Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Belkin Australia Concealed Surge Protector
- Child proof lock, recessed sockets for safety, TV aerial and phone line surge protection, cable management, unlimited warranty, connected appliances warranty and data recovery warranty
- Quite bulky
Although we were unable to test the surge protection capabilities, we do like the safety features that have been implemented and we're a fan of the cable management and aerial surge protection on this model.
Price$ 179.95 (AUD)
The only thing that's more heartbreaking than damaging your brand new electronic gear is watching it be destroyed by something you had no control over. Surge protection is an easily overlooked, but highly important addition to any expensive electronics setup. Considering the cost of TVs and home theatre systems, making the time to choose a surge protector is probably worth the effort.
One option in the surge protection space is a Belkin surge protector. We weren't able to test the surge protection capabilities of this device, but we took a look at its safety features and warranty support to see how it fared.
A power surge can be caused by a number of things. Most people think of power surges in terms of lightning strikes, but it doesn't take nature's wrath to destroy your entire home entertainment system. In fact, demand-related fluctuations in the power grid are one of the most common causes of a power surge. As power returns to your area an excess of electricity can course through the power lines, into your home's electrical wiring, and overload the sensitive circuitry in your electronic equipment.
Safety switches won't stop them and neither will the circuit breaker built into your standard power board. There are two main types of surge protectors: one that switches off when it detects a surge, a perfectly acceptable solution for your TV; and one that absorbs electricity until it can absorb no more, then self-destructs to protect the devices. The latter technology, which Belkin employs, is equally secure, but it also allows those devices connected to it to keep functioning in the event of a surge. This is a particularly useful feature for PC users, who are more likely to be adversely affected by a sudden loss of power.
This method of surge protection uses a series of metal oxide varistors (MOV) to absorb the power like a sponge. These sponges have no way of dissipating the electricity, so they're wired with a fuse that self-destructs the unit when each MOV has absorbed all it can. At this point a 'Protected' light will go out.
The device offers a maximum energy dissipation of 2190 Joules. The higher this figure, the more surges it can take over time before self-destruction. However, the length of time this lasts you will vary depending on the frequency of surges your power line experiences.
Another safety feature of the Belkin Concealed is its recessed plugs. These are intended to reduce the risk that something or someone can touch the live prongs, should they slip out a little. Newer devices will already feature an insulating coating over the first few millimetres of the prongs, but Belkin has taken this a step further with the recessed sockets.
Probably the most important feature of the Belkin surge protector — beyond how much electricity it can handle — is what Belkin will do for you if the Belkin Concealed fails to protect your gear. Belkin's lifetime warranty claims to replace all connected devices up to the value stated on the packaging, to replace the surge protector when it eventually fails and to pay for the attempted recovery of data lost in the event of a surge striking your PC — a service they outsource through Seagate.
Belkin Concealed surge protector
Like its smaller brother, the Belkin Compact surge protector, the Belkin Concealed surge protector is a six socket power board and surge protector. It offers the same unlimited connected equipment warranty, replacement warranty and data recovery warranty and features the same recessed sockets that act as a second level of protection against electrocution, as well as the protected light indicator.
All modern power plugs have a special insulated coating over the first for millimetres of the two live prongs. This helps to prevent accidental electrocution, should the plug come lose, exposing those first few millimetres. However, Belkin's recessed sockets take this simple preventative method a step further by ensuring the prongs are never exposed while the plug is inserted enough to draw power.
Beyond these features, however, the Concealed surge protector offers some additional safety. The board is built into a casing that opens on a hinge and closes with a lock. The only down side of this is it makes the whole unit quite bulky. Within the casing the power cables have cable routing to keep things neat and tidy, but the greatest advantage is making the device child tamper proof. This board offers one phone line input, but only one output, rather than two. However it also offers surge protection for the TV aerial cable.
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