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How to Protect Your Laptop While Traveling or Commuting?

Sep 21, 2023

Author: ASUS    Reading time: 6 minutes

A woman tackles some tasks with her laptop on the grass. One red backpack is on her left side to protect her laptop, while a cup of coffee and some papers scattered on the other side.

Sep 21, 2023

These days, laptops accompany us daily, both at home and on the go. That holds true for content creators, professionals who frequently travel for work, students who commute to school with their laptops in their backpacks, or even casual travelers who bring the laptop on trips.

Traveling with electronic devices such as a laptop is not without risks, though.

Below are some tips for protecting your laptop while traveling or commuting.

Use a Well-Padded Laptop Bag with a Dedicated Compartment

The most important thing you can do to protect your laptop while traveling is buy a backpack or bag with a dedicated laptop compartment. The laptop compartment should include fairly thick, solid padding on both the outside and inside walls. Also, don’t forget to check the bottom for padding. It’s frequently overlooked, but a crucial consideration.

You also need to make sure the backpack or bag has a compartment large enough for your laptop but not so large that your laptop can move around too much.

Some backpacks come with anti-theft features, such as combination locks on the zipper, cut-proof fabric, or hidden pockets. It may be a good idea to get such a backpack, especially if your laptop is on the higher end.

If you're traveling by plane, it may be a good idea to put the laptop in the carry-on luggage instead of a backpack. But remember: never check in your laptop with luggage.

Keep Your Bag Organized

Putting the laptop in the dedicated compartment of the backpack is one thing. But it’s also how you pack everything else that matters.

If you have a special laptop bag, there is a good chance that there are lots of handy pockets inside that can help you organize your stuff. Take advantage of them to secure other things you need to carry, such as power cords, accessories, and daily necessities. By packing everything correctly, you can prevent peripherals from flying around and potentially damaging your laptop.

You will also want to make sure to keep the laptop separate from everything else — put only the laptop in the laptop compartment.

In addition, don’t pack too fully. If you have trouble zipping up, you may need to give up on some things you want to bring. Otherwise, the pressure from tight packing can damage your laptop surface and in extreme cases even crack the screen.

Other Protection

It may also be a good idea to invest in other laptop protection such as a laptop case or sleeve. Even if your backpack has a dedicated, padded laptop compartment, it may still be a good idea to slip the laptop into a sleeve before placing it in the bag.

Some frequent travelers also like to invest in a display protector with a privacy screen. It can help you avoid annoying scratches and dings on the display surface while at the same time making sure that whatever you see on the screen is for your eyes only.

Finally, a protective film or sticker for the outside lid can also be good, as it will help keep your laptop surfaces looking fresh for longer.

Shut Down Completely

It is tempting to just close the lid of the laptop, putting it in sleep or hibernation mode instead of turning it off when packing — but it's strongly recommended to fully power down the laptop before putting it in the bag, even if it takes longer to turn off and then turn it back on.

In hibernation and sleep mode, your laptop still generates some heat. The problem with this when on the go is, the laptop is enclosed in the bag, so the hot air cannot escape as well. To ensure full safety, it is best to power it down fully.

Protect Your Laptop From the Weather

Electronics and water don’t mix very well. When on the go, it’s crucial to ensure your laptop is safe from rain, snow or other moisture.

To protect your laptop from the weather, one option is getting a water-resistant backpack. Keep in mind that most backpacks or bags only keep away a certain amount of water, so you may want to buy a waterproof backpack sleeve that you can carry with you and put on as needed.

You could also opt for a waterproof laptop sleeve; however, if you use one you have to remember to turn off your laptop completely as such sleeves don’t let anything in or out, including the hot air.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Avoid too much direct exposure to sunlight. This goes for both your laptop and laptop bag. When sunlight reaches the laptop, in extreme cases, it can heat parts to the point of melting, potentially causing irreversible damage.

Leaving your laptop next to the window on a sunny day is another case that should be avoided.

Many users opt for black or otherwise dark-colored bags. As you may know, dark colors absorb more heat; so dark bags can transfer heat to the laptop.

Ensure Safe Charging

Charging on the go can be risky, especially if you travel internationally to places where the default voltage is different than back home. For this reason, it is recommended to invest in a high-quality power plug converter.

The price difference between a cheap, unreliable converter and a high-quality one may not be too high, but it's surely worth protecting your laptop from unstable power flow or electrical surge-related damage. In addition, you may want to consider a spike guard or surge protector to take protection to a higher level.

Consider Using a Laptop Lock

Many business laptops as well as higher-end consumer laptops feature a Kensington lock slot. It's a useful feature that allows you to bind your laptop physically to other objects, such as a table, backpack, or even a belt loop in your pants if you wish.

If your laptop features a Kensington lock, it may be a good idea to invest in a combination or key lock and bind it to your backpack or bag when traveling. It is going to make potential theft much more difficult, potentially saving you trouble and cost related to replacing a stolen machine.

Protect Your Data

There are many ways your data can be compromised when traveling, from having your laptop physically stolen to having compromised connections when accessing public internet connections.

For these reasons, it is crucial to make sure the device is password-protected.

Make sure to back up your data before traveling, too. You can use cloud storage or a physical external drive.

Also, you may want to install reputable antivirus software, and it may be a good idea to encrypt your laptop's drive. Click here to learn how to turn on device encryption from Microsoft.

When connecting to unknown network access points when on the go, it’s a good idea to use a VPN connection.

Finally, special theft recovery software can help you recover your data safely while deleting it from a stolen laptop. You may even consider travel insurance that covers laptop theft!

Travel and Commute Safely

One last consideration is the laptop itself. If you are a frequent traveler or commute daily with your laptop in the backpack, you'll want to consider reliability and build quality when you purchase a laptop.

Many ASUS laptops are put through tests that meet or exceed U.S. military-grade standards. Such tests take into account both everyday and extreme conditions and help ensure that your laptop is ready to accompany you wherever the road takes you.

Click here to learn more about US military-grade testing for durability.

ASUS Zenbook laptops are elegant thin and light machines that are perfect for travelers and commuters. They come in plenty of different form factors — from traditional clamshell that can be 1 cm thin and weigh only 1kg, through convertible 2-in-1 to foldable OLED screen ones. You can be sure to find the perfect Zenbook for you.

Click the button below to check out the latest thin, light, and extremely durable laptops from ASUS — they’re perfect for anyone frequently on the go.

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