How do I protect my computer from electrical spikes?

As the summer has heated up, we’ve certainly had our share of storms. These strong storms have caused some power outages throughout the area, lasting minutes or hours, or even days. Such events can really take their toll on our electrical devices, to say nothing of our nerves.


But you have played it safe, and have all your sensitive equipment connected to surge suppressors and not to generic power strips, right? The power strip just has a bunch of outlets in it, but a surge suppressor has the ability to bleed off sudden spikes in current due to lightning or a utility problem. Suppressors are usually good enough to protect electronics from spikes, but are not enough for real protection. They do not protect from low power events or brown outs, for example. And after a suppressor does its job once, it is no longer reliable and should be replaced.


A better solution is a battery backup. Backups are more expensive; at least $50 compared to suppressors which can cost as little as $10. Backups protect against low power, high power, and since they have a battery, give you a couple of minutes to save work and shut down properly. A battery backup will provide reliable service for at least three years in normal home usage. Its well worth the investment to protect your valuable equipment and data.

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