Have you ever used an untrustworthy surge protector? If you haven’t, let me assure you that you don’t want to.
I put up with one old power strip that was constantly tripping, turning off my space heater in the middle of the winter. Even worse, it couldn’t even handle the strain of my desktop computer, randomly shutting off when I was in the middle of work.
The surge protector eventually blew itself out, tripping the fuse box in my house along with it. Nothing serious happened, but it could have.
A surge protector is designed to protect your home from potentially harmful excesses of electricity. If yours is acting up, don’t chance it. Throw it in the garbage and get something new.
Of course, the question then becomes, “What should I buy?” You can buy sure protectors from electronics stores, hardware stores, even bargain stores. However, you also need to pay attention to what you buy, because there is a big difference between a power strip and a surge protector.
You see, a power strip simply provides additional plug-ins for your electronic devices. However, surge protectors do not protect your electrical devices (or your fuse box) from spikes in voltage. While any power strip provides additional electrical outlets, a surge in voltage can cause serious damage to your electronics. This can be especially serious if it’s an expensive item like a hair dryer or a computer.
A surge protector basically captures that surge and prevents it from feeding back into the electronic device in use. This protects your computer or other electrical devices from being damaged.
Although there are probably a dozen brands of surge protectors, these reviews focus on surge protectors manufactured by Belkin.
Things to Consider
Surge protectors come in a variety of shapes, sizes and prices. They are also available through a number of different brands. Whether you end up buying a Belkin surge protector or not, here are five things to keep in mind.
1. Number of Outlets
Surge protectors vary wildly in the number of available outlets. Some have just three or four while other, more expensive models can have a dozen. Some of the larger surge protectors can be quite bulky, so keep that in mind.
2. Energy Rating
Surge protectors are measured by a joule energy rating, which is the number of joules it is designed to handle. It’s a good idea to consider the wattage of the device or devices you use. If you’ll be using multiple high-wattage appliances or electronics, you’ll want a surge protector with a good energy rating.
While surge protectors are typically placed in vital areas of the home where a lot of appliances and electronics are used, there are also smaller models that are well-suited for travel. Some of these include USB ports for charging your phone.
One of the most important things to look for in a surge protector is its warranty. Basically, the company will cover a certain cost in damages and repairs that might result from a voltage spike if the surge protector fails to ward it off. If you have a lot of valuable electronics, a warranty is an important thing to pay attention to.
Price is mostly a non-issue where surge protectors are concerned. Most units cost less than $20. But it may be worth it to buy a more expensive unit that can handle more joules or offers a better warranty.
The Best Belkin Surge Protectors
Sometimes, choosing the best product is a no brainer. This was one of those times. Although all of these surge protectors are excellent, the Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Surge Protector offered more protection and a better design, making it the obvious best choice.
Best Belkin Surge Protectors Under $10
Belkin SurgeCube Surge Protector
When most people think of surge protectors, they think of a long power strip with many outlets. However, large power strips are inconvenient for business trips and much too large and bulky for a bathroom.
Fortunately, there are surge protectors especially designed for these situations, such as the Belkin Single Outlet SurgeCube. Since it can be fitted in any outlet, it’s perfect for your bathroom, which rarely has the room for a standard surge protector. This way you can use your hair dryer or other accessories without worrying about a voltage spike.
The small size is also ideal for situations where you don’t want a lot of extra cords. The surge protector has an energy rating of 885 joules, and two green LEDs light up to let you know your device is grounded.
The SurgeCube is not ideal for every situation. It’s a poor fit for your entertainment center, home office or anywhere you use a lot of electronic devices. But if you want a compact surge protector without the clutter, this is the one to get.
Best Belkin Surge Protectors Under $20
Belkin 7-Outlet SurgeMaster Home Series Surge Protector
If you’re looking for a great surge protector at an affordable price, you can hardly go wrong with the Belkin 7-Outlet SurgeMaster Home Series Surge Protector. Not only does it have one more outlet than your standard power strip or surge protector, it has other useful features as well.
One of my favorite things about the SurgeMaster is the placement of the seventh outlet. A lot of phone chargers and AC adapters are bulky and end up taking up a lot of space. As a result, some of your outlets often get covered up, limiting your options. This surge protector places one of those outlets slightly apart from the others, giving you room for that AC adapter without creating a lot of clutter.
