Why You Want a Backup Computer on Hand

Whether you need a reliable computer to run your home-based business or you simply want something around to surf the web and update your Facebook status, I recommend that you consider having two computers on hand.

This may sound like an unnecessary expense, since computers inevitably become obsolete the moment you buy them, but this is a worthwhile investment. This is especially true if you’re a freelance writer like me and you rely on your notebook for your livelihood.

When I say that you should have (at least) two computers readily available to you, this does not necessarily mean that you need two top-of-the-line systems. If you choose to use a laptop as your primary machine, you’ll want something reasonably powerful and reliable like the Lenovo Ideapad Y430. You can usually find some perfectly suitable for under $1,000, giving you enough horsepower to handle your day-to-day tasks. The secondary or “backup” computer can be an inexpensive netbook. I have an Acer Aspire One for that purpose.

So, why do you want two computers?

  • Surviving Virus Attacks: One of the first things you should do when you get hit with a virus, spyware, or malware attack is to disconnect your computer from the Internet. At the same time, the Internet is home to many resources that help you overcome these attacks. This is where the second computer can come into play. While the infected machine sits there without world wide web, the “safe” one can look up information to find a cure. I had to employ this approach last night. It took hours and hours, but it finally worked. This same philosophy can apply if you have to perform other repairs on either machine.
  • Staying Productive During Scans: When you are running a full scan to check for errors and viruses, you may find that your computer slows down to a crawl. You want to avoid interfering with the process too. While you could take the time to unplug from the matrix, you could alternatively use your secondary computer to keep working while the first computer does its thing.
  • Capitalizing on Versatility: I don’t have the figures handy, but a recent survey revealed that the vast majority of Mac owners also have a Windows-based PC. If the two computers in your home are running on different operating systems, you have the best chance of running any software you’d like and enjoying the the highest level of file compatibility.

When you have two computers available to you in your home, it’s probably best that you designate one machine as your primary and the other one as your backup. It can be a pain if your files are evenly split between the two, because you may forget where you decided to save ABC and where you stored XYZ.

As mentioned, the backup computer can be a cheap netbook, so you don’t need to break the bank in the process. This small investment can save you from a lot of headache and heartache for sure.