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Best Surge Protector: Buying Guide & Product Reviews

Most people think of surge protectors only when their equipment is already beyond saving. However, the best time to look for a surge protector is while your equipment is still operating efficiently, as a protective measure. After all, prevention is better than cure, right?

The role of a surge protector is to create a buffer between the power coming from your wall socket and your electronic device. In a way, the surge protector sacrifices its own components to protect your devices from getting fried.

Now that we’ve established the importance of a surge protector it’s time we get into the real reason for this article. We wrote this guide to help you find the best surge protector for home or office use.

That’s because these power mediators are aimed at maintaining the voltage at a certain level so that it doesn’t fry your circuitry. Instead of damaging your A/V or hardware system, the surge protector takes the heat repeatedly to prolong the lifespan of your electronic devices and equipment.

When it comes to using and maintaining electronics, it’s always best to stay several steps ahead and take protection measures that will save you money in the long run.

What is a Surge Protector?

As the name implies, the main aim of a surge protector is to safeguard electronic appliances and devices against disturbing line noise and power surge damage. Depending on the model, you may be able to plug your surge protector directly into the wall or it might come with a long power cord.

Either way, surge protectors usually feature multiple outlets to accommodate all types of different devices in your home or office. Some models even come with coaxial connections for TVs, Ethernet network connections and modem/phone line protection.

However, it’s important to distinguish between a power strip and a surge protector because the two are very different from one another.



Accounts

Belkin Surge Protector

Comes with warranty cover for equipment damage


Features outlet covers


Has a high energy rating of up to 1045 joules


Offers several outlets

Tripp Lite Surge Protector 

Offers superior surge protection


Long power cable


Tripp Lite Provides right angle plugs


Comes with a warranty cover for products & equipment

Belkin Travel RockStar

Capable of charging 2 devices from a single AC outlet


Has a Universal USB Port


Uses 3000 mAh battery pack


Up to $75,000 in Connected Equipment Warranty

Tripp Lite Isobar Surge Protector

Suitable for NEMA 5-15R electrical outlets


High energy rating of 1449 joules


Backed by equipment insurance


Lifetime warranty

APC 11-Outlet Surge Protector

Offers an impressive joule rating


Has a long power cord


Right angle plug rotates


Features 11 outlets


Easy to install and use

Where Do You Need Surge Protection?

If you have a device or electronic equipment that plugs into an AC outlet then you need a surge protector. It’s especially important to protect electronic equipment that has sensitive electronic circuitry and memory.

These are just some of the types of equipment that could benefit from a surge protector:

Office equipment
Small appliances
Lighting, tools
Video game systems
Sound systems
DVD players, TVs and satellite receivers
Cable boxes
PCs
Routers
Monitors

How Do Surge Protectors Work?

A surge protector helps to subdue excess voltage when it reaches a certain critical point so that it doesn’t damage your electrical appliances and devices. The internal parts of the surge protector are the first line of defense against excess voltage and they’re referred to as metal-oxide varistor (MOV) for their ability to divert the voltage to the ground wire so that it doesn’t actually reach the connected electronics.

For the best results, make sure your surge protector is connected to an appropriately grounded and wired AC outlet.

Features to Consider in the Best Surge Protector

Although they sound like a specialized form of equipment, surge protectors are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes as well as different price points. There are also quite a few brands to choose from so you have to be knowledgeable when looking for a surge protector.

Here are a few of the most important considerations to make before you purchase a surge protector for your home or office.

Number of Outlets

Surge protectors are available in a variety of different outlets. Some models can accommodate three or four outlets while others can accommodate up to 12. However, the higher the number of outlets the larger and heavier the unit will be so keep that in mind if you have a small space to work with.

Energy Rating

The measurement used for surge protectors is called a joule energy rating. This refers to the amount of joules that the protector can handle, which means you have to keep in mind the wattage of your devices before you purchase one. For instance, it’s a must that you have a high energy rating surge protector if you have high-wattage electronics.

Portability

Most users place their surge protector in an area of the home that’s easy to reach for most electronics. But there are portable models that are compact and come with USB ports for convenient charging.

