Question Is it safe to use the computer during a thunder?

chaoyang

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Oct 24, 2019
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Hey,

Just moments ago a thunderstorm hit the region where I live in UK. It was very annoying as I was in the middle of finishing a custom battle game setup and have to turn off and unplug my pc.

I have seen many articles in the past regarding about it unsafe in using computer during thunder. But is this still true?

I use a surge protector extender.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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Apr 24, 2021
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I have seen many articles in the past regarding about it unsafe in using computer during thunder. But is this still true?

I use a surge protector extender.
It's much more of an issue in the US, Asia, Africa and places that use 110V and / or have wacky out of date infrastructure that leads to lightning surges being quite common in the electricity grid. In Western Europe, Australia, Canada and New Zealand the grid is well protected against any such surges so there is little to no risk.

Of course if your house gets hit directly, all bets are off and the only thing that will save your PC is it being unplugged. The danger to you personally is always near zero.
 

USAFRet

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It's much more of an issue in the US, Asia, Africa and places that use 110V and / or have wacky out of date infrastructure that leads to lightning surges being quite common in the electricity grid. In Western Europe, Australia, Canada and New Zealand the grid is well protected against any such surges so there is little to no risk.

Of course if your house gets hit directly, all bets are off and the only thing that will save your PC is it being unplugged. The danger to you personally is always near zero.
Electricity can follow odd and unusual pathways.

Last summer, a lightning strike nearby...
BAM!
Multiple electronics bleeped, reset, and came back up.

Casualties?
PC - ethernet port
Printer - ethernet port
Denon AVR - 2x HDMI ports

The kicker - an Invisible Fence circuit board in the garage. The thing was actually unplugged. The 'fence' circuitry was still in the ground.
The thing had not been used in over a decade. The board was cooked, and it blew the cover halfway across the garage.

The PC and printer were separated by 2x switches and a router.
ALL devices were on good quality UPS, Tripplite or CyberPower.

Everyone says "Oh, you need to unplug all your stuff if there's a lightning storm".
No....for every storm with lightning, there is a 'first bolt'. This was that first one.
Before, it was just rain rain rain.

If I unplugged everything every time it rained, it would be Off more than On.
 
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TommyTwoTone66

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The kicker - an Invisible Fence circuit board in the garage. The thing was actually unplugged. The 'fence' circuitry was still in the ground.
The thing had not been used in over a decade. The board was cooked, and it blew the cover halfway across the garage.
Ok, an addendum then ;)

If you have long wires buried in the ground which hook up to your ethernet network, maybe unplug everything from ethernet during a lightning storm. Or, more generally, use WiFi to control your invisible fence circuit boards!
 

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