Each month, the typical business or home experiences several electrical disturbances — from infrequent blackouts to spikes and surge fluctuations. What most people don't realize, however, is that even the slightest electrical blip poses a danger to all programmable appliances, whether the device is a telephone, a computer, or a high–priced server. And if your computer or telephone no longer works after a power surge, it most likely won't be covered by the manufacturer's warranty.
Even momentary power fluctuations can cause damage to computer components over time. The chips and circuit inside PCs and peripherals are highly sensitive. Unless these components receive clean, steady 120–volt AC current, they won't perform as designed. Small power fluctuations can also corrupt or erase data stored on hard drives.
Here are the most common types of power problems and how they can damage your computer:
Even small power spikes can degrade internal circuitry and dramatically shorten the life of electronic devices. For this reason, all important electronics and appliances should be connected to a surge protector.
Most surge protectors resemble power strips, but they actually contain additional circuitry designed to absorb excess electrical energy and prevent it from reaching connected equipment. Some models feature telephone/modem, coaxial and Ethernet jacks, which provide surge protection on those lines as well.
Surge protectors are the best power protection option for equipment that does not require battery backup, including printers, scanners, fax machines, overhead projectors, TVs, cable boxes and more.
Here are some common questions about surge protector features:
Why is the joule rating important?
A joule is a measurement of energy. The higher the joule rating, the longer your protection will last.
Is it important to protect my telephone line?
Yes! Surges can enter your home or office through telephone lines and end up harming or destroying sensitive electronic devices, including your computer. Using a surge protector with telephone–line protection is the only way to ensure the safety of your telecommunications devices.
Why do I need coaxial cable protection?
Electrical surges can also enter your home or office through coaxial cable lines. A surge protector with coaxial cable protection is the best way to protect your audio/video equipment and cable modems from surges and spikes.
Remember: If you have a computer, an entertainment system or a stereo system, each component must be plugged into a surge protector. If one of these devices isn't plugged in, it can send a surge through every other piece of equipment and cause permanent damage to them.
Computers connected to a surge protector will be protected against a jolt of electricity if there's a nearby lightning strike. But when the power goes out — even for a second — it can result in lost data and potentially a damaged hard drive.
Protecting important files and data against permanent loss due to insufficient power requires a UPS battery backup device. A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) device provides both surge protection and emergency backup power. The backup power gives a computer user time (from ten minutes to an hour, depending on the device) to save critical files and properly shut down the computer until power is restored.
What is AVR?
Automative Voltage Regulation (AVR) technology provides clean electricity by increasing low voltage or decreasing high voltage — keeping it within a safe range of 110–120 volts.