A Surge Protector is critical for any important and expensive piece of electronics in your home. We tend to think of electricity as smooth, even and under control. However, the wiring network of a town is made up of hundreds of different wires, all interconnected. If a car runs into a pole, or lightning strikes near a power line, you can easily get a sharp jump in what comes to your outlets. That can easily fry delicate computer systems, TVs and stereos.
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You can't stop there, though. I recently had a lightning strike near my house. I had my electronics on surge protectors and they were fine. However, I did NOT have my phone lines or cable lines going through any sort of protector. Therefore the electricity came right along those lines. Two of our phones were fried, the TV became technicolor for a while. The cable modem, the router, and both main network cards that were wired to it were completely toasted. Luckily the computers themselves were fine.
We now have a more advanced form of surge supressor. This one handles electric plugs - but ALSO handles phone lines, ethernet cables and cable modem style cables. We have all wires going through the unit before reaching their destination. Considering that we had to shell out over $300 to repair the damge done by the lightning strike - and that's with our surge supressor having saved our main electronics! - it's well worth putting protectors on those non-electrical lines as well.
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