Most of us have thousands of dollars in expensive computers, phones, tablets, and other personal electronics. All it takes is one surge to ruin all of that. Tap or click to keep your electronics clean and organized.
You could be at work when a storm begins, lightning strikes a transformer, and a surge hits your corner of the power grid. The only way to know that your electronics are safe is with a surge protector.
Surge protectors are the most affordable insurance you can ever buy for your electronics (and many of them will ensure whatever is plugging into the outlet). The only way you lose is without surge protection. Keep reading for some of the best options.
Anker power strip and surge protector – best overall
There’s a reason that Anker is one of the most-trusted electronics brands in the U.S. It reminds us of that with this inexpensive, high-capacity power strip and surge protector.
Featuring a six-foot extension cord to excellent accessibility, Anker encompassed every single feature you could want in a surge protector.
With 12 standard 110V outlets and three USB outlets, you can charge your phone and tablet at the same time while reliably running a dozen small electronics.
Surge protection ratings are outlined in joules. The more joules a protector can handle, the better it is. The typical range is 200-400, with 1,000-2,000 considered high. Anker guarantees up to 4,000 joules, which is just pure insanity.
It means you’ll never have to worry about surges again. Outlets are pronounced to make it easier to plug devices in, and they even include PowerIQ to charge and protect your phone.
If you need the extra room, you can upgrade to a 10-foot cable for a slight bump in price, though it won’t include any additional protection.
Speaking of protection, Anker insured this up to $300,000 for connected equipment up to 18 months after purchase, so if something terrible somehow happens, they’ve got you covered.
Belkin 12 AC power strip surge protector – best protection
Belkin provides some of the best protection you can imagine, with up to 3,940 joules of protection (well above industry standard). It backs that up with up to $200,000 in connected equipment insurance for the duration of the limited lifetime warranty.
Beyond being protected, it also made this ultra-functional. Thanks to the eight-foot cord with an angled connector, you’ll be able to easily put it anywhere in your home and affix or position it while keeping it entirely accessible.
All 12 outlets come with individual sliding safety locks for additional protection, especially if you have children in the home. You can plug in a standard RJ11 cable, though unfortunately, there are no dedicated USB slots for mobile device charging.
To help you manage cables, there’s a plastic management slow on the back end of the surge protector. Gently bend on either side to run your cables along it and set yourself up for excellent cable management right from the start.
Affixing this power surge protector can be difficult. It weighs two pounds and doesn’t include a contact point on the back. If you plan on mounting this under a desk, you’ll need brackets or other ways to install it properly.
Simply put, Belkin’s protection rivals Anker’s in every way and in this case, can save you up to 20% if you don’t mind the lack of USB ports.
Amazon Basics eight-outlet surge protector – best for long cords
Amazon Basics doesn’t provide the most luxurious option, but it’s simple and cost-effective. This surge protector comes with a six-foot cord, and in typical Amazon Basics fashion, it sought to outdo its competition.
You get 4,500 joules of protection. However, it doesn’t include the same maximum wattage as other surge protectors, which is what you really need to look at. You’re protected with a 15 amp overload circuit breaker, which is entirely resettable if you need to.
Despite the intention of being basic, Amazon included sliding doors for each outlet to provide maximum protection to the user. This is also a must-have if you have small children.
You’re compromising on the maximum number of outlets but saving 30%+ compared to top-tier brands. We included this as the best surge protector for having a long cord because it’s heavy-duty. Amazon Basics somehow provided a sturdier, more resilient casing on its cord than Anker or Belkin.
Tripp Lite iso bar with $500K insurance – best for surge insurance
Tripp Lite is the king of surge protection insurance. You get a whopping $500K of insurance, and that’s because it’s designed to work with AV equipment alongside standard 110V outlets.
With three in and three out CATV/SAT/ANT/HDTV connectors and two RJ-45 ports, Tripp Lite essentially made an all-in-one hub for everything you would ever want to protect from electrical surges.
The reason this is ideal for AV equipment is the extra blank space between six of these outlets. Your labeled CD, accessory, and amp outlets give extra room to accommodate large power bricks at the end of equipment cables.
Due to the number of accessibility ports, plus the lack of outlet cover protection, it’s not recommended to use this if you have small children in your home.
Protection ranges up to 3,840 joules, including 22 GHz coaxial cable protection and up to 2400W of protection. It’s overkill, but if you have expensive devices or an at-home studio with lights and cameras for a creator setup, this is your best bet.
Last but not least, each socket has an LED indicator to let you know when your connection is grounded or not.
Bull outlet extenders with USB wall plug – best surge protector for mobile devices
Just trying to protect your mobile devices? Bull built the perfect solution. With a simple ON/OFF button built right into the hub, this wall brick lookalike can charge up to three USB devices and includes three AC outlets.
It’s a very intuitive charger. While the USB ports are housed together, each AC outlet is on a different face of the cube, ensuring that your wires or power bricks aren’t fighting for space.
This little wonder can surprisingly handle up to a 1250W surge despite being such a small device. That’s more than enough to protect every device you could have plugged in at the same time.
With a built-in smart chip, it limits the current. This helps with micro-surges that could damage your device batteries as well. Overcharged lithium-ion batteries can swell, expand, and eventually catch fire with enough damage. Bull even protects against the small surges.
Travel-sized and ready to go, this wall plug is just eight ounces in total and is one of the best investments you’ll ever make in your current and future mobile devices.
Surge protector buying guide and FAQ
What features to look for in a surge protector
Surge protectors are relatively straightforward. Look at these features to pick out the best one for you.
- The total amount of insurance protection.
- The number of outlets.
- The number of USD outlets.
- Joule rating (200-400 is basic, 1,000-2,000 is amazing).
- Ease of installation.
- Cord length.
The brand you buy matters, so we included top brands like Anker, Belkin, and Tripp. Unknown knock-off brands can’t be trusted to safeguard your belongings (or pay insurance if the protector doesn’t work).
Do surge protectors really do anything?
Yes. Surge protectors have grounding wires. These create an alternative path for electricity to flow.
Surge protectors have a gauge to measure the amount of electricity flowing through, and once it reaches over the allowed threshold, it automatically converts electricity to the grounding wire. Your electronics aren’t hooked up to the grounding wire, so they don’t get damaged.
What’s the difference between a surge protector and a power strip?
Surge protectors include grounding wires. Power strips simply give you more outlets to plug your electronics into. You can’t overload a surge protector with electronics that you plug in and use, but it can cause electrocution or start a fire by overloading power strips.
If you need more outlets, it is always better to go with a surge protector over a power strip (the price difference compared to the security it provides is negligible.)
Can I plug appliances into a surge protector?
It depends on the appliance. Small appliances like toasters, coffeemakers, and other 110V devices are fine. Washers, driers, and stoves typically use high voltage 220V power supplies.
These should be plugged into dedicated power sources and not run through a standard surge protector. High-capacity surge protectors for refrigerators exist but differ from what you see on this list.