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I am thinking about getting a powerline network adapter but I have some questions:

Why can't they be plugged into surge protectors?
In the event of a power surge, will the surge carry through the ethernet and damage my computer?
Are there any surge protectors specifically for ethernet?

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I believe I've read that most, but not all, surge protectors can't. You may be able to buy ones specifically for this purpose. – Dudemcman Apr 22 '13 at 1:22

The filtering technology to protect you from a surge blocks the signal the network adapter uses so you must put the adapter before the surge protector.

However many surge protectors also offer protection on Ethernet ports. All you need to do is put the Ethernet surge protection between your computer and the adapter.

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Surge protectors can have "filters" in them as part of the protection. The filters will filter out RF frequencies. The "pass the net over the powerlines" type adapters, use RF and the RF gets filtered out by the surge protector.
Many of the power nic adapters have a second frequency they can use, which may or may not be filtered by whatever surge protector your using.

Here we had the same problem even if surge protection power strips were on the same "curcuit" back to the main box of the house. Eventually we gave up on using this type of trasmission, because of all the UPS (Uninteruptable Power Source) Power strips, and other filtering that was done even in some electronic devices.

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