13 Best Surge Protectors (Review) In 2021
- 1. AmazonBasics 8-Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector
- 2. Witeem 12-Outlet Power Stripe Surge Protector
- 3. GE 10 ft 6-Outlet Surge Protector
- 4. Tripp Lite 12 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip
- 5. KMC 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip 2-Pack
- 6. Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector
- 7. PHILIPS Space Saving 6-Outlet Surge Protector
- 8. FDTEK Power Strip Surge Protector with USB Ports
- 9. APC 11-Outlet Surge Protector Strip with USB Ports
- 10. Accell Power Air Surge Protector and USB Charging Station
- 11. Tripp Lite 3 Outlet Portable Surge Protector Power Strip
- 12. GoGreen Power 6-Outlet Surge Protector with 6ft Cord
- 13. AmazonBasics 6-Outlet Surge Protector with 2 USB Ports
The Best Surge Protector
If you have a station from where you control your entire house and device, you must invest in the best surge protector to ensure that you can protect your devices from getting fried before it’s too late. But why are surge protectors so useful?
If you’ve ever used an indoor or outdoor extension cord, you’ll see plenty of similarities between the two. They allow you to power multiple devices and electronics from a single socket. However, too many devices plugged in at once is a severe fire hazard, and this is where surge protectors and uninterruptible power supplies shine.
The best surge protectors come with overload protection and automatic shutoff with a circuit breaker to prevent a short circuit. They keep the voltage at a safe level, ensuring you’ll never experience a blackout in the middle of a movie or video game. If you’re someone who relies on gadgets and gizmos all day long, power surge protection is vital, and after a lot of research (and one too many fried smartphones), we’ve found the best of the bunch.
6 or 12-foot power cord
4500-joule energy rating
Resettable circuit breaker
LED indicator light
Our best choice for the best surge protector is the AmazonBasics 8-Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector available with either a six or 12-foot power cord and an impressive 4500-joule energy rating to deliver consistent protection and performance and the resettable circuit breaker makes it easy to use.
The casing is fireproof to prevent external or internal damage, while the LED indicator shows active surge protection to keep you in the loop. The light might be a little too bright for some, though, so try to position it towards the wall rather than in your face so you can get some rest.
Sliding dust covers
Wide spaced outlets
Green light is a little too bright
4 Fast USB charging ports
UL listed copper power cord
Fireproof casing and materials
The Witeem 12-Outlet Power Stripe Surge Protector includes multiple fast-charge USB ports so you can power your smaller devices as well as larger ones at the same time with little risk of overloading. It can handle a comprehensive 4360 joules, managing the power with ease, while the UL listed copper cord ensures safety.
The overload protection ensures further safety, capable of handling 1875 watts as the maximum load. However, some of the 12 outlets, while convenient, may be too close together, so you’re limited with the number of simultaneous outlets you can use at once, although this is often safer.
1875W maximum load
Outlets may be too close for some plugs
Variety of power cord lengths
Twist-to-close safety outlets
Integrated Circuit Breaker
Aside from the standard 10 feet cord length, the GE 10 ft 6-Outlet Surge Protector is also available with a variety of cord sizes to suit all situations, including office-based demands as well as for the home. It can’t handle the sheer power of other options in our selection, but its 800 joules is still suitable for low-power devices, while the outlets boast a twist-to-close design that ensures safety, especially around curious kids.
The outlets could also benefit from being slightly further apart, but for clutter-reduction, there are few better options available if you’re looking for simplicity and reliability.
Suitable for a range of environments
Automatic shutdown technology
Some plugs may cover more than one socket
Premium surge protection performance
2880 joule rating
EMI/RFI noise filtering
Phone and satellite jacks
If you’re searching for the premium pick for surge protectors, this Tripp Lite 12 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip is exactly what you need. Its 2880 joule rating delivers superb peace of mind, while the EMI/RFI noise filtering reduces interference.
It also boasts keyhole mounting slots for easy storage, while diagnostics LEDs take the guesswork out of troubleshooting. However, despite its premium design, there aren’t any USB ports, which means anyone with a USB C device will need to look elsewhere.
Keyhole mounting slots
Transformer outlets for bulky AC adapters
No USB ports
900-joule energy rating
4-foot power cord length
Lighted power switch
The KMC 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip 2-Pack delivers some of the very best value around and is ideal for smaller demands such as simple phone or tablet charging next to the sofa while watching a movie. It comes with a 4-foot cord length, which offers a decent reach, while the ETL listed design ensures safety.
It is highly affordable, and this is further encouraged with the lifetime warranty to ensure protection. It’s fantastic for simple use, but if you’re looking for something with a little more bite, this may be slightly too basic for your needs.
