You may have heard of ROblock, and you might have even come across it in our article, “What To Do If You Lose Your BlackBerry“. The article had come out a few days prior to Kevin Bacon losing his. So in light of this, I have two software I’m reviewing and an announcement of a parental control software. I’m declaring today as Security Sunday.
ROblock v2.0 by Vappsky is a Theft Recover Software for BlackBerry is available for $9.95. The program according to the description can point the location of your lost or stolen device on Google Maps using the WHERE command. If you do not have GPS integration or a GPS signal available, then it will use the cellular tower location information to show the approximate location of your device. You have three ways available to communicate with your phone: sms; email; and the web interface. There is sms/email notification in the event that your phone has a sims card and it is replaced. You have the power to recover the Address book contacts. You have the ability to remotely wipe the entire content of your phone and your micro sd card, which is irreversible so make sure you have it backed up. There is a remote lock and alarm as well, in which you can lock the phone, locking the keypad and making it inoperable. This is the most intriguing part to me which I love: a high pitch alarm you can activate which will sound until the phone is unlocked. You can unlock it as you locked it and the alarm is optional. You can make your lost or stolen phone dial any number you want, so that you can listen in on it’s location and where abouts. You can send custom text messages with return information by command that will come up on the display so the finder can return the device. Here’s another advantage, this program can wipe the entire device without BIS/BES service. It uses sms, email, or GPRS for communication so you can wipe or recover the device even where service is unavailable, or the SIMs card has been replaced.
So now the product. I was sent the product with the key. I looked for TCP settings which are recommended to check, and after some looking into realized that I have an 8330 Verizon Curve, and for CDMA there is no TCP setting available. I installed the app, and there sits a black ring with a red button that looks like a black ring round a red trackball.You first activate the program then go online to their login website as a new user and activate the web interface control. So the first thing I notice is that the web interface allows you to connect with the phone. It sends little emails that don’t actually show in your box. The web interface has to successfully connect with my phone by those emails. However the WHERE option did not work with my handset. I’m not sure if it’s because of GPS (VZW blocks third party GPS apps) or if the cell site use is not currently as functionional as could be. But in any case, I never was able to see that in action. There is retrieve contacts, this worked quite efficiently. I was impressed how easy that was. Remote wipe, of course I wasn’t going to try that on my phone today. The remote lock is neat, this is one of my favorite things I experienced. Lock it without an alarm or with an alarm. The lock with sounds like a police siren, it’s loud and even if your phone is on mute, guess what? It’s going to sound. And unlocking will not work with a star and green button. It must be unlocked through the web interface itself. With lock with no alarm just locks it and must be unlocked by the web interface. The Call Back option worked great, where the phone calls a phone of your choice so you can listen in. Hint, use a phone to call with no ringbacks so it’s silent. Ringbacks might alert a thief if it’s pretty loud. Display Text is neat, worked like a charm, you send a text and the phone displays it on the front screen. Pretty nifty. The fact if you have a SIMs card and can wipe it, and can wipe the media card as well is a great bonus. Not that we have pictures we want to lose, but why let our family be at risk, right? I have my daughters pictures and addresses, along with phone numbers, I want to keep them safe. My movies of Keanu and music I can replace, but wouldn’t like the idea of my family being in the hands of a stranger. I like how the web interface displays the name of the carrier, the battery life on the phone, whether the backlight is on, whether the keypad is locked and what the signal strength is like for the phone. For submitting trouble tickets, you have to register as a new user for that as well. I did submit a trouble ticket to see if they could resolve the WHERE issue.
On the handset itself, the icon access is password protected. After entering your password you are taken to a page to set up your emergency contact from your contacts. Also you can set up Email Settings, Change Your Password, Verify Settings (recommended so it is sure to be functioning correctly), Help, Exit, and Change Option.
Do I see a need for this type of program? Of course, it’s in the media, it’s in the news, and not just movie stars. Government employees who lose them here and there, your child’s phone, it can happen to anyone at anytime. So instead of waiting for it to happen, why not be prepared? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So for the look of the program and user friendly part, I have to give it 4.5 stars, docking a half point since there is no explanation about TCP settings and CDMA phones. That was somewhat of a confusing issue.
For customer service when having an issue, it’s a little bit slow, sometimes taking four hours or more to respond, this might be a little of a concern. So I’d have to go to 4 stars for that one. While my issues weren’t huge, it’s good to know I didn’t have severe issues like my phone being locked and unable to be unlocked or something of that nature. The product is actually really good.
For the actual web interface and all the options, the only thing that didn’t work was WHERE. So that might be something that needs to be looked at. So I’ll give that one about 4 stars because it’s nice to at least try and envision the phone. Everything else worked perfect, and the alarm is a favorite part of the program for me.
Pros: The Program is effective in what it does. You can send texts, lock your phone, retrieve your contacts and wipe it out. For GPS phones you can see where your phone is at. You can view how much battery life your phone has, whether it’s in an area of reception. So for that I’m pretty impressed. I love the way it’s easy to use, the web interface is pretty explanitory and the set up on the phone is pretty basic. The alarm is pretty loud and I could just imagine having to use that, the attention the phone would cause.
Cons: WHERE only seems to work if the phone is GPS capable, the directions about TCP was a little confusing, and that was it. Everything else was a charm. Customer service perhaps could be a bit more prompt, but I’m thankful the program doesn’t have any issues that are major. Would I still use this program? Yes, for all that it does, I still can see it being worth it. And I could even use it for other uses as well. The listening in by having your phone call can have several applications as a type of “bug”.
Compatible with BlackBerry: 7130c, 7130e, 7130g, 7130v, 8100 (Pearl), 8110 (Pearl), 8120 (Pearl), 8130 (Pearl), 8220 (Pearl Flip), 8300 (Curve), 8310 (Curve), 8320 (Curve), 8330 (Curve), 8350i (Curve), 8700c, 8700f, 8700g, 8700r, 8700v, 8703e, 8705g, 8707g, 8707h, 8707v, 8800, 8820, 8830, 8900 (Curve), 9000 (Bold), Curve, Pearl, Storm
Compatible with OS: 4.2, 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7