Frying PC

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Thread Starter
Jul 24, 2002
:D I have been reading about protecting my PC from electrical storms. I use a surge protector & also realize I should turn off my PC in a storm. I am on a cable modem. The article suggested disconnecting from the phone line during a storm if it is connected to your PC. I am unclear as to whether my cable modem is directly connected to a phone line? Hopefully you can enlighten me.

Thanks - Monique:D


Retired Moderator Retired Malware Specialist
Dec 14, 2002
Cable modems are connected to a dedicated cable line, not a standard phone line

Here in the UK cable lines normally run underground and are less likely to suffer from lightning strike, If your cable is overhead then I would assume the same risks apply and would disconnect the computer from the modem during a storm. Personally I wouldn't disconnect the modem from the cable socket but some might disagree. It all depends on your cable company regulations, some will not allow you to disconnect from the wall, others will
Aug 11, 2002
Technically the cable modem uses the cable tv cable which is seperate from the phone line. However, if you live in a suburban or rural area, most likely both the phone line and the cable tv line are suspended from poles outside your house. So they stand an equal chance of getting hit.

That aside, getting fried by lightning is pretty rare. Haven't heard many tales of this happening in my time in the IT field.

IMO, unless you're in an area that has frequent lightning storms, I wouldn't worry about it. Just do regular backups of your important data.

Someone with more experience in home electrical systems may be able to enlighten you more.
Apr 12, 2002
about four months ago i had a computer get struck by lightning. it came in through the telephone line because the modem was completely fried (it even got all the phones in my house). the only thing i was able to salvage from the pc was the hard drive. how it managed to survive i have no idea, but it did.

as just a precaution, i would highly suggest buy a good surge protector. a lot of them are made where you can connect your cable or phone line to the device and then connect a cable to your cable modem.

after all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
(i think i said that right!) :D

just my two cents! :)


Dec 26, 2002
From personal experience a decent surge bar is a good investment. I work in a rural area where computers get blown to sh!t all the time. We highly recommend that all our customers buy UPS or battery backup systems because getting hit by lightening or suffering from brown-outs (low voltage) is so common in our area. UPS's aren't cheap but they're a lot cheaper than a new computer. And considering how important electricity is in a computer they're a good investment and they protect your phone line as well.
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