How to protect a modem and Mac from Thunderstorms in Lithgow

photo of lightning

When I lived in California the thunderstorms were not as intense as they are in Lithgow. Even there I have had a few of my Apple computers damaged by power surges. Now that I’m living in Lithgow and running an Apple Repair business I have become hyper-aware of what can go wrong. I will give you some tips on how to protect your devices from a Thunderstorm.

Unplug your phone line

Many people think that a surge protector will protect your modem. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Most surge protectors do not have a way to stop a power surge from travelling down the phone line. When I worked as a mac tech in Katoomba we would always order extra modems before a thunderstorm and be sold out by the end of the week. All because nobody considers unplugging the phone line.

Surge protectors that protect phone lines do exist but they are hard to find.

Surge Protectors the first line of defence for Thunderstorms in Lithgow

Yeah, I know this is a no-brainer. The more important the device the more important the surge protector. I know that watching Netflix on your Macbook Pro in bed seems like a good idea but if you do not have your power supply connected to a surge protector it may mean the end of your computer during Thunderstorms in Lithgow.

Cheaper is not better!

One of the biggest tips I can give you about surge protectors is to avoid getting the cheap ones. I know the discount shop has them cheap but think of it this way … do you want to buy the $5000 parachute or the $50 parachute. If you are going to buy a surge protector I suggest going to a computer repair shop in Lithgow

Register your surge protector warranty

To be clear a surge protector is like a bulletproof vest. Yes, it can help prevent damage but not 100%. Many of the really good surge protectors will have a warranty card in the package. Fill this out and register (Many will have online forms) By doing so this gives your insurance company one less way to deny your claim when a lighting bolt fries your modem, iMac or Macbook.

I also recommend talking to your insurance company about your equipment and if you need to register them in advance. Each company may have different policies.

BACK UP BACK UP BACK UP

Backup everything and often. If your Apple computer gets fried by lightning there is a good chance you could lose all your data. You think that a new computer is expensive, wait till you get the bill from the data recovery company. I can do magic for any Apple computer if you have a current time machine backup. Oh yeah, unplug your backup drive too.

IF you have a backup buying a new Mac will take you longer than it will to restore everything to exactly the way it was at the time of the last backup … Did I mention backing up is important?

Tips on how to get online again FAST

Save the settings of your modem.

Routers and Modems will have an option to save a configuration file to your computer. I have a friend in the states who lives near an iron mine. A surge protector or not he goes through a few modems a year. What he does is buy a few of the same model of modem. Saves the configuration file to his desktop. So when one of these modems dies he just uploads the file to the new modem and he is set. Totally avoids hours of talking to tech support trying to get online again.

Do not buy a modem unless you plan to keep it.

Modems are not cheap. I know that you are thinking “I will just return it when the free one arrives”. Doing this is just going to make the retail shop angry because they are going to lose money on the modem. The last retail shop I worked at had very strict return policies on modems and honestly, I do not blame them. So you might be stuck with it. (Most modems are better then what the ISP will give you anyway)

Get a list of compatible modems before you go shopping.

Modems are not all the same. Some are not compatible with your internet service provider. Trust me most retail folks barely understand the difference between a modem and a router not alone what ISPs use what kind of modem. Most internet service providers will have a webpage that you can access from your phone that will have a list of compatible modems. Or you can just call. This is a big time saver. Once again the return policies for modems are ruthless. Many do not accept “I got the wrong modem” as a valid excuse. So do not be stuck with a modem you cannot use.

Be nice to the tech support people

I know that calling tech support is frustrating, But a lighting power surge is not their fault. Tech support folks get yelled at more before lunch then you do all month. Give them a break. As someone who has worked tech support over the phone, I happen to know that after a really rude customer the next person who is nice to me is going to get the BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER! Just because it’s so nice to talk to someone who is kind. For some reason, they will remember all the policies they need to make you happy.

The next time there is a thunderstorm in Lithgow and you need help getting online again you can always contact us. I’m more than happy to help set up your modem and talk with the tech support people (we speak Geek and English )

Get help now

Thunderstorms in Lithgow are no joke for a modem or an apple computer. If your computer has been damaged and need a Apple computer expert to sign off that the device is beyond repair for your insurance. I’m happy to help and maybe get your system running again. (Or at least save your data)

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We are a Mac (Apple Computer) repair and training service located in Lithgow and the Blue Mountains. We service most of the Blue Mountains including: Katoomba, Leura, Glenbrook, Lawson, Wentworth Falls, Medlow Bath, Blackheath, Portland, Oberon, Bathurst, and now Rylstone.