Warranty

As with any long term purchase, it’s important to look at the warranty offered by the manufacturer. Most manufacturers offer a warranty that covers repairs and damages to your appliances which happen despite the presence of the surge protector. Otherwise, it’s definitely worth investing in a surge protector if you own valuable electronic devices and appliances.

Price

Surge protectors are usually very well-priced and cost less than $20. But models with a larger joule capacity are pricier and offer a superior warranty.

Types of Surge Protectors

A lot of people don’t know this but surge protectors are available in a wide variety of different types. To help you distinguish between these different types, we’ve put together a short and helpful description of each below.

Whole House Surge Protectors

This type of protector is designed to protect all the outlets in your house from external outages and even surges that happen as a result of faulty appliances. To get the most out of these surge protectors, you must install them in the main electrical system of your home. This system cannot be used alone and it must be paired with a point-of-use surge protector.

Surge Protector Strips

Surge protector strips are a point-of-use method that allows you to plug in multiple pieces of equipment. They’re easy to install because you only need to plug it into a normal electrical outlet. Just make sure that the power strips is written “surge protector” or “surge suppressor” because there are plenty of power strips available on the market that won’t be able to protect your appliances from power surges.

Battery Backup

A battery backup is a versatile piece of equipment. It’s designed to offer constant power to devices so that there’s no interruption to the power supply no matter what happens. Needless to say, having an uninterrupted power supply will come in handy when power outages happen.

That’s because a battery backup will be responsible for powering your appliances, and the UPS itself is sustained by power from the outlet. This means your appliances will have constant power in the event of power spikes and/or surges.

Wall-Mounted Surge Protector

At first glance, a wall mounted surge protects appears to be a normal electrical outlet. The only difference is that it has an in-built surge protector and it’s perfect for small spaces that cannot accommodate a regular full-sized surge protector.

What to Do in Case of a Power Surge

If you’re lucky enough to get some warning before a power surge happens, here’s what you should do:

1 – Make sure there are outlet surge suppressors placed between the outlet and your appliances.

2 – Make sure you have a backup such as a generator, a UPS or adapters. You never know how long a surge will last.

3 – Switch off your HVAC system from the thermostat.

4 – Only use a few important appliances.

5 – Switch off the protectors’ circuit breakers.

6 – Protect your electronic devices by using the 3-tier approach.

7 – Make sure to use a surge protector at all times.

8 – Disconnect your electronics straight from the power strip.

We know that it’s difficult to predict when a power surge or blackout will happen. They’re usually unexpected but an impending storm is always a good sign to look out for.

Power surges are also common during the summer when most homes have air conditioning switched on at the same time. Power spikes are likely to happen in areas with poor infrastructure or old buildings. Either way, it’s always a good idea to stay prepared and take precautions.

Power Strips Are Not Always a Surge Protector

Although it may not seem like it, there’s a huge difference between a surge protector and a power strip. Granted, they both offer you the ability to connect multiple electronics in one central location, but the purpose of each option is different.

The power strip only provides you with one benefit, and that’s to plug all your devices into one strip, whereas a surge protector comes with the added advantage of protecting your electronics from power surges and spikes. Basically, a power strip operates more like a glorified extension cord, while a surge protector offers superior protection from power surges.

To help distinguish between these options, you only need to check their electric rating. Surge protectors are rated in a unit of energy called joules. It will also come with information that lets you know what its maximum voltage capacity is so you know how much it can handle in case a power strike happens..

With that said, it’s cheaper to buy a power strip than a surge protector, but you won’t get much out of it. With a surge protector, you get full protection for your appliances against abnormalities in power supply. Most surge protector manufacturers are typically willing to cover the protector in case of damage or malfunction. Power strips don’t come with this benefit.

The best way to differentiate between surge protectors and power strips is to pay attention to the wording. Surge protectors are commonly referred to as an interrupter switch, fused strip, or surge protection.

Best Surge Protector in 2019

A surge protector is a great way to protect your electronic devices and appliances from burning out due to power surges or blackouts. You’ll never have to worry again when you hear a storm rolling in because you’ll know that your electronics are safe from damage no matter how bad it gets.

