A: Perhaps first we need to define what you mean by “encrypted laptop”.

By my definition, that means the storage device on which all data is contained is encrypted. But there are other items that may be encrypted as well.

FULL DISK ENCRYPTION

If this is what you are referring to, every Mac meets this criterion, as macOS ships with FileVault 2 which provides military-grade AES full disk encryption.

In the case of a Windows machine, if the user upgrades to Windows 10 Pro they have BitLocker, which also provides for full disk encryption. It is best to purchase a Windows computer with a TPM chip to make the encryption process faster and easier.

LOCAL AREA NETWORK

By default, both macOS and Windows communicate on the local area network (LAN) without encryption. However, if communicating with a Windows, macOS, or Linux server with Kerberos active, all communications between the server and client are encrypted.

INTERNET

No computer ships with internet encryption, as that is a service that is managed by a web host. There are literally hundreds of VPN providers available so that you may have encrypted internet communications.

EMAIL

macOS and Windows computers both ship with email software that is able to send and receive encrypted email. The ability to do this really rests on the email service one chooses. The service must support either HTTPS encryption (webmail) or TLS (email client software).

INSTANT MESSAGING

macOS ships with Messages app. Messages provides for end-to-end encrypted instant messages.

Windows does not ship with a fully secure instant messaging app.

There are several 3rd-party apps that provide cross-platform end-to-end encrypted instant messaging. My preference is for Wire.

DOCUMENT ENCRYPTION

Both macOS and Windows can use Microsoft Office. The current versions of Office apps allow you to save their files with AES 256 encryption. That’s as good as it gets.

macOS includes Disk Utility, which can create AES 256 contains to hold files and folders.

Windows 10 Pro includes Encrypting File System (EFS), which can create AES encrypted files and folders.

ETC

There are many other areas of encryption, but almost all fall into the category of internet-hosted service, which is something a computer doesn’t normally ship with, but the user can easily subscribe to.

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