The Best Surge Protector

The Best Surge Protector

Our pick

Tripp Lite 12-Outlet Surge Protector (TLP1208TELTV)

Tripp Lite 12-Outlet Surge Protector (TLP1208TELTV)

The best surge protector

In testing, this surge protector was one of the best at preventing extra voltage from reaching its outlets. It also safely stops all power once the protection wears out, and it has 12 AC outlets plus coax and phone ports.

Buying Options

$55 from Amazon
$55 from Zoro

If you want a surge protector for your home theater or office, the Tripp Lite 12-Outlet Surge Protector (TLP1208TELTV) is your best choice. It has a critical auto-shutoff feature, more than enough outlets to keep all your gadgets powered, and both coaxial and telephone connectors. It offers great protection against household surges that come from other equipment in your home or fluctuations from the power company. Plus, it has a generous 8-foot cord, and it feels sturdy and robust.

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Runner-up

APC SurgeArrest Performance P12U2

APC SurgeArrest Performance P12U2

Less protection, fewer ports

The P12U2 protected against surges as well as any other unit we tested, but in some cases it can still provide power after part of its protection has worn out. It lacks telephone and coax connections but adds two USB charging ports.

Buying Options

$34 from Amazon

The 12-outlet APC SurgeArrest Performance P12U2 has the auto-shutoff feature that we require of a main pick, but the feature kicks in only when one of its three wiring sections fails—if either of the other two sections wears out first, that will leave your expensive electronics partially unprotected. However, it features prominent LEDs indicating a wiring problem, and it has just as many AC outlets as our Tripp Lite top pick. In our testing, it clamped down on surges as hard as the Tripp Lite 12-Outlet did, and its joule rating is about 30% higher (meaning it’s designed to last longer, but that’s just an estimate). Although it lacks the telephone and coaxial ports of our top pick, it adds two USB ports so you don’t have to sacrifice outlets to charge a phone, tablet, or other small device. The APC’s shorter (6-foot) cord means you’ll have a harder time reaching faraway outlets, but we think it’s still plenty long enough for most people.

Also great

Accell Power Air (D080B-048F)

Accell Power Air (D080B-048F)

For the nightstand

With six AC outlets and two 2.4-amp USB ports, the Power Air packs a lot of protection into a compact design.

Buying Options

$35 from Amazon

For light-duty powering, such as under a nightstand or end table, the Accell Power Air (D080B-048F) is the way to go to protect gadgets like phones, tablets, or alarm clocks from surges. It offers two USB ports and six AC outlets in a round package that’s smaller than a dinner plate. The USB ports put out a combined 2.4 amps, enough to charge one smartphone or tablet at a high speed or two devices at low speeds. The circular outlet layout makes it usable with a variety of plug sizes. Like the APC P12U2, it has a 6-foot cord, which is 2 feet shorter than that of the Tripp Lite 12-Outlet. The Power Air performed almost as well as our main pick and runner-up against individual surges, though it might not hold up to as many surges as larger models over its lifetime given its lower (1,080-joule) rating.

Also great

Tripp Lite Protect It 3-Outlet Surge Protector (SK30USB)

Tripp Lite Protect It 3-Outlet Surge Protector (SK30USB)

For light use and travel

Tripp Lite’s Protect It 3-Outlet SK30USB has an auto-shutoff feature and offers almost as much surge protection as full-size models. Plus, it has two 2.1-amp USB ports.

Buying Options

$23 from Amazon

The Tripp Lite Protect It 3-Outlet Surge Protector (SK30USB) offers the portability of our favorite small power strips for travel, but with even more protection. It has an auto-shutoff mechanism, making it one of the few three-outlet options we’ve found that will disconnect power when the surge protection wears out. In addition to the three AC outlets, it comes equipped with two USB ports that offer a combined 2.1 amps. It performed well compared with other small options we’ve tested, blocking almost as many volts as larger models. We’d choose the SK30USB for protecting a few small household appliances—say, an essential oil diffuser, a Nintendo Switch dock, and a coffee grinder—and a couple of smartphones, or even for tossing in a carry-on when we’re traveling.

Also great

Furman Power Station 8 (PST-8)

Furman Power Station 8 (PST-8)

For protecting top-of-the-line equipment

Overkill unless you have high-end home theater, office, or media equipment, this unit knocked down surges better than any model we tried, including surge eliminators costing twice as much.

Buying Options

$160* from Target
$125 from B&H

*At the time of publishing, the price was $125.

Our top picks will protect most equipment in most cases. But the Furman Power Station 8 (PST-8) goes further, providing the best surge suppression of any model we tested—enough to give owners of high-end electronics peace of mind. It turned a 5,000-volt surge into just 40 volts, thanks in part to a shutdown circuit that turns off all power when a surge is detected. The PST-8 actually let less voltage through in our tests than high-end series mode surge eliminators that can cost hundreds more. But common equipment, such as a computer monitor, will be fine protected by one of our less expensive picks, so this model is best for people who insist on extra protection for particularly precious gear. Plus, it has a sturdy aluminum body and an 8-foot cord.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Tripp Lite 12-Outlet Surge Protector (TLP1208TELTV)

Tripp Lite 12-Outlet Surge Protector (TLP1208TELTV)

The best surge protector

In testing, this surge protector was one of the best at preventing extra voltage from reaching its outlets. It also safely stops all power once the protection wears out, and it has 12 AC outlets plus coax and phone ports.

Buying Options

$55 from Amazon
$55 from Zoro

Runner-up

APC SurgeArrest Performance P12U2

APC SurgeArrest Performance P12U2

Less protection, fewer ports

The P12U2 protected against surges as well as any other unit we tested, but in some cases it can still provide power after part of its protection has worn out. It lacks telephone and coax connections but adds two USB charging ports.

Buying Options

$34 from Amazon

Also great

Accell Power Air (D080B-048F)

Accell Power Air (D080B-048F)

For the nightstand

With six AC outlets and two 2.4-amp USB ports, the Power Air packs a lot of protection into a compact design.

Buying Options

$35 from Amazon

Also great

Tripp Lite Protect It 3-Outlet Surge Protector (SK30USB)

Tripp Lite Protect It 3-Outlet Surge Protector (SK30USB)

For light use and travel

Tripp Lite’s Protect It 3-Outlet SK30USB has an auto-shutoff feature and offers almost as much surge protection as full-size models. Plus, it has two 2.1-amp USB ports.

Buying Options

$23 from Amazon

Also great

Furman Power Station 8 (PST-8)

Furman Power Station 8 (PST-8)

For protecting top-of-the-line equipment

Overkill unless you have high-end home theater, office, or media equipment, this unit knocked down surges better than any model we tried, including surge eliminators costing twice as much.

Buying Options

$160* from Target
$125 from B&H

*At the time of publishing, the price was $125.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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