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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?