Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lightning Scare

Just about more than a month ago (on March 7th), both my Aztech broadband modem and D-Link wireless router were fried by a nasty lightning strike.

More Misery

Two network cards within my home network later turned casualties too.  Within weeks, my two-year old Brother laser printer refused to work.  Brother customer service told me that the printer mainboard could be the issue.  Repairs would not have been worth it.

The Belkin Deal

Belkin7632 I replaced the router and modem with a Belkin 7632 wireless router cum broadband modem combo and it came with a lifetime warranty and one-to-one swap deal.  For that, Belkin's product came at a premium price and it took some convincing before I decided to put my cash into it.

Lightning Strikes Back!

Not taking anymore chances, from that day onwards, I was diligent in disconnecting my network equipment on the slightest sound of thunder.  Thunderstorms are getting more frequent in KL these days.  But today, I missed the hint by probably a few minutes.  There was slight rumbling of the thunder and without much warning, my Belkin was zapped...just like that!

The Calm after the Storm

I went to the dealer and got the Belkin checked. Within 10 minutes, I was given a brand new unit (in shrink-wrapped box). They didn't even need my old box!  So, the one-to-one swap was indeed a real deal. The unit I was given has an updated firmware and slightly different port arrangement.  Other than that, it looks the same.  I must thank the original sales rep who sold me the product.

I got back home and got the new Belkin configured for Streamyx broadband within minutes.  Thankfully, so far, no problems with my network cards.

So, if you're living in a lightning prone area, I strongly recommend getting a Belkin even if you have to pay a little more!

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Dana said...

Why don't you try put a lightning resistor thingys? They are quite cheap. Anyways lets say your belkin get zapped (touch wood) again can you still return and get a new one or is it a one time deal?

Jason said...

I actually had a Takawachi lightning isolator connected to my equipment when the lightning struck but only the power line was protected and not the phone line. I left the phone line unprotected because it was causing instability to my Streamyx connection.

I'm aware of this ADSL-compatible lightning isolator technology by Cal-Lab and I understand that their isolator can be quite effective -- but only if it's set up correctly. I'm keen on getting one of those.

Incidently, I recently found out that a neighbour's tree is towering right above the telephone pole outside my house and the pole is also missing a lightning rod unlike the other poles nearby. Hmm...gotta do something about that...

On the Belkin lifetime warranty, I'm not sure whether it's a one-time deal. There isn't much fine print to read either. Something worth probing...

Jason said...

Update on Belkins lifetime warranty:

I have clarified with Belkin and apparently that's no hard limit on the number of claims. Unless the router was faulty due to end user mis-use or mishandling, they will honor the warranty.

Nickname unavailable said...

Jason, thanks for posting this. My Belkin MIMO router just fried due to lightning, and I was about to toss it and buy a new one till I saw your post. :-)