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Best smart surge protectors for 2020

The all-important surge protector has become a mainstay of desktop and entertainment setups, protecting a variety of devices from damage due to electrical surges from lightning and other problems. And that traditional surge protector still works great, as long as you have enough outlets for all your cables. But there’s a new and improved version available: The smart surge protector, which adds new features and makes your surge protector much more than just a regular power strip hiding on the floor.

These new smart models have a lot of clever features, but our reviews and research helped us narrow down which options are the most useful for the average setup. We chose the TP-Link Smart Power Strip for our top pick with its high-tech smart options. If you prefer a cheaper option, be sure to check the whole list, or take a look at the best smart plugs instead.

TP-Link Smart Power Strip

In theory, there’s a dizzying number of potential features a “smart” surge protector could have. In practice, this TP-Link power strip has all the most popular features at once, making it a great pick for owners that want the latest smart options for controlling (and protecting) their devices.

Using the app, you can both control if outlets turn devices on or off and see how much energy they are using so you can turn off devices that look like they are using too much power even when you don’t need them. There are also three USB ports for connecting and charging your USB devices, a staple for smart surge protectors that make them more useful for today’s mobile devices (although you also need the power strip within easy reach for this to be really useful). There’s even voice command compatibility so you can control which devices the strip powers by talking to Alexa, Cortana, or Google Assistant. It supports 100-125V input.

The only real downside is that the TP-Link Smart Power Strip is a little small for larger computer systems or entertainment setups. But if you only need six outlets and love every smart feature you can get, it’s definitely the best surge protector for you.

Teckin Smart Power Strip

Teckin’s surge protector is a smaller device designed to sit up on your desk with you and help you manage everyday devices, while still protecting them from surges. There are four outlets and four USB ports, which can be separately controlled (outlets individually and USB ports as a whole) and scheduled via the Teckin app. The app is a little less inviting than TP-Link’s, but it also provides some extra options for exactly how you want to control devices. The Teckin Smart Power Strip also comes with voice assistant compatibility with Alexa/Google Assistant and works with IFTTT. It’s rated for devices between 110V and 240V, with a 10A maximum load.

Nooie Smart Power Strip

Nooie’s smart strip is designed to fit just about anywhere. It has gaps in the back for hooking onto wall screws, and four rubber pads to prevent slipping if you want to put it on a desk. The app supports schedules and timers as well as direct control, plus voice compatibility with both Alexa and Google Assistant. There’s also a couple of quality of life features we really appreciate, like remembering your settings even after a blackout, and a Travel Mode that randomly turns devices on and off to help deter burglars when you’re away. These features make the Nooie Smart Power Strip especially fitting for use around the home.

APC Smart Plug Surge Protector

APC has a unique setup for its surge protector: Five of the outlets can connect to Wi-Fi for app control, while one cannot. Meanwhile, two of the four USB ports can be controlled independently by the user, while two are simply standard charging ports. All outlets are surge protected and support up to a maximum of 15A.

This setup of the APC Smart Plug Surge Protector lets you mix and match your connections based on what you want smart control over, and what you really don’t care about managing with an app. That makes it useful for setups with a variety of different devices. There’s also voice compatibility with Alexa (no Google Assistant, though).

Powrui Wall Charger and Nightlight

If you’re going to have a surge protector as part of your accessible system, shouldn’t it be easy to find, no matter where you put it? This charge offers six outlets and two USB charging ports…and a nightlight frame that can light up in the dark and has an ambient light sensor to turn on automatically. This makes it a lot easier to find the outlets, especially the USB ports, if you are gaming or working in the dark. The charger supports up to 2.4A and an input voltage of 125V, plus intelligent voltage sensing that can respond to power needs. Note that the Powrui Wall Charger and Nightlight doesn’t have a cord, so you do have to plug it directly into a wall outlet.

Austere VII Series

We have surge protectors for a variety of common situations, but we wanted to include an option for less common situations: Demanding and professional A/V setups where the quality of the connection is important, as well as environmental protection. That’s why this power strip was made: Its eight outlets and USB ports include insulation to protect from electromagnetic interference and constant power regulation to protect from even smaller spikes due to electricity problems or other issues. It’s also one of the few strips to include a USB-C port, as well as USB-A. The outlets are also carefully designed to support even larger plugs without creating issues: They keep power below 15A and support up to 4,000 joules. However, the professional quality of Austere VII Series does come with a high price tag.

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