Which power strip is best?
Power strips are utilitarian devices that are not terribly exciting to buy. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t warrant careful consideration in regards to safety, included features and your intended usage.
The ALESTOR Surge Protector with 12 Outlets and 4 USB Ports is the ideal solution for anyone looking to both power and protect their electronics thanks to its multiple outlets, surge protection and USB ports.
What to know before you buy a power strip
Most power strips do not feature complicated or advanced technology. However, some are still better for certain uses than others. Keep the following considerations in mind while shopping for a power strip, and check out the power strip buying guide courtesy of BestReviews for further information.
Select a power strip that will accommodate your needs by providing you with enough outlets. For example, a power strip that will be placed behind your desk to power your computer, scanner, speakers and any other related devices should have enough outlets to allow you to plug in your electronics and have a free space or two left for future additional equipment.
Some power strips have large footprints, while others are thin and built to fit discreetly behind furniture. Choose a power strip that will provide you with enough outlets but won’t become an obstacle or inconvenience due to its size. Many power strips also include slots that allow you to hang them on a wall or attach them to the bottom of a table or desk.
Some power strips merely transform one outlet into many. Others, however, provide surge protection to keep sensitive electronics safe from potentially damaging power outages, lightning storms or faulty appliances. This feature is important for power strips that are intended for use with computers.
What to look for in a quality power strip
With so many of today’s electronics charging via USB, a power strip that includes USB ports can prove to be very convenient.
Most power strips will include an on/off switch. This switch allows you to cut off the power to every device you have plugged into the strip at once.
LED power indicator
Select a power strip that features an LED to indicate whether or not it is receiving power. Some models may combine this feature with the on/off switch itself.
Consider where you will put your power strip and be sure that the one you select has a cord length that will allow it to reach your intended location. Power strips that cannot be placed out of the way can create tripping hazards and messy cables.
Pay attention to the layout of a power strip’s outlets and consider how they may interfere with some of your larger power supplies. Some power strips allow you to spin the outlets in order to maximize the available space on the unit.
Wifi and smart technology
Some power strips connect to your wifi and allow you to remotely control them. These features are useful for those who wish to keep their electronics on a timer or want the ability to turn individual outlets on or off using an app.
Power strip safety tips
Don’t overload your power strip. While it may be tempting to occupy all of those outlets with electronics and appliances, avoid overloading your power strip to prevent damage, fire and injury.
Don’t put your power strip under a rug. Power strips that are placed beneath insulated rugs or bedding can generate enough heat to pose a fire hazard.
Don’t use a damaged power strip. If your power strip shows signs of wear, produces any crackling or buzzing noise or sparks, replace it immediately.
Don’t use your power strip where it may get wet. Power strips can result in potentially fatal electric shock if they are used in wet areas like bathrooms or kitchen counters.
How much you can expect to spend on a power strip
Basic power strips can be purchased for under $10, while models that allow for wifi connectivity or medical-grade surge protection can cost up to $130. Most users will find power strips to suit their needs in the $20-$40 range.
Power strip FAQ
Are surge protectors and power strips the same thing?
A. No. While the terms “surge protector” and “power strip” are sometimes used interchangeably, not every power strip features surge protection. Power strips that also provide surge protection will be labeled as such.
Is it safe to connect multiple power strips together?
A. Connecting one power strip to another, or “daisy-chaining,” is not recommended. It is against OSHA regulations and can result in one or more of the power strips failing and potentially catching fire.
Can I use a power strip outdoors?
A. Only power strips specifically designed for the outdoors should be used where they will be exposed to water and poor weather conditions. Using a power strip made for indoor use outside can lead to potentially fatal electrocution.
What are the best power strips to buy?
Top power strip
What you need to know: This power strip features surge protection and a generous amount of outlets.
What you’ll love: With a total of 16 power outlet options, this power strip is great for home office or general-purpose use. Its six-foot cable allows it to reach almost anywhere.
What you should consider: This power strip is on the large side and will not easily fit behind furniture.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top power strip for the money
What you need to know: For those in need of basic power strips, this bundle from GE provides an excellent value.
What you’ll love: This pack of two power strips is from GE, a reputable manufacturer of electrical appliances and accessories. With cord lengths of up to 12 feet, these power strips are flexible and convenient, and they are available in black or white.
What you should consider: These power strips do not include any USB ports nor do they provide surge protection.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This bundle provides two power strips with surge protection and USB ports.
What you’ll love: These power strips feature a six-foot, braided power cable for added resilience. Its outlets are generously spaced to allow for large AC adapters.
What you should consider: Some users have reported quality control issues with regard to the USB ports on these devices.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.