Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Marc Edwards
Tommy was over the moon.
He had just bought a brand new computer for his home office after saving up for months.
However, he made a costly mistake – he forgot to buy a surge protector for his expensive gadget.
Tommy thought it wasn’t a big deal and assumed that a power surge was unlikely to happen.
But fate had other plans in store for him.
One evening, Tommy was typing away on his computer when a loud thundering sound and a bright flash of lightning outside caught his attention.
After a very brief but scary power blackout, it came back on.
Tommy tried to turn on his computer but nothing happens.
A very light stench of burnt smell from within the computer was all he got.
He knew something has gone horribly wrong and he was right.
His “brand new” computer was completely fried, and there was nothing he could do to fix it.
To make things worse, Tommy soon discovered that his other expensive electronics, including his television and gaming system, had also been damaged by the power surge.
It was a total disaster, and Tommy felt devastated and frustrated.
It was then that Tommy learned about the importance of computer surge protectors and surge protectors for electronics
Had he bought a surge protector, he could have saved himself from the heartache and financial loss that he had to endure.
Investing in these devices might seem insignificant, but they play a vital role in protecting expensive gadgets from power surges.
So, if you’re still on the fence about buying surge protection devices for your expensive electronics at home, learn from Tommy’s mistake and don’t make the same mistake he did.
I will personally hand-hold you on how to choose a surge protector that is the right fit for your computer and home electronics.
Toward the end, I will also be adding some frequently asked questions for first-time buyers.
Simple Guide to Understanding Power Surges
Before you get started, it is important to have a basic understanding of what power surges are and what causes them and so on.
In a nutshell, power surges are sudden and unexpected spikes in the electrical current.
They can cause serious damage to your electronics.
Such power spikes can come without any warning.
They are often caused by external factors such as lightning strikes, power outages, faulty power grids nearby and so on.
What is a Power surge?
Simply put, it’s a sudden increase in electrical voltages surging through the electrical system in the house or office.
These surges can last for a fraction of a second yet they can cause significant damage to your computer and electronic devices at home.
Causes of Power Surges
Factors that trigger power surges include lightning strikes, power outages, and electrical equipment malfunction.
Guess what, even turning on high-voltage appliances in the house could trigger spikes in power transients.
How Power Surges Can Damage Your Electronics
The internal components of your electronics could be fried or severely damaged if there is a sudden increase in electrical voltage entering it.
The sudden increase in electrical voltage can cause the internal components of your electronics to overheat and fail, resulting in permanent damage to your device.
Different Types of Power Surges
There are three main types of power surges:
Turning on and off high-powered appliances such as an air conditioner or refrigerator could trigger internal power surges.
External surges can be caused by power outages or a nearby faulty power grid.
Lightning surges (the most dangerous type of power surge) are caused by lightning strikes near your home or office and unless you have type 1 surge protection set up around your house, it is unlikely that your home electronics and computer will survive such high surges in electrical voltage.
Just bear in mind that normal type 3 surge protectors will never be able to safeguard your electronics and computer against power surges triggered by lightning strikes. Setting up a whole-house surge protection system is definitely recommended if you have the budget to do so.
How to Choose the Right Surge Protector for Your Computer
Below are a few things to consider when getting a surge protector for your computer.
Make sure the surge protection device you are getting has the capability to handle the wattage of all the devices you are planning to plug in.
If you are planning to plug in 5 devices including your computer, be sure to at least get one with 6 outlets.
High Joule Rating
The higher the joule rating basically means that it is able to withstand more small voltage surges and has a slightly longer lifespan. How long it would last really depends on the amount of power spikes and voltages it has taken. But on average, a surge protector with high joules rating should last about a year or two.
This will ensure the suppressor you are getting has been properly tested to meet safety standards
Price vs Features
Never pay too high a price tag for features that are commonplace. Avoid paying a premium for brands that do not really offer too many surge protection features you will need.
Needs and Requirements
Be clear about what you need in terms of features and specifications. For example, if you are a frequent traveler who has a need for charging up your laptop on the go, then a lightweight and portable travel surge protector could be more suitable for you.
If you need a computer surge protector at home, our recommendation is to go for a tower design type that can help save you precious real estate on your desk.
You will want a more robust computer surge protector for your computing devices if you happen to stay in a lightning-prone area. You will want to get one that comes with an automatic circuit breaker or one with a high amount of joule energy rating.
