Protect Your Computer From
Whoosh, one lightning strike to the mains power
and your computer is fried. The chips in your computer and your power
supply can be damaged beyond repair. In addition to the expense involved
in replacing damaged components you are facing the loss of all your
us are vigilant in protecting our computers against virus attacks, but
in the area of power problems we are lacking. Even the most careful,
generally think that a surge protector is all the protection needed.
While a surge protector provides some protection it’s main advantage
is it’s price. Better protections is offered by a UPS (Uninterruptible
power supply). In the past the cost of a UPS was too high for most of us to consider,
but as with technologies the price has dropped to the point of a UPS
on to find out about the need for a stable and reliable power, and the
steps you can take to provide it.
The three common power problems that can plague
a computer system are: Overvoltage, Undervoltage and Power Outages
often caused by storms all three can happen anytime of day or night.
Power leaves the power station in good condition but by the time it
reaches us it is often less than perfect. There is always a risk to your
computer. It doesn’t take a storm.
Overvoltage often caused by
a lightning strike can cause the costliest damage in terms of wrecked
Undervoltage: In an
undervoltage situation components respond by drawing more current
(amps). A higher current creates more heat which can result in damaged
components. The damage may
not be immediate, but may build up over time.
Power Outages: an
unexpected power outage can cause loss of data and operating system corruption.
There are products available to help protect
your computer. They all have their advantages and disadvantages.
only against overvoltage. Their main advantage is that they are
relatively inexpensive. Disadvantages They only protect against
overvoltage. Also, the internal mechanism of a surge protector wears
out, sometimes after a single activation. The computer will still run,
and you might not even be aware that you are no longer protected. To
combat this some surge protectors have a
light on the plug. As long as the light is lit you are protected.
Of course you have to be able to see the plug.
UPS offers protection from voltage overloads, surges, undervoltage and
also provides enough power to turn off your system in case of a
blackout. This can save your data.
More importantly :
you will always know that your computer is protected. When you
use a UPS your computer receives its power directly from the UPS. If the
UPS is not functioning your computer will not start.
Many UPS units also supply protection for your
modem. In an electrical storm your modem is also at risk. A UPS with
modem protection will protect your modem.
A UPS for a home or small office system would be
available in the $200 to $300 price range.
Many people have been computing for years and
never had a problem. Each of us must decide, for ourselves, if
protection is necessary.
Modem From Power Surges
Three years ago, while working in Sydney, I had
a rash of calls from customers that were having problems connecting to
The problems developed after a storm. It
didn’t take long to figure it was due to burned out
modems. The problem was wide spread. In fact it was difficult to
locate enough replacement modems in the local area.
Many of us have surge protectors on our
computers but not on our
To Protect Your Modem
Unplug the phone line from your computer when
you are not using it.
Purchase a surge protector that offers modem
Purchase and install a UPS
Protection comes at a price but
it is less expensive than the damage that can be caused by
Most Basic Level Of Protection, no cost to you
(note: the more extensive your protection plan the better your computer
is protected). Note your computer is still at risk because not all
surges happen during storms. But this method is better than nothing.
If you refuse to spend money to protect your computer this
off and unplug your system when there is an electrical storm. Do the
same when you are away from home for extended periods or if away during
days of potential storms.
the phone line from your computer when there is an electrical storm. Do
the same when you are away from home for extended periods or if away
during days of potential storms
the above steps when your lights are flickering, storm or not.
is easier to unplug your whole system if you have a power board. Plug
all computer gear to the board. Then you only have to remove the power
Moderate Level Of Protection, modest cost,
protects from power surges but no power filtering.
and install a surge protector board that includes phone jacks for your
follow first two steps under Basic Protection.
Best Level Of Protection:
and install a UPS.
follow first two steps under Basic Protection.
it simply but doing it well"
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