Cybersecurity is a hot topic these days for technical and non-technical people alike. Every day, a new story comes out - identities being stolen, credit card databases being hacked, private photos and videos being shared with the world - the list goes on and on. By now, there's no excuse to not be aware and concerned about your security when using tech products.
With the variety of computers available today, only some are specifically made to perform best against security threats, so in this article, we’ll be reviewing the best laptops for cybersecurity.
The Top 5 Best Laptops for Cyber Security
CPU: Intel Core i5 1.6 GHz Processor, Memory: 8 GB DD4 RAM, Graphics: Integrated graphics card, Screen: 15.6-inch display, Storage: 1 TB SATA Hard Drive, Battery Life: 5 Hours
The Asus VivoBook F510UA is a great laptop for someone looking for decent specifications at an affordable price point ($509.99). It comes with a fingerprint reader for easy, secure authentication, and a razor-thin bezel edge for ideal viewing. This laptop offers a full terabyte of storage and a nice 15.6-inch display. The only downfalls to this device would be the short battery life (5 hours) and weak graphics card.
- Large Display with a thin bezel
- Fingerprint reader
- Lots of storage
- Non-dedicated graphics card
- Short Battery Life
CPU: Intel Core i5 1.6 GHz Processor, Memory: 8 GB, Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617, Screen: 13.3-inch display, Storage: 128 GB Solid State Drive, Battery Life: 12 Hours
The Apple Macbook Air is one of the most secure options on the market. It offers a fingerprint reader, as well as the Apple T2 Security Chip and data encryption. It also comes with the added security benefit of having a non-Windows operating system, with fewer risks of viruses and malware. With “all-day” battery life - this is a great laptop for an on-the-go lifestyle. The iOS operating system could cause some complications for users that are used to working on Windows laptops.
- Long battery life
- Security features including the T2 Security Chip
- Lots of memory
- Small display
- Low Storage Space
- Compatibility issues with Windows software
CPU: Intel Core i7 4.1 GHz Processor, Memory: 16 GB DDR4, Graphics: NVIDIA GTX1060 , Screen: 15.6-inch display, Storage: 256 GB Solid State Drive, Battery Life: 7 Hours
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a monster of a laptop. It has a six-core, blazing-fast processor and 16 GB of RAM, so you should see no issues with speed. It also has a lot of other attractive features, such as a backlit keyboard and advanced cooling technology. The 256 GB SSD should respond quickly, although it may cause some space concerns. Gamers will love this laptop's NVIDIA GTX1060 graphics card.
- Very, very fast
- NVIDIA GTX1060 Graphics Card
- Solid State Drive
- No fingerprint reader or other advertised security features
- High price point
- Lower battery life
CPU: Intel Core i7 1.8 GHz Processor, Memory: 16 GB LPDDR3, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Screen: 13.9-inch display, Storage: 512 GB SSD Battery Life: 12 Hours
With a thin frame and weighing 2.93 pounds, the Huawei MateBook X Pro laptop was made for someone on the go. It is plenty fast with an Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM. It also has one of the coolest security features on the market - a power button with a fingerprint reader on it, which allows the laptop to be powered up and logged into in 7.8 seconds! With 512 GBs of SSD, most users shouldn't have any special issues. The 13.9-inch display may cause some issues for users who want a larger screen.
- Long battery life
- Fingerprint-enabled power button
- Lots of solid-state storage
- Small screen size
- High price point
- Only one USB port
CPU: Intel Core i7 2.2 GHz Processor, Memory: 16 GB, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, Screen: 17.3-inch display, Storage: 1 TB SATA Hard Drive and 128 Solid State Drive, Battery Life: 6 Hours and 45 Minutes
The OMEN by HP laptop offers a huge 17.3-inch monitor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, and fantastic audio for a fully immersive experience. While it is built with plenty of speed, it also offers easy access to add more memory. The metal chassis and backlit keyboard made this laptop visually stunning as well. This is the only laptop that we've listed today that offers a SATA hard drive with ample storage space and an SSD for fast booting. The lack of a fingerprint reader could cause some security issues.
- Huge 17.3-inch display
- Multiple hard drives for both storage and speed
- Plenty of speed with room to upgrade
- No fingerprint reader or other advertised security features
- Shorter battery life
- Bulky for travel
Features To Consider When Choosing a Laptop for Cyber Security
In all tech purchases, the basic specifications need to be considered. These features really don't have anything to do with cybersecurity - but you need a solid foundation for your purchase before looking deeper into the different security features.
Processor Speed and RAM
The first question a potential buyer asks before buying a laptop is “Is it fast enough?”. There's nothing worse than a slow PC. Processor (or CPU) speed and the amount of RAM are the two biggest factors in PC speed.
As far as processing units go - the number of cores and clock speed are the two biggest components to CPU speed. The amount of cores multiplies the efficiency of the processor. The clock speed, measured in GHz, is a great numeric indicator of speed.
RAM (Random-access memory) is measured in gigabytes. The more gigabytes available, the faster the laptop will be. The smallest amount of RAM that can be found today is around 2 GBs.
Graphics and Screen Size
The level of how much graphics and screen size manner depends on the purpose of the laptop. As far as screen size goes, different sizes can be used for different purposes. A laptop that is used for traveling may be better with a smaller screen - just as a gaming laptop is probably better with a larger screen.
The same goes for graphics cards. If you are only using a laptop for web browsing and word processing - then it's probably not worth investing an expensive graphics card. If you are using the laptop for gaming or want an immersive video experience, you'd better be sure to get the right card.
There are two things to look at when data storage comes to mind - drive type, and storage capacity. SATA (Serial AT Attachment) drives are the most popular drive today. They are readily available and offer a large amount of storage space per dollar.
SSDs (solid-state drives) are also rising in popularity. They respond much faster than your standard SATA drive, but storage space costs more per dollar than with a SATA drive. With less and fewer data storage being done on local drives and more personal data storage being done in the cloud - it's getting a lot easier to sacrifice storage space for a better, faster drive.
Hard drive encryption is the easiest way to verify that your data stays safe in the event that your laptop is stolen, or lost. The data on your drive on your laptop would be totally unreadable. BitLocker, one of the most popular pieces of encryption software available today, is included in Windows operating systems. BitLocker not only offers an encrypted drive but an additional level of security by requiring a password at boot, before your PC even gets into the operating system.
AuthenticationUsername and Password
Still today - Windows gives you the option of requiring a username and password to login to your laptop. While this seems like the most basic of security functions, this is very effective. There is no excuse not to set up username and password authentication on your personal laptop. Additionally - make sure your password is unique! The word ‘password’ is not a secure password. Neither is using your username as your password.
A fingerprint reader is an effective, fast way to be able to log into your PC securely. With this method set up, you'll have the option to either type in your password on the keyboard or use your fingerprint for authentication. The fingerprint reader is typically below the keyboard, close to the touchpad.
Here's another fast and effective way to securely authenticate with your laptop. Your laptop uses the camera to recognize your facial features and let you through. Microsoft's Windows Hello software is used to facial recognition in the Windows 10 operating system
Anti-virus and anti-malware software isn't anything new. These products have been around for a long time, and are always changing. It's very important to keep your virus and malware definitions up to date and to follow industry reports on which software is the best from time to time.
Having a software firewall installed on your PC is also essential for cybersecurity. Your firewall software must carefully walk the thin line of being both effective, and not constraining. A firewall that is too “effective” will end up restricting the user from being able to use their PC for its intended purposes and disabled by the user.
Personal computer security is something that we should be on top of every day. It's a good idea to stay on top of the latest trends and be able to recognize the newest threats. While laptop speed and visuals are important specifications to look at while shopping for a laptop, don't forget about security features!
Drive encryption, fingerprint authentication, and possibly even visual recognition go a long way to secure your personal computer. The laptop that appears to offer the best combination of speed, security features, and general market favorably is the Apple MacBook Air. As long as you can be used to a new operating system, this is the best option on the market. It offers fingerprint authentication and drive encryption with the T2 Security Chip, and will generally be safer running a non-Windows operating system. Whatever laptop you choose, be sure to keep security in mind.