Alternative Lightning Protection
Check these products to see if they offer the kind of protection you're looking
Intelligent Line Disconnect® - the only commercially manufactured
device that incorporates electrical isolation to literally “pull the plug” on
lightning by simply switching your computer off. (See message from
- a power protection system that detects the threat
of lightning and automatically disconnects computers
and other equipment until the danger passes.
on This Topic:
Protection Advisory from The Computer Wizard (A UPS battery backup
isn't always the best answer, he says.)
How to Protect a PC in a
Why You Need Lightning Protection
to Avoid Lightning Damage
to Computers and Other
UPDATE, August 2011
The extreme weather conditions that have brought massive tornadoes, severe
storms, floods, runaway fires, and drought all over the world have made many
people wonder what’s wrong with the weather. (If you Google "what’s wrong with the
weather" [in quotes], you'll find more than a
million web pages discussing that very question.) Here in the Midwest this
year, we've experienced more severe thunder-and-lightning storms than ever
before, all of which has made me more paranoid than ever
about unplugging my computer system at the first sound of thunder. As the
following information proves, you simply cannot count on your surge
suppressor to protect your computer from lightning during a powerful storm.
I WROTE THIS ARTICLE
years ago after two of my friends sent me reports about how
lightning strike fried all the computer and electronic equipment in their homes and
home offices. My literary agent was one victim, and Jeanie Havel,
publisher of PCPolyzine.com was the other.
She sent me this e-mail report:
"As I sat in my living
room minding my own business, lightning hit my (rented) house with a
loud bang! Although, and thankfully, there was
no fire, we did have a slight singe mark on the aluminum siding. The
bulk of the damage, however, was to the electronic equipment. Despite
surge protectors, etc., when the phone line was hit, we sustained damage
to the computer, DSL modem, and router. The phone company has been very responsive, but with the
amount of damage in our area, they are so far behind in repairs that they cannot give a date when service
will be fully restored."
This kind of damage is terribly expensive both in terms of equipment
and loss of productivity. For years, I’ve been preaching in my books
and newsletters about the importance of
unplugging computers and other electronic equipment when a storm is
approaching. The sad truth is that you cannot put all your faith in a surge protector.
As my agent reported to me after all the electronic
equipment in her and her husband's home offices had been destroyed, as
soon as the average surge protector receives one blast, it becomes a
conduit for any follow-up lightning strikes.
New Generation of Surge Protectors
As part of my research for this article, I learned more about the generation of surge protectors for computers
and other electronic equipment that may stop a lightning bolt in its tracks. One of them is Newpoint’s Power Blocker 2 Surge Protector,
which comes with a $750,000 Connected Equipment Warranty.
The additional Web links (left) will direct you to a wealth of
practical information and tips on how to minimize or totally avoid
storm/lightning damage to your computer system and other electronic equipment in
your home or office, and the update below will acquaint you with another product
you might want to investigate.
Manufacturer Confirms My Advice
Shortly after this article was published, a manufacturer in this field wrote to congratulate me for
presenting accurate information on this topic, writing:
"I wanted to take the opportunity to contact you after recent
review of your web article entitled “How To Avoid Lightning Damage To Computers
and Other Electronic Equipment.” I found the information presented in the
article to be both interesting and informative, and I also thought it rather
refreshing to find a services provider that has taken the time and trouble
to study and present a true accounting of lightning strike phenomenon and the
ways in which lightning can damage sensitive electronic systems. As you are
obviously well aware, there is much false information out there on the web, and I
felt the need to congratulate you on getting it right. My guess is that your
customers and clients feel the same.
"In your article, you correctly state: 'For years, I’ve been preaching in my
books and newsletters about the importance of unplugging computers and other
electronic equipment when a storm is approaching. The sad truth is that you
cannot put all your faith in a surge protector.' This advice is elegant in its simplicity and absolutely accurate.
"I thought you might appreciate learning that there is a
low-cost desktop product available that automatically performs this very
function – electrically disconnecting all system power, coaxial cable and
telephone lines when the system is turned off. That product is the
Disconnect® manufactured by ILD Technologies, LLC. Available in two different models, it provides the
ultimate protection for home/office computers and home entertainment systems as
well. This is the only commercially manufactured device that incorporates
electrical isolation to literally “pull the plug” on lightning by simply
switching your computer off.
"Again let me thank you
for your excellent web article and encourage you to keep up the good work."
— Keith Brashear, Executive VP of Technical Services,
ILD Technologies, LLC
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by Barbara Brabec
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