Surge Protectors

12 Best Surge Protectors: Top Picks & Buying Guide 2022

The wrong time to realize you need a surge protector is after your equipment has been damaged. By then, it’s too late. Thankfully, it is possible to install an almost literal firewall between your expensive (and inexpensive) electronics and the electrical coming in from a wall socket for a very affordable sum of money. For the sake of keeping your devices operational, a surge protector puts itself in danger and repeatedly sacrifices its components.

An impulse purchase that doesn’t require much thought is buying a surge protector for the majority of people. However, investing a little more time in advanced research can be beneficial.

Here are our top picks for the best surge protectors. Continuing to scroll down will give you more guidance if you’re unsure of the kind of protection you require.

12 Best Surge Protectors

  • 1. Best Overall: APC Performance SurgeArrest P11VNT3
  • 2. Best with USB Ports: Anker PowerExtend USB-C 3 Capsule
  • 3. Best Budget: Philips 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip
  • 4. Best for Large Adapters: Belkin Pivot Plug Surge Protector BP112230-08
  • 5. Best Whole-House: EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection Power Strip
  • 6. Best Smart: TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip HS300
  • 7. Best Design: JACKYLED Power Strip Tower
  • 8. Best Outdoor: POWRUI Outdoor Smart Plug
  • 9. Best Heavy-Duty: Tripp Lite ISOBAR8ULTRA 8-Outlet Surge Protector
  • 10. Best Splurge: Austere VII Series Power Surge Protector
  • 11. Best Compact Surge Protector: Tripp Lite SWIVEL6
  • 12. Another Best Budget Surge Protector: Amazon Basics Surge Protector

Best Surge Protectors Reviews

1. Best Overall: APC Performance Surgearrest P11VNT3

What We Like

  • High-end surge protection
  • Includes phone, cable, and Ethernet ports
  • Automatic shut-off feature

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited Ethernet speed
  • No USB ports
  • Large size
APC Performance Surgearrest P11VNT3

Performance SurgeArrest P11VNT3 from APC is as reliable as they come for high-end electronics like your TV, computer, and other multimedia equipment. Its UL listing shows that it complies with stringent safety testing requirements, and its 3020-joule rating shows how much surge energy it can withstand before failing. Additionally, a fail-safe feature shuts off all power to your electronics when protection expires, preventing further surge damage.

APC offers a number of models with comparable protection that are similar, but the P11VNT3 stands out due to its extra ports. There are ports to plug in a coaxial cable, phone, and Ethernet line in addition to 11 standard three-prong outlets (with safety shutters), and cables are provided for each connection.

Unfortunately, even if you have a gigabit internet network, which can be up to ten times faster than 100 Mbps, the P11VNT3’s 100 Mbps speed limit is a drawback of protecting your Ethernet connection. For example, 100 Mbps is more than enough for basic web browsing, but it is difficult to stream high-definition video across multiple devices.

Another feature you can find on other surge protectors is USB ports for charging devices, which the P11VNT3 does not have. On the other hand, the product’s large size makes it a great choice for this use case if you’re looking for a model to set on the floor behind an entertainment center or workstation.

2. Best With USB Ports: Anker Powerextend Usb-C 3 Capsule

What We Like

  • Fast charging for almost any device
  • Attractive, compact design

What We Don’t Like

  • Low-end surge protection
  • Pricey for the amount of protection
Anker Powerextend Usb-C 3 Capsule

In comparison to the conventional floor power strip, the Anker PowerExtend USB-C 3 Capsule (also known as the Anker 623 Power Strip) offers a convenient combination of USB-C charging and surge protection.

Two full-size USB-A ports with a 15-watt output each are located on its front face. One USB-C port that is appropriate for modern gadgets can supply up to 45 watts of power, which enables it to charge laptops in addition to smartphones and tablets. Additionally, a number of fast-charging technologies can be used with this port to quickly recharge virtually any device.

Three conventional AC outlets that are protected from surges by the gadget are tucked away and hidden on the back. The level of protection is only 300 joules, which is regrettable because a significant surge could pass enough voltage to harm your electronics. Because of this, rather than providing constant security for crucial equipment, the PowerExtend USB-C 3 Capsule works best as a charging hub with some added electrical security.

