Use a desktop computer? You probably have phantom power.

Posted by: Johnny Tran

A computer can require several different types of peripherals (or accessories) running at once to make it fully functional. Speakers, printers, and a modem are just the few essentials that are often used on a daily basis. Of course, many of these accessories also require themselves to be plugged in to a power source to work as well.

Most of us are aware that these peripherals drain energy when the computer is off, but for many, the hassle of unplugging some of these electronics is the fact that many of them need to be reset or readjusted once they are turned back on. In the case of Comcast digital voice customers, it would not be practical to unplug their VoIP modems since they would not be able to receive phone calls otherwise. Also, as anyone who uses a power strip for their computer might be aware, it's not easy to mess with the tangle of wires awaiting them if they need to unplug something.

Luckily for anyone experiencing either scenario, there are great tools such as the Smartstrip power strip. The device is able to determine when the computer is turned off, and cuts off any other currents that are running on the strip. There are a few models that fit many different situations, including ones that have special settings for modems. Priced at about $32-$35 a strip, the Smartstrip should pay for itself soon after purchase, and is an essential for any computer user who does not want to fuss with their cords.

More information about the Smartstrip and similar devices can be found here: