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Looking for a decent surge protector

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Wondering what people are recommending for surge protectors these days. Looking for something affordable but not low quality. General suggestions seem to be something by APC or Tripp Lite. This will be used with my desktop. Any specific models I should look into or avoid?
 
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I use this but noticed that using the Ethernet surge protection reduced my internet speeds dramatically so I don't run that or the coax or phone portion.

I have it sitting on my desk, the switch is easy to reach when I power my machine off, and the arrangement of the plugs is nice for plugging in cell phone chargers and other things in addition to my PC. It is actually plugged into a wall outlet mounted surge protector, that is harder to reach as its near the floor behind a cabinet.

There are probably better surge protectors out there, but I got this because I needed one with that form factor and Microcenter had it at a good price.
 
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I got a heavy duty rosewill one from newegg, rated for high current (thick heavy duty cord), I have 1000 watt psu and never had an issue with it (have heard horror stories of people using light duty surge protectors/power bars with high current psu's). Also surge protector is plugged into a cyberpower 1500va battery backup.

I don't use ethernet filters either but I should. Lightning struck a pole nearby not that long ago and the modem and router setup I have took a direct hit, heard the snap of electricity from the phone line which went through the ethernet to the router and then to my ps4. Ps4 wouldn't wake up, restarted it and it's still running but an ethernet filter probably would've saved it the hit. Both modem and router still work fine.
 

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I got a heavy duty rosewill one from newegg, rated for high current (thick heavy duty cord), I have 1000 watt psu and never had an issue with it (have heard horror stories of people using light duty surge protectors/power bars with high current psu's). Also surge protector is plugged into a cyberpower 1500va battery backup.

I don't use ethernet filters either but I should. Lightning struck a pole nearby not that long ago and the modem and router setup I have took a direct hit, heard the snap of electricity from the phone line which went through the ethernet to the router and then to my ps4. Ps4 wouldn't wake up, restarted it and it's still running but an ethernet filter probably would've saved it the hit. Both modem and router still work fine.

Make sure the drop in the nid is hooked up to a surge arrestor
 
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Got one from Belkin. Might be time to swap it out, as it's getting quite old and they tend to have a finite life span of about 10 years afaik.

Edit: It would seem I was way off. Apparently you should replace them every few years, although it depends on how many times they've been triggered. I guess as long as the protection light is on, you're good...
 
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Recently i was facing similar dilemma. There is plenty of options and actually many of them are not straight bad but at least weak. If you want to use surge protector to... well... protect your devices then the most important thing you should look at are protection options and how much energy they can protect from which is stated in joules (J) - the more the better. As with many devices unfortunately you have to compromise between protection and functionality.

From my research done in last few days there is plethora of extra functionality of power strips: rj-45/11 protection, coax protection, extra usb charging ports and in one cheap power strip from hama i saw an amazing option: separate on/off switch for every single plug. Unfortunately i haven't found any having all of these in one package.

Most of them are rated in specification to have 300-400J of protection capability. More decent ones are over 1000J and more expensive options are rated over 3000J. From what i found out in last few days APC has amazing options but most of them for UK/US(?) type plugs. As i live in Europe FR type plugs is what i was looking for.

Also about USB charging ports, from what i've read online these also vary, especially in Voltage and they can be giving low voltage ending up in much longer charging time. Unfortunately there is not many reviews of power strips and even less of them covering USB capabilities.
 
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Also about USB charging ports, from what i've read online these also vary, especially in Voltage and they can be giving low voltage ending up in much longer charging time. Unfortunately there is not many reviews of power strips and even less of them covering USB capabilities.

I think you're mixing things up here, low Amperage would be an issue, as many would still be 500mA, whereas modern phones like 1A or more to charge quickly. Ideally you want 2A or more. I doubt there are any with support for USB PD or QC, but maybe, if so, these would be preferred.
 
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I recommend a "good" UPS with AVR (automatic voltage regulation) instead of a surge protector.

The problem with even the best surge and spike protectors is they really are little more than fancy and expensive extension cords.

Sure, they are adept at suppressing most "normal" surges and spikes. But should an "excessive" surge or spike come down the line (and they do), the best you can hope for is the surge and spike protector's circuit breaker will kick in and kill all power to your connected computer. While that may save your computer from damage, suddenly killing power to a drive is never good as it can result in corrupt data. And if the boot drive, data corruption may make the computer unbootable. :(

Note a surge and spike protector deals with surges and spikes by "clamping" the tops of the excessive waveforms. That is, it simply chops off the extreme peaks. A voltage regulator "reduces" the amplitude of the voltage, maintaining a proper sinewave waveform.

And a surge and spike protector does absolutely nothing for abnormal low voltage events like dips (opposite of spikes) and sags (opposite of surges), or long duration sags (brownouts) - any of which can cause your electronics to suddenly stop, resulting in possible data corruption.

Note too that power anomalies (surges, spikes, sags and dips) don't always come from the power grid. High wattage appliances in the house like refrigerators, air conditioners, toasters, $15 1500W hair dryers, and microwave ovens can generate them too. This is why "whole house" surge protectors are insufficient.

Notice I did not mention backup power during a power outage. That's because that is but a minor "bonus" feature of a "good" UPS with AVR. By far, it is all about the AVR - which uses the batteries to "boost" the voltage during those abnormal low voltage anomalies without cutting over to battery backup power, and by reducing (not chopping off) the tops of excessive voltage waveforms. Again, something no surge and spike protector can do.

If someone says you don't need a "good" UPS with AVR, it is because they don't understand the value of AVR.

