Protecting your system from lightening strikes

With summer upon us, the team here at Technology Solutions, Inc. has noticed an upsurge in the number of systems coming in with electrical problems due to lightning strikes or power surges. Depending on the severity of the strike and the quality of your protection, surges caused by lighting strike can destroy components inside your machine or even destroy the whole system. Learn how to protect your computer from storm borne disaster.

Surge Protectors

The most effective thing you can do to protect your system from lightening strikes is to invest in a surge protector. A basic one can be purchased for less than $10. All you have to do is plug the battery backup into the wall and your system into the surge protector. The surge protector will limit voltage supplied to your system, preventing damage caused by power surges.

Battery Backups

If you’re willing to spend a little extra money you can get a battery backup. These units provide continuous power to your system in the event of an outage. This allows you the time to properly shut down your system, preventing data loss and surges as the computer automatically restarts. As an added bonus, battery backups come with built-in surge protectors. A basic one will cost around $45.

Pro Tips for Surge Protection

Once you have a surge protector or battery backup in place, there are a couple of other things you can do to optimize your protection. Remember that electrical surges can come from any wire, so Ethernet cables and phone lines can cause just as many problems as a chord plugged into an electrical outlet. Solve this issue by buying a surge protector with ethernet/phone ports, or by unplugging these cords during a storm.

Also, remember that surge protectors wear out. If yours is more than three years old or if you know that it has been hit with an electrical surge, it’s time to replace your unit.

And finally, though we’ve been talking mostly about home computers, remember that all electronics are susceptible to damage from lightning strikes. Laptops, televisions, stereo systems and other large electronics should also be equipped with surge protectors.

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