What Is Surge Protection and Why Do I Need It?

February 24, 2021 | Network, Accessories, Other
What is surge protection

An electronic device plugged directly into an outlet is open to damage when a spike in power moves through the lines. Protect your computers and other technology from power disruption and surges by using a surge protector—Surge protectors are affordable and a must in a world with numerous grid outages.

Power disruption and surges put your electronics at risk. Lightning strikes, power outages, grid failures, frozen windmills (thanks Texas!) and several other electrical problems cause spikes. Power surges usually happen because of issues with a power grid.  Power spikes are over in an instant whereas surges last longer and usually cause damage.

What is a surge protector?

A surge protector is an appliance made to protect your devices from voltage spikes. Since your devices are designed for regulated voltage a spike can cause irreparable damage to your electronics that are plugged in during such an event.

How does a surge protector work?

The devices you plug into your electrical sockets rely on a consistent voltage of electricity. A surge protector defends your electronic devices from voltage inconsistencies by rerouting unsafe energy so that only the normal amount of electricity will pass through your device.

When should I use a surge protector?

Whether or not you need a surge protector depends on the devices you’re plugging in. For example, there’s no reason to plug a lamp into a surge protector, because the only thing a power surge running through a lamp could do is burn out its lightbulb.  On the other hand, it is crucial to use a surge protector with your computer. Laptops and desktop computers are both packed with voltage-sensitive components that a power surge could easily damage. Without a surge protector, a power spike or power surge could shorten the life of your computer, wipe out all of your data, or even completely fry the computer.

In fact, you should use a surge protector with any high-end electronic device. You should always use a surge protector with entertainment centers and gaming consoles, even smart appliances.

What happens if I don’t use a surge protector?

Your electronics may seem to work fine without a surge protector… at first. But you’re not seeing the slow decline of your gadgets. Without a surge protector, your items have a shortened life span. Plus, they’re not guarded against high voltage. When the surges become too high, there is wear and tear to the device. With a large enough surge the device will be ruined by the incoming electric.

Where can I get a surge protector?

Surge protectors come in the form of power strips, single-outlet protectors, and even travel-size devices—they have fewer outlets and will fit in a laptop bag. A surge protector is an easy and inexpensive way to ensure the safety of your favorite gadgets. We can help you pick out one that is suited to your specific needs. IE if you have a laser printer and multiple computers you may want a surge protector with a battery back up feature. (These keep you online for 20 minutes while you save your work and shut down your computers and printer.)

Give the friendly team at My Computer Works a call and we can set you up with one our technical experts to help you find, order, and set-up a recommended surge protector. Call 800-935-6704

Back to Tips & Tricks >

Can’t find the answer?

Reach out to a My Computer Works expert to get help with your tech challenges.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Let’s Talk About Your Technology

Home or office solutions—My Computer Works is here to help you get back to your life.