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Should I turn off my surge suppressor?

Q. What is the best use of a switched surge suppressor when a computer is turned off? If I turn it off, it defeats the purpose but interrupts the circuit. Is that better or worse than leaving the suppressor on? Thanks!
-David, from Woodbridge, VA, listens to my national radio show on WFMD 930 AM


A. Most people know they need a surge suppressor – sometimes called a surge protector. However, some don’t take the time to think about how they work. Kudos to you, David, for putting some serious thought into your computer’s protection.

Just note that a surge suppressor might not be able to save your data from a really vicious storm. That’s why you need to have a backup plan – like backup from my advertiser Carbonite. It stores your data in a remote location so it can be the last thing you think about in a bad storm.

Now, on to your question. It may surprise you, but turning off a surge suppressor doesn’t totally defeat the purpose. Your computer will be just as safe from electrical surges. But, does that mean it’s better to turn it off when your computer isn’t on?

For device protection, turning off the surge suppressor is a little safer than leaving it on. When a surge suppressor is turned off, it is essentially like your gear is unplugged. An unplugged gadget is the safest bet when it comes to a power surge.

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