How to choose a network filter for a computer

A properly selected surge protector can protect your computer. – or household appliances in the house – from damage caused by interruptions power supply.

How to choose a network filter for a computer: what to look for Attention?

How to choose a network filter for a computer

When choosing a network filter for a computer, you should pay attention to the following device characteristics:

  1. Type (surge protector or just an extension cord);

  2. Number of output sockets;

  3. The presence of separate switches for each outlet;

  4. Compatible with UPS;

  5. The presence of USB connectors;

  6. Maximum current and load power.

Moreover, the last parameter is prevailing if it’s about connecting expensive high power – such as gaming computers or 4K monitors.

Surge protector or just an extension cord

Line filter or extension cord

There are two types of devices on the market today that perform, in a very general approximation, the same function increase the number of outlets – extension cords and surge protectors.

Extension cords – very simple from a structural point of view devices. They are simply additional sockets without any additional protection. But extension cords are low at the price. Such devices are suitable for connecting not too powerful and inexpensive equipment, since they do not provide its protection against short circuit.

Surge protectors are inherently extension cords that complemented by a varistor. This functional element is intended to protect the connected equipment from voltage surges, short short circuits and other power problems. They are suitable for connection. powerful, expensive, or current sensitive equipment. An important feature of the varistor is the protection of both “internal” and “external” chains. So, a short circuit in the external circuit does not it will damage the equipment connected to the filter, and vice versa.

It is worth remembering that the varistor is a “one-time” device. After short circuit or another circuit defect that caused it to break, you will need buying a new surge protector. But it costs less than a new PC or monitor.

If you plan to use the equipment in chains with regular power surges, then even a surge protector will not work. Necessary use a stabilizer.

Number of Outlets

number of outlets

This is a subjective rather than an objective parameter. However, when choosing a surge protector should be based on quantity devices connected to it.

Three – the minimum number of outlets, which is appropriate use. One of them will be occupied by the system unit, the second – monitor, and in the third you can connect an MFP or printer, speakers or router.

If your home uses many devices that require power connections (as in the above example), it costs use filters with a large number of outlets – from five to eight.

Connect an extension cable, splitter or tee is strongly discouraged. This leads to significant increasing the load on the varistor due to the connection additional resistance to the internal circuit.

Separate switches for each outlet

This parameter determines the convenience of using a network filter, especially if it is connected to a stabilizer or source uninterruptible power supply. Separate switches allow you to turn off any particular outlet – while the rest will be current is supplied.

At the same time, surge protectors with this function are not found too wide. Therefore, if there is a choice between, for example, maximum power and separate switches, definitely worth purchase a model with maximum power.

UPS Compatibility

Many UPSs are equipped with a three-pin socket. Additional “pin” is designed to protect the connected equipment defects power arising when switching the current source.

Similarly, UPS line filters are equipped with three-pin plug. They are recommended (but not required) to use with uninterruptible power supplies.

The presence of USB connectors

USB connectors are designed to connect and charge various mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, players, etc. Not less, their presence or absence does not determine network filter functionality. Simple with integrated connectors USB may be more convenient to charge your smartphone.

When choosing a surge protector with built-in USB, you should consider charge current value. So, if it is 1 A, it is suitable for all mobile devices. 2A charging designed for tablets and some modern smartphones, but on old devices may damage the battery.

Maximum current and load power

Electrical parameters are very important if required. purchase a surge protector that will protect the computer and peripheral equipment against breakdowns in the circuit. And in this case it is necessary to calculate the load that will be to it connected.

Calculation of the load is made by summing the capacities connected equipment – the system unit (determined through power supply unit), monitor and other equipment. Preferably so that the surge protector is designed for a little more power than received – then it will be possible to include other devices in it.

The load current (in A) is calculated similarly.


Among the manufacturers of surge protectors, we can distinguish companies Sven, Pilot and ERA. The first to release various computer accessories. Their line filters are of low price and good reliability.

  1. Pilot is one of the most famous surge protector manufacturers. His solutions are the most technologically advanced.

  2. “ERA” produces perhaps one of the most reliable network filters.

  3. But the solutions from Pilot and ERA are quite high cost.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose a computer mouse; secrets of choosing a processor for a computer, a complete guide for choosing a computer monitor for computer and the main criteria for choosing a computer unit nutrition.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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