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1. Macintosh Troubleshooting Pocket Guid... > 1.17. Communications, Internet, and ...

Communications, Internet, and AirPort

Can lightning really damage my modem or Ethernet port? [9 & X]

Yes, whenever there is a big thunderstorm we see a number of Macs with dead modems come in for service the following days. We’ve also seen lightning through cable modems destroy Ethernet ports, requiring an expensive logic board repair. (One newspaper customer in the suburbs had the Ethernet destroyed on over 20 Macs during a storm; their insurance did cover it, but some policies exclude such damage.) We suspect it’s more often people living in houses or brownstones with outside phone wiring rather than big apartment buildings, but we recommend unplugging from the phone line or cable modem during storms. Or you can try a surge protector with phone line or Ethernet port protection, but we haven’t tested how well they work.


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