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’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. We found it particularly handy for use on a project/craft table where we use our computers, glue guns, cordless tool chargers, and soldering irons.
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. 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.