Choosing the best computer surge protector that suits your requirements need not be challenging at all. We hope this article has been useful in helping you make a better purchasing decision.
You should definitely consider surge protection for the whole house if you are thinking of having surge protection for most of your home appliances and electronic gadgets.
Time for Take Action
Now that you understand why surge protection is needed and how to choose one, you might be asking yourself which brand and model should you get. This is especially important if you are looking to protect your newly purchased gaming desktop from damaging power surges during stormy days.
With the humongous amount of surge protection brands and models in the market, it is increasingly difficult to get the right one that suits your need.
Lucky for you, our team has done the heavy lifting for you. 🙂 We have come out with a table showcasing our recommended brands and models of surge protectors for desktop computers. But if you are in a hurry, we have highlighted the best pc surge protector you can get below.
Its energy and space-saving design is really a huge plus for us, not to mention the safety door that will prevent little ones from poking their small fingers in. Such thoughtful design is what makes a good product great. 🙂
Are you a heavy user of USB devices? If so, you will definitely adore the 6 USB smart charging ports. If you are looking for a computer surge protector to charge up your many computing devices and peripherals of yours at home or in the office, this BESTEK surge protector should be your top consideration.
Surge Protector Comparison Table
Below is a comparison table showcasing 8 of our recommended brands and models of surge protectors for computers in terms of value for money, reliability and features.
12 3996 6 ft 2 8 1500 6 ft 6 6 1080 6 ft 2 12 2390 6 ft 2 8 525 6 ft 5 12 3600 6 ft 5 6 1280 6.6 ft 3 6 900 6.5 ft 4
Top 8 Editorial Picks
No. of Outlets
Power Cord Length
No of USB Ports
Belkin BV112050-06 Surge Protector Read Review
BESTEK Power Strip Tower Read Review
Accell Powramid USB-C Surge Protector Read Review
Huntkey 12 Outlets Surge Protector Read Review
NTONPOWER Surge Protector Tower Read Review
MKSENSE Surge Protector Read Review
Anker USB C Surge Protector Read Review
SUPERDANNY Surge Protection Tower Read Review
1Belkin BV112050-06 Review
This 3996 Joules surge protector for PC definitely has the surge protection capability to shield all your computer peripherals from harmful current spikes.
You can now juice up your electronic gadgets and work on your computer while getting protected from nasty power surges.
Having 6 regular AC outlets means you can now protect all the electrical equipment (NAS, desk lamp, laptop, printer, PC monitor) and electronic gadgets (GPS watch. cellphone) you can think of. 🖨💻📺📹📷🕹
With 6 additional block space outlets, plugging in older computer equipment (e.g. old printers) that comes with a brick-sized plug will no longer take up additional outlet space.
Problem with space constraints on your floor or desk? No worries, BV112050-06 comes with mounting holes for you to securely mount it onto your wall space.
In addition to its clean and sleek exterior, this computer surge protector from Belkin also comes with a lifetime warranty plus a worry-free $250,000 Connected Equipment Warranty.
Although Belkin BV112050-06 does not have smart IC technology for its 2 USB charging ports at its current price point, it is still a very good bang for your buck given all its awesome features and well-thought-out design.
- Whopping 3996 Joule Energy Rating
- Recessed Power Switch prevents accidental shutdowns
- Surge Protection and Improper Grounding Indicators
- 6 Blockspace outlets to accommodate BIG plugs
- Advanced power filtration
- Clean and Sleek exterior design
- Lifetime plus $250,000 Connected Equipment Warranty
- USB ports do not come with Smart IC Technology
- 6 feet power cord could be longer
2BESTEK Power Strip Tower Review
At first glance, the futuristic design of this Bestek surge protection tower unit impressed us immediately.
And with its dual independent power switch design for energy-saving purposes and 8 wide-space AC outlets, we knew it has to be our editorial pick for the best PC surge protector.
Although it comes with a mere 1500 joules energy rating, you will be thrilled to know that it comes with a short circuit and power overload protection.
And that means when a humongous power spike comes about, this 8 outlet Bestek computer surge protector will detect the overpowering current and cut the power to all 8 AC outlets including the USB ports.
This will effectively prevent the harmful surge from reaching your connected devices like laptops, PC computers and connected peripherals.
Are you impressed yet? 🙂
And if that is not enough to impress you, do know that it comes with 6 smart USB charging ports with an intelligent device recognition feature.
This feature helps provide a safe amount of maximum charging speed for the plugged-in device.
