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6 best surge protectors and power strips of 2023, per experts

May 11, 2024May 11, 2024



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While an electric outlet or power strip may seamlessly light up your home, it’s important to pick up a quality surge protector to help eliminate those dangerous power surges from your electronic devices — power surges that may end up causing a house fire.

There’s a reason why college dorms only approve of using a surge protector and not another power source. They’re both protective and powerful, prolonging the use of many devices and lighting at once as opposed to an extension cord. (Related: Best home security systems).

“Surge protectors can be used anytime you want to protect your products,” Kurt Kath, Denver-based Best Buy home expert, told the New York Post. “Whether it’s a large TV or a single laptop, using a surge protector can take care of your investments and give you peace of mind while they’re plugged in.”

Ahead, Kath hand-picked the best surge protectors to spring for in 2023, with explanations as to why they made the cut. More, he pooled his expertise — including what qualities to look for in a surge protector, and how to safely use one — in our in-depth FAQ section following the top models to buy.

“Featuring six surge-protected outlets and built-in power filtration, this power strip protects connected devices against fluctuations and interference,” Kath tells The Post. “It also makes it easy to keep devices charged with four built-in USB ports.”

Not to mention, its high joule count allows for a high amount of energy to be absorbed to help adequately protect your equipment and prolong the longevity of the surge protector alike.

“Its 3,600-joule rating helps keep equipment in your home safe from harmful power surge and allows you to safely connect and power 12 devices at the same time,” Kath says.

With one standard USB port and a USB-C port, you can charge your USB-compatible devices without needing an additional adapter, too.

“With 2,100 joules of protection, this Rocketfish 7-outlet surge protector helps protect connected devices from power surges,” Kath notes. “The Two USB ports offer a 2.1-amp output to charge a couple of your devices.”

Plus, it has a 5-foot power cord along with EMI/RFI noise filter, the latter helping to protect against electromagnetic and radio frequency interference that can cause memory loss on your devices.

“With six outlets, this Rocketfish surge protector delivers up to 2,100 joules of defense against power fluctuation,” Kath explains. “The low-profile design offers flexible placement options in your space.”

Not to mention, this is one of the best surge protectors for small spaces — including RVs — thanks to its giving design.

“This six-outlet Insignia surge protector features a 600-joule rating that absorbs energy to help protect your equipment and prolong the life of the unit,” Kath notes. “It features a 4-foot power cord to enable flexible placement options.”

Even better, it’s the most budget-friendly option our expert recommends, still offering protection — just at a lower joule count.

“Shield your electronic devices from damage with this PowerQuest 2 six-outlet surge protector,” Kath says, recommending this well-designed model. “A built-in switch lets you turn power on/off to all connected devices, while the coaxial in and out connections offer a convenient way to add your cable box to an existing entertainment setup.”

More, two high-speed USB ports offer convenient charging up to 3.4 amps total.

Ahead, Kath gives us the ultimate surge protector buying guide by explaining his expert tips on shopping for one, using it properly and extending the longevity of your model.

First things first — let’s go into detail about what one of these tech products entails.

“A surge protector protects your devices from spikes in power and any brownouts that can happen,” Kath tells The Post. “A brownout is when your device does not get sufficient power due to a drop in voltage, that could cause potential damage the internal parts of your tech.”

Extension cords essentially extend power from the wall to plug in products — they don’t offer protection against sudden surges of power, per Kath.

Interestingly, the age of surge protectors is important.

“Generally, your standard surge protector will last six to eight years, so I’d recommend replacing anything older than that,” Kath advises. “Surge protectors are constantly hit with fluctuations in power, which can wear out the capacitors over time and impact effectiveness.”

You also never want to plug one surge protector into another. “For example, if it’s a seven-outlet surge protector, it should only have seven items plugged into it,” Kath says. “If there’s another surge protector plugged into it with seven more devices, you have 14 devices plugged into one unit that is only meant to protect seven.”

Surge protectors will protect against everything from lightning strikes to fluctuations within your home’s power.

“Surge protectors help regulate the power going into the device to protect them, so they’re not experiencing drastic changes within the power levels,” Kath adds.

Outside of the standard surge protector, power conditioners are also a good option to protect your devices.

“Power conditioners are the next tier of surge protectors; they start cleaning the power, not just protecting against those surges and drops,” Kath explains. “Power conditioners can clean power, protect against interference, and ultimately keep your products running at a high quality.”

For those who need a physics refresher, a joule is a unit of energy that’s equal to the amount of work done when a force of 1 newton displaces a mass through a distance of 1 meter in the direction of the force applied. Simply put, it’s equal to the work done by a force of one unit acting through one meter.

“A joule is the unit of measurement for energy released overtime,” Kath explains further. “Your surge protector will have a joule rating, indicating how much energy it can absorb, the more joules the better.”

The number of joules needed varies by the devices connected to the surge protector. “For your higher end tech, I would recommend a protector with an unlimited number of joules,” Kath says. “This is a great option because the device will fry before it can ruin your tech devices if there is a big surge.”

Outside of unlimited joule surge protectors, most products can be protected with 1,000 to 2,000 joules.

Check out the New York Post Shopping section for more content.

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