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Choosing a Surge Protector

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Power protection for office equipment and data comes in many shapes and sizes. Here are some factors to consider:

Level of protection: The joule rating indicates the amount of energy a surge protector can absorb. The higher the rating, the more protection your equipment and data are receiving. Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency Interference (EMI/RFI Noise Filtration) are other causes of damage and data loss. Look for surge protection with a joule rating consistent with the kind of equipment you'll plug into it, and for EMI/RFI noise filtration.

Cord and outlet features: Color-coded cord management systems clearly identify which plugs are attached to your computer and peripherals so you don't accidentally unplug the wrong one. Be sure the cord length is adequate to reach a wall outlet and that the plug will fit easily behind furniture. The number and spacing of outlets should be sufficient to handle power adapters and all your equipment. For greatest ease you may prefer a desktop power center that permits one-touch on/off control and the option of a continuous power outlet.

Phone/fax/modem: If you use a fax or modem with your computer, you need to protect them against power surges coming through phone lines. Unprotected surges can seriously damage equipment.

Equipment warranties: If your equipment is ever damaged by a power surge while properly connected to a surge protector, it should be replaced or repaired by the manufacturer. In addition, the surge protector should have a lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship. Kensington offers lifetime product warranties and connected equipment warranties.

Safe to use: Your surge protector should be rated by Underwriters Laboratories, a non-profit organization that tests and approves electrical products. Look for UL1449 approval.

 
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