Differences between a Power Strip and a Surge Protector

May 17th, 2017


Home Appliance


In today’s electronic information age, power strips and surge protectors can be seen in almost every home and office all over the world. Every family has more than one electronic devices and appliances, so the single wall outlet can’t meet the multi charging requirements anymore. A power strip works as a multiplier that can provide multiple charging outlets. It is essential to have a power strip or a surge protector at home to ensure valid power energies and safe charging environment. Most people know what a power strip is, but unfamiliar with surge protector. Seen from the appearance, there is no difference between them. But actually, a surge protector is a “smarter” power strip as it is equipped with more powerful functions.

What is a power strip?

Simply speaking, a
power strip is an electronic device that can provide a bunch of outlets connected in one panel together. The series of outlets share a single electrical wall outlet and a male electric plug. A power strip enables you to power up more electronic gadgets and appliances more easily and makes it more convenience to get power anywhere at home or office as it has a long extension cord. But it is limited to charge multi devices as it is easy to cause overloading or other risks especially when there is thunder spike.

What is a surge protector?
A surge protector is a smarter power strip. It equipped with the same basic functions like a power strip. It also has multiple charging outlets and allows you to power up more than one device at the same time. The difference is that a surge protector comes with a surge suppressor which can become a solid shield for devices against the power spikes.

Why a surge protector differs from a power strip?
As it was talked above, a
surge protector and a power strip are generally the same in terms of appearances and basic functions. To tell the difference, here mainly focus on what a surge protector has but a power strip doesn’t.

1.    Surge protection
Electronic devices or appliances are easy to get be damaged when there are power spikes. Spikes can be caused by lightning, power outages, short circuit, tripped circuit breakers, etc. When a spike occurs, there will be an instantaneous current increased temporally. If there is no any protection system, your devices will be damaged easily. That’s why it is better not to connect too many devices at the same time when you use a common power strip without surge protection. Compared with a power strip, a surge protector can not only meet your multi charging requirements but also provides you a safer charging environment.

2.    Joule rating

Joule rating is a rating of energy or the max voltage that a surge protector can reach when a spike occurs. You can find the joule rating in the package or a cable of a surge protector, so when you choose a surge protector, just checks whether it has a joule rating. The higher the joule rating is, the more hits the surge protector can take, and the better the protection will be.

3.    Compatible appliances
As a surge protector is good at protecting electronic devices from spikes, you can use it if you have some devices or appliances which are of electric sensitivity. Not all household electronics or appliances should be connected with a surge protector. If your devices are simple made and not expensive, you can just use a power strip, but if you have some important devices like computer, laptop, DVD player, home theater, and so on, you need a surge protector to well protect them from damages.

4.    Price

Compared to a power strip, a surge protector is cheaper. A surge protector that has the same number of outlets with that of a power strip is often priced $10 higher than a power strip. Though a surge protector is more expensive, it is highly advised to have one at home. In the long term, a surge protector that can create a safer living space is worth to buy.

A surge protector is a smarter power strip which not only has the same charging features but has the surge protection for your devices.

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