Ahh, the humble laptop. Without it, or the Internet, the modern world would not function nearly as well. From professional travel bloggers to on-site construction workers, many people rely on them.
However, one of the best things about a laptop, the portability, also opens it up to the biggest chance of damage. It is important to know how to protect your laptop from physical damage while traveling and using a laptop outside of the office and take the necessary steps to protect your device.
In this post, we are sharing our 7 top tips to protect your laptop from damage.
1. Invest in a good quality anti-theft backpack
Thieves and pickpockets are common problems in all major cities around the world. Wherever you go, you should always pay extra attention to protect your laptop and other personal belongings from thieves. They can steal your items in seconds without you realizing it.
A quality bag for your laptop is one of the most important accessories you can invest in.
A good anti-theft laptop backpack has a slightly different design from an ordinary backpack with many specialist security features, but the key ones to look out for are:
- An anti-theft lock
- Zippers and hidden pockets
- Slash proof or cut-resistant material
- Locking cables for if you place it on the floor
When compared to a standard backpack, Anti-theft models tend to be more expensive. however, in recent years demand has increased significantly so there are more options than ever and the price has come down considerably. Also, it’s worth remembering replacing a stolen laptop will always be more expensive than a decent bag!
Another thing to consider when choosing a laptop bag is that it will help to protect your laptop from physical damage.
Be sure to choose the best laptop bag with padding, especially on the bottom, as well as pockets to store your peripherals such as USB drives and power cables. One of my favorite things, when I travel, is my cable organizer. Such a simple thing but I would never travel without it now.
How to protect laptop in backpack
Even though you have your backpack, it is still important to pay attention to a few final thoughts:
- Make sure you shut your computer down to protect it from overheating.
- Before you close the lip, check there is nothing on the keyboard that may come in contact with the screen.
- Unplug all of your cables. I’m a little guilty of this when I’m in a rush, but leaving the power cable in runs the risk of breaking the charging port and you won’t be able to get power to your laptop. Also, be sure to check for USB drives etc.
- Place your laptop in a sleeve for extra padded protection.
- Don’t overpack your bag. This is how I lost my first (of many) iPad screens. It was sat in a full bag and when I attached it to my bike the twisting force applied by the straps cracked the screen.
- Be sure to zip up completely. It is easy for a laptop to slide out of an open bag and fall on the floor, so pay attention.
- Be careful when putting your bag on the floor. Again, speaking from experience, the solid thud that you get when you put your bag on the floor and the first bit to hit the concrete is the corner of your laptop is not a pleasant sound.
Most of these points are common sense, but a refresher is always a good ides. are common
2. Get a laptop sleeve for extra protection
With an expensive laptop like a MacBook Pro, you will probably want extra protection for your precious device. As mentioned already above, taking your computer on the road can expose it to bumps and bangs.
For this reason, a laptop sleeve is a good idea to provide an extra layer of protection. Just make sure the case is well padded to prevent the paint/laptop surface from being scratched, as well as to provide you with an extra cushion to keep your laptop screen protected. Place the case with the laptop inside the backpack of your laptop and make sure the case fits perfectly into the laptop compartment.
3. Clean your laptop regularly
While many of us are very good at keeping our laptops clean in the digital environment, it is common to neglect the physical cleaning of your device. By this, I mean cleaning the screen, keyboard and all the things you use of a day to day basis. A dirty, dust-ridden laptop can easily over heat and break. Be sure to regularly perform a physical clean to reduce the risk and keep your computer dust and germ-free.
4. Guard your laptop exteriors with covers or skins
While a sleeve can protect your laptop while moving, a skin or tight case will protect your laptop from physical damage while using. Some even work well as water protection too.
5. Avoid consuming at the same time as working on laptop
While I’m all about working on the road and love a great café office, you’d be wise to try and limit eating or drinking something near a laptop, if something accidentally spills on your laptop, it can be destroyed and shut it down in minutes.
Also, crunchy food can cause dust in the vents of laptops which will affect its performance and the cooling system of the laptop.
6. Protect your laptop in rainy days
The weather is very unpredictable. If you travel outdoors or by bicycle during the rainy season, you should protect your laptop from the rain. Once it gets wet, your laptop is very likely to get damaged.
There are several ways to protect your laptop on a rainy day:
- Use a waterproof laptop backpack (and zip it up properly)
- If your backpack is not waterproof, invest in a rain cover. They can be scrunched up really small and stowed ready for when you are caught out by the weather.
- If you don’t have a waterproof sleeve, put your laptop in a plastic bag before storing it in your backpack.
- The most obvious is to use an umbrella
Make sure your laptop is turned off when you travel in the rainy season. Learn to wash your laptop backpack if it is dirty.
7. Do not twist the cords
Generally, we think that power cords and other cables can twist and bend and they are often the last thing to be shoved in a bag. however, cables are often more delicate than you may think.
The joins where the cable connects with the charging port can easily get worn and striped, quickly becoming dangerous to use. One of the most frustrating things, when you are relying on your computer for working while you are out of the hours, is a malfunctioning power cable.
A good idea is to wrap wires around something to bring them together. This also means they won’t be folded so tightly. However, be sure that whatever you are doing this with has no sharp point or edges that could also damage the cable.
As I mentioned earlier, one of my favorite purchases is the humble cable organizer. Cheap and does an amazing job.
Final thoughts on how to protect your laptop from physical damage
Taking these simple steps can help protect your laptop a lot and we can guarantee that you now have all the experience on how to protect your laptop from physical damage. Therefore, always keep in mind where you store the laptop when you are not using it. Do not leave it in seats where you can sit and do not leave it on the ground where it can be walked on. Store it in a predefined location on your desktop as you would with a desktop computer.