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Electric Avenue

The path between your PC and the wall outlet is fraught with power-surging peril. Can your equipment cope?

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This story appears in the January 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Power conditioning. It sounds like a new exercise fad, somewhere between Tae-Bo and step aerobics. But power conditioning actually has a more mundane meaning: A power conditioner is a device that hooks up between an electrical outlet and your electronic equipment to keep the flow of electricity constant. This month's review expands beyond just pure power conditioners; it tosses a higher-end surge protector and a whole slew of uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) into the mix. What do they all have in common? They share the goal of keeping your computer safely up and running.

I've Got The Power

Now that you've learned what a power conditioner is, it's high time to tackle the "why." If you ever see your office lights flicker briefly, that's an indication the incoming power flow isn't always consistent. At times, electricity sags, sometimes it spikes. It's inevitable. But the delicate sensibilities of your computer equipment don't like sags, spikes or blackouts.

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