Q: “With the summer storms we’ve had lately, I’m concerned about electrical damage to my computers. My PCs are all connected to power strips, so I’m safe - right?”
Electricity is your computers’ lifeblood, and it can suffer a severe crisis if that lifeblood courses through it with too much or too little pressure (voltage). Every year, American companies suffer losses of over 80 billion dollars from electrical damage. A $10 power strip is no safeguard against serious electrical events.
What you need is an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS). A UPS provides solid protection against electrical spikes and is equiped with a powerful battery backup to ensure a steady and continued energy flow during brownouts and blackouts.
Electrical Events: Mighty Blows and Silent
The most obvious and overwhelming electrical catastrophe is lightning. Lightning does not have to strike in your immediate vicinity to cause devastation to your system. When a lightning strike hits the city’s electrical matrix, a crushing jolt of energy is distributed through the grid, resulting in severe electrical spikes and blackouts. This one-two punch to your computer can be caused by lightning strikes miles away. While lightning is the most blatant threat to your computer, it is not the sole danger. If a lightning strike is a tidal wave, brownouts and spikes are the undertow. Both can kill you – one is just less conspicuous.
Brownouts are caused by the power drain of heavy equipment, air conditioning units or even office/household appliances. On a citywide level, a power strain on the grid can result in “rolling” brownouts. Evil twin to the brownout is the electrical spike, a sudden increase in electrical line pressure. Like an undertow, energy spikes and brownouts can quietly sweep your innocent PC into an early grave.