Smart plugs are great and all, but if you really want to protect your electronics and have even more outlets at your disposal, a surge protector is a better investment. A surge protector is vital if you want to keep your electronics safe from electrical power spikes. They also come in handy if the two outlets on your wall aren’t enough to accommodate all of your gadgets. The latest models have more than just a few outlets and include smart connectivity and energy-monitoring features as well.
In addition to the ability to control a surge protector from your smartphone, some of the top-rated protectors have added safety features, coaxial connectors, and adjustable cords and USB ports for added convenience. Check out our list for top-of-the-line surge protection options for every home, office, and budget.
At a glance:
TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip
Today’s best surge protectors don’t just protect electrical devices; they also enable all kinds of useful connections. This excellent TP-Link strip, for example, has six smart outlets that can be individually controlled with an app, giving protection while allowing you to customize devices, set schedules, and automatically turn them on or off. It’s also compatible with voice commands via Alexa, Google Assistant, or Cortana. Three USB ports provide alternative connections for charging other devices, too.
If all this wasn’t enough, this power strip also has energy-monitoring features, measuring how much power everything is consuming so you can decrease power use, if necessary. You can also check out our larger list of the best smart surge protectors for more options like this one.
APC Desk Mount Power Station
Thisis designed to hook onto the edge of a desk for much easier access than trying to position a strip on the floor (you can also put it over a cubical wall, etc.). It provides 18 joules of surge protection. This model is also one of the few available with a USB-C charging port, as well as two USB-A ports for other connections, making it a great fit for many offices.
Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet
Having spent many years working with outlets and plug-in solutions, Belkin has experience making durable surge protectors. Thisis a great professional piece with multiple options for cord length, sliding safety covers, and a 3,940-joule energy rating that’s high enough to protect even the largest office equipment from a power surge.
Tripp Lite 10-Outlet
Tripp’s contribution is a “home and office” surge protector suitable for various electronic setups. Its handy LED diagnostic lights keep you posted about outlet status. We especially liked that four of the outlets provide enough space to fit more awkwardly shaped adapter plugs. This cord measures a standard 8 feet long. You can also choose a version with coaxial jacks to protect your coaxial TV connections.
Belkin 3-Outlet Wall Mount Surge Protector
This Belkin version has a wall-mount option for setups that aim to raise the surge protector off the floor. Belkin put a lot of thought into the design of this three-outlet wall mount surge protector. Not only does it turn a single outlet into three, but there are two USB-A ports on it as well — while a small cutout on the top allows it to cradle a smartphone while it’s charging. Details like this go to show there’s a lot of utility packed into it.
Anker 12-Outlet Power Strip
This power strip from Anker has plenty of safety features, a sizable number of outlets, and a lengthy 6-foot cord that allows you to power devices no matter where they are in the room. This surge protector has 12 AC outlets, which is more than enough for most people to connect all their devices. It also comes with three USB-A ports that are perfect for plugging in your phone and other mobile devices. Anker claims its surge protector can charge your phone faster than the original brick, cutting the time you need to connect your phone by up to one hour.
Aside from that, it has the standard safety features you would want in a surge protector. There is an LED indicator to let you know when your devices are protected, as well as an automatic shutoff to help protect them from overload.
360 Electrical Revolve
Sometimes it is difficult to wrestle all your cables into the proper position to hook into a surge protector, and that’s when something like the 360 Electrical Revolve comes in extra handy. This surge protector has four outlets that fully rotate into 24 different positions, allowing you to position the outlet where it is most convenient to connect your device.
It comes in a compact form factor and includes an LED light to indicate active surge protection. The only downside to the Revolve is it only has four outlets. However, if you have a lean office setup that still requires fiddling with cables, the 360 Electrical Revolve is an excellent solution.
Peace by Hampton Smart Surge Protector
If you’re looking for a fast and straightforward way to upgrade some of your devices to smart home material, this smart surge protector and power strip from Peace by Hampton may be an excellent choice for you. With this smart surge protector, you can control lights and small appliances. With the app, it’s easy to check the status of your devices, turn them on or off, and even set schedules for them.
The smart surge protector also works with Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing you to include devices in your existing smart home setup seamlessly. This power strip comes with four outlets and two USB ports. The surge protector also supports Wi-Fi connectivity, and it doesn’t require a hub to connect.
Surge protector buying guide and FAQ
What should you look for in a surge protector?
The main things to look for are the number of outlets, the spacing of those outlets, and the length of the surge protector’s cable. Basically, you should make sure that your surge protector has enough power outlets to accommodate all the devices you need to plug in, that there is enough room between outlets for all of your oddly-shaped or large plugs and power bricks, and that the cord (if it has one; some are wall-mounted) itself is long enough to reach your devices and your wall outlet. You may also want other helpful features such as USB ports for charging mobile devices and sliding safety covers for your outlets.
For surge protection, you should consider factors such as its surge protector joule rating, response time, and clamping voltage. The joule rating indicates the amount of energy a surge protector can absorb, and generally speaking, the higher that number, the better. Home improvement retailer Home Depot suggests a joule rating of over 600. Response times indicate how long it takes for a surge protector to respond to a surge. It’s generally recommended to get surge protectors with a nanosecond or less response time.
Finally, the clamping voltage is the voltage level where a given surge protector will reduce the surge. You’ll want a clamping voltage that is less than 400 volts.
How do you know what type of surge protector you need?
It depends on your needs and how much control you want over your devices. Here are a few examples: