What to look for in a 5G laptop when you upgrade your work-from-home equipment

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly hastened the trend toward working from home (WFH). As employees across the country adapt to remote working environments, some users may have become a bit uncertain about their tech options.

If you find yourself looking for an upgrade when it comes to your home office equipment, consider how the 5G laptops beginning to debut in the marketplace could have the potential to improve your connectivity. In particular, start thinking ahead to when social distancing guidelines are relaxed, leading to greater workplace mobility.

The old WFH: Re-creating the office in your home

If you’ve only recently moved to a WFH setup, the first thing you did was probably attempt to transport your standard office equipment to a desk in your living room or guest room.

However, WFH pros know that half the fun comes from embracing flexibility. Instead of staying bolted to your desk all day, taking a trip to work from a patio or balcony can liven things up. When it’s safe to do so, working from a separate location can also lend some variety to your day and unleash creativity.

Traditional computer setups can be lacking in this department. First of all, lugging a heavy laptop around can feel cumbersome, making a fun outing more trouble than it’s worth. Secondly, logging on to a nearby guest network, especially without using a virtual private network (VPN) can make you susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks (MITM). Because of the security risks, this activity might even be forbidden by your employer’s remote work policy. Additionally, how far you are from your home router can limit your coverage.

Lightweight laptops with 5G capability.

Fortunately, a new crop of business laptops is entering the marketplace. With 5G connectivity and portable designs, these computers could be better suited for the WFH lifestyle. By accessing the internet over the high-speed, low-latency 5G cellular network, these computers avoid some of the limitations inherent in using Wi-Fi while being portable and user-friendly.

In January, CNET reported on several new models debuting at CES this year. These products were some of their highlights:

  • The Dell Latitude 9510: This computer boasts an integrated artificial intelligence program for optimized usability.
  • The HP Elite Dragonfly: Versions of this product weigh less than 2.5 pounds, and it offers enhanced security features, like a privacy screen and webcam shutter.
  • Lenovo’s Yoga 5G: Lenovo claims this laptop battery can run for 24 hours without recharging.
  • The foldable ThinkPad X1 Fold from Lenovo: This product offers greater mobile versatility due to its foldable design.

Security in the age of 5G devices

When it comes to security, it’s important to note that connecting to the internet over a cellular network using a 5G-enabled laptop is not a totally foolproof activity. While it’s certainly preferred over unsecured wireless networks, 5G will still have some vulnerabilities.

A report released by researchers from Purdue University and the University of Iowa found 4G and 5G vulnerabilities that could allow for tracking cellphone users’ locations. In addition, research from the Brookings Institution noted that 5G, owing to its reliance on distributed routing, offers limited ability to fortify one central clearinghouse and make sure that more traffic is secure.

Still, 5G networks may represent a step forward for secure mobile internet connectivity, and the latest crop of digital devices could help you be on your way to a more flexible WFH lifestyle in the future. The important lesson here is to leverage additional security methods to make sure you’re fully protected.

Learn more about the products and services available from Total Defense to help you protect your technology, for yourself and your employer.