How to choose a surge protector for your computer?
Unfortunately, surges in our networks – it is commonplace. Hundreds of electrical appliances work in the apartment buildings, and each drop may be the last for one of them.
Problem occurs most frequently with computer equipment. Even if nothing will burn, from an unscheduled shutdown or reboot your PC can suffer current hours of work. For surge protection and interference at high frequencies there are special devices – network filters.
What it is
Often users confuse the filters, mistaking them for the most common extensions because in appearance they have little differences. At the same time on purpose, they are similar to uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
They differ in that the filter protects against network interference and power surges, but will not be able to support the energy-hungry equipment during a power outage. While UPS can ensure your computer is self-powered without network.
The network filter is intended for solving the following tasks:
- control and stabilization for a pulse (irregular) voltage (can cause the computer to restart without saving the data or bloated capacitors);
- to smooth high frequency noise arising in power networks with a large number of concurrent connections powerful equipment (usually accompanied by a blinking light).
Jump and interference are constant, but they are not always felt on the equipment. At the same time one of the pulses may be too strong, which can lead to breakage.
In addition, if you use a normal extension, then the excess load on the grid can overheat and melt the socket, while using a voltage regulator of this and many other problems can be avoided.
In order to make it easier to find surge protection, consider a few models.
The guide and how to choose a surge protector for the computer:
- there is a pattern of APC. Comfortable enough for office use, for example, SurgeArrest Essential. The device is equipped with five sockets and belongs to the middle level, as by price range and by the main characteristics. The apparatus can provide quality protection for telephone, Fax or adsl modem. Cable length is 1.8 meters, so perfectly suitable for not very large offices;
- indoor large area you can use the Pilot Pro. It has five Euro sockets and one standard – without grounding, and a very long cable, up to seven meters. Such voltage regulators have two pressure relief unit (hot melt and bimetallic), they are able to absorb the pulse amplitude of 400 joules. The device has a large size, but the quality of work is not affected;
- There is also a more resilient model, called Pilot X-Pro. If your company frequent load and powerful surges in the mains, then this filter is perfect for protecting equipment, it is able to absorb up to 650 joules, turning them into heat energy;
- As for homemade options, they also differ in the criteria of absorption and stabilization. Typically, home network less impulsive, and amplitude jumps are much smaller. Therefore, the filters are much cheaper. Often choose a model Most ERG for home, due to its small size and capabilities of standard semiconductor protection.
The principle of operation
Each filter is a special compensating circuit. This technology is designed to smooth out surges of electricity. Each scheme may be different from the other, and have different characteristics and level of protection in them lies the main difference.
Assign the network filter is a pass through AC, thus smoothing the voltage pulses and all kinds of interference. How to look and what is the pulse racing in the network can see each.
Due to the high total power and a large number of consumers switch each bowl, plate, air-conditioner causing the undervoltage. In addition, they can create constant interference.
Filter element equipment are two Converter:
- varistor – suppresses impulse noise;
- LC filter performs the function of suppressing high-frequency noise.
A schema is a semiconductor device – varistor, which in the case of short pulse at a high voltage lowers the resistance. At this moment there is a transformation: varistor energy jump generates heat, protecting the connected devices.
The filter options
Filter models incredibly much. Depending on the functionality and additional options they can be sold at a price of pilots, and there may be more expensive uninterruptible power supplies.
Consider the main differences to choose the best:
- the number of connected equipment. The number of outlets is not the main parameter, since it should take into account the criterion of maximum power that will stand the device (measured in kW);
- filtering additional lines: telephone, network, television;
- freely the maximum compensated pulse (measured in kJ). The higher the value, the greater a power surge is smoothed out and will not reach the protected device;
- the length of the wire. From it depends on the functionality and performance of the compensator, but it is important to consider in advance, what length of cable is needed to connect devices;
- terroristically – overheating protection, very useful in case of permanent compensation increases in thermal energy;
- power. If it should be possible to connect multiple instruments at the same time, you must select a compensator with a nominal load current not less than 10A.
- current interference pulse or peak current. The average load must be within 3.5 to 10 kA.
Types of stabilizers can be divided according to the level of protection and the principle of work:
- basic – the most basic kind of filter voltage, suitable for low-power household appliances;
- advanced (medium) – most popular type, have some extra features and sometimes a pair of ports protection networks;
- professional expensive filters with maximum protection.
The difference between them is in price: the higher the level, the harder and more expensive to cover costs. Instruments of the middle level can absorb up to 960 joules, and professional – not less than 2500.
However, it is worth considering that the effectiveness of the protection depends greatly on the ability of grounding outlets. For example, in old houses, where the mains is no grounding or it is bad, the stabilization of the pulses falls dozens of times, and sometimes becomes useless. That is, some protection they can provide, but the need to purchase professional compensator is eliminated.
The choice of model depends primarily from the buyer and where it will be used, for what purposes and devices.
If you choose a compensator voltage spikes from the high specs are not needed.
In the home electricity is not a huge voltage surges and high-tech interference. Therefore, it is sufficient to take medium type: not too expensive, but not the small and cheap.
Before you buy a surge protector, you need to calculate:
- the number of required electrical outlets and required power based on the number of connected devices;
- the length of the cable;
- wishes to filter more ports (phone, network).
Choosing a voltage stabilizer is for office or more powerful instruments (e.g., a wide-screen TV and a gaming computer), you need to consider production requirements, such as:
- the number of equipment;
- the probability of interference and their capacity;
- the amplitude of the voltage spikes.
The strain relief for the office to save money is not recommended. Read the review and select the most appropriate model, since a single failure can cause production stoppages in connection with the failure of the whole system, or lack of access to the server machine.
Video: Choosing a surge protector
What determines the price
Filtering device that protects your computer from crashes and restarts, and information from losses, the price depends on many factors.
Name of the factor
The range of characteristics
0,5 – 10m
Can be used for more braid or insulation
From the knowledge of the company and the country of the manufacturer
To several thousand j
Number of outlets
Evrostandart, the presence of ground
Phone, modem, network, television, Fax
Sometimes there are USB ports
The presence of the filter element
hot melt and bimetallic
Can be used several elements of the same type or different types
Protection against overheating, dust, accidental power off
Lock multiple devices beyond the capacity of the filter
The range of the withstand pulses
3.5 to 10 kA
Or 3500-10000 And
Maximum load current
not less than 10A
After reading the article, everyone will be able to decide if he needs a filter. Note that saving a little and buying instead a regular extension cord, it is possible to lose more expensive equipment.
To provide stable operation of a computer without a network filter is impossible. It can protect your home equipment and appliances, and save you from data loss.