Monday, November 17, 2008

Protect your technology investment

A common mistake many people make is not or only partially protecting their computers. Many people buy one and plug it straight into the wall. Problem is 120V AC is not that – it can range from 110 to 130 Volts in normal operation from power company. As you can imagine the further under 120 you get the more of a strain it puts on the PC ironically the higher the voltage much the same though for different reasons. Often (and be happy it does) the power supply will sacrifice itself to protect your system yet allot of good that does in the short term because a PC without a power supply is like a person without a heart – useless. I could get into the math of wattage, heat generation, resistance, however point is either extreme is damaging to your system.

As a stop gap many opt to put a surge protect on it to regulate the upswings which is great because it prevents the sudden surges but does little for down swings. As such if there is a brown out and a power surge, the brown out strains the system but it is protected from the surge thus preventing a current overload situation.

A solution would be a UPS (Universal Power Supply) some of which also act as power conditioners. These devices augment the power if it drops below say 115 Volts and protect the PC if power ever rises above 125 Volts. In some advanced models software is even included that once installed and the device connected via USB or serial port shuts down the PC during a blackout to prevent system damage sue to crashed hard drive heads during an extreme power loss.

Make sure you invest in the proper equipment to protect your system, $25-70 (depending) will save you hundreds in damage and potentially thousands in lost intellectual property. (this post inspired by the PC I am currently replacing power supply in that was killed during a power outage)

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