With so much hardware that goes in a computer, you sometimes forget about the important things around your computer that can cause damage and/or data loss. Power spikes and surges are not common, but when it happens, it can do significant damage to your PC or any other electronics, like an expensive LCD TV.
A UPS, not the shipping people, is recommended for computers. If there is data, you should plug the machine in to a UPS, Uninterruptible Power Supply. It’s basically a glorified surge protector that provides continuous power, via battery, so that you can save your data and properly shut down. It also helps smooth out the electricity that is used to power your machine. Electricity comes in like waves on the beach. Sometimes it more and sometimes it’s less than what you need to keep your PC running. Also, when a brownout occurs, your PC is completely fine thanks to the battery power from a UPS.
For $50, you can protect your investment. My recommendation and the one I own is the APC BE550VA. Click here or the picture for the product page on Amazon.com. The capacity of this unit is more than enough for home users. It has 8 outlets available as well as phone line surge protection. A surge can happen on a phone/DSL line, travel through the DSL modem, then passed to your PC via RJ-45/networking cable.
For your other electronics, i.e. entertainment center, I would invest in a heavy duty surge protector. Replacing an expensive LCD TV from a surge is adding salt to a wound. To prevent that, look for a surge protector with 1000+ Joules protection and Max Spike protection. For the entertainment center, I use a Belkin Conceal Surge Protector to conceal all the wires. Click here or the picture for the product page on Amazon.com.
Or, you can this Belkin 12 outlet surge protector. Click here to go to the Amazon product page.