My home network had a bad week last week. One of my 24 port hubs is dead (well, it powers up and passes POST, but not a single data LED lights up). The WAN port on my SonicWALL firewall is fried (fortunately I had an unused port and was able to change the configuration to get back online). My Roku box no longer works on wired Ethernet (although it does work on Wi-Fi). I lost one port on my PBX. A VGA over Cat5 extender lost all 4 of its ports. The integrated Ethernet port on one of my computers is dead. It could have been much worse. I have lots of connected equipment and the vast majority of it is fine (the pattern around what was fried and what not is intriguing to say the least). Still, as I said, a bad week.
The culprit? A massive lightning storm in the area. We never lost power, but apparently the lightning must have caused a significant surge and fried lots of equipment connected to the phone lines (several POTS voice lines and a U-verse data line). Interestingly, all of the damaged equipment still works, I just lost lots and lots of ports, almost all on my LAN, and one on a PBX daughterboard.
I have significant power surge protection. But, obviously, none for the phone and data lines that come into my house. And while I know that this was a freak occurrence, it’s still been frustrating and expensive enough that I’ve been looking into the options for protecting phone and data. And the information out there is rather ambiguous, ranging from inline solutions with mixed reviews, to comments about the impact on performance, and more.
So, I’d like your input. If you have any experience with this type of surge protection, please share – the good, the bad, and the ugly is all appreciated. Thanks!