspace or counter.
Additionally, locks and tethers that are bulky, or that only come in one color, stand out like a sore thumb on your podium or service counter.
In addition to being secure, adaptable, and easy to install, a good security tether should blend into the background—keeping your space streamlined and efficient.
The Best, Most Secure Tether for Your Business
There are several options on the market for cable security tethers, but when you know what to look for, it’s easy to find what will work best for your business.
|Top Cable Tether Brands||Best For…||Theft Deterrence||Types of Devices||Colors Available||Installation Time (each)||Installation Tool Included||Assembly Level (Locked-In or Parts Only)||Cost Range (each)|
|TetherTies Security Tethers||Overall Value & Quickest Installation Time||Strong||PC, Mac, VGA, HDMI, iPhone, power, and Internet cables and adapters||Black, White, Silver||15 seconds||Yes||Locked-In||$3 -$6|
|Kensington Security Slot Cable Locks||Securing Public Computers||Very Strong||Computers only||Black||1-2 minutes||Yes||Locked-In||$30-$50|
|Extron Lockit Tethers||Do-It Yourselfers||Strong||PC, Mac, VGA, HDMI, iPhone, power, and Internet cables and adapters||White||2-4 minutes||No||Parts Only||$12-$15|
|Flexguard Cable Locks||Securing Public Computers||Very Strong||PC, Mac, cables, and adapters||Black||1-2 minutes||No||Locked In||$3.95|
|StarTech||Do-It Yourselfers||Strong||PC, Mac, VGA, HDMI, iPhone, power, and Internet cables and adapters||Black||1-2 minutes||No||Parts Only||$4.60|
|CableTether||Quick Installation||Strong||PC, Mac, VGA, HDMI, iPhone, power, and Internet cables and adapters||Silver||1-2 minutes||No||Locked In||$5|