That surge of power .Back in 2000 we did a 10 episode television program on LBTV and one of the first segments on the first show was about surge protection. It is something so forgotten that most do not realize that this is really the first line of defense for keeping your computer healthy. For office computers, battery backup devices are a must have when the power surges hit.
What are power surges? Ever see the lights in your office suddenly go dim and then come right back on? Or may be the TV flashed when something else in the home turned on. These are examples of power spikes, and for your computer, these are very very bad. Another source of power problems are lighting strikes and summer brownouts. If your office or home computers have been subject to any of these, it is classified as what we call the walking wounded. The computer may act fine but you can be sure something happened and that it is now just a matter of time. Power spikes and brownouts can damage several parts including the processor, memory, chipsets, harddrive, motherboard and the power supply to name the major components.
How do you protect yourself? Well the answer is simple; surge protection devices. These DO NOT include those so called surge strips you get in the hardware store. Contrary to popular belief, these provide NO protection at all. These are so cheap there is no way they could respond fast enough to absorb the spike and they do nothing to even out a brown out. If this is what you are using then replace it now.
What your office computer network needs is called a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). These are actually self contained batteries that charge off your house current. If the power spikes they absorb and filter it. If the power fails, most give you 15 minutes of power to correctly shut everything down. In the case of brownouts they make up the difference so the computer has the proper voltages for it components.
As far lighting strikes, there is nothing that can protect you totally but to cause damage it would have to hit extremely close. What UPS do you need? This really depends on your setup and how much power you will need. For the average office or home, get one around 550/300VA (volt/amps) and you can expect to pay from $50.
00 to $100.00. Plug all your computer devices into this to insure that your system is protected. This is cheap insurance if your computer system costs hundreds or thousands of dollars. This also includes the protection of your business data that can be damaged with power surges.
Chris Kaminski has been working in computer repair and web development for the last 20 years. Kaminski is CEO and head technician for Computerguyslive.com, an online computer repair company based in Asheville, NC. Visit Computer Guys Live online for computer repair and check out our invaluable Wireless Connection Guide.