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best surge/spike protector to buy

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#1 Tierra93


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Posted 02 October 2013 - 11:04 AM

I'm on limited income but want to make sure that I have the computer truly protected - what do you suggest (and where to buy) for good protection against spiking and surges?

Edited by Tierra93, 02 October 2013 - 11:05 AM.

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#2 GreenGiant117


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Posted 02 October 2013 - 12:31 PM

Best protection that you can get is a UPC (battery backup) but these are expensive, and only last so long (you can get a "power filtering surge protector" for around $100)


Other than that it really is a crapshoot, I have 6 different splitters (surge protectors) and all of them are different brands, they all work just fine, and I have never had any issues with them.


The power supplies in your devices should be able to handle small spikes, and surges, and getting a nice surge protector should protect against the large surges and spikes, I personally would look for Tripp-Lite, APC, CyberPower, or Belkin, those are larger name brand ones, and should have a reputation backing them, just look at reviews.

#3 hamluis



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Posted 02 October 2013 - 04:57 PM

Agree with GreenGiant...but unless you live in a locale where power surges occur frequently enough to warrant a UPS...I would just use a quite ordinary surge suppressor, available just about anywhere.


I employ 4 in my apartment, 3 are Belkin SurgeMaster, 1 is Fellowes...they all do the job when called upon.



#4 rotor123


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Posted 03 October 2013 - 03:45 PM

Hi, There is one other thing to look for and the reason for that is that surge protectors wear out over time.


Look for a surge protector that has warning lights that will warn you when it is worn out. Also look for one that will warn you if the wiring is wrong on you outlet.  That could be reversed polarity or Open neutral etc. Not to mention it should indicate that it is protecting Your equipment.


Good Luck


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#5 larrymoencurly


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Posted 09 October 2013 - 01:30 AM

Get a mid-priced product by TrippLite or APC that includes a capacitor-inductor line filter in addition to the usual trio of MOV crowbars.    I believe all their surge protectors have such filters, but I can't be sure.  


MOVs aren't meant to start working until around 330 volts, while a line filter will block much lower voltage spikes that can make computers lock up or reboot.  Some line filters consist of only a capacitor and seem to be ineffective.  A way to test a line filter is by plugging the whole computer system into a surge protector and boot to a DOS disk or USB stick and run a diagnostic like MemTest86.  Plug a vacuum cleaner, power saw, or laser printer into the other socket of the same AC wall outlet, and turn it on and off several times, every 15 seconds.   If the computer locks, reboots, or shows memory errors, then there's probably no capacitor-inductor line filter in the protector.


All but the worst surge protectors are certified UL 1449, but the last time Consumer Reports tested surge protectors, over a decade ago, they found wide wide variations in performance of UL 1449 approved devices, with some ranked near the bottom, including the transparent Belkin model I bought back then.  It seems UL 1449 simply means that the protector contains 3 sets of MOVs (each set spans 2 AC lines, i.e., hot-to-neutral, hot-ground, neutral-ground) and has a thermal fuse over them, while noncertified products may have only 1-2 sets of MOVs or no thermal fuse  


The vast majority of battery backup supplies aren't actually uninterruptible power supplies, which place a lot of electronics between the AC wall outlet and outputs, including a battery and inverter.  Instead the typical backup normally connects the AC almost directly to the outputs, and any surge protection depends on the same components found in regular power strip surge protectors.  I found that a couple of ~350VA Belkin backups always made the computer reboot when the laser printer turned on (plugged into a different AC socket), and a look inside them showed they had no line filters.  OTOH the laser printer had no effect on the computer when I had it plugged into 300-650VA APC backups, and they all had line filters. 


Don't take joule ratings (energy ratings) too seriously because some experts said surges just don't have that much energy, well under 100 joules, and the amp rating are more important (I think they recommended a rating of at least 20,000 - 40,000 amps),  Also joule ratings for retail products are usually exaggerated -- instead of being the rating for each set of MOVs, it's the rating of all 3 sets added together, and fat chance a surge will divide up equally among 3 sets of MOVs.  And even within any single set, the surge probably won't divide up equally among the individual MOVs because the MOVs don't trigger at exactly the same time.

Edited by larrymoencurly, 09 October 2013 - 02:00 AM.

#6 dpunisher


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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:30 AM

Good post above.


IMHO, these are hard to beat for consumer grade protection:


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