Mountable keyhole design
Lifetime product warranty
May be too basic for some household needs
4320-joule energy rating
8-foot cord length
6000-volt maximum spike voltage
Safeguard for computers and other electronic devices
The Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector boasts a strong rating that clocks in at a dependable 4320 joules for near-unrivaled performance. Its eight-foot cord length offers superb flexibility wherever you are in the room, and it can also handle an incredible 6000-volt maximum spike, so you know you’re working with something impressive.
It’s more dependable than standard power strips, and it comes with enough outlets to charge multiple devices at once with no hassle. However, you might find it a little tricky to plug your devices into the outlets the first time you use it, so make sure not to damage anything.
Power filtration system to minimize noise
Cord management system included
Takes some time to install plugs on first try
Multiple pack sizes
Easy-to-see LED Protected light
The PHILIPS Space Saving 6-Outlet Surge Protector is a great budget pick that should appeal to anyone looking for a convenient and straightforward solution with multiple outlets. The 900 joules offer decent protection for smaller devices, and the space-saving design is ideal for anyone short on room.
The LED Protected light is one of the best features we’ve come across throughout our research, and the sleek modern design puts standard models to shame. For a one-stop charging station, it’s perfect, but this also means it’s not suitable for heavy-duty demands, such as powering a TV or refrigerator.
Ideal for creating a charging station
Helps to protect your devices
Not ideal for more demanding equipment protection needs
4 USB ports
6 AC outlets
Fire-resistant casing and components
The FDTEK Power Strip Surge Protector with USB Ports includes six outlets and consistently dependable overload surge protection that makes it one of the most impressive and versatile options around. Its long lifetime is ideal for consistent use, as is the fire-resistant casing should anything go wrong.
It can handle a maximum of 1250 watts, and as it comes with multiple safety certificates, including FCC, Rohs, CE, and UL, you can definitely rely on it. Despite this, the casing still feels a little flimsy, so you best hope that everything it claims is accurate.
Convenient 4.6-foot cord length
1250 watt maximum power
Multiple safety certifications
Plastic casing feels a little cheap
2880 joule energy rating
90-degree space-saving plug
Two USB ports
6-foot power cord
Boasting one of the most comprehensive number of outlets in our selection, the APC 11-Outlet Surge Protector Strip with USB Ports is ideal for large households or office spaces. It comes with a 2880 joule energy rating as well as a lifetime warranty that gives you the peace of mind you need to make a confident purchase.
The status LEDs provide up-to-date information about the condition of the outlets, while the dual USB ports give it a 21st-century flavor. The safety shutters are also useful, especially for those with kids and pets, but the power button feels a little too flimsy for us.
Ideal for home or office
Useful status LEDs
Power button feels flimsy
Green LED power indicator
Blue LED surge protection indicator
15-amp circuit breaker
Two USB ports
The Accell Power Air Surge Protector and USB Charging Station is a uniquely shaped option that might appeal to anyone who needs a more universal solution to fit on their desk for multiple staff members. It comes with six outlets plus two USB ports and also boasts dual LED features that indicate power and surge protection status.
The scratch and skid-resistant base keep appliance secure wherever you put it, and there is also a mounting option if you have space. However, it’s still much bulkier than the photographs suggest, which could impact where you can place it.
6-foot cord length
Skid and scratch-resistant base
Unique circular design
A little bulkier than expected
On-the-go surge protection
Two USB charging ports
Suitable for a range of device protection
The Tripp Lite 3 Outlet Portable Surge Protector Power Strip is a genius product perfect for anyone who needs surge protection while on the move. It boasts two USB ports in addition to the standard outlets, although these aren’t compatible with USB C, and its 540-joule rating is much more impressive than you’d expect.
The low-profile design allows it to slot easily into your backpack wherever you go, and it will protect a range of devices, including laptops and your smartphone. The carry case is also included to protect it from damage.
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Carrying case included
Secure rubber feet on base
No USB C charging capability
15 Amp breaker / Rocker Switch combo
Right angle plug
250-joule energy rating
Suitable for a range of devices
Heavy-duty power cord
Boasting a 15 amp breaker and Rocket Switch combo, the GoGreen Power 6-Outlet Surge Protector with 6ft Cord is much more useful than the initial basic design first lets on. It is compatible with multiple devices, and the heavy-duty power cord makes it more durable than similar products in the same price range.
There are two color options, and the mountable design makes it easy to hide for cord management, but these still fail to overcome the fact that, despite it being competent, there are definitely better products out there for you to explore.
2 color options
On/Off indicator switch
Casing feels a little cheap
Two USB charging ports
1000 joule suppression rating
Protects from power surges and spikes
Surface mounting template included
On/Off switch with LED
The AmazonBasics 6-Outlet Surge Protector with 2 USB Ports is a versatile option that offers a 1000 joule suppression rating to protect from surges and spikes and keep your devices safe. The On/Off switch has an easy-to-read LED that isn’t too bright nor too dark, while the closable slots will keep kids safe.
A mounting template is also included, but this still doesn’t make the actual mounting any easier, and the size means it can be a little fiddly, especially if you’re short on space. Despite this, it’s still a useful option, especially for dorm rooms or bedrooms.
