Updated: May 6
Lightning is one of the most powerful forces in nature. If it directly strikes your outdoor access point it will be destroyed, no way around that problem. The real danger of lightning is when it strikes not directly, but close to your outdoor access point, the damage can easily spread 50 meters in all directions to anything powered with electricity. Here are some ideas that will reduce or stop the damage that lightning will cause when it is not a direct hit:
1. Always install grounding cables and devices, these will carry the current directly to earth or ground dramatically reducing the damages.
2. Do not mount the device on the tallest point in the area, you are really asking for the strike! It is best to mount the access point lower on the pole or under an overhanging roof.
3. Do not mount on trees, especially if they are the tallest in the area.
4. Always buy devices with extra strong surge protections built in to stop the lightning from using your cable as it's destruction highway!
5. Always use a POE with breakers built in to protect devices from lightning traveling on your copper ethernet cable, if you do not use POE be very careful using a POE switch without breakers.
6. If you can mount the device under an existing roof even if the building is open you will have much, much better protection than outside in the weather.
Sooo, if someone says their device is protected against lightning strikes, good luck, it is not truthful, but you can easily limit the destruction by correct placement, grounding wires, and surge protection.