Whether you want to Skype home, blog about your travels, or simply take in a movie on Netflix while you're waiting for a flight, taking a laptop with you on your backpacking adventures can be a great idea. Of course, you'll need to keep it properly protected, both from damage and from potential thieves, so take the following steps to ensure that your laptop has the best chances of getting home safely.
1. Use Protection
First and foremost, make sure your laptop is protected. Laptop bags aren't that great for backpackers; they can be snatched easily and don't exactly aid in continual free movement. Instead, buy a high-quality protective sleeve for your laptop, then put it in your main backpack. It should be away from the sides to protect from knocks and away from the bottom to protect it from water.
2. Camouflage It
Of course, you'll have to take your laptop from your bag at some point. A shiny new MacBook Air is only going to illicit unwanted attention, so try camouflaging your laptop to make it look less valuable. Covering the top with normal stickers will work, but you can also buy specialised stick-on covers that cover the whole front of the laptop to provide a damaged, rough appearance. Don't worry, they'll peel off easily once you're back home.
3. Store Your Data
If you do lose or damage your laptop, it only adds salt to the wound if you also lose your data. Uploading to a cloud-based service is ideal, but many backpacker destinations will tend to have slow or intermittent internet coverage, so you could be unable to upload. To double-down on data protection, carry a zip drive. These are light enough to make no difference to your pack-weight, and they can be fixed to keyrings or kept in pockets.
4. Use a Surge Protector
Backpackers heading to less developed parts of the world, such as the perennially-popular South East Asia, might find that the electricity fluctuates quite a lot. This is why you need to invest in a power converter that boasts an inbuilt surge protector. Without it, your laptop could be completely fried by a spike in power.
5. Make Sure You Can Keep Track
Thanks to recent software developments, it's now entirely possible for you to be reunited with your laptop even if it is stolen. Certain applications can be activated remotely to provide the location of your laptop using Wi-Fi or GPS technology. You can then lock the laptop to prevent others using it, screenshot their current session, or make the webcam take a picture of them. Downloading such software won't always mean that your laptop comes back to you, but it's well worth getting it anyway.
If you're taking your laptop travelling, speak to your local computer services like Phoenix IT about anti-theft software and other accessories to help you successfully use your computer during your travels.