Charleston Tech Support News

Please Protect Yourself

Please Protect Yourself

This year, 100% of electrical surge related failures that Charleston Tech Support responded to were generated over either the cable (ie Comcast) or DSL (ie AT&T) lines. That’s right, not one surge came over the power lines and destroyed computer equipment for any of my customers so far this year. They have all come via an internet connection and there have been a considerable amount here in the low country. So, I wanted to quickly give you a pointer that will save you downtime and costly equipment replacement. Purchase a quality surge protector that filters your coaxial cable or DSL phone lines (depending on which kind of service you use as your Internet Service Provider).

Here is an example of a surge protector that protects no only the electrical outlets, but also coax, phone lines, and computer network cable (AKA Cat5 or Ethernet).

You can pick one of these up starting at about $20 (beware of really cheap ones). Check and make sure you have sufficient cable as not all of them ship with spare coax or phone lines – you may have to pick those up separately.

For maximum protection, I suggest you use a UPS instead of an ordinary surge protector. These will also protect your computer from file corruption due to improper shut downs in the case of power outages or dips in current. They start at about $50 and are worth every penny for your desktop PC as well as networking equipment. A pointer for properly using a UPS is to make sure you plug you computer into a receptacle on it that is labeled “Battery Backup”, as most consumer models have outlets that are surge protection only as well as battery backup ones. About half of the time I see these in people’s homes or businesses, they have the computer plugged into the wrong receptacle!

Keep your equipment safe and don’t forget to backup your data as well!