I bought this for my computer specifically so that it could allow me to plug 6 things in at once (speakers, monitor, computer, printer, router, file server) and to protect all of these things (more specifically the computer and file server) from any surges of power that could damage them if they were plugged into a normal socket.
It worked fine for the first 6 months but just a couple of weeks ago it must have failed. There was some sort of surge of power and my whole PC goes off and does not turn on again - it has no power to it even if plugged into the main wall plug.
It turned out the surge had blowen the power supply unit in the computer, and it broke my router.
So be weary, this does not always work but it could have been because mine was quite old when it happened.
So, have you ever been sitting there surfing away on the Internet? Or, have you been playing your favourite game on your computer, only for a flash of lightning to flash across your window? Well, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Mine is, or should I say was, “Crap, I better turn my computer off, I don’t want the bloody thing getting destroyed by a surge caused by the lightning”. So why did I say WAS, well I don’t need to worry anymore, as I have recently purchased a “Belkin under Monitor Surge Protector” (Model number F5C100u4-A), meaning I don’t have to worry about those dreaded Lightning strikes or even a more common Power surge. So what exactly is a Belkin under Monitor Surge Protector? Well, its actually a piece of equipment you can buy, that will take any Lightning strikes or Power surges on the chin, in other words, it will sacrifice itself, rather than ruining you beloved computer, and what’s more, the company that makes them promises to compensate you with up to £40,000 damages should the thing not work (although there are strong guidelines, to which I’ll explain later) or if it’s just the Surge Protector itself that gets damaged, they’ll send you a brand new one out, now that’s confidence for you. The unit has five main sockets, plus a spare one, which can be used even if your unit is switched off (although it must be plugged in) and there is also the capability to connect your modem via the unit, thus giving that the same protection. The unit itself is said to take a maximum spike Amperage of 33,000 Amps, so in other words, it would take a surge of over 33,000 Amps to damage your unit, and despite not being an expert on these things, it sure sounds a mighty power surge. Not only is useful for protecting your beloved computer, it is also handy in keeping your room tidy and to stop you having wires draping
around everywhere, you see, all your plugs connect via the sockets at the back of the unit, and in the front there are switches so you can turn your computer or peripherals off nice and easy. It also sits nice and easy under your monitor, which helps with the tidiness side of things. How much are they? ------------------ There are actually quite a few different versions, which have different characteristics, i.e. amount of sockets, under monitor, etc. Mine is the Under Monitor version, and it cost me £38.00 plus P&P (just under £43 in total) from QVC, they can probably be found for less somewhere on the Internet. What about these warranty guidelines? ------------------------------------- Well, as you can expect, they can’t just give any Tom, Dick or Harry the compensation, firstly, you have to have all receipts for any equipment that is damaged and that you are claiming for, plus there are things like, making sure you are running the unit directly from the wall-sockets, in other words, don’t have it plug into any plug extensions of two/three-way sockets, if you are doing this, then your warranty instantly becomes invalid and you won’t get a penny back. Features: --------- Maximum Spike Amperage (33,000 Amps) £40,000 Connected Equipment Warranty 5 individually switched surge protected sockets, and one main switch controls all the other switches. Block Space allows room for large adapters 4-metre (13.12ft) heavy-duty power cord Internet Ready Telephone/Fax/Modem protection Surge protected light indicates protection is fully functional Earth indicator light lets you know the socket is properly earthed 1.8-metre (6ft) meter telephone cord Electro Magnetic Interference/Radio Frequency Interference filtering for clean power Audible Alarm: -------------- Should your unit become damaged or not be working properly, there is even an Audible Alarm to let
you know, if you hear this, immediately stop using the unit and phone the company up. So there you have it, an excellent piece of equipment that not only allows you to carry on with your enjoyment whilst the Lightning flashes across the sky, but also the safe knowledge, that should anything strike your Electricity/Telephone supply, you are protected and even if you do have this misfortune of the unit failing (which is hardly likely) then the company will compensate you for up to £40,000 worth of damage, WOW, £40,000, that would have to be some bloody computer, don’t you think?
I wanted to gain some protection from power surges, electrical spikes and lightning strikes. My electrical supply is by overhead cable and the telephone lines are ancient. The risk of damage to the PC - its peripherals and the modem seemed to be above average so I went in search of a cost effective solution. Curently,I have a couple of multiplug connection blocks with protection built in, but they were not the complete answer - especially as they did not protect the modem from a surge down the phone line! Enter the Belkin Surge Master. The unit has a mains button which isolates all items plugged in to one of the 5 standard 3 pin sockets located on its rear edge. A cable is provided to enable the phoneline to be plugged into the rear and an out socket to go to the modem thus giving a better measure of protection for the modem. There is also a further connection block on a short cable which hangs from the left side. To this you can add an extension lead if you wish. Anything connected to the extension will be protected in the same way as the directly connected units. There are red and green LED's which confirm the protection is active and the Earthing facility is operating properly. These light even when the Main switch is off to show that everything is safely protected. The beige unit which is about 2 inches high, and is capable of supporting your monitor, has 5 switches on the front and matching green LED's to allow you to selectively turn off your componants from one place. They are labelled for the PC, Monitor, Printer Aux 1 and 2 but I guess you can use them for anything. Very useful for say turning off the modem to prevent in or out access to the web whilst you are away (my PC does have a mind of it's own and I swear it phones other pc's on chat lines when it gets lonely!) It does look a little garish when it is plugged in and switched on - some of you may actually be pleased, but it does look a bit li
ke the control deck of the star ship Enterprise! The actual electrical specs would be only of interest to a qualified electrician - I certainly don't understand them, but there is one thing I did understand - Belkin give a "£20,000 Connected Equipment Warranty" - and that did it for me. In action - well very hard to say there have been no glithes (although the speakers do clunk when I press a switch to turn something on), - I will not know if they have saved my bacon and my valuable data, but hey, that's ok I can live with that, I can sleep safely knowing that if a storm brews overnight my PC's chips wont fry! **************UPDATE 07/05/2001************* Belkin have released two new versions of this device. Both of which look more acceptable to me. In appearance the new models look more like traditional extension connection blocks. They have exactly the same functions and level of protection as the model above but they cost £20+ cheaper. The difference between the two new models is simply the number of devices that can be connected and protected (4 or 6). The modem and phone line are still catered for and the £20,000 guarantee still applies. At the new lower price, this is protection everyone can afford and should have!