Compatible with grounded AC outlet
Power trip support
Closable outlet slots to protect children
May be a little tricky to mount to desks and walls
Features To Consider With Surge Protectors
The joule rating is the most important part of the surge protector as it determines how many joules the protector can handle before overloading and failing. Because of this, the more joules the better, as this means it can handle plenty of power with no issues. The more valuable your devices and equipment, the higher the joule rating should be.
More outlets will offer more convenience and allow you to power multiple devices at once. Just like power strips enable you to multiply the use of a single wall outlet, power surge protectors will do the same while also protecting your devices. This is ideal for charging several low-power items, such as phones, tablets, and lamps in one place.
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Orientation refers to the direction of the outlets so you can get the most from your surge protector power strip. The recommended direction is to sit perpendicular to the length of the unit, as this will enable you to plug more devices in with less hassle. Some items will have rotating outlets, while others 'close' when they are not in use. This provides a safety aspect, especially if you have kids or pets. Some plugs might be too large for some outlets, though, and they may cover additional outlets, so make sure to check the size when considering which of the best surge protectors is right for you.
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The size of the outlet surge protector will determine where it will fit comfortably. If it is too large, you may struggle to keep it discreet, which could affect the overall aesthetic of your home. As some protectors are portable, one that is too large might take up too much space in your backpack, lessening its portability, also.
Many modern surge protectors come with multiple USB ports, including three USB or four USB ports. These are useful for charging phones, at the same time as powering your computer or other devices without taking up additional outlets.
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Wall mounting is a simple but effective system for cord length management and keeping the surge protection unit out of sight. Many products include keyholes on the back of the protector, which enable you to hang from a wall or under a desk to keep it off the floor. Install screws the correct width apart and hang the surge protector from it. This will keep your workstation, office, or room tidy and also prevent trip hazards.
Other Factors to Consider
How Surge Protectors Work
The way surge protectors work may be confusing at first, and many people may struggle to understand the difference between these products and standard power strips. While power strips allow you to power multiple devices from a single outlet, power surge protectors operate slightly differently.
A surge protector's principal job is to prevent your electronic devices from surging, which is where the transient voltage raises too high. As the average voltage of households and offices is 120 volts, you should not try to power too many devices at once, as this could exceed the 120 volts.
The benefits of a surge protector is that is will prevent this surge or spike from happening. The surge protector will dampen the amount of current trying to pass, which protects your devices from overloading, which could cause a power outage in the home or even ruin the neighborhood circuit altogether. Even if this doesn’t happen, it can still cause severe damage to the components, which will cause them to malfunction sooner.
Surge Protector FAQ
Q: How long do surge protectors last?
There is no definitive lifespan for surge protectors, however, most experts suggest that the average time you can use a standard surge protector is two years. After this, it’s essential to replace the product to protect your devices and your power supply.
However, some surge protectors will last longer, whereas others may last a shorter amount of time. The lifespan will depend on where you live and how often you experience power surges. The more power surges your home town encounters, the shorter your power surge protector will last. Likewise, if you live in an area that rarely experiences power surges, you can rely on the surge protection for longer.
Q: How many devices can I plug into a surge protector?
If there is one mistake that most people make, it is the number of devices and appliances they plug into the surge protector at once. However, even with the best surge protectors that boast a high joule rating, this isn’t advised. Just because there are eight outlets, for example, does not mean you need to (or can) use all of them at once.
We recommend avoiding plugging too many larger appliances into a single surge protector, so avoid items such as TVs, electric heaters, and refrigerators. You can still get away with plugging smaller devices such as phones or tablets, as this will not require too much energy at once and minimize the risk of a damaging power surge or spike.
Q: Should you plug your TV into a surge protector?
You can plug your TV into a surge protector, but only if there are no other appliances with similar power levels. While surge protectors are useful for minimizing the risk of overloading the circuits, they cannot handle too much. Just like regular power strips, it is unwise to rely on them for everything, even if it might seem more convenient.
A surge protector will be suitable for a TV plus smaller plugs, such as for your phone, but anything more could cause severe damage to your home power supply circuits and devices. If you are already using surge protection for multiple devices, you are better off plugging the TV directly into the wall socket.
Q: Are surge protectors a waste of money?
A high-quality surge protector is not a waste of money, especially when using it to protect your home power supply from overloading. However, even the best surge protectors can experience problems, so you should still be careful about what appliances you use with them.
The only reason a surge protector could be a waste of money is if you misuse it, which is the same as any other electrical accessory. As many of the best surge protectors offer warranty and insurance policies up to a specific amount, often anywhere between $5000 and $30,000, with some offering, even more, it could save you a lot of hassle if something goes wrong.
How Surge Protectors Work - How Stuff Works
Why (and When) You Need to Replace Your Surge Protector - How to Geek
Can Surge Protectors Save Your Electronics? - Selective