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Hi everyone, If you can advise me with thoughtful guidance, bearing in mind what I need to achieve, I'd appreciate that very much.

I want to work my way around the world on the budget I have: which is kind of tight. I need to be able to access the internet a LOT, to put documents in the cloud, retreive them, upload video, constantly check emails and pay my taxes and get into my bank accounts, use Skype etc. All this is to be done inside a mobile FIPS-verified VPN to protect me.

I am hyper-paranoid about internet security, identity theft, and all the skilled Nigerians / Moldovans who could hollow out my whole online existance within hours if they wanted the challenge. I will not use Android due to its security weaknesses, only Windows PC.

In addition to being alert to cyber crime and having a low budget, I am also trying to travel light - with the goal being having everything I need but with no weight! To combat / permit all the above, I have been advised to do what is outlined below. In all honesty, I have no idea if this is the way to go, so that's my question. If you'd give me a little time, that would be great.

a. To begin, I must read what laptop a fellow traveller got (http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/lenovo-lenovo-ideapad-15-6-laptop-black-intel-pentium-b960-500gb-hdd-4gb-ram-windows-8-n580/10223585.aspx?path=07a3f5f2bcbc1e9fed448a8d8991682aen02)

b. I must find the lowest price for a laptop with the specs listed immediately below and buy it (the machine will have less memory and less disk space than what I need). - a decent CPU speed - dual-core processor (minimum 2GHz speed possible) - 2 USB ports (2.0 and 3.0) - 500 GB base drive - a BIOS which allows me to set a password and has other security features - maximum memory that can be installed (16GB) - biggest SSD possible (512GB) - Windows 8

c. Next I must upgrade the memory and disk space.

d. Now I must put a password on the BIOS (so the laptop asks me for this password BEFORE Windows starts up each time)... A helpful link to read will be http://www.laptoptips.ca/security/hard-disk-password/

e. Next I must set a regular hard drive password which I'll need to enter after I have entered the BIOS password when using my laptop.

f. At last I will be on my machine and I can access any data.

I don't know where to begin looking. With so many makes and models, each weighing a different amount, with some that can't be shipped to New Zealand (where I am now), some made in China so they're guaranteed to break, and so many scams... I am lost.

Regards, -- Alastair

asked Dec 27 '12 at 01:32

laptopper's gravatar image


I think your spec requirements are, in terms of memory at least are a bit ambitious. especially if you are on a limited budget. Might i suggest probably just getting something like an iPad or iPad mini with a wifi hard drive to extend its storage. If you desperately want a computer just get the same as your friend.

answered Dec 30 '12 at 12:09

jabzthman360's gravatar image


Go into Noel Leeming or Bond and Bond and ask them for assistance. There are lots of deals at the moment and you can always get a pay in instalments deal. If your worried about security get Need a Nerd to set it up.

answered Dec 30 '12 at 12:12

SamOG's gravatar image


Hi to you both, thank you for writing. In the next short while, I'll need to do something. More guidance is welcome. Regards.

answered Dec 30 '12 at 14:47

laptopper's gravatar image


Most of what is listed is not really needed.

A bios password does nothing as it is easy to get around (clear the CMOS)

if you are scared that someone may steal your laptop then encrypt the hard drive. (all modern laptops will allow you to password protect the bios and add boot passwords because they are a check box feature that no one uses but want to see the longest feature list possible)

That lenovo laptop you linked to is actually pretty good for the money, if you want 512GB of SSD storage then you can upgrade t one after buying the laptop

this is a decent deal but it cost much more than the laptop http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148531

but really, if you are not doing heavy gaming and running large professional applications such as adobe after effects, then you can easily get away with a hybrid drive


it has 750GB HDD storage and 8GB SSD and the drive it's self simply monitors what you do and caches the data you access most into the SSD, An SSD cache drive will basically give the windows boot some SSD performance along with a few of your main programs. (remember just because a program may be a few GB in size does not mean that the entire thing needs to be cached, many applications may have only a few MB of data that is actually needed to load it to a functional state and the rest of the huge library is just bulk data that is only loaded when you perform a specific task.

for memory, you can get 16GB for $58 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820144556

PS, 16GB is rarely beneficial unless you need to run a RAM disk, or use an extremely large application, eg davinci resolve which can easy pull 8-10GB on it's own, just editing a 2K resolution video.

answered Dec 30 '12 at 16:20

Razor512's gravatar image


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Asked: Dec 27 '12 at 01:32

Seen: 735 times

Last updated: Dec 30 '12 at 16:20