And if you are willing to pay more, you’ll benefit from knowing that this model is rated at a sufficient 1710 joules of protection. Functionality-wise it’s near-identical, offering voice control and scheduling support for owners of Amazon Alexa and Google Voice-compatible devices.
Similarly to the Double surge protector, its three USB ports automatically prioritize charging speed depending on how many gadgets are connected. Its 1000 joule rating is enough to cope with most average electronic devices, and you get the added benefit of having five USB Type-A ports for charging smartphones, tablets and suchlike.
Four of those use Smart IC tech that distributes power evenly, so the fewer appliances that are connected, the faster they charge. Two power buttons turn banks of six outlets on and off at a time, so there’s no option to them off individually which could pose a problem for control freaks.
If you’re looking at rocking out with a heavy metal surge protector, this 6-outlet model from Trip Lite fits the bill. With a compact design, what it lacks in space to accommodate larger transformers it makes up for in safety features.
In addition to thermal fusing for fail-safe protection and a multi-component firewall, the model packs a high 3330-joule rating and a solid metal housing to prevent it from bursting into flames in the event of a major electrical spike. With its grey-and-black two-tone design, it’s arguably one of the more aesthetically appealing beefy surge protectors, so it won’t look out of place in home or office.
Reasons to avoid While there are sturdier surge protectors out there, this basic plastic model from Amazon offers the highest joule rating on our list for the lowest cost. Its power switch integrates with a 15Amp overload reset table circuit breaker, and built-in LEDs indicate when devices are protected, and wiring is grounded.
If you’re seeking a surge protector that lets you control sockets and appliances with your voice, this model from Pecking is by far the more affordable option on our list. Something to consider is that this model supports a maximum 10-amp load, versus the TP-Link’s 15 amps, and Pecking for reasons unknown hasn’t specified its surgeprotector’s joule rating.
Schneider knows that bending down to unplug appliances can be a pain, which is why it’s given this Desk Mount surge protector a nifty bookable design. If you’re going to sling this unconventional surge protector over a desk or partition, just be aware that Schneider recommends it has a thickness of 9.98 – 2.4 inches for an optimal fit.
Other features include diagnostic LEDs that warn when surge suppression has kicked in, and child safety covers for peace of mind. With 3-line basic surge protection at a rating of 200 joules, this AmazonBasics model is suitable for connecting small appliances such as phones, lamps and other bedside gadgets.
If an electrical spike occurs, the surgeprotector’s red status LED indicator will switch off to let you know that it’s done its job and needs replacing; which won’t be an issue, as Amazon sends you two in the box. Reasons to avoid Surge protectors with multiple outlets aren’t always needed or practical, especially when on the move.
For a portable alternative to bigger wired models, the SurgeCube from Welkin plugs directly into a wall and weighs a measly 3.2 ounces, making it perfect for packing into a backpack or suitcase. It’s the most affordable type of single-outlet surge protector from Welkin, so it gives a pass on extras such as USB ports or voice compatibility but on the plus side features two LEDs to let you know when devices are grounded and protected.
Welkin has done well to squeeze those plugs into a compact design, which on the flip side means there’s less room to connect larger transformers compared to rival 12-outlet models. It features power filtration to operate at whisper-quiet volumes even under full load, and if you want to place it out of sight and earshot then that won’t be a problem thanks to its long 8ft cable.
The devices contain metal oxide various that suppress overvoltage to a safe level and act as a bodyguard for valuable electronic equipment. The 12 outlets, including 8 along the side that tilt 90 degrees, you can fit all manner of power blocks at myriad angles.
It’s ideal for entertainment or computer workstations and features filter banks to keep equipment safe from line noise. It’s also features a 1.8 m cord with has a handy 180º rotation plug that can be adjusted for devices in different angles.
While that had changed drastically over the years, depending on how old the appliances and utility systems are, surges and spikes may still happen. A surge protector basically works as a shield, as it blocks excessive voltage when it exceeds a certain extreme point.
They're more likely in country areas, but the thing is you don't even have to be struck by lightning to damage your electronic equipment. Even the normal ups and downs of electricity supply can damage your equipment over time.
These smaller spikes, surges and voltage drops gradually weaken electronic components and eventually lead to equipment failure. It's worth looking for good quality power surge protection, but it isn't always easy to identify what's right for you by what's written on the box.
Our past tests have found there is often little correlation between the joule/clamping voltage ratings on the packaging and the surgeprotector's actual performance, so it pays to be sure. However, surge protector boards or UPS (uninterruptible power supply) units are cheaper and can be used by anyone.
A UPS do all that too, but they provide a back-up power supply for a limited amount of time in case of a blackout. This means if the power fails you have a bit of time to save your work on your computer and shut it down normally.
Some UPS units also smooth out fluctuations in your power supply, helping to protect your equipment in the longer term. A fail safe, which prevents the unit working as a normal power board if surge protection fails.
Also check out the spacing of the outlets if you need to connect larger plugs like transformer blocks. A circuit breaker is designed to cut power to the board to prevent damage and possibly even a fire.
Whether surge protected or not, most power boards will have a circuit breaker fuse or overload switch built in. It's important to note that an overload switch does NOT provide any form of surge protection.
Once the UPS detects significant power sag, or a total dropout, it immediately triggers the management software to save your documents and shut down the computer properly. How the VA rating translates into extended uptime will also depend on the number and type of devices you have connected and the capacity of its batteries.
This type of unit should be matched with a big enough battery to give you enough time to save your work and properly shut down your PC in the event of a power blackout. Most home users probably won't do this, and you don't have to because you can get a ballpark figure by looking at the power supply rating of your computer and associated equipment that you want to connect to the UPS.
Though Volt-Amperes (VA) are the standard measurement used to describe the capacity of UPS units, it's not the full story. A good rule of thumb is that 1.5-2 times the wattage load will give you the minimum VA rating to look for.
This will give you a unit that will handle the load of the connected equipment when the power cuts out. It's generally much easier to look to the manufacturer's website or product information for a UPS selection guide.
For example, based on the usage scenario of 24hr/day, at 25c per kilowatt hour (kWh), the annual running cost of a 1500VA system would be almost $60. 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. This isn’t the most robust surge protector, but it does offer fast-charging USB-C (up to 45 watts) and USB-A charging ports in an attractive form factor.
Welkin’s 12-Outlet Pivotal SurgeProtector (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. We considered several common factors for three scenarios: a home-entertainment system, such as a TV, disc player, streaming media box, and receiver system; a home office or cubicle with a desktop computer and peripherals, including monitors and hard drives; and an on-the-go option, if you want to travel with a multi-outlet strip that also gives you piece of mind, especially in hotels and conference rooms, where you don’t know what kind of power will be provided.
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. Electronics and all other electrically powered anything for a home or office can accept brief amounts of much higher maximum voltages, which you can logically determine must be true as modest surges are routine and electronic equipment in homes isn’t constantly failing without a surge protector ; it’s the big surges that need to be blocked.
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.
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. Power comes in over line and passes through neutral, and cycles through negative and positive voltage; that’s one leg (known as L-N).
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.