If you're like most of us, you've probably invested quite a bit in your electronics. If you've ever had a power surge fry your circuit board and destroy your data, you know how vital a surge protector is to keeping your electronics intact. There are so many different surge protectors on the market, however, which can make it difficult to know which ones are best. Lucky for you, we've rounded up our picks for the best surge protectors you can buy right now below.
TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip
The best surge protector overall
- Six smart outlets
- Compatible with voice commands
- Has energy-monitoring features
- A bit of a short cord: only around 3 feet long
Today’s best surge protectors don’t just protect electrical devices; they also enable all kinds of useful connections. This excellent TP-Link strip, for example, has six smart outlets that can be individually controlled with an app, giving protection while allowing you to set schedules and automatically turn them on or off. It’s also compatible with voice commands via Alexa or Google Assistant. Three USB ports provide alternative connections for charging other devices, too.
If all this wasn’t enough, this power strip also has energy-monitoring features, measuring how much power everything is consuming so you can decrease power use, if necessary. You can also check out our larger list of the best smart surge protectors for more options like this one.
Belkin Advanced Surge Protector (BV112234-08)
The best heavy-duty surge protector
- Connects plenty of devices: 12 outlets
- Sliding safety covers
- A high joule energy rating (more protection)
- No USB ports
Having spent many years working with outlets and plug-in solutions, Belkin has experience making durable surge protectors. This extra-large 12-outlet model offers 4,00 joules of surge protection and includes an 8-foot cord for easier positioning in offices and home theaters. It's also designed to support Ethernet, coaxial, and telephone cable connections so that all your devices get some security (no USB connections, unfortunately). The design is both mountable and includes sliding safety covers. Businesses will also appreciate the included $250,000 warranty for connected equipment.
Eve Energy Strip
The best surge protector for Apple Users
- Apple HomeKit compatibility
- Power tracking
- Full protection against surges, overcurrent, and overvoltage.
- Only 3 outlets
Eve's surge protector is designed for Apple HomeKit compatibility, making it an excellent option for Apple users that prefer to stick to the Home app and like the idea of Siri compatibility. The compact design only includes three outlets, but they have plenty of space for clunky adapters, and there are handy indicator lights to show that surge protection is on, and which outlets are active. You can switch any of the outlets down with a single button to save on energy.
The surge protector also has a lot of value on the software side: App controls allow you to set up schedules, sync the outlets with other smart devices in your home, and track all power consumption through the device (including projected costs).
APC Desk Mount Power Station
The best option for small office setups
- Great space-saving design
- Has a USB-C charging port
- Ideal for limited desktop space
- USB-C charging
- U-shape limits some setups
This professional U-shaped protector is designed to hook onto the edge of a desk for much easier access than trying to position a strip on the floor (you can also put it over a cubical wall, etc.). It has a surge energy rating of 1,080 joules. This model is also one of the few available with a USB-C charging port, as well as two USB-A ports for other connections, making it a great fit for many offices.
Tripp Lite 10-Outlet
The best option for large and oddly shaped adapters
- LED diagnostic lights
- 10 outlets to accommodate more devices
- Four of the outlets are designed to handle bulky adapters
- No USB ports
Tripp Lite's contribution is a “home and office” surge protector suitable for various electronic setups. Its handy LED diagnostic lights keep you posted about outlet status. We especially liked that four of the outlets provide enough space to fit more awkwardly shaped adapter plugs. This cord measures a standard 8 feet long. You can also choose a version with coaxial jacks to protect your coaxial TV connections.
Anker 12-Outlet Power Strip
The best option for people with tons of devices
- Lots of ports and outlets: 12 outlets and three USB ports
- Safety features: LED indicator and Automatic Shutoff
- Fast phone charging
- Spacing of outlets is a bit cramped. May not be able to fit many bulky adapters
This power strip from Anker has plenty of safety features, a sizable number of outlets, and a lengthy 6-foot cord that allows you to power devices no matter where they are in the room. This surge protector has 12 AC outlets, which is more than enough for most people to connect all their devices. It also comes with three USB-A ports that are perfect for plugging in your phone and other mobile devices. Anker claims its surge protector can charge your phone faster than the original brick, cutting the time you need to connect your phone by up to one hour.
Aside from that, it has the standard safety features you would want in a surge protector. There is an LED indicator to let you know when your devices are protected, as well as an automatic shutoff to help protect them from overload.
Belkin 3-Outlet Wall Mount Surge Protector
The best compact, space-saving surge protector
- Two USB ports
- Convenient, compact wall-mounted design
- Cradle feature for a smartphone to sit while charging
- Only 3 outlets
This Belkin surge protector has a wall-mount option for setups that aim to raise the surge protector off the floor. Belkin put a lot of thought into the design of this three-outlet wall mount surge protector. Not only does it turn a single outlet into three, but there are two USB-A ports on it as well — while a small cutout on the top allows it to cradle a smartphone while it’s charging. Details like this go to show there’s a lot of utility packed into it.
360 Electrical Revolve
The best wall-mounted surge protector
- Compact design
- Outlets can fully rotate into different positions
- EMI/RFI filtration to help keep connections clean
- Wall mounts are the best solution for everyone
Sometimes it is difficult to wrestle all your cables into the proper position to hook into a surge protector, and that’s when something like the 360 Electrical Revolve comes in extra handy. This surge protector has four outlets that fully rotate into different positions, allowing you to position the outlet where it is most convenient to connect your device.
It comes in a compact form factor and includes an LED light to indicate active surge protection. The only downside to the Revolve is it only has four outlets. However, if you have a lean office setup that still requires fiddling with cables, the 360 Electrical Revolve is an excellent solution.
The main things to look for are the number of outlets, the spacing of those outlets, and the length of the surge protector’s cable. Basically, you should make sure that your surge protector has enough power outlets to accommodate all the devices you need to plug in, that there is enough room between outlets for all of your oddly-shaped or large plugs and power bricks, and that the cord (if it has one; some are wall-mounted) itself is long enough to reach your devices and your wall outlet. You may also want other helpful features such as USB ports for charging mobile devices and sliding safety covers for your outlets.
For surge protection, you should consider factors such as its surge protector joule rating, response time, and clamping voltage. The joule rating indicates the amount of energy a surge protector can absorb, and generally speaking, the higher that number, the better. Home improvement retailer Home Depot suggests a joule rating of over 600. Response times indicate how long it takes for a surge protector to respond to a surge. It’s generally recommended to get surge protectors with a nanosecond or less response time.
Finally, the clamping voltage is the voltage level where a given surge protector will reduce the surge. You’ll want a clamping voltage that is less than 400 volts.
You should plan on replacing your surge protector every several years. Their efficacy does decrease over time. If it's put to use a lot — if you get a lot of unexpected blackouts — you should replace it even more frequently.
It's not usually necessary. Some surge protectors, including some of our picks, have individual switches to turn certain outlets off if you want to save on electricity.
A surge protector is simply a power strip with added hardware designed to protect devices against power surges and voltage spikes.
Smart surge protectors may use a bit of extra power for their connections and indicators, but it's not an appreciable amount. Surge protection features themselves don't need an ongoing feed of electricity to do their job, so they won't waste any power.
If something uses delicate hardware like computer chips, a surge protector can help prevent damage. That includes your PC, modern televisions, laptops and phones (when plugged in for charging), game consoles and set-top boxes, and so on. As a rule, you don't want to plug too many "large" devices into the same surge protector, as this can diminish its efficacy and cause breakers to trip.
There are appliances that don't need to be plugged into a surge protector and actually aren't designed for it. That includes refrigerators, washers and dryers, space heaters and AC units, microwaves, and coffee makers.
These surge protectors are larger versions that are installed into the electrical panel of a house. They're designed to prevent surges at the source. However, they're also much more expensive than consumer-friendly surge protectors, and they aren't compatible with all house electrical systems.
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