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Power Strips Vs. Surge Protectors: What’s the Difference?

In: Tech

Power strips and surge protectors are necessary electronic equipment in practically every home with electronic devices. You most likely have outlets in your home or business that can accept two or three devices. What if you need to connect more than two devices simultaneously? You’ll probably need a power strip, simply an extension block that allows you to simultaneously power many electronic gadgets from a single socket. It connects to a standard wall outlet and enables you to connect several devices.

A surge protector is similar to a power strip except that it protects your electrical gadgets from unexpected power surges. This article explains the difference between power strips and surge protectors below and provides a brief guide to help you figure out which one you need.

What is a power strip?

A power strip is something you’ve probably seen a thousand times before. It’s a long flat cord power strip with a lot of outlets. There is a cable on one end and nothing on the other. The wire fits into a wall outlet, and the strip provides many outlets to charge your devices.

The outlet on the wall power everything you plug into the strip’s outlets. A power strip aims to provide you with additional outlets to connect things.

What Is a Surge Protector?

The concept of a surge protector may be perplexing at first. Surge protectors are electrical sockets that safeguard your device from power surges. They employ a customized circuit that delivers electrical spikes directly into the earth, bypassing the electrical equipment. Consider it a valve that only opens when higher-than-normal voltage is sensed. By redirecting this electricity, your gadget will not be fried.

Difference Between Surge Protectors and Power Strips

1. Functionality

Functionality is unquestionably the critical difference between the two. While the surge protector protects your electrical and electronic gadgets from potential voltage spikes, power strips provide additional outlet space.

While the two devices may appear identical, you should be able to detect the difference merely by looking at the packing. The surge protectors have a joule rating, which is a measurement unit. Power surges can cause significant damage to your appliances, and surge protectors absorb the surge but can only absorb a certain number of joules. You can use this rating to determine how long your gadgets are protected.

If the label indicates 2000 joules, that is the greatest amount the surge suppressor can withstand, which can occur in a single 2000 joules strike or ten or fifteen lower surges.

2. Cost

Power strips are relatively inexpensive in terms of cost. Power strips can be available for less than $20. So, if you require additional electrical sockets, that is the best solution.

Surge protectors are also not pricey and are the best option if you want to safeguard your electronics. When it comes to surge suppressors, the price range is wider. Some items are available for less than $20, but more expensive alternatives on the market provide additional protection.

3. Usage


Because they serve various purposes, you may need to use one or the other in different situations. A surge suppressor is usually advised; however, you may use protectors and power strips differently depending on the home’s quantity and type of electronics, appliances, and devices.

Power strips are an excellent alternative when you have many electronics near together. Most residential areas have only two outlets, which are not usually sufficient. It is far more convenient to have an extra strip.

Additionally, power strips have many outlets, a circuit breaker, and an on/off button, making them an excellent alternative for anyone looking to save energy. However, remember that not all power strips include a built-in surge protector. As a result, appliances are vulnerable.

Surge protectors and power strips are excellent choices for multiple appliances close. On the other hand, a surge protector protects your home from a voltage spike while housing the cords for your phone, TV, or computer.

What Is an Electrical Power Surge?

A power surge occurs when your power source is disrupted. A power surge can occur when a large item (such as your air conditioner or refrigerator) is turned on, lightning strikes, or an electrical transformer is struck by something. Furthermore, the power supplied by your utility company may not always provide a steady stream of electricity. Any of these circumstances cause a temporary disruption in the amount of electricity flowing to the electronics in your home.

When it comes to the severity of a surge, it can vary. A significant surge is something like a lightning strike. Electrical appliances and electronics can fry, melt, and malfunction during a severe surge. Small and micro surges can potentially cause harm over time. The connections and circuitry inside your devices gradually deteriorate before the equipment fails.


Power strips and surge protectors are vital technological equipment that you can find in almost every home to increase the capacity of your wall outlet. Many believe all power strips are surge protectors, but this is incorrect. Although they appear to be the same on the surface, a surge protector is an entirely different device.

A surge protector, like a power strip, allows customers to connect several devices simultaneously while providing additional protection. A surge protector serves as a power strip and protects your gadgets from abrupt voltage fluctuations and power surges by preventing excess voltage from exceeding a specific safe threshold limit.

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