The surge protector has an energy rating of 1045 joules. LED indicators let you know when you’re grounded, and protective covers slide over the outlets when not in use, protecting you and your family from spills or accidents. Unfortunately, the LED indicators don’t work very well.
The surge protector also has two inputs for your fax or other modem to plug straight in to the strip. The cable is six feet long, but a 12-foot model is available for about $10 more. Perhaps best of all, the power strip comes with a $50,000 warranty in the event of damage to your electronics. Not bad at all.
Belkin 6-Outlet Commercial Surge Protector
The vast majority of surge protectors have a number of outlets for your convenience, with six being a very common number. And that is exactly what you get with Belkin’s 6-Outlet Commercial Surge Protector. This isn’t the best surge protector out there, but it provide reasonable protection at an affordable price.
There’s nothing remarkable about the design of this surge protector. In fact, it looks almost indistinguishable from a standard power strip. In this case, it’s what on the inside that counts. The surge protector has a six-foot power cord, which gives you a little flexibility over where you can put it. It has an AC rating of 15 amps, 125 volts and 1875 watts. It comes with a 720 joule energy rating, has a maximum spike amperage of 48,000 amps and can block up to 43 dB of noise.
As you may have noticed, the ratings for this outlet are similar to the SurgeCube. The biggest difference is the smaller energy rating and the lack of a warranty. This strip protector is perfect for your average, everyday needs, but if you need to protect something really critical, you should invest in a surge protector with a higher rating.
Belkin 3-Outlet USB Surge Protector with Rotating Plug
The Belkin 3-Outlet SurgePlus is another small, travel-sized surge protector. Unlike the SurgeCube, however, the SurgePlus has three outlets and two USB ports, making it a valuable companion when you have to travel.
It’s the little things that make this Belkin surge protector stand out from the others. For example, it has a 360-degree rotating plug, making it easier to fit your charger in those inconveniently located wall outlets in your motel.
The USB ports make it easy to charge your phone by letting you connect your USB straight into the surge protector. The USB ports deliver 2.1 amps to each port, meaning your phone charges fast, which is great if you’re stopped at a cafe and don’t have a lot of time.
It’s no slouch when it comes to its energy rating, either, with a rating of 918 joules. Like some other Belkin surge protectors, a little green light will turn on when your devices are grounded. Also, the power strip itself is the perfect place to set your phone while its charging.
This is a smaller surge protector, and as you might expect, it doesn’t come with any warranty. Like the SurgeCube, this isn’t going to replace your main surge protector, but it’s perfect for the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen or hotel room.
Belkin 6-Outlet USB Surge Protector with Wall Mount
Although it has the same number of outlets as a standard surge protector, the Belkin SurgePlus 6-Outlet Wall Mount Surge Protector eschews the standard power strip design for a bolder, more modern look.
To be sure, this particular model isn’t for everyone, and it may not be convenient for all locations. Rather than the standard strip with a power cord, this surge protector is wall mounted, plugging directly into your wall outlet and staying there.
The surge protector has an energy rating of 900 joules. Like the previous surge protector, this also has USB ports for easy charging and access. There are also to LED lights that mark clearly whether you are grounded or not. The surge protector provides a $25,000 warranty on your equipment.
The advantage of this is a cleaner setup, as there are less cables to get in the way. This is a perfect setup for an office, where your printer, computer, monitor and other electronics are basically stationary. Unfortunately, there’s no flexibility, which means it really isn’t ideal for any room where you’re constantly switching electronics or redecorating.
Best Belkin Surge Protectors Under $25
Belkin 12-Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector 8ft. Cord
You can say what you want about Belkin, but they never fail to create interesting and innovative designs for their surge protectors. This 12-Outlet Surge Protector is no exception. Like several other surge protectors on this list, it provides 12 different outlets for your convenience. Once again, the devil is in the details.
In this case, there are six outlets running vertically down the power strip, and three more outlets at 90 degree angles on either side. Again, this makes it a lot easier to fit more plugs in, as they’re less likely to get tangled and confused. Unlike the other 12-outlet power strips, however, this one also comes with USB ports, allowing you to directly connect USB-powered devices into the surge protector itself.
