While laptop computers pack plenty of power and capacity to perform almost all typical workstation computing tasks, they do have a noteworthy disadvantage that everyone should be conscience of. Laptop computers are much more vulnerable to loss or damage than desktop computers. The increased vulnerability is due to several factors; three of the more noteworthy are listed below:
- Laptop computers are frequently stolen. More than 750,000 were stolen last year, according to some estimates.
- Laptop computers are often dropped or otherwise mishandled. When a hard drive is spinning at 5400 revolutions per minute with read/write heads a few microns away from the surface, a drop or sudden impact can easily and permanently destroy your data.
- Laptop computer components build up heat. Heat is the enemy of electronic parts, including hard drives. Laptop computer components are packed into a very small area and do not have the benefit of larger fans and ventilation system found in desk computers. In addition laptop computers are also more likely to have their ventilation systems blocked when they are used on laps or other soft surfaces. Heat build-up will dramatically reduce the life of a hard drive.
You should make every effort to protect your computer from theft or damage, but regardless of the measures that you take, events outside of your control will occur. While your laptop computer may be insured or covered by an extended warranty or protection contract, your data will not be covered.
The data on computers is often more valuable than the hardware itself. The only way to ensure that your data will not be lost is to perform regular backups. Laptop computers are often neglected in backup plans because they move around and are not consistently connected to backup devices. The best way to ensure that laptop data will be backed up consistently is by using an online backup system that will automatically backup the computer when it is connected to the network.