3. Best Budget: Philips 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip

What We Like

  • Solid protection for the price
  • Automatic shut-off feature
  • Durable, no-tangle power cord

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited surge protection
  • No additional ports
Philips 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip

As long as you’re willing to accept the risk of the lessened protection you pay for, there are many inexpensive surge protection options available in stores and online. The well-known electronics manufacturer Philips produces a 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip that offers remarkable protective features for a reasonable price.

The gadget has been approved by one of the major safety testing facilities in the country because it is ETL listed. Although its 720-joule rating is sufficient for smaller, less expensive appliances, it represents the lower end of surge protection, which you might not want to risk with many expensive appliances. Its competitors frequently lack an essential feature like automatic shutdown, but it does. This means that if the surge protector stops working without your knowledge, your electronics won’t continue to operate without protection.

The braided power cord is the primary selling point for this particular model, and it does feel sturdy and resistant to twists and tangles. This model is offered with 6- and 10-foot cable versions if the 4-foot base model’s length seems insufficient for your room.

4. Best For Large Adapters: Belkin Pivot Plug Surge Protector BP112230-08

What We Like

  • High-end surge protection
  • Includes phone and cable ports
  • Cord management clip

What We Don’t Like

  • No USB ports
  • No automatic shut-off
  • Large size
Belkin Pivot Plug Surge Protector BP112230-08

Even a large number of outlets won’t help if they’re packed so closely that your plugs can’t fit next to one another if you’re plugging multiple devices with large power adapters into a single surge protector. Four outlets on either side of the Pivot-Plug Surge Protector BP112230-08 from Belkin can pivot outward up to 90 degrees, depending on how much room you need to fit your adapters in.

You can plug in and protect up to 12 devices with these added to the four fixed outlets down the middle, in addition to a coaxial cable and phone/fax line. However, this large unit lacks features like automatic shut-off and USB ports for charging other devices, which may be priorities for you.

Importantly, the UL-listed BP112230-08 can dependably protect all the electronics you entrust to it. It can withstand more surges than almost any other comparable product thanks to its 4320 joules rating. A green indicator light will turn off to let you know that it has stopped shielding your equipment once it has used up that protection. Power will still flow through, though. Belkin provides a generous warranty of up to $300,000 if a surge does damage your plugged-in property, but it won’t be simple to meet the requirements to be eligible for that amount.

5. Best Whole-house: EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection Power Strip

What We Like

  • Powerful surge protection
  • Relatively simple installation
  • Good value

What We Don’t Like

  • Requires electrical expertise to install
  • Much pricier than point-of-use SPDs
EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection Power Strip

If you’re a homeowner with electrical experience, you might feel qualified to install a Type 2 whole-home surge protective device at your electrical service panel. The Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA is a well-liked, efficient, and comparatively simple-to-set-up alternative in that case.

If you have a dedicated 50-amp double-pole circuit breaker available, the device can be installed universally on the side of virtually any type of panel and has a tough enclosure that is suitable for indoor or outdoor use. The CHSPT2ULTRA can handle a maximum single surge current of 108,000 amps, which is one indicator of its protection abilities. Comparatively speaking, a typical lightning flash may carry 30,000 amps of current1, so a good Type 2 SPD will typically cover at least this amount.

Whole-home SPDs provide protection for your entire home by connecting directly to your electrical system, which is an important point to remember. However, a qualified electrician should be hired to install them in most cases.

6. Best Smart: TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-fi Power Strip HS300

What We Like

  • Remote control through app and voice commands
  • Three USB ports
  • Energy monitoring

What We Don’t Like

  • No automatic shut-off
  • Short power cord
  • Pricey for the amount of protection
TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-fi Power Strip HS300

When you connect the Wi-Fi Power Strip HS300 from TP-Link’s Kasa Smart brand to your home Wi-Fi network, it has three USB charging ports and six outlets that you can control wirelessly. When online, you can control the HS300 using the Kasa Smart mobile app or by speaking commands to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana. Each outlet’s connected devices can be turned on and off separately, in groups, or in conjunction with other smart products.