Now that you know what to look for when buying a surge protector, we’ve put together a list of the best surge protectors on the market to fast-track your purchasing options.

1 – Belkin 6-Outlet Commercial Surge Protector Review

This Belkin model is perfect for the budget-conscious shopper who wants to keep their appliances safe from the unpredictable. This 6-outlet surge protector is like a power strip on steroids as it offers several outlets and many beneficial features.

It’s also thoughtfully designed, as shown by the amount of room between each outlet. This makes it easy to plug in multiple appliances at once without them bumping into one another because we all know that some AC adapters and phone chargers take up a lot of space. With this surge protector, you can connect up to six devices without creating a mess.

This model comes with an energy rating of 1045 joules and it comes with LED indicator lights so you know when it’s grounded. However, there have been complaints about the LED lights being inaccurate sometimes. The good news is that this surge protector also comes with protective covers so the outlets don’t get damaged by accidental spills and the like.

In addition, the Belkin surge protector features dedicated dual inputs for your modem or fax. It’s also backed by a $50,000 warranty as cover against electronic damage. Plus, the main model has a cable that measures 6 ft. while a 12 ft. model is available for an additional $10.

Pros

Comes with warranty cover of $50,000 for equipment damage
Features outlet covers
Has a high energy rating of up to 1045 joules
Offers several outlets

Cons

The LED indicators don’t work very well

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2 – Tripp Lite Surge Protector Power Strip Review

Are you at your wits’ end with your appliances always dying out when there’s a power surge at your house? Don’t despair. Luckily there’s no need to purchase one of those complicated and expensive gizmos you see people advertise online either. A much simpler and more affordable solution is on hand.

Simply buy a multiple outlet surge protector like this Tripp Lite model which can accommodate seven outlets and is ideal for residential use. It will protect your electronics from power surges and spikes alike including scanners, routes, and computers. It will also work for printers and TVs as well.

Its energy rating is 1080 joules and according to reviews, it offers superior quality surge protection. This surge protector power strip can even secure right angle plugs and it’s suitable for use on an everyday basis.

This model is easy to install because it comes with a 3ft. long cable which helps to extend your reach as well. That way, you can use it to plug in all sorts of devices no matter where they’re located.

To top it off, Tripp Lite offers a lifetime warranty and a 3-month money-back guarantee. There’s also a 25,000 warranty to protect against equipment damage. This means that if this surge protector underperforms or fails to protect your devices, the company will replace it for you free of charge.

Pros

Offers superior surge protection
Long power cable
Provides right angle plugs
Comes with a warranty cover for products and equipment

Cons

The plugs don’t have much space

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3 – Belkin Travel RockStar Surge Protector Review

Some say that Belkin is the best surge protector brand and they deliver with yet another well thought-out design. This surge protector comes with space for up to 12 outlets and it has quite a few interesting details worth mentioning.

For instance, six outlets are placed vertically, while the other six are divided into two sets of three that are placed on either side at 90-degree angles. This ergonomic design makes it so much easier for the user because it even features USB ports that you can use to connect and protect all of your USB powered devices.

However, what makes this one of the best surge protectors on the market is the fact that it has a powerful energy rating of 3996 joules! It has a 6 ft. log power cable that enables you to connect devices from long distances, and in addition to USB connectivity, it also offers an Ethernet connection.

Pros

Capable of charging 2 devices from a single AC outlet
Has a Universal USB Port
Uses 3000 mAh battery pack, which is suitable for USB charging
Up to $75,000 in Connected Equipment Warranty

Cons

The switch isn’t quite safe because it can easily flip

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4 – Tripp Lite Isobar 2 Outlet Surge Protector Review

Most of the electronic damage that people experience around the world can be attributed to power spikes and surges. But, it’s easy to prevent such occurrences with a premium quality surge protector like this Tripp Lite Isobar model. It comes with two outlets and it’s considered to be the best surge protector for computer users. It’s also useful for TVs, lamps, scanners and other similar electronic devices.

