Surge Protector Comparison Test Results

Real world, in the field, surge protector test results using three different plug-in SPDs.

These are pictures of two of three routers that were damaged during our real world surge protector comparison. There were two routers damaged that were the same model (Router 1). Also damaged was a PC monitor.

Failed Router. Use a High Quality, High Performance Surge Protector to protect against damaging Transient VoltageRouter 1
Failed Router. Use a High Quality, High Performance Surge Protector to protect against damaging Transient VoltageRouter 2

Below are pictures and test results of the actual plug-in suppressor units used in our example. These units were protecting the power side of a home network that included multiple electronic devices:

  • 2 computers
  • 2 monitors
  • 3 printers
  • 1 modem
  • 1 router

Each surge protector was in the field at some point during the five year span of our review.

Below are three different SPD units displayed and the individual test results.

Two of the power surge protector units were replaced within an eighteen month period.

During the 18 month period: one monitor and 3 separate cable routers were damaged and had to be replaced. It wasn't until the 3rd surge protector unit was installed that the problems ceased.

During the 18 month span there were no power outages, lightning strikes or other large electrical anomalies of note.

Without the presence of large surge events, it's reasonable to determine the damage to the equipment was caused by continuous internal transient voltage.

It's also reasonable to determine that most of the internal transients were RingWave type surges. The first two surge protectors did not provide RingWave protective circuitry.

However, one of the devices did provide EMI/RFI filtration circuitry. Some confuse EMI/RFI filtration as being similar to or the same as RingWave protective circuitry. This circuitry is often referred to as Sinewave Tracking or Frequency Responsive CircuitryTM.

Do not be confused. They are not the same.

Only the third unit claimed and provided RingWave protection circuitry.

Electronic Equipment Damaged

The electronic equipment lost do to damage over the 18 month period:

  • Compaq Presario Monitor
  • U.S. Robotics Broadband Router
  • U.S. Robotics Broadband Router
  • Linksys Broadband Router

In The Field Plug-In Surge Protective Devices

Failed Plug-In Surge Protector purchased to protect sensitive electronicsUnit 1

This unit was the first power surge protector used to protect the electrical gear. Using this particular device, one monitor and one cable router had to be replaced. This was over a 6 month period.

Additional Failed Plug-In Surge Protector purchased to protect sensitive electronicsUnit 2

This unit was the second power surge protector used to protect the electrical gear. Using this particular device two cable router units had to be replaced. This was over a 12 month period.

High Quality, High Performance Plug-In Surge Protector. Over 10 Years of ProtectionUnit 3

This unit was the third and final power surge protector used to protect the electronics. This particular device has been in service for 3.5 years. Update: Unit has been in service for 10 years.

No connected equipment has been replaced. Additional 6 receptacle-plug-in device and a portable/travel unit have also been purchased since the test results.


Comparison Test Results: SPDs Are Not The Same

The test results of our real world comparison leads to one conclusion.

All surge protectors are not created equal. They do not always perform as claimed... in the field... regardless of what marketing materials might state.

Again, all three units were marketed to protect electronics. Only one succeeded.

It's also important to understand what types of surges are active in a particular environment. As noted previously, there are impulse type surges and RingWave type surges.

In an environment that produces both types of surges, surge protectors that protect against impulse and RingWave transients provide the best surge protection results.

The real world comparison certainly make this case.

High Quality, High Performance Plug-In and Portable Surge Protector Testimonial

Before purchasing a SPD, types of technologies, design functionality, quality and dependability of the surge protectors should be taken into account...

It doesn't matter if it's a whole home surge protector, industrial surge protector, data line surge protector, telecom surge protector, plug-in unit or other SPD. There is no substitute for Quality and Performance.

Our gear is often imitated... but rarely duplicated...

The Surge Stops Here.

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