In this column, The Computer Guys respond to questions from readers about their computers and technology.

Dear Computer Guys,

Q: How important is a surge protector? We had several power outages this week due to the blizzard, I would like to know the importance of connecting my computer to a surge protector and if there is something you could recommend.

Don Smith, South Thomaston


Don Smith, that’s a great question!

A: Many people think of a power strip as a surge protector; it gives them additional outlets, but what does it really do to protect all their high-end electronics?!

Well, the answer is not all power strips are surge protectors. In fact, unless the item states it directly, most people have power strips that offer zero protection! A surge protector protects against voltage spikes; one good blast of back surge over cable or power lines and poof, your electronics are fried! Thankfully, if a great surge protector is connected, you’ll be safe. Surge protectors offer protection in amounts called joules, so the rule is “the higher, the better” on joule count.


Dear Computer Guys,

Q: When building a gaming computer is there any advice as to what to start with?

William Eustis, Warren


William, oh that’s a good question!

A: The rule in building computers is to start with the power supply. Here's why! Power dictates operation, a weak power supply will be under-suited for high-end components. The computer will be starving for power. A great gold-level power supply will keep everything running smoothly! There is much debate on a starting wattage. We love starting at 850w; it allows for future expansion. That's the best part of a PC, you can replace and upgrade everything. Get a power supply that allows for that expansion! Trust me, you’ll be happy you did.

Tech Tip of the Week:

This week we focus on all you small businesses out there.

Did you know that according to the Boston Computing Network’s data loss statistics, 60 percent of companies that lose their data will shut down within six months of the disaster?

That is why EdgeTech, Home of “The Computer Guys,” is now a licensed partner with Carbonite.

With your precious business in mind, we make sure you have access to the most reliable data backup service in the world, Carbonite E2. Day or night, human error or act of god, all your files will be retrievable in seconds. We want you to succeed, let EdgeTech help you today.

Visit The Computer Guys at EdgeTech, 11 Dexter St, Thomaston, ME.



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Jacob S. Smith is owner of EdgeTech. This column is paid content sponsored by EdgeTech.