The HS300 differs from standard smart power strips/outlets in that it has ETL-certified surge protection for reliable and safe operation. It has a respectable energy absorption capacity of 1710 joules, and according to its voltage protection rating (VPR), surges can be reduced to 500 volts. (The typical voltage rating for premium surge protectors is 330 or 400 volts.) Overall, its surge performance is middling; if strong surge protection is your priority, a dedicated “non-smart” alternative may be the better investment.

The HS300 provides real-time energy monitoring, just like many other Kasa Smart products. You can track which of your devices uses the most power at what time using this feature, and you can adjust your usage accordingly.

7. Best Design: JACKYLED Power Strip Tower

What We Like

  • Good for multiple users
  • Retractable power cable

What We Don’t Like

  • Modest surge protection
  • No automatic shut-off
JACKYLED Power Strip Tower

The JACKYLED Power Strip Tower stands nearly a foot tall, catching the eye with its distinctive profile and decor-friendly color schemes, including options that resemble walnut wood, unlike most surge protectors that are designed to sit out of sight on the floor.

The rotating three-level tower (there are taller and shorter versions available) has ten evenly spaced outlets and four 2.1A USB ports, with a separate on/off switch for each layer. The top has a carrying handle, and the power cord retracts so that only the portion you need is visible. The combination of design factors makes the product perfect for nightstands, coffee tables, and desktops. The users of these shared workstations would have easy access to outlets and their equipment would be safeguarded from electrical problems like overload, short circuits, and surges thanks to the tower.

The Power Strip Tower might be a useful addition to many offices or public areas for less important devices, but it lacks automatic shut-off and has a surge absorption lifespan of only 900 joules. For your more expensive fixtures, there are longer-lasting alternatives available.

8. Best Outdoor: POWRUI Outdoor Smart Plug

What We Like

  • Remote control through app and voice commands
  • Four outlets with extenders

What We Don’t Like

  • No automatic shut-off
  • Short primary power cord
POWRUI Outdoor Smart Plug

Multiple advantages for your outdoor electronics are provided by the POWRUI Outdoor Smart Plug in a single unit. The first is simply offering four outlets when most products of its type frequently only offer two. The device’s tiny main power cord is partially offset by each outlet’s short extender cable. The outlets also provide a respectable 1080 joules of ETL-certified surge protection, giving you greater security than a regular outdoor power strip or timer would typically provide.

Thanks to the clever features that activate if you connect the device to your Wi-Fi network, the plug also performs more functions than just acting as an outdoor timer. The free mobile app allows you to schedule events, control outlets from a distance, and set timers. It also supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice commands. The capabilities work well with holiday lights or other decorative lighting that you want to turn on automatically or that you want to control without going outside.

The POWRUI Outdoor Smart Plug’s weather resistance is further demonstrated by its Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP44, which specifically attests to protection against water splashes from all directions and objects larger than one millimeter, such as wires and screws.

9. Best Heavy-duty: Tripp Lite ISOBAR8ULTRA 8-Outlet Surge Protector

What We Like

  • High-end surge protection
  • Noise filtering
  • Automatic shut-off

What We Don’t Like

  • No additional ports
  • Boxy, industrial design
  • Pricier than most consumer models

Although the Premium Isobar line of surge protectors from Tripp Lite doesn’t have a fancy appearance, they might be the perfect fit for any office, home workstation, or another environment where maintaining the functionality of the equipment is a top priority. The ISOBAR8ULTRA has a strong, all-metal exterior that protects the high-performance internal components, as well as eight outlets, a lighted power switch, three LED indicator lights, and a 12-foot power cord.

The ISOBAR8ULTRA’s network-grade surge protection is UL-certified and boasts impressive lifetime suppression of 3840 joules, a maximum surge current rating of 97,000 amps, and the ability to handle significant spikes. Additionally, the arrangement of outlets makes use of isolated noise filter banks, which are intended to reduce electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference and deliver clearer audio and video from the equipment you plug in.

Given the higher price tag and higher performance level, typical consumers might not require this level of functionality. When you have vital systems or equipment that you can’t afford to lose, however, this Tripp Life model can provide priceless peace of mind.