If you’ve brought one of those cheaply made surge protectors from the Internet then you know how vulnerable it is to melting and/or breaking. Fortunately, the Tripp Lite is made from rugged metal that can withstand daily use without sustaining damage or decreasing in performance. It has a universal design that allows you to plug in NEMA 5-15R electrical outlets which are quite common in most office or home spaces.

Also, it has a high energy rating of 1449 joules which means that it’ll be ready to protect your appliances in case of an electrical spike or surge.

There are also a few add-on features for added safety that are designed to improve its performance over time. This includes a built-in 15A circuit breaker that can handle heavy loads, as well as diagnostic LED lights that will let you know how protected it is and how much power it’s handling. It’s perfect for daily use.

Pros

Suitable for NEMA 5-15R electrical outlets
Comes with a high energy rating of 1449 joules
Backed by equipment insurance of up to $10,000
Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
LED indicator lights

Cons

It can only accommodate two outlets

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5 – APC 11-Outlet Surge Protector – Simply the Best Home Theater Surge Protector

APC’s 11-Outlet Surge Protector is one of the best surge protector for TV thanks to its high-performance design. It has 11 outlets and an energy rating of 3020 joules. It also comes with built-in sliding shutters for increased safety which makes it ideal for use in homes with small children. It’s so versatile that it can even work on telephones and co-axial lines.

Although it comes with such fantastic features, this surge protector is super easy to install. It doesn’t require any screwing; all you have to do is plug and play. Plus, it works for almost all types of power outlets. It has a convenient 8 ft. long power cord and a plug that rotates at the right angle that makes setup even easier.

Pros

Offers an impressive joule rating
Has a long power cord
Right angle plug rotates for your convenience
Features 11 outlets
Easy to install and use

Cons

Unfortunately, the ports on this surge protector are only 10/100

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6 – CyberPower EC850LCD Ecologic UPS System – Best Surge Protector for Air Conditioner & Digital Equipment

The last thing you need is to have damaged appliances that need replacement after each outage or surge. With the Cyber Power EC850LCD, you don’t ever have to worry about this possibility. It can accommodate 12 outlets.

Six of those outlets only offer surge protection while the other six provides both surge protection and battery backup. Either way, you’ll be protected from unexpected power surges and peaks. This means you can leave your appliances in the midst of a storm and never have to worry about the safety of your electronics.

The battery backup will kick in as soon as a power outage or surge happens, and the EC850LCD offers a battery life of up to 120 minutes. However, this amount may diminish if you have multiple devices connected, which means you’ll have to quickly save your files and switch off your computer to prevent any data loss.

Furthermore, this surge protector has an ECO mode that helps to improve energy efficiency. For instance, it can automatically switch off the power that’s going to a laptop if it detects that the device is in sleep mode. But, according to whole house surge protector reviews, this model has a tendency of falsely reporting an overload even if you have few appliances plugged in.

Pros

Good customer service
Comes with an ECO mode for energy efficiency
Offers 12 outlets
Good LCD Display system

Cons

Falsely reports overloads

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7 – AmazonBasics 6-Outlet Surge Protector – Most Famous Best Surge Protector Brand

This AmazonBasics 6 outlet surge protector is one of the best whole house surge protector on this list. We can say with confidence that it’s perfect for small homes and office spaces, as it comes with an energy rating of 790 joules.

It has a red LED light that’s designed to let you know when it’s operating to protect your devices and if it needs to be replaced or reset, the light will just turn off. This makes it easy for you to determine how the surge protector is working.

Also, this surge protector comes with six outlets that you can use to connect small appliances, phones, lights, and PCs. Furthermore, this model comes with another identical surge protector which increases the number of outlets it can handle to 12. It’s available in black or white, and costs only $15.

But whole house surge protector reviews state that it tends to make an annoying buzzing noise and the cord could be longer. Otherwise, this is a good surge protector that offers a lot of bang of your buck.

Pros

Good quality surge protector
Great price
Gets the job done
Made by the Most Trusted online Retailer

Cons

Cannot accommodate large plugs due to close outlets

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8 – StandDesk 12 Port Surge Protector Power Strip Review

This super long and well-designed surge protector from StandDesk comes with a convenient 12 ft. cord, enough space for 12 outlets and it’s constructed from heavy metal. Not only is it stylish but it’s highly functional as well. It works great for small spaces and it’s so discreet that you can place it anywhere without cluttering your space.

