Surge Protectors

Why do we get power spikes and surges?

The lower voltage surges that afflict modern household and business electrical wiring can come from many sources - internally and externally. External causes can include the startup or shutdown of nearby heavy equipment, fallen power lines, electrical storms, or even the normal "switching" of a nearby electrical substation. Internally, heavy equipment such as refrigerators and air-conditioners draw large amounts of current when switching on and off their motors/compressors. This creates surges through local electrical wiring -- a problem magnified when the wiring is also faulty. What is a line conditioner?

Line/power conditioners use a fairly simple system that relies on a built-in electromagnet to smooth out the small increases and decreases in current. This "conditioned" current is more stable, and therefore easier on your delicate equipment. Conditioners can also filter electromagnetic interference (EMI) from a power source and "smooth out" the rhythmic cycle of alternating current - this is called harmonic filtering. Harmonic voltage distortion can show up in various ways, such as increased heating of electrical components and cables, electronic miss-timings, capacitor overloads and fluorescent lights flickering.

Not a UPS

Note however, that a line conditioner will not provide battery backup power like an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). A quality UPS should include both surge protection and power conditioning but with the added benefit of a battery backup and intelligent power management software for your PC to shutdown automatically and "safely".

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

GoodGearGuide Staff

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?