The surge protector has an impressive energy rating of 3996 joules, and your equipment is protected by a $250,000 warranty. The power cable is six feet long, providing you with some room to move. Interestingly enough, there are different variants of this power strip. This one features USB, but a similar model has an Ethernet connection instead.
Belkin 6-Outlet Conserve Surge Protector
Belkin’s 8-Outlet Conserve Surge Protector is a little different than the other surge protectors that I’ve reviewed so far. This surge protector has a built-in timer that automatically shuts off after 11 hours, thereby eliminating all the energy wasted by keeping your electronics on standby.
One thing I really like about this surge protector is its 8-outlet design. Six of them are built into the timer mechanism, and anything plugged into these six outlets will automatically turn off when the timer expires. The other two outlets are not tied into the timer and offer continuous power. This is perfect for clocks, fax machines, internet modems and other electronics you need to keep active. The surge protector has an energy rating of 1000 joules.
While this is an excellent surge protector, it is designed primarily with office settings in mind. While you can certainly use it in the home to conserve power while you’re at work, this surge protector isn’t ideal for everyone. The units are sometimes defective and stop working after a couple of months, but they are covered under a warranty and Belkin will replace it.
Best Belkin Surge Protectors Under $50
Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector w/ 8ft Cord
If you’re looking for a surge protector with plenty of outlets, then you should check out the Belkin BE112230-08. This surge protector offers 12 different outlets, giving you more than enough room to plug in anything you need.
With as many outlets as this strip has, you need something with a good energy rating. Fortunately, this strip delivers. With an energy rating of 3940 joules, the BE112230-08 completely blows away all of the other surge protectors I’ve mentioned so far. It has a continuous electrical rating of 15 amps / 125 volts / 1875 watts, and it comes with a lifetime warranty of $300,000 on all protected equipment.
If this sounds a little excessive to you, it’s because this surge protector is designed to accommodate both professional and personal needs. Whether you have a home theatre system or have a lot of expensive electronics in your office, you need a surge protector you can depend on. If you just need a basic surge protector for your lamp and your laptop, however, this is way more than you need.
Belkin Travel RockStar Surge Protector with 2 AC Outlets
Yet another miniature travel surge protector, the Belkin Travel Rockstar Surge Protector functions almost more as a mobile charging station than as a standard surge protector. It does a good job with both tasks, but it’s not quite perfect.
This particular surge protector has just two outlets. It has an energy rating of just 615 joules, although it also provides a $75,000 connected equipment warranty as well as a two-year warranty on the surge protector itself. But this is more than just a surge protector. It is also a smart phone charger.
The unit has a 3000 mAh battery built in that provides power to the USB port, effectively charging your phone or tablet on the go. What’s great about this is that you don’t have to have the unit plugged into the wall to charge your phone, meaning you can use this to charge your phone while driving or carrying out other tasks.
Unfortunately, this is also the unit’s biggest downfall. Because the device uses the built-in battery to charge your phone, it can’t actually charge your phone while the surge protector is plugged in, as it is drawing power from the outlet to restore the built-in battery. This wasn’t enough to ruin it for me, but for some people, that’s a deal breaker.
Best Belkin Surge Protectors Under $100
Belkin BSV401VF2M protection surtension
My first thought when I saw the Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Surge Protector was that it was a little over the top. It’s not the first surge 12-outlet surge protector on this list, but the design of this surge protector is even more intimidating than the last one.
Unlike most surge protector power strips, only four of the outlets are stationary. The other eight outlets are all on the sides of the protector, and they pivot about 90 degrees. Honestly, there’s nothing over the top about this; it’s amazing! It’s so much easier to plug in electronic devices at an awkward angle thanks to this design. The surge protector is also very heavy-duty. It has an energy rating of 4320 joules and comes with a $300,000 connected equipment warranty.
The surge protector has an 8-foot power cord and several LED lights to let you know if you’re grounded. It also has a large reset button. The only problem I have with this surge protector is that it’s a little bulkier than some other models. Otherwise, this is a textbook example of how to build a surge protector right.
If you thought shopping for a surge protector was a simple matter, now you know better. The craziest thing about this list, of course, is that all of these surge protectors are just different products of one brand.
There are dozens of brands of surge protectors out there! But sometimes, if you want the best product you can get, it’s best to focus on the best company for that product. That’s Belkin.
*All prices mentioned above are at the time of publishing.