Surge Protector vs Uninterruptible Power Supply

  Bevan Ashford 14:28 06 May 2008

Hi Everybody

Can anyone recommend a good surge protector?

Is it now important to have protection for your modem as well as power cables?

I was considering an Uninterruptible Power Supply but they seemed pricey, upwards of £40, and I was concerned about the extra noise.

Thank you.

  Ditch999 14:38 06 May 2008

A UPS is considerably superior to a surge protector, especially if you get one with AVR (automatic voltage regulation) There is no noticeable noise from them. And yes, modem need protecting to as lightening hits BT overhead cables, goes up phone line into modem and into PC - BANG!

  UncleP 19:36 06 May 2008

While both devices help clean up the mains supply connected to your computer, they are quite different in what they aim to achieve. An anti-surge circuit, normally fitted to a mains distribution panel, is a passive filter which removes high-frequency voltage spikes which can damage or destroy sensitive solid-state elements in the computer. A UPS is a much larger system which compensates for short-term (> 0.1s) drops in the power line voltage (known as 'brownouts') which might affect the correct operation of your machine. To do this, they need an internal energy store, often a rechargeable accumulator, to supply the additional power required. They usually include some anti-surge filtering as well.

Unless you have special requirements for uninterrupted operation of your machine (or live in an area where the local mains supply is unstable), an antisurge panel is probably adequate; I have one from Belkin (the SurgeMaster?) which has 7 3-pin mains output sockets and includes filtering for coax, phones lines etc. It cost about £30 when I bought it two years ago but it's near the top of the range so you shouldn't need to pay more. Their website gives full details of specs and alternatives.

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