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By Ryan Noik 2 October 2014

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With summer on its way, so too are the Highveld’s famed lightning storms, which makes a lightning surge protection system that much more worth investing in.

The South African made Astraphobe DSL lightning protection system’s purpose from Jacstech, like its design, is simple – to protect your valuable internet and telephone connected hardware from lightning surges. These the company pointed out, and our own bitter experience has born out, can quite easily and quite literally in a flash, devastate ill prepared hardware that is connected to an ADSL line struck by lightning.

Shelter from the storm

The actual device itself reminded us of a Wii – essentially a thick white box (but not overly large) with just two connections – one to receive the phone line and the second for your Ethernet connection. Thus, setting it up could not be simpler, as it is simply a matter of plugging the device into a wall socket and then inserting the telephone and Ethernet cables.

The device essentially sits between a user’s phoneline and their internet connected devices, which could include the likes of routers, PCs, consoles, TVs and storage devices connected to the network. The Astraphobe DSL is not simply a surge protector though; it also houses a storm detection system, and thus when an approaching storm is detected (up to 40 km away), it automatically disconnects the ADSL line if need be and reconnects it when the storm has passed. The unit displays whether the conditions are clear, whether a storm is detected and how far away it is, and, should the line need to be disconnected, how long before it will automatically reconnect.    

One strike, you’re out

Thankfully we were not graced with a sudden lightning storm while reviewing the unit, nor could we coordinate a lightning strike to fully test Jacstech’s assertions. Nonetheless, considering that we are quite used to unplugging our DSL router and phone line entirely when storms roll in, we could easily see how this would offer a more convenient alternative, particularly when away from our office while a lightning storm decided to make a sudden appearance.

It also should be noted that it will likely be more applicable to those in particularly lightning prone areas. It has a RRP of R1 400 and is available from www.kalahari.net.

PROS
Easy to set up, Automates disconnecting phone line when away
CONS
Most applicable to those in lightning prone areas
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