Multiple layers of protection will guard against power surges coming through your coaxial TV cable, telephone/DSL lines, and home’s electrical outlets. The six outlets are spaced nicely to accommodate large power adaptors, and all of them have sliding covers to keep out dust and debris when not in use.
Outlets : 6 | USB ports : 0 | Power switch : Yes | Surge protection : 1,080 joules | Circuit breaker : 15-amp | Ground fault detection : Yes | Cord length : 4 ft. | Plug : 90° Each individual receptacle rotates, so that it can be oriented to suit larger plugs and power adapters without obscuring the ones next to it.
Bested 8-Outletamazon.com Outlets : 8 | USB ports : 3, 2.4-amp | Power switch : Yes | Surge protection : 300 joules | Circuit breaker : 13-amp | Ground fault detection : No | Cord length : 6 ft. | Plug : 90° Bested’s eight-outlet surge protector is versatile enough to sit on a desk or work table where plugs are frequently needed or switched out temporarily.
The upright, tower configuration conveniently exposes two outlets on each side for easy access when placed in the center of a table. It has three USB ports, and the flat tower top makes a nice place to leave devices while charging.
The power cord for this unit retracts and winds into the base, so there’s no extra cable looped around to deal with. We especially liked the Power Strip Tower on our project table where tools and equipment frequently come and go, and we have several things going on at once.
The proliferation of wireless handheld devices that charge at lower voltages makes surge protection more important than ever. People tend to worry most about lightning strikes, which can find their way to electrical wires and cause power spikes in the millions of volts.
Air conditioners, compressors, and electric ranges require a large amount of power, particularly when they start up. To adequately protect an average home entertainment system or computers and related equipment, look for surge protectors rated in thousands of joules.
We research the market, survey user reviews, speak with product managers and engineers, and use our own experience with them to determine the best options. We used a Sperry Instruments outlet tester to confirm circuit grounding when power strips had wiring fault indicators.
These aren't the sexy pieces of hardware that grab headlines or turn your dusty old computer into a high-spec gaming PC. It also limits the amount of voltage that can pass through to your devices, helping ensure they aren't damaged by a sudden spike.
And, since they're not the most exciting product to shop for, we've saved you the trouble of searching for the surge protectors that are worth your while. It boasts 10 outlets, with six packed together and four spaced out, letting you keep large power bricks away from the bunch, so you can actually use all the plugs. The surge protector is built to handle 2,880 joules over its lifespan, which should help you get plenty of use out of it.
See It Surge energy: 4,500 joules Clamping voltage: 400-500 volts Mounting holes: No Outlets: 8 Cord length: 6 feet Dimensions: 3” x 1.14” x 11.75”You may want to protect your most precious and expensive electronics with a premium surge protector, but none of us are going to get the best surge protectors and put them on every outlet around our house. Given all it can do, it also proves to be a fairly affordable unit, and APC even offers a lifetime warranty and a protection policy to top it off. With the APC Surgeries P11VNT3, you'll get 11 power outlets, including several that are spaced out to accommodate larger power bricks.
See It Surge energy: 1,710 joules Clamping voltage: 330 volts Mounting holes: Yes Outlets: 6 (3 USB) Cord length: 3 feet Dimensions: 2.49” x 14.2” x 1.48”If the last piece of your smart home puzzle is a voice-controlled surge suppressor with its own mobile app, then the Kasey Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip is just what you’re looking for. Using the mobile app, you can also group plugs and command them as a unit, and you can create scheduled events to toggle devices, or use IFTTT for additional programmability. Each outlet gets its own recessed button to turn it on or off.
The Pivotal arranges four outlets in standard spacing down the middle and then four more on each side that can also pivot up to 90 degrees. It also features a convenient cable trap, so you can thread most or all of your cords through a channel at one end, keeping everything tidy.
It also includes coax and DSL/telephone port walkthroughs. The Pivotal doesn’t have a reset table circuit breaker, but it offers a beefy rating of 4320 joules. See It Surge energy: 1,050 joules Clamping voltage: 400 volts Mounting holes: No Outlets: 2 Cord length: n/a Dimensions: 3.5” x 2.5” x 1.75”If you’re a frequent traveler, the gear you take on the road is probably unprotected.
It’s a compact two-outlet surge protector that has a fully retractable three-prong plug for easy packing, and features a pair of outlets along with DSL/telephone sockets. Tripp Lite managed to pack 1050 joules of protection in this small package, but be aware that it will eventually fail with a closed circuit, so keep an eye on the status light. See It Surge energy: 4,320 joules Clamping voltage: 330 volts Mounting holes: Yes Outlets: 12 Cord length: 6 feet Dimensions: 1.3" x 5" x 12.3”APC’s P12U2 is a go-to option for people who have a lot of things to plug in.
The power cable also has a rotating shoulder, so you can orient it in any direction without bending or kinking the cable. It has a respectable rating of 4,320 joules, but like the other APC on this list, how it handles the loss of surge protection is a little dicey. The surge suppressor may cut off current to your equipment, or let it continue to flow with an indicator in the status light, depending upon how the Move fail.
The aesthetics may be lost if you keep your power strip behind furniture, but it’s hard to deny the beauty of this polished aluminum case with elegantly beveled edges and braided power cable. Otherwise, this is a pretty typical surge protector, though its eight outlets are generously spaced to accommodate oversize plugs. Austere’s rating of 4,000 joules should last longer than similar models, though when it eventually fails, it’ll continue to power your gear.
