We rely on our electronics for just about every aspect of our life, but all it takes is one electrical surge to fry all of our expensive equipment. That becomes doubly worrying if you’re working with a power strip, because a mistake with one appliance can quickly effect the whole strip. If you don’t have surge protectors in your home for your most important, electronics, you’re making a big mistake. After all, prevention is the best medicine.
All surge protectors aren’t created equally, but there’s also no singularly correct choice for the best surge protector. That’s why we’ve written surge protector reviews for a diverse twelve different options. You’ll also find a detailed guide here that can help you understand the specs and make an educated purchase.
The Best Surge Protectors
- Belkin 12-Outlet Surge Protector
- TP-LINK Kasa Smart WiFi Power Strip
- AmazonBasics 6-Outlet Surge Protector
- APC P10U2 Surge Protector
- GE Power Strip Surge Protector
- APC P11VNT3 Surge Protector
- Belkin SurgePlus USB Surge Protector
- Tripp Lite 8 Outlet Surge Protector
- APC UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector
- APC P11U2 Surge Protector
- BESTEK 8-Outlet Surge Protector
- T TECKIN Smart Power Strip
1. Belkin 12-Outlet Surge Protector
If your home office or entertainment room has turned into a crowded nest of wires and cables, Belkin's pivot-plug power strip could provide the remedy you need. The twelve outlets present should provide more than enough juice for even customers with the heaviest appetite for cool gadgets. Lending extra versatility is the eight foot cord, which assures that you won't have to arrange your room's setup just because of some awkwardly placed wall outlets. The fact that eight of these outlets can rotate up to 90 degrees helps with the positioning even more.
In addition to the twelve traditional outlets, this power surge protector also includes two coaxial outlets and a telephone and fax line. Combine the variety of different options packed into this single surge protector with the modest price tag, and you have an affordable option that can serve as the hub of any office space.
2. TP-LINK Kasa Smart WiFi Power Strip
TP-Link has joined the world of smart devices with the aggressive development of their Kasa line. The Kasa smart surge protector takes an otherwise competent all-arounder of a power strip and lends it with a full suite of smart functions. Were it not for the smart functionality, it would still be a strong if not exceptional surge protector. Six outlets are complemented by two ports for USB devices, and the surge protection functionality has been ETL certified.
But the selling point here is obviously the smart functionality, and it works well. It can be controlled by voice, and it's compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana devices. The proprietary app works well, and it allows you to easily control any devices in the Kasa ecosystem using a single interface. It also offers IFTTT ("If This Then That") support, so tech savvy owners can expand its utility even more.
3. AmazonBasics 6-Outlet Surge Protector
As with most of the products in the AmazonBasics line, this surge protector is far from a powerhouse. But it's one of the most affordable power strips with surge protection around, and being affordable isn't the same as being cheaply produced. The AmazonBasics strip is designed with a unique purpose in mind, and you should take that into consideration before making a purchase.
This is designed for use with less power hungry small devices like phone chargers, minor appliances, and lamps. If you're looking for a beside strip that you can use for your tablet or phone or a strip that can sit comfortably in your kitchen, the surge protector outlets here should suit your needs well. A high clamping amount gives it a respectably long life as well, and a Protected light lets you know when it's exceeded its comfortable levels of surge protection.
4. APC P10U2 Surge Protector
APC's P10U2 is essentially the counterpoint to the AmazonBasics. Rather than stuff their power strip with ultramodern features like smart accessibility, APC has focused on getting the fundamentals right. There's space on this strip for ten different devices, and they're smartly spaced to prevent overcrowding on the device. Four of these are built specifically to suit the needs of bulky transformers. Two USB ports are also included for easily and sensibly charging your phone or other mobile devices.
The real selling point of the SurgeArrest, as is the case with all APC surge protectors, is the admirable level of quality testing that goes into their products. All of their products are carefully tested to ensure that they comply with local agency safety requirements, and they undergo strict and thorough IEEE testing. That's a promise you won't find with many cheaper knockoff protectors on the market.
