Surge protectors aim to save your electronic devices from power surges, which can permanently damage your equipment. Such can be caused by lightning or nearby high-voltage devices, such as refrigerators, air conditioners and motors. Power surges can damage the hardware of your computer and cause a loss of information. Small surges, also known as "noise," can eventually cause damage to electronic equipment as well. Having a surge protector keeps your equipment safe by directing any excess voltage away from your electronic devices and into the grounder, via the help of a metal oxide varister (MOV). Most often, this type of surge protector comes in the form of a power strip.
What needs a surge protector?
* Anything with a microprocessor. Check for a data recovery warranty on the surge protector.
* Home entertainment devices. Get a surge protector with coaxial inputs and outputs.
* Small appliances.
Choose According to Coverage and Price
Features to Consider
'''The Basics: Price, Outlets, Cord Length, Indicator Light and Alarm'''
* Consider how much protection you need and spend accordingly. Buy the best surge protector you can afford.
* Choose the number of outlets that you will need to handle all the different devices you have. Five to twelve sockets is the usual range.
* Decide what cord length you need. Typically, cords are 6- to 12-feet long.
* Large surges can destroy a surge protector, so to be safe from the next one, be sure that you buy one with an indicator to tell you whether or not it is functioning properly.
* Basically, its purpose is to keep a good balance of power in the lines.
* It is good for use on sensitive equipment.
* Make sure that they have a battery backup, to act like a UPS, and power management software for your PC that can work with the surge protector to keep your computer safe and its data intact.
* To make sure that the surge protector you buy isn't going to fail on you, make sure that it has undergone UL testing.
* It should say the UL rating on the label.
* A UL rating of 1449 2nd Edition 330V is their minimum requirements, according to Underwriters Laboratories.
* A qualifying rating is called a transient voltage surge protector.
'''Energy Absorption and Energy Dissipation'''
* All surge protectors have a breaking point.
* The higher the number of joules (measure of energy) the protectors can handle, the better protection they offer.
* Anything between 200 and 400 is average, but the higher the number, the better the protection.
* Higher protection starts at 600 and is considered optimum at around 900.
* Premium coverage can be rated at greater than 3000 joules.
* Like the response time, you want this number to be low, not high.
* This measures at what level the surge protector will kick into gear.
* A UL of 330V is better than one of 400V or 500V. A UL of 400 is too high and will not offer enough protection.
* Again, consider how valuable the stuff you are protecting is.
* A surge protector always lags slightly.
* The shorter the response time, the less time your electronic devices will have to withstand a surge of electricity.
* Any response time under a nanosecond is decent.