Surge Protectors...

By ryan29121
Feb 6, 2008
  1. I just built a fancy new computer and currently its hooked up to a low-end surge protector. I was wondering how much surge protection would you consider be adequate to protect my new investment? Would an average lightning strike to your house be enough to fry a computer? Im just a little worried. Thanks for your help.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    You know that's the point of the surge protector.
    Some cheap ones can only take one jolt, and then you need to buy another

    Dearer ones can be re-used

    To really be safe, get an UPS along with a surge protector.
    That way, the surge protector stops the high voltage surge, and the UPS stops the computer shutting down immediately.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Get any that operates at 1800 Joules or more. Wal-Mart has excellent ones in the Electrical Department rated at 3400 Joules for about $35.
    A lightning strike can fry a computer regardless of whether you have a surge protector, but much of the lightning that will destroy a computer is of low intensity where you do not see the flash. The lightning comes down the telephone line or the cable line or the powerline, and zap, you are dead. The 3400 Joules unit will protect you from most all lightning, but be sure you have one that also prevents the spark from traveling down the phone line.
    Those with a 550 amp, or higher, battery, or one that will give you 11 minutes or longer to shut down, are best, but expensive. The battery should be tested or changed at least yearly. A battery unit that costs less than $100 is suspect. You never know if they will work right when the lightning comes.
    Avoid: Belkin, Tripp Lite, Ativa, Kensington, and Targus. We who live in the high lightning Southwest know that these brands are absolutely lousey in protection, despite how pretty they might be. APC American Power Conversion, WilCan, Maxivolt, Monster, KCP&L, and Coast Electrical Power are among the good ones.
    Ideally, you want a wired system that your power company will install in the electrical box.... foolproof and reasonably priced.
  4. ryan29121

    ryan29121 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 174

    Any particular battery backup / surge protector that you would recommend for under $100? I looked for a little bit and I couldn't seem to find one that had a strong surge protection and battery back up. Thanks again for your help
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