Strategies for recovering a Laptop after it is stolen

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Hi all.
I'm not sure what softwares/ services already exist concerning the recovery of a stolen laptop. But I know the consequences of losing one. If one day it does happen I would like to know what I could do to recover it back.
I'm aware of some online services which exist to give tracking info but they charge a hefty annual amount which I feel I do not need to pay. Laptops are all about the internet. So is there any freeware that I can permanently install to pass on tracking information once this stolen laptop is hooked up to the internet? For example can the tracking information be sent directly to another computer, say my desktop computer at home? This information could then be passed on to the law enforcement.
Maybe there exists other cleverer much better methods, which I'm hoping generous people could share. This will only serve to prevent computer/ laptop theft. Does Toshiba itself have any software? For example Samsung mobile phones are now built in with text alerts for stolen phones. Can this idea be or is this incorporated into Laptops computers?
Please reply.
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Hi
I think it would be nearly impossible to get back a stolen notebook.
I read a lot about some solution to track an stolen notebook (tracking of Mac address as mentioned above, installation of some 3rd party software) but all these proposals are not really an solution
As far as I know Toshiba provide an database for stolen units.
http://eu.computers.toshiba-europe.com -> Support & Download -> Stolen Units
In worst case (unit has been stolen) you can register you notebook there.
This can help to track a serial number and help an ASP to identify an notebook as stolen unit.
Greets