5 Best Surge Protectors in 2023: Reviews & Top Picks
Since they’re inexpensive and abundant, surge protectors don’t always get the consideration they deserve. A strong power surge in the wrong place can fry your TV, computer, or appliances, a frustrating situation that you could have avoided by paying attention to your power strip.
A few extra bucks and a little more research today could save you hundreds or even thousands tomorrow. There’s certainly no shortage of excellent surge protectors out there, so we’ll help you save time on your decision with these reviews of the best surge protectors this year.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Belkin Power Strip Surge Protector||
|Best Value||ALESTOR Surge Protector||
|Premium Choice||Tripp Lite TLP128TTUSBB Surge Protector||
|Anker Power Strip Surge Protector||
|APC P12U2 Surge Protector||
The 5 Best Surge Protectors
1. Belkin Power Strip Surge Protector – Best Overall
Blending durability, flexibility, and value, the 3,940-joule Belkin power strip can manage any device, from cell phones and printers to gaming consoles and home theater equipment. The shell is compact yet durable against all kinds of abuse, and sliding covers keep the outlets safe from debris. With a perpendicular outlet setup, it wisely uses its limited space to allow for small plugs and chunky bricks, meaning you can set up any device.
The only downside to the Belkin surge protector is a lack of USBs, a standard feature on other protectors. Otherwise, it features coaxial and phone line protection, making it ideal for an office setting. The added cable management system is a pleasant convenience you won’t find on competing models.
A lay-flat angled plug on an 8-foot cord completes the thoughtful design that can work nearly anywhere, whether hidden behind a table or mounted under a desk. The lifetime warranty and $200,000 insurance on connected devices are the ultimate finishing touches, earning it our pick for the best overall surge protector this year.
2. ALESTOR Surge Protector – Best Value
The ALESTOR 12-outlet surge protector doesn’t have the warranty or insurance of more expensive models, but it’s hard to find much fault from a performance perspective. With a 2,700-joule rating to support numerous devices and multiple levels of protection against surges and overheating, it’s the best surge protector for the money.
Although the plug layout only allows for a pair of oversized chargers, the four USB connections more than make up for it. The ports feature 2.4A max output, with smart charging supplying optimal power for faster battery refills. By eliminating the need for a blocky-pronged intermediary, they free up the 3-prong outlets for other non-USB devices.
The primary limitations are the short 6-foot power cord and straight plug that limit the placement of the strip. It also lacks outlet covers, leaving a potential safety issue around kids and a chance for debris to enter the ports.
3. Tripp Lite TLP128TTUSBB Surge Protector – Premium Choice
Tripp Lite is arguably the most trusted and recognized power supply brand, delivering a reliable defense for office and home equipment and peace of mind for consumers. The Tripp Lite TLP128TTUSBB surge protector honors its pedigree with enhanced protection and versatile connections to keep your data equipment safe from the most extreme daily surges.
Twelve outlets support 4,320 joules of protection, keeping your PC, home theater system, and office equipment protected from devastating spikes. The perpendicular outlet arrays create a space-saving path for smaller plugs and six fields for bulky block chargers. With additional RJ11 jacks, two coaxial connections, and two USB ports, it can provide optimal protection to a broad selection of devices.
Placement is as versatile as connectivity. Keyhole mounting slots and a lay-flat angled input allow it to fit as seamlessly under a table as it does behind a sofa. Tripp Lite backs its product with a limited lifetime warranty and up to $150,000 of insurance for protected devices.
4. Anker Power Strip Surge Protector
With 12 outlets and three PowerIQ fast-charging USB ports, the Anker power strip surge protector can handle nearly any device you throw at it. Meanwhile, a 4,000-joule rating and 7-point safety system featuring overload, over-voltage, and over-current protection ensures your equipment can survive anything your electrical system sends its way. It offers comprehensive security against damage, and although the warranty only covers the first 18 months, Anker puts its money where its mouth is with $300,000 in insurance for connected equipment.
One significant advantage of the Anker surge protector is the cord. You have a value-priced model with a 6-foot cord and a standard 8-foot option, but with a 10-foot cord also available, it’s the best surge protector if you need to stretch the distance. The flat design and angled head ensure you don’t steal real estate from other outlets on the wall, and it fits easily in the tightest spaces.
5. APC P12U2 Surge Protector
While it’s more expensive than the average 12-port surge protector, APC’s P12U2 protector is worth every penny and more, thanks to its 4,320-joule protection, excellent customer support, and quality build. The IEEE-certified unit has a varied plug arrangement to suit small chargers and bulky plugs alike, with each outlet featuring a sliding cover to keep dust and debris from damaging the strip. Two USB ports complete the array, making it fit for all kinds of devices around the house.
The APC’s plug limits the setup options. Its 6-foot cord is 2 feet shorter than many of those on competing surge protectors, and the straight plug makes it too deep to fit in a narrow space behind a piece of furniture. But with an exceptional warranty that includes $300,000 in insurance for protected devices, it’s easily one of the best all-around surge protectors if the plug isn’t an issue in your setup.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Surge Protectors
Key Features to Consider
How Many Joules Do I Need?
There’s nothing wrong with getting the most high-end surge protector available, but in many cases, you don’t need to go overboard with your protection rating. The most cost-effective joule rating will depend on what you’re plugging in. Here’s a rough guide of how many joules you’ll want for various equipment:
How Long Do Surge Protectors Last?
Many people don’t realize surge protectors eventually downgrade to simple power strips over time. Surge protection in most units comes from Metal Oxide Varistors (MOVs), which absorb and divert incoming surges. These sacrificial components degrade with every power surge, eventually wearing out and becoming incapable of protecting your equipment.
Because they don’t have a specific lifespan and wear out according to the surge frequency in your home, it can be challenging to determine whether your power strip is still providing protection. Many manufacturers help you in this regard by offering indicator lights and sounds to alert you of a failing strip or including a kill switch in the design that makes the unit inoperable once the protection wears out.
In general, a standard surge protector under typical operation and stress can last about 3–5 years. If your protector is older and doesn’t have built-in indicators when it reaches the end of its usable life, consider upgrading to a new device as soon as possible.
Some surge protectors, such as ZeroSurge devices, don’t use MOVs, providing non-sacrificial protection and lasting much longer. These units can last indefinitely but often cost up to 10 times more than a standard surge protector.
Belkin’s durable design, high energy threshold, and intelligent connection management features make it one of the most versatile surge protectors and our choice for the top model today. Anker surprises with its high-value strip, but names like APC and Tripp Lite are no strangers to best-of lists like these. Choosing the right surge protector can be more consequential than you realize, but by following these reviews and purchasing tips, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect unit for your needs.
Featured Image Credit: Devenorr, Shutterstock