Best laptop for field network engineer Mac or Windows?

endlessappsendlessapps Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
I am in current talks for a role as a field network engineer in final stage of the process. They provide me a laptop either Mac or PC its up to me. Is there is on that you guys prefer over the other? I am a pc guy but I always see network engineers using Mac's is there a reason? Would getting a Macbook pro be a smarter move vs a Windows laptop?

Thanks

Comments

  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    If I had a choice on a new laptop right now, I would go with the Microsoft Surface Book. Those things look pretty sweet.
  • nelson8403nelson8403 Member Posts: 220 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Honestly software doesn't matter. I have a Macbook now and I used to have a Windows PC, I'd recommend the Mac over Windows just software wise (unless you use some proprietary software)

    BUT I'd recommend getting a powerful PC (usually way less than a mac) and putting Linux on it, most of our security and network operations team uses Linux (or Mac) and we stay away from Windows
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  • endlessappsendlessapps Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Nothing proprietary, so why do you stay away from windows?
  • MooseboostMooseboost Senior Member Member Posts: 775 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have a Macbook Pro that I dual boot with. Covers everything I need.
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  • endlessappsendlessapps Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    You dual boot with it or you have a vm of windows? So why do you like the macbook pro whats so great about it?
  • v1ralv1ral Member Posts: 116 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I've used both in the field. Both will work just fine.

    It comes down to which of the 2 OS are you more comfortable with.
  • nelson8403nelson8403 Member Posts: 220 ■■■□□□□□□□
    It's not that I dislike Windows, but from a bloat and performance perspective, I prefer Mac/Linux over it. I use Windows at home, but just for SSH + Basic browsing and development and scripting Linux is your best bet.

    However, if you're not comfortable with Linux, I'd just stick with what you're used to.
    Bachelor of Science, IT Security
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  • crplhoodcrplhood Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I use a fairly inexpensive Dell i15 with the I7 and upgraded to 16gig RAM. I dont dual boot, but I keep an ubuntu and kali VM on stored state, spin them up when I need them. Unless you actually need a $2000 computer bc you compile crazy code, your wasting your money on anything shiny. $600-800 will do fine. Don't try to do desktop work in a laptop. If it's super resource intensive, you honestly arent going to be moving around alot to do it. I hate apple with a passion, so I'll leave it at that.
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  • Nightflier101BLNightflier101BL Member Posts: 134 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm a network administrator and use a Macbook. I have a real dislike for Windows and their driver installation processes. Everything I want to use on the Macbook just works. It's a simple and easy as that - it just works. All adapters, printers, terminal emulators, etc all work with no fiddling with settings, drivers, discs, etc. I like the organization of the OS X desktop and windows. I really like using iTerm on the Mac and its window management. I used to have a Windows laptop and had TONS of problems getting USB/serial cables to install properly.

    At the end of the day, it's about easy of use and accessibility for me. When things break and I have run somewhere with a laptop, I don't want any surprises. Apple stuff just works and I can count on it every time (except AppleTV but that's another story).
  • MitechniqMitechniq Member Posts: 286 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Get a Mac you can always parallel your Mac to a Windows OS, the opposite is not possible.
  • endlessappsendlessapps Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Ok you guys sold me on Mac! I'm thankful for everyones feedback!
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I have Mac but a coworker has a Dell XPS 13 and that is a pretty nice Windows laptop.
  • negru_tudornegru_tudor Senior Member Member Posts: 473 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've done my share of field work and can say that it really depends on what line of work you're involved in. I'm doing everything in between data, voice, server and application support so have found out that Windows is more suitable for my needs and i'll give you an example to back that up. Going onto sites where customers have Avaya IPO or BCM systems, you need to get software onto your PC that only works on Windows..whether you or I like it or not, that's another thing entirely but the reality of the matter is that you're bound to run into more issues as a field engineer with a MAC if only for compatibility purposes. Next up, re the machine, I'd go for a sturdy Dell - I've just had a Latitude E6430s which is a 14", i5 config., a very though construction and the LCD opening angle is quite wide. Would have loved to have it with an I7 but nonetheless, it still does its job and I'm not afraid of it breaking down on me onsite..it can definitely take a beating (tested :D)
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  • MutataMutata Member Posts: 176
    I like the rMBP 13", it's a pretty nice laptop. We've started deploying the Surface Books here and a lot of people have been less than impressed with them. I don't dual boot my rMBP but the overwhelming majority of my day revolves around Linux & Unix administration.

    The size of it would be pretty condusive to field work
  • nelson8403nelson8403 Member Posts: 220 ■■■□□□□□□□
    My issue with rMBPs now though is that they removed the ethernet jack completely, and for network engineers you'd have to plug a usb dongle in every time you want to use an ethernet cord (which would probably be frequent) You can get an older MBP if you want to keep the ethernet port but to have to carry around accessories no matter where you are gets annoying.

    I'd look into the Dell laptops, they have some tougher optioins too depending on where you'd going.
    Bachelor of Science, IT Security
    Master of Science, Information Security and Assurance

    CCIE Security Progress: Written Pass (06/2016), 1st Lab Attempt (11/2016)
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Mutata wrote: »
    We've started deploying the Surface Books here and a lot of people have been less than impressed with them.

    ahhh thats disappointing to hear. They look like they had pretty good potential looking at the specs and the versatility...
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    MAC is very reliable compare to windows.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    If I'm going to be using it for field work something with built in serial is important.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • CSCOnoobCSCOnoob Member Posts: 120
    To OP: My vote is Mac.
    If I'm going to be using it for field work something with built in serial is important.

    They still make new laptops with built-in DB9? I don't shop for new laptops so I seriously do not know. Most of the laptops I've seen do not have DB9 anymore. I am assuming you're against USB-to-Serial and/or AirConsole?
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I'm certainly not against it for my lap top I may bring into the DC now and then. If I'm a field tech and need it daily then yeah I'd be against it.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • nelson8403nelson8403 Member Posts: 220 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Just remember though if you do a brand new Mac you won't have serial or ethernet ports and serial is really iffy on Mac, I end up using an app called Serial, it's about 30 dollars but contains drivers and easy use.
    Bachelor of Science, IT Security
    Master of Science, Information Security and Assurance

    CCIE Security Progress: Written Pass (06/2016), 1st Lab Attempt (11/2016)
  • CSCOnoobCSCOnoob Member Posts: 120
    I'm certainly not against it for my lap top I may bring into the DC now and then. If I'm a field tech and need it daily then yeah I'd be against it.

    I personally did not mind not having DB9 when I was a field tech. Even the people I used to work with didn't mind. People just have different preferences, I guess. With AirConsole, no need for USB-to-serial adapters. I personally do not use the adapters anymore and just use AirConsole.
    nelson8403 wrote: »
    Just remember though if you do a brand new Mac you won't have serial or ethernet ports and serial is really iffy on Mac, I end up using an app called Serial, it's about 30 dollars but contains drivers and easy use.

    Never had problems with Keyspan TrippLite USA-19HS USB-to-Serial when I was using it. No complaints from colleagues as well. All of us use Mac at work (network guys that is) except one who only likes to use Linux (CentOS is his favorite).
  • jtlgjtlg Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    For Macbooks or laptops without serial I've been using Airconsole 2.0 the last couple of years and works great, might be a tad slow but you don 't need to be tethered to Cisco devices via USB-Serial or USB only

    http://www.get-console.com/airconsole/
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