Laptop safety at Wi-Fi Hotspots


Aug 22, 2008
Hi all,I've been hearing about all the Wi-Fi hot spots around BA but I'm wondering how safe it is to whip out a laptop at a cafe in, say, Palermo or Belgrano. What I'm worried about is the possibility of someone either trying to steal it on the spot or upon my leaving the cafe once they know I have one in my bag.
I wouldn't transport it around in an obvious laptop case and it goes
without saying that I wouldn't leave it alone at the cafe even for a
second. And, I wouldn't sit outside in plain view. The point being that I'd take some precautions...but are they sufficient?
Thanks for any and all input!
I see many laptops in the city these days. I would never take a laptop to a marginal neighborhood or anywhere where it was viewed as something unusual. At the places I go to there are always people with laptops. Make sure you put your laptop in a brief case or some sort of bag that does not look like a lap top case. Never leave your laptop unattended.
A person I know who works for an international company downtown told me he would never use his laptop on his commuter train home and has never even once seen a commuter using a laptop. In Washington, DC, this is a common sight on the MARC train to the suburbs. NYC cant be much different. So, this isnt home, thats my point. Dont be fooled. Look into the panicked, freaked out face of the average person on the street or the train and ask yourself, should i pull out my laptop as I would do back home? South of the Border..........
Depends on how safe the area where the Wi-Fi spot is. Personal opinion is that it's probably not a good idea unless you are tired of your existing laptop and are thinking of replacing it anyway.
I have very frequently used mine at hotspots & never had a problem. I did have someone come up to me at a cafe & tell me I really shouldn't be sitting outside with it - and he was probably right. But seriously, never had any problems. I didn't carry it in a visible laptop case and didn't use it in dodgy neighborhoods but other than that, I didn't take any exceptional precautions.
FWIW however, I used it in Las Canitas, Belgrano, Palermo, Recoleta - can't say I would have whipped it out in Flores for example.
No offense, but I think folks are being a little to cautious. I see plenty of laptops in Palermo, Belgrano, Recoleta, etc. Treat it like you would treat any other valuable thing you owned.... with caution. Yes, I wouldn't take it with me on a walk in San Telmo, off the beaten path, around midnight. But then again, why would I do that even if I DIDN'T have a laptop with me.As for leaving somewhere after people have see you using your laptop, just be safe. Guard it in a bag that you can keep secure. Just as I assume you would where you are from.
Indoors, out of sight fine. Outdoors potentially in safer places in palermo, belgrano, recoleta. Outdoors in microcentro, congresso, san telmo etc is pretty risky. Carrying a laptop bag in downtown in general makes you a potential target. But not that different to any other big city. Ostentatiously carrying something worth $$$$s on your shoulder is going to attract the attention of people who might take a chance and try and take it off you. Common sense and you'll be fine.
I've been using my laptop at wifi hotspots in retiro, recoleta, palermo, and san telmo now for about a year without issues.As someone else suggested, as long as you are indoors you should be fine. Also, don't carry it in a 'laptop bag' -- no point in making yourselves a target. I carry mine in a ratty old daypack.Ken
I've used my laptop in some bars in BSAS, mainly in the Recoleta area... Haven't encountered any problems, but always made sure I was out of sight.

I wouldn't recommend using your laptop outside (except for puerto madero, which must be the safest place in argentina).