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Surge Suppressors

Revised on

Originally posted on December 13th, 2001

Don't Boot Up Without It

Without a good quality surge suppressor, you're taking a fantastic chance that you'll beat the odds in the electric game of cat and mouse.

Brownouts, blackouts, lightning strikes, or faulty wiring could send your computer to the repair shop quicker than you can pull the plug kids.

I personally believe that the only thing you need to protect your computer system or any other electrical device for that matter is a good quality surge suppressor.

That being said...

Look for these brands: Surge Master, Tripp Lite, APC or Belkin. I like the Surge Master the best. They seem to make them very rugged and come in lengths of 3' 6' 8' 12' and 14'

When shopping for a good suppressor, look on the box or on the unit itself for the Underwriters Laboratories [UL 1449] rating. It's a good indicator that it's going to perform and meet the claims written on the box. Most suppressors protect you from low voltage surges but when a major spike (albeit rare) occurs many fail flat on their faces.

Look for keywords like these written on the box or on the unit: MOVs, fuses, capacitors, inductors, discharge tubes and transorbs.

Reading this you might be thinking of getting a UPS to take the place of a surge suppressor. That is the worst thing you could do. If you invest in one of these be prepared to replace the rechargeable battery every 12 to 18 months at a hefty $40 plus shipping. What do you gain by using a UPS? Same protection as a surge suppressor and about 5 minutes of time to shut down your computer. That's it. You might also want to know that you can't plug you entire electrical system into it either. Just the computer and maybe the monitor. All those other computer peripherals will not be powered.

So, just get a good surge suppressor. It's the best bang for your buck.