10. Best Splurge: Austere VII Series Power Surge Protector

What We Like

  • Five USB charging ports
  • Noise filtering
  • Seven-year replacement guarantee for any value

What We Don’t Like

  • No automatic shut-off
  • Much more than average users need

Surge protectors are typically created to protect luxury items rather than to be used as luxury items. Contrary to this, Austere’s VII Series Power puts a premium spin on surge protection, starting with its tasteful design and premium materials. Along with a braided power cable that is strong and simple to bend, the sharply angled brushed aluminum casing gives it a distinctive appearance.

The VII Series Power is available in 6- and 8-outlet models with five USB ports each: two USB-A, two USB-C, and one USB-C Power Delivery port that can deliver up to 45 watts of power to charge laptops. Although it claims to have 4000 joules of impressive surge protection, power will still reach your equipment if the protection runs out. You can keep an eye on the LED indicator icons to see if that occurs. As an added bonus, noise filtration features assist in minimizing interference from other devices that could impact your video and audio signals.

A surge protector requires a sizable investment, but Austere protects your purchase with a lifetime warranty. A seven-year component guarantee is included with this product as well, and there is no cap on how much the device’s value can be replaced if it is damaged while plugged in.

11. Best Compact Surge Protector: Tripp Lite SWIVEL6

What We Like

  • Compact design
  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • Fewer joules than other products
  • May not have enough outlets for offices or large entertainment systems

The Tripp Lite SWIVEL6 is an option to consider if you only need to plug in a few devices. If you only have a small amount of space behind your TV, this surge protector is perfect because it plugs directly into the wall and has three rotating outlets. Since it’s portable and simple to throw in your suitcase, it would also work well in hotel rooms.

In terms of security, the gadget has an automatic shut-off setting during surges and LED lights to show whether protection is active. Additionally, it has received UL 1449 certification, giving you the assurance that the product you are purchasing is secure.

The manufacturer is well-known for its wide range of surge protectors, which range from one to 12 outlets, but we believe the six-outlet SWIVEL6 strikes a good balance between power and protection.

12. Another Best Budget Surge Protector: Amazon Basics Surge Protector

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Ample outlets and energy rating

What We Don’t Like

  • The indicator light is too bright for some
  • The warranty isn’t as long as some competitors

This surge protector from Amazon Basics is the best option if you’re searching for a low-cost, basic surge protector. With 12 outlets (but no USB ports) and a cord length option of 8′ or 10′, it’s a fairly simple device.

The LED light indicators on the device make it simple to determine when the surge protection is engaged. Additionally, you can reset the 15Amp circuit breaker using the on/off switch if the surge protector is overloaded.

The Amazon Basics Surge Protector is a good deal, especially if you require a lot of outlets on a single surge protector.

Final Verdict

We recommend the APC Performance SurgeArrest P11VNT3 for its dependable protective qualities, automatic power cutoff, numerous outlets, and extra ports when it comes to point-of-use surge protection for home electronics. Belkin’s 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Surge Protector BP112230-08, which has rotating outlets that are useful for large power adapters, is an alternative with comparable performance and features.

The Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA Complete Home Surge Protective Device is widely compatible, easier for a homeowner with enough electrical know-how to install, and still offers excellent levels of surge coverage for an entire residence if you’re looking to add a foundational layer of whole-home surge protection.

What Is A Surge Protector?

Surge protectors are electrical appliances that you plug into a power outlet in your house. Additionally, they offer power to one or more devices (like TVs, gaming systems, and laptop chargers). However, the most important benefit of surge protectors is that they safeguard your electronic equipment from a power surge. Many different things can cause surges, such as when lightning strikes or a big appliance in your house kicks back energy.

