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Every year, laptops go missing by the millions. Because they're small and highly portable (natch), they're easy pickings for thieves. I have several friends and family members whose homes were robbed, and every one of them lost at least one laptop. Talk about a rotten day.
However, while stolen TVs and jewelry can't call for help, laptops can--if you stock them with theft-recovery software. And by all accounts your best option is Absolute Software's LoJack for Laptops.
It's not what I would call a super-cheap solution, but at least there's a deal to be had: Buy one LoJack subscription, get a second for 50 percent off. (Click through to the Savings.com offer page, then click Get Deal.)
Once installed, LoJack runs entirely behind the scenes--meaning even a tech-savvy thief would have a hard time discovering and removing it.
In the unfortunate event your machine gets taken, you can sign into your LoJack account (on another PC), then pinpoint the laptop's location (if it's connected to the Internet). You can also lock out the system and, if you're especially worried about your lost data, remotely erase sensitive files.
Best of all, Absolute Software works directly with local law enforcement to help you recover your stolen system. That's a feature few, if any, competing anti-theft services offer.
A standard LoJack for Laptops subscription costs $39.99 per year per PC, but with this deal you can get a second subscription (for, say, a family member's laptop) for $19.99. That works out to around $30 per laptop for a year's worth of peace of mind. Not a bad deal, eh?
If you've used LoJack or a service like it, hit the comments and share your opinion.
Veteran technology writer Rick Broida is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his money-saving expertise to CNET and Savings.com, and also writes for PC World and Wired.