Question from Shelby: I bought a new computer the other day.
The salesman told me I won’t need to plug it into a surge protector because the power supply automatically protects it from over-voltage.
Is he right?
I don’t want my computer to get damaged by lightning but I also don’t want to buy something I don’t need.
I’ve always heard that we do need to use surge protectors, but now I’m not sure.
Rick’s answer: Shelby, I could give you a short answer to your question (it would be NO!!!), but I’ll explain why you do need to plug your computer into a high-quality surge protector.
The electronic components inside all computers are very easily damaged by power surges and lighting strikes, and that includes the power supply itself.
While it’s true that most computer power supplies do provide some protection against small, short duration power fluctuations, they are NOT designed to withstand a strong power surge or lightning strike.
What’s more, even surge suppressors themselves aren’t immune from power surges and lightning strikes.
They are often either destroyed outright if the surge is strong enough or weakened to the point where they no longer provide any useful protection against future surges, leaving you with a false sense of security that your equipment is being protected.
That’s why if you want the most protection possible from your surge suppressors, you should consider replacing them every time your local power line takes a direct hit from a lightning strike, even if they “appear” to be working just fine.
Bottom line: You really do need to keep all of your computer gear plugged into a quality surge protector at all times.
You also need to replace your surge protectors after your local power grid takes a direct lightning strike (i.e. when your home’s power goes off during a thunder storm).
I hope this helps, Shelby. Good luck!