Surge Protectors

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.

'''Line Conditioner'''
* 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.

'''UL Ratings'''
* 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.

'''Clamping Voltage'''
* 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.

'''Response Time'''
* 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.

Popular Brands

* Belkin
* Citel
* Furman
* Panamax
* Samson
* Targus