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SPIshutter MacBook webcam privacy cover review

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Have you ever accidentally started a video chat with someone when you were looking less than your best? Or maybe you’re a little paranoid that THEY may be watching your every move through the webcam on your MacBook? An easy way to solve that problem would be to stick a piece of tape over the camera lens, but if you want a more attractive solution that won’t leave a sticky residue, take a look at the SPIShutter.

Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.

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SPIShutters are specially designed strips for the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops. They are made from cold rolled steel with a power coating and are available in black, silver and yellow. I was sent the black and silver versions.

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The strips come in one size (9.75″) that is compatible with 11″, 13″ and 15″ Apple MacBooks that have a glass bezel around the display like my 13″ MacBook Pro shown above, or a brushed metal bezel like the MacBook Air.

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Installation could not be more simple. Just touch the strip along the top edge of the display. The magnets built into the display will hold the SPIshutter in place. No adhesives needed.

The hole in the center of the strip allows you to use your MacBook’s webcam like normal.

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But when you want privacy, you just slide the SPIshutter to cover the camera. The strip easily slides either direction to cover or uncover the lens and will not scratch the bezel.

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The webcam works fine when the hole in the SPIshutter lines up over the lens.

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When the lens is covered by the SPIshutter, nothing can be seen. You will have total privacy.

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I tested the SPIshutter on my 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display and with my 13″ MacBook Air. It worked exactly as advertised and I only noticed one small issue with both laptops. The SPIshutter does cause the magnetic latch that holds the cover closed to feel weaker. That said, neither latch on either laptop requires much effort to open in the first place. It’s not a huge deal, but I just wanted to mention it.

Is a strip of metal that covers your webcam lens really worth $20? It does seem to be a little pricey for what it is. But it is well made, won’t scratch your display and doesn’t wreck the aesthetic of your Apple MacBook. If you are worried about privacy, $20 isn’t too much in the grand scheme of things.

The SPIshutter can be purchased from Amazon or directly through SpiShutter.com. Purchasing through SPIshutter’s site and using the code “PRIVAZ” will give you a 20% discount.

 

Product Information

Price:$19.99
Manufacturer:SPIshutter
Pros:
  • Simple to install and remove
  • Does not use adhesives
  • More attractive than a piece of tape
Cons:
  • Interferes with Macbook magnetic latch

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Max March 4, 2014, 7:40 am

    Not worth 20. How strong is the adhesive? How long is this device guaranteed to last?

    The best web cam cover I have found is called..WebCamCover. Available on Amazon, will outlast us all, but nothing close to 20 bucks, no problem with closing the machine either.

    http://www.webcameracover.com/wp/

    But whatever you use, use something. And make sure your kids cover their cams.

  • Julie Strietelmeier March 4, 2014, 7:46 am

    @Max the SPIshutter does not use adhesive. It’s made of powder coated steel. The magnets in the bezel of the MacBook’s lid hold the SPIshutter in place. So it will effectively last forever. The solution you link to looks like a glorified sticker… Less expensive yes, but I bet you have to pick it off with your fingernail when you want to move it. The SPIshutter easily slides in either direction without having to remove it and reattach it.

  • Max March 4, 2014, 7:55 am

    Not really a sticker, a proprietary material that can be cleaned and will last forever. And no picking. But you are right, you do take it off and put it to the side. No more trouble than sliding and is compatible with any device – phone, tablet, et. al..

    The SPIshutter is certainly sturdier looking than the other cam shutters on the market. Twenty dollars will be a hard sell, I wish them luck.

  • Soko May 20, 2014, 9:08 am

    Seriously… 20 bucks?!!
    Great idea, true that, but definitely the wrong price:
    I would not think that the facetime bad-hair-day-suffering teenage user or the webcam hacking paranoid would be the average free-spending urbanite Mac user that would throw 20 bucks on an ‘apple-stamped’ piece of metal.
    Because at the end of the day, this thin piece of coated iron that is not even ‘apple-stamped’ should be worth less than a buck for small orders in China!
    Personally I could have understand a price up to 10/12USD… but 20…. :D
    Now I am grateful to those guys to pass their idea since I was looking for a better solution that the thin silicone sheets I was using to cover the webcam and that I always ended up loosing.
    For less than 2 bucks I have just found on a Chinese website a neat looking 15cm black steel rule with a hole that will do exactly the same for 10 times cheaper! (plus I get a rule at hand)
    And if you are wondering, Macbook screens all have sturdy glass screens that can’t be scratched by steel.
    I feel it is a pity to ruin such a good idea with bad pricing! And even if they correct it now, it is too late, they missed the ‘innovation’ phase. Hopefully they will learn from their mistake!

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