In addition to that, all its eight AC outlets come with a peace-of-mind safety door to help prevent little kiddies at home from poking their little fingers in.
And if a 6-foot long power cord is not long enough for you, do know that there is a 12 feet long model available.
And if wireless charging is your kind of thing, you will be glad to know that Bestek also comes with a wireless charger model with similar features and specs.
If you are curious about its resistance to heat, you will be pleased to know it has a high temperature resistant of up to 750°C.
This Bestek surge protection tower comes with 6 feet long power cord plus an 18-month warranty.
When it comes to choosing the best surge protector for a computer, you have to get one that ensures the safety of your computer and its data when a power spike happens.
A powerful voltage spike from a nearby lightning bolt could potentially fry your computer and the hard disk on your computer could also be damaged.
Given its power overload protection, your laptop and computer devices will be in safe hands when a nasty spike comes around.
- Built-in Safety doors for all AC outlets
- 2 Independent Power Switches for energy saving purpose
- 6 smart USB Charging ports with intelligent device recognition function
- Smart, elegant and futuristic design
- Short circuit and power overload protection
- FCC and ETL certified and conforming to RoHS standard
- Heat resistant of up to 750°C
- 18 month warranty
- 6 feet power cord could be longer
3Accell Powramid Computer Surge Protector for Office
If you are looking for a durable and reliable surge protector for the office that must come with both USB-A and USB-C ports, you are in luck.
This 1080 joules computer surge protector from Accell Powramid fits the bill with its 6 well spread-out outlets ensuring that everyone sitting around the office gets to share the AC outlets.
This Accell Powramid surge protector is also perfect for a meeting room, with enough AC outlets for hosting small group work meetings and web conferences.
A wireless charging model is available if you require a wireless charging function.
Its 40 dB filtration power feature helps isolate your computer from power-generated noise, resulting in a more superior sound and image quality when in use with audio/visual equipment.
This computer surge protector also features X3 MOV Technology which could help protect connected equipment from hazardous surges and power spikes. It provides a longer protection lifespan than that of a regular MOV.
This surge protector from Accell comes with a full 5 year connected equipment and $100k limited warranty.
- 6 wide-space AC outlets
- Skid and scratch-resistant base, perfect for meeting room use
- Availability of both USB-A and USB-C charging outlets
- 6 foot long heavy duty power cord
- Advanced X3 MOV technology
- Noise Reduction feature for superior audio/visual quality
- 5 year connected equipment and $100k limited warranty
- 1080 joules may get depleted fast when powerful spikes come about
4Huntkey 12 Outlets USB C Surge Protector Review
One look and you may immediately notice similarities between this Huntkey surge protector and the Belkin BV112050-06 we reviewed earlier on.
Well, do not judge a “surge protector” by its cover. 🙂
This Huntley computer surge protector comes packed with 2390 joules and has 2 USB charging ports. 1 of them comes with a USB Type C port which provides ultra-fast charging (up to 2.5 times faster).
Besides having 7 regular AC outlets and 5 wide-spaced AC outlets, do note that this Huntkey surge protection device comes with overcharging, overheating and short-circuit protection which are essential features for computer users.
Unlike Belkin BV112050-06, its housing is made of flame retardant materials and is able to withstand temperatures of up to 1,382℉(750℃).
While it is in the same price range as Belkin BV112050-06, it is definitely a more worthy buy in my opinion.
Don’t you agree? 🙂
- 7 Regular AC Outlets and 5 Blockspace AC Outlets
- 1 USB Type C Fast Charging Port and 1 regular USB port
- Overload, Overheating and Short-circuit Protection features
- 6 Feet Heavy Duty UL listed Extension Cord
- 2390 joules energy rating
- 2 keyhole mounting slots
- Made of flame retardant materials
- 36 months warranty
- ETL Listed & FCC certified
- the 6 feet power cord could be longer
5NTONPOWER Surge Protector Tower Review
Sick of using a power strip surge protector? This Surge Protector Tower from NTONPOWER will add a whole new look to your study/working environment.
If you are BIG on energy saving, this is probably the surge protector you will ever want. There is a dedicated power switch for each column of 4 AC outlets and USB fast charging ports.
Devices that require to be powered on 7 x 24 (Internet modem, security camera, etc) can be plugged into one column and the rest can be plugged into another.
End of the day, you are just one switch button away from powering off all the devices (that need NOT be on 7 x 24) to avoid the dreadful phantom energy load.