5. GE Power Strip Surge Protector
Like its AmazonEssentials counterpart, the GE power strip is a lean, budget priced surge protector that you can get for under ten bucks and still have money to spare. If you just want a strip that will protect appliances with modest power usage and you don't care about excess bells and whistles, this can suit your fundamental needs. The extra long cord allows you to get more reach in rooms where the wall outlets might not be ideally placed. While the six power outlets aren't heavy duty enough to handle serious appliances, they're perfectly suitable for everything from basic table lamps to laptops.
The joules rating is in a similar range to its AmazonEssentials counterpart, but the twist to close outlets provide an extra layer of safety for your electronics. And the GE name is one of the most well regarded in the business.
6. APC P11VNT3 Surge Protector
APC power surge protectors dominate our list of the best, and there's a reason for that. The factory testing employed by APC is practically unmatched in the industry, but this SurgeArrest model builds on the basics of the earlier entry in some impressive ways. Not only does it offer eleven different outlets, it's also an ethernet surge protector with space for telephone, DSL, and network cables in and out. Input and output for coaxial cable is included as well, making it a prime choice for either the office or a media center.
The durability here is top notch, and this power strip comes with some clever build features that put it near the top of the pack. Outlets are spaced appropriately to comfortably fit six transformers, and three separate LED lights give you a more precise level of monitoring than most other alternatives available today.
7. Belkin SurgePlus USB Surge Protector
Belkin's budget priced surge protector with USB is a refreshingly petite alternative to the bulky power strips that are so common in the industry. While its compact size means that it won't serve as a hub for all of your major gadgets, it's a great fit for smaller spaces where you might just have to hook up a small handful of devices. Three plugs occupy one face, while two USB ports sit at a perpendicular angle, and it can be fully rotated to accommodate the demands of your living situation.
The USB chargers are a highlight here. They utilize fast charging technology to get your phones and devices back in the game quicker, and the lightweight and cordless design makes it an ideal choice if you need a surge protector you can take with you on the road. A simple indicator light lets you know when your gadgets are protected.
8. Tripp Lite 8 Outlet Surge Protector
This Tripp Lite surge protector boasts some expertly crafted design and great build quality to go along with it. The five main outlets are well spaced, and a separate bank of three makes plenty of room for unwieldy transformers. The two diagnostic LEDs are simple but easy to read, and the illuminated on/off switch gives you manual control of the device while also coming with an automatic breaker to shut off power in the case of an emergency. Mounting slots on the back make it ideal for securing to a cabinet or desk and keeping it out of sight and out of mind.
All of the outlets come with safety covers that can keep them protected when they're not in use. The high-impact housing is durable and fire resistant, offering an extra layer of security in case the worst happens. The AC input cord is of similarly sturdy design.
9. APC UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector
This battery backup surge protector occupies the opposite end of the spectrum from something like the Belkin SurgePlus. It's big, bulky, and sure to stand out in the crowd. But it can provide you with a significantly higher level of confidence if you're looking to protect data on your hard drive. And fortunately, there's plenty of room for devices, so it's tailor made for use in a professional and tech heavy work environment. Five of the seven outlets available come with backup battery support. There's even a USB port for charging your phone, and you can count on it to treat you well even in the case of a power outage.
The battery itself is rated to last three to five years. You can count on it to provide you with 23 minutes of continuous usage in the case of an outage.
10. APC P11U2 Surge Protector
If you need a surge protector that's prepared to secure all of the equipment in your office or entertainment room, you'll definitely want to give the P11U2 a close look. It's one of the best reviewed options on the market, and its design is impressive. Two separate banks give you space for six transformers, and that's in addition to the bank with more closely spaced room for four more traditional cords. Then there's the two USB ports that can provide you with quick charging for your mobile devices or computer peripherals.
The plug itself makes use of a ninety degree rotation so it can comfortably sit in tighter spaces without you having to worry about fraying, and safety shutters lend extra protection to each of the included outlets. The three LED indicators give you an impressive amount of oversight when you need to troubleshoot an issue.