Care And Maintenance For Surge Protector

Whether your surge protectors are old or new, here are a few basic guidelines that will help you ensure that they remain effective:

  • Never daisy-chain multiple surge protectors to add outlets, and never plug a surge protector into an extension cord (PDF). This is a simple way to go over the surge protector’s current rating and even the wiring in your walls. You trip a breaker or blow a fuse, which is the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is that something starts melting, which would set off an electrical fire.
  • Never plug a surge protector into an ungrounded outlet using a three-prong–to–two-prong adapter. Since two-thirds of surge protectors’ MOVs are typically connected to the ground leg, bypassing the ground eliminates the majority of their advantages.
  • Use three-prong plugs, or polarized plugs (with one blade that’s thicker than the other), whenever possible. The Consumer Product Safety Commission claims that doing so reduces the risk of electric shock.
  • When you first plug in a surge protector, make sure the status lights don’t report any problems. One grounding light on most protectors lets you know if there is a ground fault. To find out if you have a wiring issue, call an electrician as soon as it becomes apparent that there is one (typically by being unlit). A ground fault could cause a fire, destroy your electronic equipment, or electrocute someone.
  • Always replace your surge protectors after any large event, such as a lightning strike down the block or multiple outages in rapid succession. Check each outlet for burn marks or other signs of damage if you’re plugging in new equipment.
  • Every three to five years, replace surge protectors that lack an auto-shutoff feature. If not, they will continue feeding power to your devices long after their protective MOVs have become ineffective. Get rid of any power strips without surge protection, or those that are so old you can’t remember if they ever had any.
  • Don’t plug a space heater into a surge protector. The likelihood of overloading the outlet increases when using space heaters and other appliances with an open heating element (such as toasters or hair dryers). With additional resistance from a surge protector, heat may build up and possibly ignite or harm the device. It’s common knowledge that using open-heat electronics with extension cords, power strips, or surge protectors is contrary to the instructions and warning tags that are included with them (which many people skim or completely ignore). Plug them directly into the wall to be on the safe side.
  • Never cover up any part of a surge protector or extension cord with rugs, poufs, or other decorative items—no matter how ugly your surge protector is. Direct contact like this prevents heat from escaping, which could start a fire.
  • Recycle your surge protector when you’re done with it. Materials inside a surge protector can be environmentally harmful if they are not disposed of properly. When your surge protector is no longer functional, either dispose of it at a nearby municipal recycling facility (you can find one in your area by visiting Earth911) or buy a prepaid shipping box from TerraCycle Regulated Waste to send your old electronics to a material recovery facility (with this option, you’ll receive a certificate afterward proving that your items have been recycled).

What To Look For In A Surge Protector?

Surge protectors add a shield to your devices that can protect them from damage during a power surge, despite the fact that they resemble power strips. Most surge suppressors use a device called a metal oxide varistor (MOV) to divert excess electricity to the ground, “clamping” or reducing the voltage coming through the outlet to levels that won’t damage your electronics.

MOVs: The lifespan of a MOV is finite. Depending on the design, they can either continue to work as a standard power strip (after a surge destroys it) or fail “safe,” cutting off power to your gear and becoming a fancy doorstop. To ensure that your equipment is not left unprotected when the MOVs eventually fail, we advise using a suppressor that opens the circuit. A new surge suppressor will need to be purchased in order for you to resume operations if your equipment unexpectedly shuts down.

Joules: The joule rating reflects the amount of energy a surge protector can protect your equipment from, but it also serves as a rough indicator of how long a surge suppressor will last (one with a rating of 4,000 joules will last about four times longer than one with a 1,000-joule rating). The clamping value indicates how much voltage passes through during a single spike; the lower the number, the better. Typically, these range from 333 to 500 volts. A circuit breaker that can trip if a surge still manages to get through is typically included with surge suppressors as well.

Warranties: Although many guarantee reimbursement for failures and any subsequent equipment damage that may result, you are unlikely to actually be able to collect on it.

Read More: Pros and Cons of Whole House Surge Protector

FAQs

Is It Possible To Plug One Surge Protector Into Another?

The use of one surge protector inside another is not advised because you run the risk of causing a dangerous electrical problem.

Do I Need A Surge Protector?

Although they are not necessary, surge protectors are a wise investment. By protecting your electronics from power surges, which occur more frequently than you might think, they can increase their lifespan. Buying one is a cost-effective way to gain additional peace of mind because they are also relatively inexpensive.

Are There Alternative Surge Protectors Worth Considering?

We concentrated on surge protectors with at least six outlets or USB ports because it is better to have more outlets than you need than not enough. If you’re looking for something smaller, there are also lots of fantastic options.

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