And remember, regardless if using a surge and spike protector or a "good" UPS with AVR, to be most effective, it must be plugged into a properly wired wall outlet. Every home and every computer user should have access to a AC Outlet Tester to ensure your outlet is properly wired and grounded to Earth ground. I recommend one with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) indicator as it can be used to test bathroom and kitchen outlets (outlets near water) too. These testers can be found for your type and voltage outlet, foreign or domestic, (like this one for the UK) at most home improvement stores, or even the electrical department at Wal-Mart. Use it to test all the outlets in the home and if a fault is shown, have it fixed by a qualified electrician.
 
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Bill...

I've never felt I needed a UPS backup. Here in Omaha...I rarely lose power and if so...maybe for a second or two at most. Although...the wiring in my office isn't exactly pro grade work...it was done by a homeowner and I get a lot of voltage drops. Something like this looks like it would be perfect for my situation?

OPTI-UPS AVR SS2000

Does what you say apply to the standalone AVR's too? Costwise...they're not much more than a decent power strip. Think I rather own one of these.

Best,

Liquid Cool
 
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I've never felt I needed a UPS backup. Here in Omaha...I rarely lose power...

...maybe for a second or two at most.

:( I tried to be clear, backup power during a full power outage is a minor bonus feature. The AVR is what's important.

Interesting. I live 1/2 mile from Offutt! And I, like many in this metro area, live in an older neighborhood that uses power poles and drops - not underground utilities which are much less susceptible to power outages. So while you in your neighborhood may rarely lose power, they are a pretty common occurrence in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area - which, for others reading, includes Offutt.

As you should know, we just this morning had severe weather roll through - and with this area being right in the middle of Tornado Alley, that is not an uncommon occurrence. As such, my power fluctuated twice this morning.

Also note the ATX Form Factor standard requires all ATX Form Factor power supplies "hold up" output power for a mere 17ms when power drops below 90VAC. 17 milliseconds!!!!!!!!

A "second or two" might as well be a lifetime!

Every time a squirrel forgets to let go of one wire before grabbing another, the soon to be crispy critter causes an outage of at least 1 hour.

******

How do you know you get power drops? If you know by seeing your lights "flicker", it is important to understand most humans cannot detect such "flickers" unless they last 30ms or longer - plenty of time for a computer PSU to stop output and cause the computer to crash. Note this is why, for decades, movies were filmed at 24FPS. This means each frame lasted about 42ms and yet motion still appeared smooth.

As far as that OPTI-UPS, it seems incredibly inexpensive too me and sadly, OPTI does not publish the full specs. While I would take that over a surge and spike protector, a UPS would still be more robust with the more extreme anomalies.

I recommend you run out to NFM (that's where I got mine) and take a look at their APC or Cyberpower UPS. Note a decent 1300VA - 1500VA UPS with AVR will easily support your computer, all your network gear (including VoIP phone), and two 24" monitors. In the event of a power outage, you will have full support for at least 30 minutes. For me, if I quickly shutdown my computer and turn off my monitors, my network will stay alive for over 4 hours so I can still access the internet via my wireless devices.

Walmart carries them too.

There is a lot of "marketing" hype about "pure" sine wave output UPS. Don't fall for it! That's all it is, marketing hype by those companies who make pure sine wave UPS trying to take the market share away from APC.

Any 1/2 way decent AC/DC power supply can handle the "stepped sine wave" or "stepped approximation" waveform just fine. They have for the last 25 years with no problems so there is no reason to believe the much more reliable and robust power supplies of today can't either. They are much more capable at handling power line anomalies than PSUs of yesteryear.

That said, pure sinewave UPSs have come down in price significantly in recent years. So if you find one with a reasonable price, go for it.
 
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Thanks for the reply Bill. Apologize, if you felt you had to go out of your way to explain yourself again.

Best,

LC
 
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Apologize, if you felt you had to go out of your way to explain yourself again.
No apologies necessary. There is a lot of bad information and misconceptions out there about UPS - even among experienced users.

20 - 30 years ago, "uninterruptible power supply" or UPS probably was the most applicable name for these devices - back when providing power during full outages was their primary function. When automatic voltage regulation circuitry was added they just tacked "with AVR" to the end of UPS, as in "UPS with AVR". But today, they probably should be called "AVR with UPS" as voltage regulation is their primary function now.

BTW, in looking at my APC UPS log for the last 4 months, we've had 8 blackouts here in Bellevue (it does not record "Power problems of a very short duration"). But with those 8 outages, the total time on battery power has been just 37 seconds! So each recorded blackout lasted less than 5 seconds on average. But as noted above, ATX compliant PC power supplies need to maintain output for only 17ms. So if not on a UPS, all my computers (there are 5 here) would have crashed 5 times. :(

FTR, I also have a decent UPS with AVR on my home theater audio hardware and big screen TV. And a really old but fully functional APC 900 on my garage door opener too! Regardless how far you wish to go, I recommend all computers be on a "good" AVR with UPS... err... I mean UPS with AVR. ;)

One last thing. The downside to having an UPS is the batteries need to be replaced every 3 - 5 years. Most UPS designed for SOHO use have user-replaceable batteries, but some don't. Many rack mounted UPS don't so do some research before buying.

And I never, as in NEVER EVER buy replacement batteries from the UPS maker. I always buy from one of the many on-line SLA (sealed lead-acid) battery suppliers on line (or Amazon) - which ever has the best price that day (and prices often change daily) being sure to factor in shipping costs, if any that day. The UPS makers use the same batteries - they just slap their own labels on them and charge double, or more.
 
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