Skip to main content

5 Smart Tips For Traveling With A Laptop

5 Smart Tips For Traveling With A Laptop

Laptops mean portability, and the result is many users want to take their laptop with them as they travel.
Whether it's a short trip to the office for work, or longer trips out of town, these 5 smart tips for traveling with a laptop will ensure a safe and successful outcome.

My 5 Smart Tips For Traveling With A Laptop

1. Bios Password/HDD Password
2. Backpack Bag
3. Security Cable Lock
4. Software Firewall and Antivirus Protection
5. Backup Drives

1. Bios Password And HDD Password

Setting a secure power-on or BIOS password is an absolute must. The laptop will prompt for this password before it allows entry into the system or boots the operating system. This will prevent unauthorized use if the laptop gets lost or stolen.

Usually there are a couple of options in the BIOS for power-on passwords: User level and Supervisor level.

User level passwords can be reset by just about anyone and don't provide enough protection.
The supervisor level power-on password is much more secure and cannot be bypassed and reset, so this is the one you want to setup. But don't forget this password, because if you do, the laptop becomes useless.

Don't forget to set a hard drive password also. This protects the data on the drive from being accessed if it is removed from the laptop.

Refer to your specific laptop's manual on how to setup a power-on password, but generally you press 'F1' or the 'Del' key as it first powers on.

Once in the BIOS or UEFI screen, find the security and password selections.

2. Carry Bag/Backpack

A good carry bag or backpack not only stores and protects you laptop, but other accessories as well. Backpacks are very popular and a wide variety are available to choose from.
They come in different sizes, capacities and even colors. Of course, they offer a lot of space but pay attention to the internal padding that will protect the laptop itself.

3. Security Cable Lock

You may not be able to keep your eyes on your laptop at all times, this is why a good cable lock is essential. A cable lock provides a way to secure the laptop to some immovable object, such as a desk. The common cable lock attaches to the secure port or 'hole' located on the case of the laptop, and the other end wraps around that large object you found.
Although cable locks provide good security, someone with a good set of cutters can cut through the cable and walk away with your laptop.  So be mindful of this and possibly take the computer with you if needed.

4. Software Firewall and Antivirus Protection

Operating systems have built in software enabled firewalls. Windows 10 is on by default, but whichever OS you use, be sure to examine the settings and make changes where necessary. For example, you may want tighter controls when using a public network.
The same goes for running an antivirus program. You want to be protected when on a public network, so make sure your antivirus is active and running scans.

Similar to an antivirus program is a malware checking program. A malware scanning program can detect and find malware that antivirus programs may not catch. There are numerous free and good malware checking programs available, a popular one is called Malwarebytes.

5. Backup Drives

The fifth item in my smart tips for traveling with a laptop is to use a backup drive. By backup drives I mean a USB thumb drive or a USB hard drive. It's good practice to backup any and all data or files that are important to you. In addition, backing up OS files will make it easier to restore and rebuild if your laptop crashes.

Select a USB drive with a USB connection and version that matches your laptop. For example, a laptop might have USB 3.2 ports that use the Type-A connector, or it might use the newer Type-C connector.  Just make sure to buy a compatible connection.

Bonus Tips

The above 5 smart tips for traveling with a laptop are what I think of as the essentials. You would not want to leave off or not utilize any of these items.

There are some other options though many find useful.

One of these is to encrypt your data. You laptop OS may have this as an option by default. If so, think about encrypting you drive if it contains sensitive or personal information that has to stay secure.
Accessories- A spare battery or charger might come in handy, as well as an Ethernet cable if your in a situation where you can plug in.

How can I get my laptop through airport security?

When taking your laptop through airport security, keep it in a small backpack or your carry-on bag. You will need to remove it from the bag and place it in a scanning bin by itself to go through the X-ray machine.

Label your laptop with a business card or other identification on the bottom of your laptop to avoid loss or accidental exchange by travelers.

How to connect to internet when traveling with laptop?

Many wireless carriers and internet service providers offer free hotspots across the country. Check with your provider to locate these hotspots and find out if they are in your travel location. You are probably aware of the free Wi-Fi available in many stores, such as McDonald's and Starbucks. Also look into libraries and public parks, as large cities are making these more available.

Download a free app to help locate these free Wi-Fi spots, they are available for Android and iOS.

In Summary

Anyone traveling with their laptop wants to make the trip safer and easier. With these 5 smart tips for traveling with a laptop, users can ensure they have the essentials covered. Hopefully, you can relax a little and enjoy your travel more.

READ NEXT: What Are The Different Versions Of USB?


Popular Posts

T60p Expansion ROM Not Initialized - Intel NIC boot issue

A Thinkpad T60p with an Intel integrated NIC boot error recently came across my desk. The T60p on boot-up would pause with the following message:

Initializing Intel(R) Boot Agent GE v1.2.31

PXE-E05: The LAN adapter's configuation is corrupted or has not been initialized. The Boot Agent cannot continue. Then after a couple of seconds would beep and display another message:

Expansion ROM not initialized - PCI on Motherboard
Bus:00, Device:00, Function:00

Press [ESC] to continue So after hitting the [ESC] key I entered the BIOS to look around at the settings. Everything was set properly but I changed the ‘Internal Network Option ROM’ setting to disabled just to see what effect it would have.
On reboot I still saw the same error message so I decided to upgrade the BIOS, but to no avail. The error was still there..

Decided it was time to search this issue on the web and see what other people were experiencing. Seems this is a fairly common problem and for some unknown reason the…

Palm Rest Removal - IBM/Lenovo T40/40p, T41/41p, T42/42p

Simple instructions for removing and replacing the palm rest for T4x Thinkpads.

Remove these parts in order to remove the palm rest.
-Remove the battery
-Remove the hard drive
-Remove the keyboard

Turn the Thinkpad over. There are five screws on the lip of the machine covered by black plastic tabs. You will need to remove these tabs, I use a razor blade and then save the tabs to re-apply them. After the tabs have been removed take out the screws and take note of their size and placement. The screw on the right side is a little longer and will need to be put back in the same place. There are also several other screws to remove a little farther up on the machine. They will have a small drawing of a memory chip next to them. These screws are different sizes as well so make note of their placement.

-Turn the Thinkpad over and open the display
-Remove the touchpad connector from the motherboard
-Pull the palm rest toward you slightly and lift it up and out.

Reverse the steps to install th…

Lenovo W500 Further Review and OS Install

This is a continuation of my previous look at the Lenovo W500 Thinkpad. Please read my first posting which lists the specifications and my initial impressions. In this review I cover installing Windows Vista, device drivers and software applications, including ThinkVantage System Update. Then I’ll wrap up with my final thoughts.

In the previous post I said the Thinkpad W500 model number is 4061-AC4 with the following specs:

*Processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo P9400(2.53.GHZ)
*ATI Mobility FireGL V5700 graphics
*Switchable Graphics(see below)
*15.4 inch WUXGA(1920 X 1200) LCD widescreen display
*160GB 7200rpm SATA hard disk drive
*4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 memory
*Mini PCIe 802.11 wireless – Intel 5300
*Intel 82567 1GB ethernet

It had Windows XP installed and was working great, all the components were recognized and was a stable system. I decided however to install Windows Vista because of the ability to switch between the graphics chipsets on the fly from within Vista. Windows…