What’s a surge protector and do I need one?

A friend of mine was telling me that I should get a surge protector for my computer to stop it from being damaged. I’ve never had one and I’m not really sure if I need one. What’s it all about?


A surge protector is a device you plug your computer into that can help prevent harm from some common electricity problems you might get. What they do is pretty simple to explain; sometimes your power supply may fluctuate and rise above a safe amount. If this ever happens, a surge protector will block the excess power, or short it to ground, to prevent any damage to any kit that’s plugged into it. Most countrie have a pretty stable power supply, but if you’ve ever had an appliance burnt out, you’ll appreciate how useful they can be.

For example, the Cyperpower TE6050 Surge Suppressor is one that’s on sale from Buy.com for around $8. It has six outlets and even protects against surges in telephone lines. You could get one of these if your telephone line is ever hit by lightning. So, this sort of device protects you against different spikes that can fry your equipment, both on power lines and on telephone lines.

Whether you need one or not is up to you. The bottom line is that it’s not expensive to have one ($8 and free shipping for the one above), and it can save you expensive repairs if ever needed. Think of it as insurance.

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