How to Choose the Best Surge Protector for Your Computer

surge protection

Protecting expensive computer equipment from electrical surges is often an afterthought. Not until an electrical storm or a surge caused by the cycling of your air conditioner during a hot summer blows out your PC, do you realize the need for protection.

Know the Difference Between Surge Protectors and Power Strips

It is common to assume these two devices are identical, but they are not. Power strips expand the capacity of wall outlets for additional equipment-and that’s it. Power strips are fine for less valuable electrical equipment when you need additional outlets. However, they do not protect that equipment from surges. If you need both surge protection and outlet expansion, look for a device that combines both features.

Know Your Joules

When it comes to serious surge protection, however it is important to understand the concept of joules. The amount of damaging energy that can surge through your household electrical system is measured in joules. When selecting a surge protector, choose one with the highest joule capacity. The greater capacity,however, will also raise the price of your protection. If you are willing to minimize joule capacity for a home computer, do not go below 1000 joules of power surge protection.

LED light power indicator

A surge protector with a power indicator light may seem incidental, however surge protectors may fail over time and as they sit under desks for months and years they get forgotten. You may never realize that even though you are plugged into a surge protector, you have no protection at all. The LED lets you see in a quick glance that you are still receiving power protection.

surge protector with power light

Select a Surge Protector for Computers and More

If your surge protector is used for a home computer in addition to other electronics such as TVs, computer games or home sound systems, you may want to look for a surge protector with EMI/RFI filtering. This added feature eliminates disruptions generated by printers or other peripherals connected to the same surge protector as the audio/video equipment.

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