11. BESTEK 8-Outlet Surge Protector
Bestek's surge protector is designed with the needs of professional office appliances and high-end consumer electronics in mind, and you can rest easy when it's connected to even your high-end gadgets. It's respectable joules rating isn't the best in the business, but it's perfectly capable of supporting computers, printers, and stereos. The support for USB devices is also largely unmatched by competitors. There are four separate USB ports, each designed to provide a powerful charge of 4.2 amps. Meanwhile, EMI line filters prevent unnecessary noise from intruding on the operations of your devices.
The outlets themselves are widely spaced to give you plenty of room for your devices, and two are segregated from the rest to accommodate transformers. There are also child safety shutters on all of the outlets to prevent accidental electrocution.
12. T TECKIN Smart Power Strip
Despite its reasonable price, this Teckin strip presents some great features if you're looking to integrate it into your existing smart home or office. Four outlets and four USB ports are packed into this compact strip, and it offers both native support for some of the major virtual assistants and more complex options through the inclusion of IFTTT functionality. It can also be controlled on your phone or tablet via the free smart life app. The Teckin connects directly to WiFi and doesn't require a separate hub for smart functionality.
This power strip is UL approved and made of high-quality materials to ensure a premium level of durability and performance. Scheduling and timers allow you to moderate your power usage, and any smart device plugged in can be controlled as a group or individually.
Best Surge Protector Buyer’s Guide
What’s a Joules Protection Rating?
Figuring out how many outlets or how long a cord you need is a pretty practically consideration, but you also need to take the joules protection rating into account. A joules protection rating essentially tells you how much power a surge protecter can safely protect against in the case of a power spike. Naturally, the more high-end and complicated the equipment, the higher joules rating you’ll need, and you need to take into account how many devices you want plugged in.
Three small electronics can be reasonably protected by a surge protector with a joules rating of 1000. Anything in the range of 1000 to 2000 will provide you with the protection you need for traditional office equipment and power tools. You’ll want to look at a surge protector with over 2000 joules rating if you’re looking to use the surge protector as the hub for your computer or home entertainment center.
Bigger isn’t always better though. Consider the devices you intend to have hooked up to your protector, and look for a joules rating that’s adequate. A high end model certainly won’t be necessary when hooking up a blender or a toaster, but it’s an absolute necessity for your office computer tower.
Will These Models Work For an RV or Outdoors?
For the sake of focusing on the best surge protectors for office and home use, we had to limit our selection somewhat. You need to be aware that all of the protectors on our list are built primarily for use in indoor spaces.
Using a surge protector is generally not suggested in any circumstances, because exposure to moisture and debris can easily cause an electrical fire. While there are some outdoor surge protectors rated for use in the outdoors, they weren’t a primary consideration in our review process. You’ll want to be careful to track down a surge protector designed for the outdoors and consider hiring a professional to install a suitable setup.
RV surge protectors are a different category entirely. Available in either portable or hardwire options, they’re generally going to cost you significantly more money than a surge protector designed for use in a professional or traditional consumer environment. You’ll want to look into these more specialized options if you’re looking to protect the equipment in your recreational vehicle.
What’s the Advantage of a Battery Backup?
Many surge protectors come with a mechanism that automatically shuts down in the case of a power spike, but a traditional HDD can still be at risk in the case of a spike or power outage. While battery backups typically don’t offer a battery life of under an hour, they can give you the time you need to properly shut down a machine and prevent your data from being corrupted.
These devices are also great for connecting routers and modems. In the case of a power outage, you can get any online work you need done without losing your data. Professional gamers can benefit from the fact that their Twitch streams can stay in usage, while TV junkies won’t have to worry about losing their DVR recordings in the instance of a short term outage. Just keep in mind the joules limit for devices. Many are only rated for smaller devices like routers, modems, and hard drives.
A surge protector may seem like a simple device. Chances are that once you pick a model, you’ll forget all about it until there’s an emergency. But finding the right option can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a loss of expensive equipment. Consider your options carefully. There isn’t a bad model in our list, but the right option for your needs will vary depending on your personal situation.