Spectrum Internet

Can I use a surge protector with my modem?

With the installation of your services, a ground block is installed at your residence for protection against lightning and power crosses on the coaxial connections.

If you want to use a surge protector for your coaxial connections, you must use one that allows bidirectional communications, or return signals, between your equipment and our cable network.

If you choose to use a surge protector on the coaxial connections to your cable modem, router, multimedia terminal adapter (MTA), or Spectrum Receiver, you must purchase a surge protector that:

  • Operates in the 5MHz to 1GHz range or that permits bidirectional signals so that your services can communicate with your equipment and your equipment can return communication back to your services.
  • Features LEDs that indicate your equipment is properly grounded and that you are protected.

The correct type of surge protector could have inputs that look something like the image below. The connections that you need to use depend on the services you have.

Surge Protector

To protect your phone or computer equipment from surges through the coaxial or telephone lines:

  1. Turn off all the equipment that you want to connect to the surge protector.
  2. Turn off the power button on the surge protector.
  3. Plug the surge protector into the wall.
  4. To protect the phone service or your LAN lines, take the telephone or LAN line (or both if you have both services) running from the wall, and plug it into the appropriate In jack on the surge protector.
    • The In and Out jacks and coaxial connections can have different names on different pieces of equipment, so check with owner's manual for the products you own, or contact the manufacturer. The jacks for your telephone or Ethernet equipment look similar, but they are not the same and cannot be used interchangably. They look something like this:

      Surge Tel and LAN connection

  5. Plug a telephone line into the Out jack.
  6. Plug the other end of that line into the phone and/or the source of the LAN, as applicable based on the equipment you are trying to protect.
  7. To protect your router or MTA from surges through the coaxial or telephone lines without a reduction in service level, take the coaxial line coming from the wall, and connect it to the coaxial In port on the surge protector.
    • The coaxial connections look like this:

      Surge Coax Connection

  8. Connect a coaxial cable into the coaxial Out port.
  9. Plug the other end of that line into your router or MTA.
  10. Connect the Ethernet cable from an Out port on the router or MTA to your computer or phone.
  11. Turn on the surge protector.
  12. Plug the power cords of all of the equipment into your surge protector, one at a time.
  13. Turn on each piece of equipment, one at a time, and check to ensure that each is operating properly.
Article Number: 5873

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