Even if it includes a cheap circuit breaker, a power strip is still essentially just an extension of your wall outlet, while a surge protector outlet includes a mechanism that either blocks or shorts electric current to keep the voltage at or below a safe threshold to keep your electronics protected. Though power spikes may not be an everyday event, there is really no reason not to incorporate a surge suppressor into your network to protect your expensive gadgets and electronics from failure.
Some surge protectors are designed to safeguard other types of electronic equipment like phone lines, Ethernet, satellite or coaxial cables. But it should be noted that even the best surge protectors will not keep your equipment running during a blackout and will not provide you with extra time to save the work on your computer when the power goes out.
A lower joule rating is fine for smaller items like your phone charger and the lamp on your bedside table, but you may want to get a suppressor with a higher rating if you're using it to protect your expensive custom-built home theater set-up, or if you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes or heavy thunderstorms. You'll also want to select a surge protector that offers you the right number of electrical ports, well-placed and not too close together, so you don't have to daisy-chain several surge protectors or power strips, a situation that is highly unlikely to provide you with the protection you want.
But many homes and offices predate our electronics-dependent lifestyle and are equipped with an inadequate number of outlets. When that’s the case, people often turn to surge protector power strips.
They multiply a single plug into one that can handle half a dozen items. Some people go a little crazy when it comes to connecting plug strips, installing one in just about every corner of the house.
An electrical contractor can install surge protector receptacles in your home or business. When you piggyback one surge protector onto another, you’re creating hazardous electrical issues.
Interconnecting surge protectors, each with devices plugged into them, then feeding them into a single source at the wall burdens the units. More electrical current runs through the devices than is safe, causing an overload that has the potential to start a fire or trip a circuit breaker.