Surge protectors

Whats the difference between a surge protector and a surge suppressor, if any?

And what is a good one to get, I currently have a surge protector on my pc but im not convinced its a very good one.. probably one that cost like 5-10 bucks..
 

Scared0o0Rabbit

Established Member
If you want hard core protection, go with a line conditioner from tripp lite. Surge suppressors/protectors help protect against surges (but don't stop them all), though they do nothing about brown outs (which can be just as bad). A line conditioner will keep the voltage at the right level so long as it doesn't exceed a 20% variance or so (which is A LOT).
 
Another thing to keep in mind that NO device you put between the power line and your PC will EVER stop a lightning strike. So getting one with those $15,000 or something warranites is a must. That way in case your PC does blow while you were using on of the devices they will replace it for you for free.

A UPC (uniteruptible power supply) or a line conditioner are the way to go. They will also let you shutdown gracefully in case the power goes out. Or even continue running through short power outages.
 

Scared0o0Rabbit

Established Member
if it's less than triple digit, it's probably not providing you with any protection is the sad truth of it. A UPS will probably cost more than a line conditioner, and the only real added benefit is that it gives you time to shut down (and protects) whereas a line conditioner just protects, and when the power goes, your pc shuts down.
 

racketboy

Established Member
Originally posted by Scared0o0Rabbit@Oct 23, 2003 @ 11:28 PM

if it's less than triple digit, it's probably not providing you with any protection is the sad truth of it. A UPS will probably cost more than a line conditioner, and the only real added benefit is that it gives you time to shut down (and protects) whereas a line conditioner just protects, and when the power goes, your pc shuts down.

I've had my power go out (funky breakers) a few times in the last couple weeks.

Does that do any damage other than not being able to save your work?
 

Scared0o0Rabbit

Established Member
Possibly brown outs as it goes out and or surges when it comes back. But I'm definetly not an expert electrician or anything, so I could be entirely wrong.

Edit: Oh and brown outs are just as bad as surges.
 
Any sudden change of power levels while the PC is on damages the components somewhat. It may however take several time of doing this to actually cause a noticable effect. Keeping a PC on constantly with a UPS to smooth out the power is the best way to ensure the longest life of it. Turning a PC on and off is actually bad for the components to some small degree and over time wears them out faster than just having the PC on constantly.
 

racketboy

Established Member
interesting --- so is there difference between a brown out and turning the PC off?

What compenents get harmed?

also anything on that Dell link above look good?
 

Scared0o0Rabbit

Established Member
Dunno much about UPS's, and they didn't list any line conditioners that I saw. Tripp lite is a good brand name is all I can tell ya. Brown outs are kind of like turning off your pc... except MUCH worse lol. Probably a very similar relationship between surges and turning it on.
 

racketboy

Established Member
So Dell doesn't have anything I want?

And should I be paraniod that my box's life is in trouble after those power losses?
 

Scared0o0Rabbit

Established Member
just goto tripplite.com they will have links to what exactly all those products are, as well as places that sell them... and quite possibly much cheaper than at dell.
 

racketboy

Established Member
well, is something like this

Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) circuits correct brownouts as low as 83 volts without using battery power

the same as line conditioning.

I would like Line conditioning, but I also want battery backup for complete power outages.
 

Taelon

Established Member
Hmm. Nobody's mentioned APC yet. I bought a brandnew UPS from APC, model "Back-UPS ES 350." It's kinda low-end, only provides max. 350W power for about 6 or 7 minutes before the battery is drained, but that's plenty for me since my goal is to make it through short power outages and avoid data loss/corruption by gracefully shutting down during longer outages. Oh, and the thing cost maybe $60, not expensive at all. It has built-in surge protection as well and hooks up to an USB port. (BTW, my monitor's not on the UPS circuit because I fear that would be a bit too much for the battery, and who needs to watch the PC shut down, right) ;)

Another thing is not to forget so-called backdoor surges. These can come in through your coax cable or phone line connections so you want protection for those, too.
 

Alexvrb

Established Member
APC is very good, but expensive. But any good UPS is a nice investment if you have unreliable power. Sometimes people have their PSU strained and it keels over eventually because they have dirty power (hopefully that's the only component that gets damaged), a UPS will condition your power as well as adding battery backup.

As for phone line/coax... I don't personally care if my cable modem fries. Since its not mine. Besides, I've had bad luck in the past with phone line protectors that made my connection less reliable. I see no need to potentially raise my upstream power level above already-high levels.
 
You might want to reconsider that. If lightning strikes near the cable cables near where you live the large power surge would travel down the cable and destroy your cable modem. The thing is...it might not stop there and continue to go down the ethernet cable and straight into your PC. A strong enough power surge is in fact large enough to bridge burnt out connections. As for the modem protections I wish I had one many years ago. The phone lines near my house were hit by lightning and the surge ended up frying my PC. The PC wouldn't boot after it happened and I feared I just lost my whole rather expensive (for the time) PC. Thankfully I left the PC plugged in for a day and after trying to boot it again it did. I think the PC being grounded all day allowed all the static that built up during the lightning strike to disipate and have my PC work again. Unfortunately my 2400 modem didn't survive the hit. Taught me a lesson. ALWAYS UNPLUG YOUR PC DURING A LIGHTNING STORM, and not just the power cables but the phone and cable connections too.
 

Alexvrb

Established Member
It could fry the router too and I wouldn't care. I won't risk breaking my already-fragile connection. Not until I can run new cable lines that are more efficiently organized - and better insulated while I'm at it. I at least managed to replace the stuff that's in the crawlspace and easy to replace with quad-shielded cables and better connectors, and that helped the TVs that were directly connected to those a ton. The other cables were run through the house when it was built, and it would be very difficult to replace them now...
 
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