See It Surge energy: 1,500 joules Mounting holes: No Outlets: 8 (6 USB) Cord length: 6 feet Dimensions: 2” x 5.25" x 12"Sometimes a standard power strip can get pretty cramped when you've got a lot plugged into it. A tower-style surge protector can help ensure the things you plug into it don't get in the way of one another, and the Bested Power Strip Tower is a phenomenal option.
This tower also features six USB ports on the corners, and each can offer up to 2.4 amps depending on what the device on the other end of the cable supports. See It Surge energy: 1,445 joules Battery Backup: 1500VA/1000W Mounting holes: No Outlets: 12 (2 x USB) Cord length: 5 feet Dimensions: 11" x 14" x 3.9”With an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) you're protecting your devices differently.
Most surge suppressors rely on a device called a metal oxide variety (MOVE) to divert excess current to the ground, “clamping” the voltage to a certain level to protect your electronics.Move don’t last forever, and depending on the design, can continue to behave like a dumb power strip and pass power to your equipment, or fail “safe,” cutting off power to your gear. I’d recommend using a suppressor that opens the circuit when the Move eventually fail, so your equipment isn’t left unprotected.
The downside is your stuff may power down unexpectedly, and you’ll have to buy a new surge suppressor to get back in business. The clamping value, in contrast, measures how much voltage gets through during any single spike, where a lower number is better for your gear.
You might want to find a model that spaces outlets far apart or uses some sort of pivoting system to let you fit oversized plugs on the strip. The find print can be onerous, and I guarantee you’ll never collect money over an equipment failure that resulted from a surge -related problem.
For a very reasonable amount of money, you could put an almost literal firewall between your expensive (and cheap) electronics and the juice coming in from a wall socket. A surge protector throws itself into the line of fire, sacrificing its components again and again so that your devices stay functional.
The surge protector takes a hit instead of your hardware or A/V system, and it could potentially save you hundreds to many thousands of dollars, depending on what you have connected. You want to make the modest investment in a surge protector for the same reason you want to have a backup of your data: because there’s no going back after an adverse event.
Welkin 12-outlet Pivotal (model BP112230-08) Pivoting outlets, a low clamping threshold, high durability, and a cable organizer combine to make this a great surge protector at a reasonable price. Welkin’s 12-Outlet Pivotal Surge Protector (BP112230-08) won’t cut off power when it can no longer protect your devices, but it does offer low clamping voltage (330V on all legs).
APC’s Surgeries Performance P12U2 is our new favorite surge protector that automatically cuts power when protection ends. If you don’t need those two extra outlets and the USB charging ports, the Trip Lite TLP1008TEL remains a good pick for about $14 less.
APC Surgeries (model P11VNT3) A solid entry that falls short in a couple of choices about continuous power and clamping voltage. APC’s Surgeries is only slightly less flexible than Welkin’s offering, and it won’t cut off power to your devices unless its main line-neutral protection fails.
If you place tremendous value in design, the Austere VII Series surge protector is the most attractive device in this category. With a brushed-aluminum enclosure, polished beveled edges, and braided-fabric power cord, we haven’t seen anything else that comes close in terms of its industrial design.
Advanced features, such as USB charging For travel models, how many outlets does it have while remaining compact and versatile, in addition to everything above? Features you typically won’t find in surge suppressors such as these are alarms or networked intelligence to alert a computer (and manage a controlled shutdown), or act as an Internet of Things device, to warn about electrical anomalies or provide a status report.
That’s changed dramatically over several decades, as utilities have cleaned up what’s delivered to homes and buildings. Depending on the age of a utility’s systems and how frequently lightning strikes occur, however, surges and huge spikes might be regular occurrences.
Surge protectors of the category we tested use metal oxide various (Move), a kind of circuitry that absorbs voltages above the clamping level and effectively burn away over time. In an area with erratic voltage, your surge protector might wear out in months or a few years; on other electrical systems, it might last indefinitely.
Trip Telephone jacks and coax connectors on a surge protector don’t add much to its value. You can compare surge protectors’ durability, or the period over which the Move will remain effective, by looking at the number of joules advertised for the product.
Joules provide a rough basis of comparison that’s nearly impossible to test in lab conditions, as you’d have to simulate a variety of surges over long periods of time with multiple identical units of each model. Certification from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) provides assurance that the product has been independently tested.
We’ll use joules as a rough rule of thumb, as it tends to parallel differences in price and other features, too. If you have a surge protector already in place somewhere in your house or office, go take a quick glance at it and come back.
ThinkstockThe class of surge protectors reviewed here rely on Move (metal oxide various) to absorb excess voltage. Older surge protectors were typically designed around the concern that computers had spinning hard disk drives (HDDs) inside, and that it was better to lose surge protection and keep providing power than to drop AC power when protection had failed.
I confess that I only learned this in 2016; I checked mine, and had to replace one a few months later when that light suddenly disappeared. That’s the biggest choice you’ll face, and we considered it in the six surge protectors we brought in for testing.
We’ve provided a sentence about warranties in each review, just so you’re informed, but don’t count on collecting unless you’re a good record keeper. Because you can plug so much power into a multi-outlet device, it’s very easy to overload the thing into which you’re “daisy-chaining” the surge protector, which can cause product failure or even an electrical fire.
You can use one of those clever 3-to-2 adapters that I know too well as the owner of an old house, in which only about half the outlets were ever upgraded to modern standards. Some surge protectors have an LED that lights up if it’s not, or you can purchase a cheap plug-in detector from a hardware store.
If you don’t follow the guidelines spelled out for plugging your surge protector into the wall, you can damage it void the product warranty and any damaged-items protection that comes with it.