ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to keep your PC from being zapped

Updated on July 13, 2008
Fear the PC reaper!
Fear the PC reaper!
 

No, UPS is not just ugly brown trucks driven by overweight men in shorts showing off their flabby, hairy legs. Personal computer users need another type of UPS, and that is an Uninterruptible Power Supply to ensure that their expensive computer investments continue to hum merrily along and their data is safeguarded against a danger which claims countless Terabytes per year: voltage surges and drops. The UPS is essentially a battery that is situated on a circuit between your electronic equipment and the mains which evens out the current of the AC power source. Should the AC fail entirely, the battery will kick into action within milliseconds and provide power for you to shut down your applications and PC normally, safeguarding your settings and data.

In a perfect world, your mains outlet would provide consistent power which closely adheres to standard specifications for the electrical current that your computer's Power Supply requires. In reality, that is far from true. Even in major metropolitan areas electrical current is subject to interference from nearby operating electrical motors, and times of overdemand such as hot summer days can lead to serious voltage drops and brownouts. Even more dangerous are the chances that a nearby lightning strike will travel along the wires and literally make your computer explode.

A few years ago, a computer enthusiast friend's entire system went up in a big plume of blue smoke in a thunderstorm. He had been very cautious and had a perfectly suitable UPS connected to his system. He had unfortunately disregarded to place a surge protector on the RJ11 telephone cable leading to his faxmodem and although the lightning surge was stopped by his UPS from entering the PC through the electrical wires, the phone cord was a direct and unbuffered conduit right to the heart of his system. ZAP! Bye bye PC!

When installing an UPS you should be extremely careful to ensure that every single wire that leads from any part of your electronics system to the outside world is fed through the UPS or a top-quality surge protector. You should also carefully do your homework to ensure that the UPS you are considering can switch over quickly enough to keep your PC from rebooting in the middle of your work, which defeats the purpose of a UPS in the first place. The last three budget UPSes that I've purchased for under $60 all failed in this regard. When the electricity went out, they didn't switch over to battery power fast enough and the PC would go dark in the middle of whatever I was doing. Given that these systems were in rural Italy where electric supply is subject to the whims of slovenly vino quaffing Luigis who are more interested in the soccer scores than maintaining the electric grid (hey, you can't accuse me of being a racist... I'm an Italian myself), I was spending a lot of time cursing at my sudden reboots. Very frustrating, not to mention unhealthy for any unsaved data! Therefore, spend an extra few dollars to get a top quality UPS which will protect your system no matter what. You most certainly won't regret it. Especially if you're in Italy!

 

Check out hundreds of Hal's PC Technology articles in these categories:

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)