We like that the outlets are spaced out well to handle large power adapters. It has an energy rating of 900 joules which is not bad at all when you consider that it has a capacity of up to 1800 watts. Plus, a lot of surge protector reviews say that it’s the best home theater surge protector.

Pros

Easy to install and use
Comes with 12 well-spaced outlets
Has a nice narrow design
Backed by a 3-year warranty
Best surge protector for air conditioner

Cons

There have been some complaints about the safety of this product, especially when it comes to the performance of the electric contacts

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9 – Belkin BP108000-06 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector Review

As previously mentioned, Belkin is one of the best surge protector manufacturers, as they have a wonderful ability to offer good quality products at a fraction of the price and with great features to boot. Their BP108000-06 model is a pivot plug strip that’s perfect for small spaces. Some might say it’s the best surge protector for refrigerator and air conditioners.

It comes with such features as 8 outlets, a 6ft. power cord and a cord clip management system. It works great for office use and it’ll perform really well in any work station. Plus, it can accommodate most types of devices without any problem.

This is a good quality surge protector that happens to be easy to install. Even if you don’t have DIY experience, you can easily install and use this unit right off the shelf, and it doesn’t require any special tools.

You’ll find that it will not only protect your devices from power surges, but it can also help to organize your cables for a neat appearance. This is all thanks to the dedicated cord clip-management system which is detachable.

The Belkin BP108000-6 has a stylish plastic shell that’s also very durable and it’s backed by a $150,000 warranty to cover connected equipment just in case they get damaged. This is in addition to the lifetime manufacturer’s warranty which covers all defects.

It’s worth noting here that this is one of the most reliable surge protectors that we’ve come across and the manufacturer offers excellent customer service and support throughout.

Pros

Durable construction and strong power cord
Comes with 8 outlets
Cord clip-management system
Comes with a warranty for connected equipment

Cons

There have been some complaints about the brand’s ability to enforce the warranty

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10 – BESTEK 6-Outlet Surge Protector Review

The BESTEK 6-Outlet Surge Protector has a unique and almost futuristic design with six very well-spaced outlets. It features a 6 ft. cord, 740 joules of energy, a UL-listed 15-amp circuit-breaker to secure your appliances, and two USB charging ports.

What sets this model apart from the rest is that it has the ability to offer customized amperage to each device and can even prevent power transmission. This is all thanks to the in-built power-stop technology.

There’s also an EMI noise filter to ensure that your appliances don’t make a sound when this power surge protector is operating.

Pros

Great quality product
Long cord extends your reach
Compact, narrow and well-designed
Very safe

Cons
Cannot accommodate large plugs

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Conclusion



Accounts

CyberPower EC850LCD

Good customer service


Comes with an ECO mode for energy efficiency


Good LCD Display system

AmazonBasics Surge Protector

Good quality surge protector


Simply Gets the job done


Made by the Most Trusted online Retailer - Amazon

StandDesk Surge Protector

StandDesk

 is Easy to install and use


Comes with 12 well-spaced outlets


Backed by a 3-year warranty

Belkin BP108000-06

Durable construction power cord


Comes with 8 outlets


Cord clip-management system

BESTEK Surge Protector

Great quality product


Long cord extends your reach


Compact, narrow and well-designed

A surge protector is designed to protect the appliances and devices we use on a daily basis from possible damage that could occur as a result of power surges and peaks. Throughout this article, we’ve shared with you all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision about these marvelous devices.

We’ve also covered the best available options on the market. But we can understand if you still feel confused about choosing an option, especially considering that each comes with its own pros and cons. So we took the liberty of taking each of these surge protectors through the ringer so we could come up with the ultimate winner for the title of the “best surge protector.”

Top honors go to the APC 11-Outlet Surge Protector which offers 3020 joules, an 8 ft. long cord, a rotating right angle plug and it’s versatile to use on most appliances. Plus, it’s super easy to install.