No Surge Protector to rule them all.

Here is Missouri we are no strangers to tornados. Nor are we strangers to damaged or ruined computers and electronics from power surges. Many have purchased surge protectors before, but there is something important thing to remember: Not all surge protectors are created equal!

So let's talk about protecting your computers, laptops, devices, and other electronic gear.

There are three types of power strips that let you connect multiple computers and devices to one power outlet:

• Power strip or power cord or outlet splitters — these are cords or ‘strips’ or ‘splitters’ that give you multiple places to plug-in your electronics from one outlet. These are the most basic and should be avoided; they offer no protection against power surges.

• Surge protector — these are similar to power strips and usually are in the ‘strip’ or ‘bar’ form factor. They offer surge protection, the best models include a reset button. These models with a reset button have a built-in fuse that will trip when there is a power surge to prevent the surge from hitting your electronics. They are better than power strips, but have no way to sense power fluctuations before a big surge.

• Battery backup with surge protection — these are larger units that include a battery that kicks in when the power drops or cuts-off completely. They are ‘smart’ devices that sense power fluctuations and act to protect your computers and devices. This is what we recommend at Coastal Computer. 

It’s worth noting that these are ordered by cost, the battery backups with surge protection cost more. Don’t be fooled by the price. You get what you pay for. It’s not worth saving a few bucks when it could cost you a lot of money and a big headache when a storm damages your equipment.

Some tips when choosing a battery backup: Make sure it has a place to plug-in your high speed Internet or network line — look for a unit that includes ‘network protection’ or has a ‘LAN’ or ‘RJ-45’ connection on it for plugging your high speed line into. Also, make sure that it includes a warranty. Most battery backups include a warranty for connected equipment in case the unit fails. We recommend at least a $10,000 covered equipment warranty. Lastly, don’t buy online unless there is free shipping. Battery backups weigh more than surge protectors due to their battery and other ‘smart’ electronics monitoring the power. It’s better to buy from a local Staples or Best Buy when you can’t find a unit with free shipping online, you’ll save a few bucks and your equipment will be protected sooner.

Of course, we’re here to help with connecting your equipment and choosing the best battery backup for your needs. For more information call 417.343.6609 or visit us on Facebook!