NTONPOWER Surge Protector Tower comes with a total of 8 AC outlets. These outlets should be more than enough to juice up all your computing devices like laptop/PC computers and electrical peripherals like printers, modems, fax machines, desk lamps and so on.
While this NTONPOWER computer surge protector does not come with a good amount of joules, it compensated that with a built-in 15-amp circuit breaker which will protect against power overload. This feature will prevent the harmful effects of power spikes from reaching all the connected equipment.
This surge suppression tower with 6 feet power cord is made with fireproof ABS+PC material that is capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 1382℉.
This NTONPOWER Surge Protector Tower has an 18 months warranty to facilitate any refund or replacement of faulty parts. In addition to that, they also provide a peace-of-mind $300,000 liability insurance for connected devices and property damage if an incident occurs.
- Individual column power switch for convenient and energy saving purposes
- Space-saving design
- Non- Slip Silicone Mat at the bottom
- Low Profile Flat Plug – great for tight spaces
- Built-in 15 amp circuit breaker
- 8 AC outlets spanned across 2 columns
- 5 fast charging USB ports that come with smart IC auto-adjust charging rate
- Fireproof ABS+PC material housing
- 18 months refund and replacement warranty and more
- 6 ft power cord may not be long enough for far-flung AC power source
6MKSENSE Surge Protector Power Strip Review
Weighing only 1.71 pounds, this affordable surge protection device not only comes with a whopping 3600-joule rating, it also has four USB ports (5V/2.4A) and one USB-C port (5V/3A + up to 10Gps transfer speed). If you have always wanted a USB port that delivers 10Gps worth of transfer speed, consider this another of your wishes granted. 😉
Never worry about overloading your power strip anymore with MKSENSE’s Overload Protection feature which will automatically trigger a shutdown whenever power overload is detected. No more tripping up your entire household when power overload occurs.
Besides having a fire-resistant housing made of flame-retardant material, this MKSENSE surge protector comes with two widely-spaced outlets which will allow you to plug in big-sized plugs that would normally take up an additional outlet.
This computer surge protector is most ideal for people working from home and students – who have lots of USB devices and computer peripherals. This surge protector does come with a 10 outlet model if 12 outlets are too many for you.
- 12 power outlets (includes 2 x widely-spaced outlets)
- Fire-resistant exterior housing
- 3600 joule suppression rating
- An integrated circuit breaker with overload protection
- 5 x USB ports (including 1 x USB-C ports with a transfer speed of 10Gps)
- 45° Angled Flat Plug
- ETL listed (ETL Mark is proof of product compliance to North American safety standards)
- Lack of warranty information
7Anker USB C Surge Protector Power Strip Review
Besides getting wooed over by its simple and yet pleasing white exterior design, I was not expecting this Anker surge protector to come with a high-speed charging USB-C port.
Did you know that with the USB-C charging port, you will be able to charge iPhone up to 2.5 times and the iPad 1.5 times faster? If you are an Apple fan, you will definitely come to adore the USB-C port.
In addition to the USB-C port, there are two Power-IQ-enabled USB ports that intelligently identify your device while providing the fastest possible charge – depending on the type of USB devices you have, obviously. 😉
Offering 1280 joules and a fire-resistant casing, this Anker surge protection device is ideal for protecting your personal computer, laptop, printer at home or in the office, not to mention protecting USB devices too while charging them.
I especially like the specially catered extra spacing between the power outlets which is a good feature to have if you happen to have old printers that come with brick-sized power plugs that will easily take up the space of two power outlets.
If you have little ones at home, you will appreciate the internal safety shutters built into each outlet that help prevent accidental exposure to A/C currents.
All in all, if you are looking for a decently priced surge protector that delivers good quality features plus peace of mind 18-month warranty, this surge protector from Anker will definitely meet your expectations.
- 6 power outlets (all outlets are widely-spaced out)
- Fire-resistant exterior housing
- 1280 joule rating
- Child-friendly internal safety shutters
- An integrated circuit breaker with overload protection
- Over-current protection
- Short-circuit protection
- 1 x USB-C ports (with a transfer speed of 10Gps)
- 2 x Power-IQ USB ports (fast charging feature and device recognition)
- 45° Angled Flat Plug
- 6.6 foot long power cord
- 18 months warranty with lifetime $100,000 connected equipment warranty
8SUPERDANNY Surge Protector Tower Review
If you are a huge fan of a neat and orderly desk, I am pretty confident you will come to enjoy the retractable power cable that can be hidden at the base of the tower.
