When Should You Use a Surge Protector?

Contrary to what you might think, electricity doesn’t flow through our homes and networks at a steady, constant rate. On the contrary, it waxes and wanes depending on supply grids, power demands and other factors. Sometimes unexpected jolts of electricity — from lightning strikes, downed power lines, on/off cycles, or tripped circuit breakers for example — can result in electricity voltage surges. If that sudden increase of power transmits through your cell phone cables or computer lightning cables, it could result in serious damage to your electronic devices.

This is where surge protectors come in handy. You may be familiar with power strip surge protectors as a convenient way to plug in more devices to a single outlet, but their real purpose is to protect your electronics from those sudden bursts of electricity. So who needs surge protectors? Anyone running on AC current could certainly benefit, but some systems and setups require a bit more precaution than others. You should absolutely invest in a surge protector if you are:

A Gamer: With lots of connected devices and wiring, you want to make sure that your equipment keeps working the way it should. Quality Cat5 cables for Ethernet should last five to 10 years, so long as they’re well protected.

A Business Owner: A sudden power surge might accidentally wipe important information from your system if you’re not prepared. And while smartphones have an average lifespan of two years, they can get fried by a single electrical surge.

Running Medical Equipment: Needless to say, medical devices should be well-guarded against any sudden changes in voltage. You don’t want power to spike or to cut out suddenly. Integrated systems that connect vital sign monitors, smart pumps, and ventilators with electronic health records can save hospitals $30 billion a year, but that connectivity means it’s that much more important to ensure the safety of equipment with a surge protector.

No matter who you are or what you do, protection from electricity surges certainly won’t hurt your devices or appliances. In most cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry — but in some cases, it’s essential to protect yourself from surges as best you can.

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