Power strip vs surge protector, what is the difference?

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The term surge protector and power strip are often commonly used interchangeably. There are some differences between the technology here and not every power strip that you purchase will come with some form of surge protection. If you are looking for a high quality surge protector it's very important that you are choosing only the best in heavy-duty power strips. Protecting extremely valuable equipment such as a game room, studio computer, server or high valued gaming system can all be important. Without appropriate surge protection you could be using a power strip that you're taking for granted. In the event of a lightning storm or a situation where there is a surge that goes through your electrical system, you could be left experiencing losses when it comes to your expensive equipment, your livelihood and your favorite hobbies or career path. Protecting expensive assets and making sure that your game room or studio is well outfitted with the proper surge protector and power strip is an extremely responsible choice. Here are some of the top differences between a regular power strip in a surge protector and what you should be looking for in this type of technology:

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The differences between a surge protector and power strip:

The basic difference between a regular power strip in a surge protector is that a power strip will give you multiple outlets from a single wall outlet whereas a surge protector will provide you with a level of protection in the event that your electronics experience an electrical surge. Without proper surge protection on a power strip you could be left with damages to your most important devices and a chance that your electronics could be at risk every time that there is a surge through your electrical system.

Some other things to look for in a quality surge protector and power strip:

The rating of the protection:

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One of the easiest ways to tell if a power strip has some form of surge protection on it is to look at the level of power protection that is available. If a power strip comes with some form of rating or certification sticker this can be an indication that it will protect your devices in the event of a surge. A regular power strip will just give you the extra sockets that you need to plug into the wall and likely an easy switch for turning devices on and off. Surge protectors are often designed to create a strong protective barrier around the products that are plugged into the power strip from your electrical grid. Just make sure that the rating on your power strip does not exceed the power draw from the devices that you regularly use. If you have a high-powered gaming PC, speakers, consoles, lighting and a full streaming set up all plugged into the same power strip, you could face difficulty if the rating on the power strip is not high enough.

The cost:

A power strip is always going to be significantly less expensive than a power strip that also comes with some form of surge protection. Heavy-duty power strips will often come with an extra cost but it's important to consider that they can last longer and they will sometimes come with a warranty if you are going to be purchasing one that comes with a surge protector. Keep in mind also that the cost of replacing equipment if you experience a surge in a regular power strip can be significantly more than investing in a power strip that also comes with surge protection. There's plenty of excellent options for good power strips with surge protection's for less than $60. If you need the extra protection or the extra outlets you can upgrade and get the perfect option for your studio setup or for protecting the most important electronics that you use every day.

Which option should you consider for protecting electronics?

There is often a lot of overlap between a surge protector and a power strip as many power strips also come with surge protection. If you just seeking some extra outlets that you can use the plug-in a few lamps or unsophisticated electronic devices you could likely consider the option of a standard power strip. Power strips are really designed for powering devices temporarily, offering use an extra outlets for your lighting and more. If you need the protection for more complex electronics like a gaming rig or a console, you should highly consider the option for a surge protector instead. Surge protectors will cost a bit more money but it's a low-cost insurance policy for the most important items you have on hand.

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Under no circumstances should you ever plug a power strip into a power strip that has a surge protector on it. Most of the time, a surge protector with a power strip is designed to work with one outlet and to have several devices plugged into it. Continuing to chain off a power strip with a surge arrestor can be considered a dangerous activity and it may lead to a lack of protection if you have an item which is not properly rated for the surge protection.

If you're willing to upgrade and use a surge protector with the right number of outlets for the devices that you have and the proper rating to handle the use of your electronics, you can make sure that your needs for protecting your electrical components will be handled. Upgrading the materials used in your power strip can also make sure that you'll have protection in heavy-duty environments like a workshop or areas like your basement that can regularly get dusty.

You can use a combination of power strips and parsers with surge protectors across your home to strategically protect devices while also offering the number of outlets that you need to power lighting and other electronics. Don't leave your expensive electronics at risk, check out top power strips that also come with surge protection today and you can protect everything from your workplace electronics and computers all the way to your favorite gaming console. We have power strips and power strips with surge protectors that will properly power and protect your home and business electronics.


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