It does not matter if you have USB-powered devices like Air-pods, smartwatch, tablet or computer electronics like a desktop computer, monitor, laptop, or printer – all of them can be safely charged while still making your desk look aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
Most importantly, wireless charging for your cellphone is just one button away, no more separate wireless charge pad and extra cable lying around your desk.
And with a vertical charging tower-like SUPERDANNY, gone are the days where you will need to sacrifice extra A/C outlet when using transformer-size plugs from old equipment.
People who need to work from home for prolonged hours will be glad that this charging tower is made of ABS + PC flame-resisting material, rated UL94 V-0 – the highest fire resistance level. No more worries about unexpected fire hazards.
Is this surge protection tower only for office or computer desks? Of course not. This 900-joule surge protection tower from SUPERDANNY is extremely versatile in terms of usage. It can be used almost anywhere, be it office, home, multimedia entertainment room, or even garage.
- 6 x AC outlets
- 10W Wireless Charging pad
- 4 x USB charging ports
- UL94 V-0 rated flame-resistant exterior housing
- 900 joule rating
- Space-saving design
- An integrated circuit breaker with overload protection
- Short-circuit protection
- Retractable 6.5 feet power cable
- LED indicator/Metal detector for different working status
- Surge protection rating is low
As power surges can happen anytime, without surge protection, your electronics at home are vulnerable to damage. Investing in surge protection is crucial to safeguard your expensive electronics and computer systems from power surges and lightning strikes (type 1 SPD).
Now that you have a clear understanding of how surge protection can help protect and how to choose one that fits your requirements, your home computer and electronics will be safeguarded the next time a damaging power surge comes by.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
When purchasing a surge protector, consider the voltage rating, the joule rating, and the number of outlets.
A surge protector with a high voltage rating and joule rating is more effective in protecting your devices.
Also, ensure that the surge protector has enough outlets for your devices and is compatible with the devices you want to protect.
Remember this. Surge protection devices are not one-time purchases as they will not last forever. They will obviously become less effective due to the effects of power surges and electrical noise and so on.
Hence it is highly recommended to have your surge protector replaced every one to two years to ensure optimal protection for your home electronics and computer systems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where should I set up the surge protector?
Always go for a location where there is an AC outlet available and is not blocked by furniture and is accessible enough for you to plug in all the required electronics.
If possible, get a room with no direct sunlight exposure and well-ventilated.
Avoid installing the surge protector in an area where it could be accidentally kicked or knocked over.
How to properly connect my home electronics and computer to the surge protector?
To avoid any potential mishaps, it is always recommended to read the manual for setup instructions when hooking up your computer and electronic devices.
The surge protector should be the only device that gets plugged directly into the AC outlet. The rest of the devices should be connected to the surge protection device.
Never try to overload the surge protector with too many connected devices as it might cause overheating and shorten the lifespan of the surge protection device.
What are some mistakes to avoid when setting up surge protectors?
One common mistake when installing a surge protector is not properly testing it before use.
If possible, always get the shop to test it for you before you pay for it.
This will save you the trouble of returning it if it does not work when you test it at home.
Never try to daisy chain it to another surge protector or power strip if you do not know what you are doing. This will potentially cause fire hazards.
I made the mistake of not asking the shop I got my first surge protector from to properly test it before using it. I ended up having to return the faulty unit back to the shop I purchase from. 🙁
This experience taught me the importance of always testing a surge protector before use and making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Since then, I have always made sure to properly test and install surge protectors to avoid any further issues.
Can a surge protector protect against lightning strikes?
Surge protectors that you buy off the shelves are type 3 surge protectors which are most effective against electrical transients and normal power surges within the household.
Do consider getting a type 1 surge protector or a whole house surge protection device in addition to those to which your home electronics and appliances are plugged in.
How often should I replace my surge protector?
Replace them every one to two years as they will become less effective over time due to power surges, wear and tear, and exposure to electrical noise.
Can I use one surge protector for multiple electronics?
Yes, you can use one surge protector for multiple electronics.
However, make sure that the surge protector has enough outlets for your devices and is compatible with the devices you want to protect.
Is it safe to leave my computer plugged in during a power outage?
Unplug all your electrical within the house during a power outage, including your computer so that it will not be damaged by voltage spikes when the power returns.