Safe Networking - Lightning

An unusual title and one all to do with my remote location and lightning strikes. I live in an active lightning area and many of BT's phone lines lie exposed to strikes. I, and many others on the islands, have been hit and the first item to 'blow up' (sometimes quite literally) is the broadband modem. ANY items connected to the modem via ethernet usually 'blow' too, TVs, TV boxes, PCs etc..

To physically isolate my home network from the evils of outside phone cables I use a wireless bridge. I buy older, very cheap broadband modems, such as Netgear's DG843G, from eBay and designate them sacrificial.  This modem connects via WiFi to a wireless client access point which becomes the hub of my internal gigabit network.

Currently my wireless client access point is a Cisco Linksys E1200 which runs Linux DD-WRT with ease. This makes a good vehicle as an VPN server. 


The second line of defence is an APC ProtectNet standalone surge protector for 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet lines.

This will arrest lightning very well - as long as the green tab (earth) is connected to an adequately good earth. I suggest it's connected directly to the house's supply earth with heavy duty 4mm copper earth cable.

They cost aroung £25 and are sacrificial, i.e. they will (usually) only work for one lightning stike and must be replaced afterwards. Available from Amazon