Question about dial-up modem surge protection

HI all,

Our condo complex has a few jolts of power interruption last Sunday ----but it was only for a few seconds but it apparently enough to do damage. It ended up damaging BOTH laptops even though one wasn't even turned on BUT plugged in to the phone and electrical outlet at the time.

It wasn't complete destruction---just kinda in the middle where the remote computer to the ISP is having difficulty accepting the hand-shake but when it does go thru (about 10% of the time) I'm only connected at


Dell has agreed to take the one laptop back and put it through their repair depot. The other laptop is out of warranty so I';m screwed.

**** Should I demand that the modem work at no less than what I had always been accustomed to 56kbs-115kbs or is that a thing of the past?

I don't want this to ever happen again.

**** What's the minumum equipment I now need to purchase for next time since I was NOT aware that an electrical doesn't protect "jack"?

Any recommendations on a good and cheap brand or something I can bid on ebay?


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53Kbps is the max speed of any dialup modem. Anything faster is based on software compression and not the true speed of the modem.

Never ever is a tall goal. But for reasonable:

  1. Make sure your phone NID box is grounded to the same rod as your electrical service. You might have to move it or have it moved. If it is NOT grounded now most (all?) local phone service companies will come out and fix this. But beware that many older houses where the phone enters at a location other than the power will likely have the phone NID grounded to the nearest cold water line. Which many not be a real ground depending on what has or has not been done to water lines in your house over the years. And you might have to pay them for a change. This varies widely by area.

Make sure your house power is well grounded. If you don't know how to tell, call an electrician.

Now it gets harder. Get a good surge protector and use grounded outlets. Plus EVERYTHING on your network and phone lines need to be protected. EVERYTHING. This gets to be hard in most homes these days as you have all kinds of things plugged into the phone lines. Cordless phones, TiVos, Sat Dish Receivers, computer modems.

What is a "good" surge protector. The MOV based ones that you see in stores have a problem. Every little surge they stop uses them up a bit. But to tell if they are still a surge protector or just a fancy looking power strip costs more in testing than buying a case of new surge protectors. So get something from a brand you recognize that's rated over 2000 joules. And toss it after 2 or 3 years or after a nearby lightning strike. If you have lots of lightning in your area, replace them more often.

Most lightning strikes that aren't withing a few 100 feet do damage by raising the potential on the wires coming into a house by 1000s of volts for a very short time. If the rise is consistant with all ways into the house, damage is very much less likely to occur. This is why you want a common service entrance for EVERYTHING tied to a common earth ground. This way the spike comes into your house like a cork on a wave. Everything goes up and down together. It's when you have things out of synce that you get the damage.

This contradicts your goals.

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