(Pocket-lint) - A solid surge protector can keep your valuable electronics safe from misbehaving voltages, giving you complete peace of mind.
For a small upgrade on a regular power strip, you can essentially put a gate between your wired goods and the electricity coming in through the wall socket, with a surge protector designed to take the heat instead of your TV, console or anything else you have plugged in.
It's able to do this by making sure the voltage doesn't exceed a certain level, which, in turn, ensures that plugged-in devices don't have their components fried or fuses blown.
It may be the case that your surge protector will never need to be called into action, but, for those who don't want to take the chance, we've rounded up some of the best to consider.
What are the best surge protectors you can buy? Currently, our top recommendation is the Belkin Surge Protector. However, we also advise checking out the Amazon Basics Surge Protector 2 pack, Amazon Basics Rotating 6-Outlet Surge Protector, APC Surge Protector and the Witeem Surge Protector.
Best Surge Protectors: Our Top Pick
Belkin Surge Protector
- Lots of outlets
- 3,940-joule protection
- Larger plugs can block other sockets
Belkin's surge protectors come in many different varieties, but a solid choice is an eight-outlet model, which comes with a heavy-duty 8ft cord.
The extension lead comes with a 2500J energy rating, and the eight protected outlets can withstand a 6,000V spike.
This particular protector essentially works like a circuit breaker, which means it will automatically switch off when overloaded before turning back on.
Just be aware, as with any surge protectors, that the internal components will wear down over time and it may need to be replaced.
Surge protectors we also recommend
While the Belkin Surge Protector is at the top of our list, we know it won't be the right pick for everyone. We've all got different things to plug in, and they're at various distances from the wall outlet. So, with that in mind, we've also selected the following devices for you to consider.
Amazon Basics Surge Protector
- Two strips for all your outlet needs
- Very well priced
- Only rated for 200 joules
Amazon Basics cover pretty much everything in the home nowadays, and that extends to surge protectors.
Now, this two-pack isn't necessarily for those with big items, such as TVs, PCs, and the like, but it is a perfect solution for those who want to protect smaller things like chargers, lamps, and appliances.
On each power strip, you'll get space for six AC outlets that can offer 200J protection.
And handily, the red LED indicator will go out once the power strip has worked its protective magic and is ready to be replaced.
Amazon Basics Rotating 6-Outlet Surge Protector
- Rotating sockets alleviate problems with larger plugs
- Tidy wall mount design
- Sockets cannot be placed at a diagonal angle
If you like the idea of an Amazon Basics surge protector but you're worried about your large plugs getting in the way of each other, this could be the one for you.
The clever design of this surge protector allows all six sockets to be rotated 90 degrees for more clearance.
The wall-mounted design means that it can be tucked up next to your existing wall outlet without the need for an extra cord.
The wall-mount aspect could be a positive or a negative depending on your personal set-up, though, so be sure to inspect your wall outlet before purchasing.
APC Surge Protector
- 2.4A USB outlets
- LED protection indicators
- The cord is only 6ft long
If you want a bit of an overkill option for your home or office setup, APC's surge protector should be able to cover your electronics - and then some.
With 11 evenly spread AC outlets, two USB ports, and a 6ft cable, you should be able to fit all your devices into one place and protect them with the strip's 2880J Surge Energy Rating.
To give you some reassurance it's working as it should, it also comes with LEDs for 'Protection Working', 'Overload' and 'Building Wire Fault'.
Witeem Surge Protector
- Four USB ports
- Loads of power outlets
- Big plugs will get in the way of other sockets
If you have a mountain of devices that need protection in the same place, Witeem's 12 outlet protector is a great pick to consider.
The device even has two fast-charging USB ports, which are ideal for smartphones, tablets, and the like, with surge protection maxing out at 4360J.
Since it's quite a hefty unit, you might also want to mount the protector anywhere within the cord's 6ft reach, which is made possible by two mounting holes on the rear.
Other products we considered
When trying to figure out what we believe to be the best surge protectors currently available, we spent hours pouring over spec sheets and comparisons, as well as testing the devices in real-world scenarios. We always consider a range of factors when it comes to recommending devices - and also before a new device enters our top five selections. This isn't just our own testing, either, with consumer reviews, brand quality and value all taken into account, as well.
In all of our roundups, there are also many products we test that don't make the final cut. Since they may be the right fit for some people, however, we've listed them below.
- Hulker Extension Surge Protector
- Belkin Surge Protection Extension Lead Strip
- Duronic Extension Tower
- Aofo Extension Lead/Surge Protector
- Smallrt Extension Lead/Surge Protector
How to choose a surge protector
It may seem simple enough to pick a surge protector, but, with so many options and styles on the market, it can be quite a challenge. So, to help you find the right one for your needs, here are a few things worth thinking about before hitting the buy button.
What are you powering?
If you're in the market for a surge protector, then you've clearly got some devices that need powering up. So, first things first, take a look at all the plugs you'll need to accommodate. This will help you to determine a number of things, including how many sockets you will need and how much thought you'll need to give to the spacing of the sockets.
If you notice a large number of USB power adapters, then maybe you would benefit from a surge protector that offers USB outlets, as well as standard wall outlets. If it turns out they're all USB, maybe you can get a USB specific power adapter and save yourself some space.
Where are the devices located?
This one's fairly simple, too, but it's definitely important to keep in mind. It's no good buying a surge protector that hangs off of the wall socket when, in practice, you're going to need it to stretch a few meters.
There are all sorts of shapes and sizes available, so if you need to tuck it away in a cupboard then be sure to pay attention to the surge protector's measurements.
What are joules and why should you care?
A joule is a measure of energy released over a period of time. On a surge protector, the joule rating indicates how much energy it can absorb before it fails. The higher the number of joules, the greater the surge protection provided.
All you really need to know is that if you're protecting valuable and high wattage electronics like a gaming PC or home theatre system, then the higher the joule rating the better. In that case, we'd recommend going 2000J or higher. For smaller, lower current electronics like a bedside lamp and alarm clock, you can get away with a much lower joule rating.
Still, if you can afford it, surge protectors with a higher joule rating offer the most protection for your home and your devices.
More about this story
Every product in this list has been assessed thoroughly to ensure it will perform exactly as a recommended pick should.
We've thought about everything, factoring in how each model will perform when being used to provide power to a beastly home cinema or just adding a couple of extra sockets to your bedside table. This meant diving into the key specs and features, protection ratings, power output, socket flexibility and more. From there, we've then crossed our judgements with each individual price tag to ensure they represent good value for money, too.
As with any roundup, it's not possible to deliver a list that works for every type of user, but we lean on the experiences and opinions of the wider Pocket-lint team - as well as thoroughly assessing the areas above - in order to do our best in this regard.
What we always tend to avoid when compiling these picks are needless spec comparisons and marketing lines; we just want to provide an easy to understand summary that gives you an idea of what each monitor is like to use. Our verdicts are concise, but this is purely in the interest of brevity.