A man holding a Chromebook.
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Chromebooks are great travel companions. They have a lot of advantages over Windows laptops: Their storage is always encrypted by default, they’re inexpensive, and they aren’t vulnerable to many of the problems that affect Windows PCs.

Encrypted Storage Keeps Your Data Safe

Chromebooks always have encrypted storage. This protects your data in case your Chromebook is stolen. Someone else who gets their hand on your Chromebook can’t view your files unless they know your password and can sign in.

That’s far from guaranteed with Windows laptops. Some Windows laptops are encrypted by default with something called “Device Encryption,” but many are not. To guarantee encryption on Windows, you’ll have to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro at the cost of another $100 and go out of your way to enable BitLocker.

In other words, there’s a good chance a thief can get at the files on your Windows laptop by booting another operating system or removing the laptop’s internal storage and connecting it to another computer.

If you use a Chromebook, this isn’t a concern. Everything is always encrypted. You don’t even need to think about it. Just ensure you’re using a strong password to sign in.

Macs, iPads, iPhones, and Android devices are all encrypted by default, too. Windows is the only operating system that doesn’t offer encryption to everyone as a standard feature.

RELATED: Why Does Microsoft Charge $100 for Encryption When Everyone Else Gives It Away?

Avoiding Windows 10 Problems on the Road

Chromebooks have other advantages when traveling, too. Chromebooks are fairly inexpensive as laptops go. Some Chromebooks are pricey, but most are pretty cheap.

Google’s laptop operating system is just less complex. You won’t have to deal with big updates requiring long reboots or other software problems on the road. You just get a speedy Chrome browser without other software getting in the way. Chromebooks aren’t vulnerable to Windows malware, either.

Sure, Chromebooks aren’t ideal if you need specific software that only runs on Windows. They aren’t good machines for PC gaming. But, if you use your laptop as a computer for web browsing and other basics tasks, a Chromebook is a good fit.

Let’s get real: Many people just use Windows laptops and MacBooks for web browsing and other basic tasks you can easily perform on a Chromebook. You can edit office documents offline on a Chromebook, too.

If that’s all you’re going to do on the road, consider taking a Chromebook along instead of a Windows laptop.

RELATED: Why Are Some Chromebooks So Expensive?


Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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