Posted 30 April 2014 - 07:52
In the not-quite-ten years I lived in Colorado Springs I had one computer totally damaged by electricity (damaged Super I/O controller on South Bridge), but had to replace modems and serial cards yearly (or more frequently), until I finally got in the habit of disconnecting things when a lightning storm arose (or was very likely to arise). And this was using UPSes along with grounded surge suppressors on phone lines and RS-232C ports.
Surge suppression equipment like APC, Cyberpower, Tripp Lite, etc., is not designed to protect your computer from a lightning strike on (or very near) your property--at least their consumer-grade stuff isn't. What it is designed to do is to not start a fire when that does occur. If you are in a location where there's a possibility of a head-on lightning strike, I would suggest looking into grounding rods at the exterior of the house to direct lightning away from inside, and also a whole-house surge suppression system with things like lightning arrestor gas-discharge tubes on potential ingress points (power, telco, cable TV, etc.).
It is important to keep in mind that surge suppression equipment itself has a finite life, too, based on how much voltage their metal oxide varistors (MOVs) dump. You can think of the MOVs as kind of like break pads in your car, except that they don't get replaced (at least, not unless you send the equipment containing them to the factory for repair).