Power strips and surge protectors have become an integral part of our lives, often more so than we realize. Power strips can make all the difference for small businesses, ensuring that all the essential devices are powered up and functioning seamlessly. This guide will take you through the world of power strips, surge protectors, smart power strips, and USB power strips, providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Understanding Power Strips and Surge Protectors
What is a Power Strip?
A power strip, sometimes known as an extension block, is a block of electrical sockets attached to the end of a flexible cable (power cord) that plugs into an electrical receptacle. Power strips offer a practical solution when you need to plug several devices into a single wall outlet. They are typically equipped with a power switch and offer anywhere from two to twelve outlets, making them an ideal choice for running multiple devices simultaneously.
What is a Surge Protector Power Strip?
A surge protector power strip, as the name suggests, is a power strip that offers surge protection. Power surges, or sudden spikes in voltage, can potentially damage or destroy electronic devices. The surge protector within these power strips detects such spikes in electricity and redirects the excess energy into the grounding wire, protecting the connected devices.
Power Strips and Surge Protectors: A Closer Look
Understanding the mechanics and uses of power strips and surge protectors can greatly impact the way you manage your electronic devices, especially in a business or work environment. Efficiency, safety, and durability of your devices can all be significantly enhanced by the judicious use of these handy tools.
Power Strips: Maximizing Output
Power strips serve as a viable means to expand the number of devices you can connect to a single wall outlet. In workspaces where numerous devices are required – from computers and printers to desk lamps and coffee makers – power strips can be invaluable. Here are some key features to consider:
– Multiple Outlets: Power strips typically come with 2-12 outlets, allowing multiple devices to be used at once.
– Flexibility: The accompanying power cord makes it adaptable to various distances and angles.
– On/Off Switch: This allows for energy conservation when the devices are not in use.
Surge Protectors: Ensuring Safety
Surge protector power strips carry an additional advantage, offering a safeguard for your devices against voltage spikes. These are indispensable in areas prone to lightning strikes or power surges, protecting your business’s valuable electronic assets.
- Spike Detection: These power strips can sense sudden voltage increases.
- Surge Diversion: Excess energy is redirected into the grounding wire, ensuring device safety.
- Joule Rating: Higher ratings mean the device can absorb more energy before failing. A higher rating is particularly crucial for expensive equipment.
The Choice Between Power Strips and Surge Protectors
While power strips offer an efficient way to run multiple devices, surge protectors provide an extra layer of security against electrical damage. For businesses, this could translate to significant cost savings in device replacement and repair. Understanding the difference between these two can thus play a pivotal role in maintaining a smooth and safe working environment.
The Emergence of Smart Power Strips
What are Smart Power Strips?
Smart power strips are a modern evolution of the traditional power strip. These devices can be controlled remotely using a smart home app, allowing you to switch on or off any device plugged into it. They can also detect when a device is not in use and cut off power, helping conserve energy.
Benefits of Smart Power Strips for Small Businesses
Smart power strips offer numerous benefits. They provide superior control over connected devices, allowing you to manage your devices more efficiently. For small businesses, this could translate to significant energy savings. Furthermore, smart power strips often have surge protection, ensuring your devices are protected from sudden voltage spikes.
The Utility of USB Power Strips in the Modern Workplace
Understanding USB Power Strips
USB power strips are a recent addition to the power strip family. They come equipped with USB ports in addition to the traditional electrical outlets. This feature allows you to charge devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops directly, without needing an adapter.
Advantages of USB Power Strips for Small Businesses
The key advantage of USB power strips lies in their versatility. They provide extra outlets for plugging in regular devices and USB ports for charging smaller electronics. For small businesses with a variety of powered devices, a USB power strip could be an ideal choice.
Top Power Strip and Surge Protector Recommendations for Small Businesses.
|Features||Top Pick: Belkin Circular Surge Protector with USB Ports||Runner Up: Kasa Smart Plug Surge Protector||Best Value: SMALLRT Power Tower Desktop Charging Station|
|AC Outlets||4 AC outlets||6 smart outlets||12 AC outlets|
|USB Ports||8 USB-A ports||3 USB-A ports||4 USB ports (including 1 USB-C)|
|Extension Cord Length||6ft||Not specified||10A heavy-duty extension cord|
|Surge Protection||Yes||Yes (ETL certified)||Yes|
|Special Features||LED safety indicator lights, spacious outlet design||Energy monitoring feature, voice command compatibility, remote control via Kasa Smart app||Supports 110V-250V voltage range, vertical design, 4 separated switches|
|Compatibility||Not specified||Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana||Not specified|
|Safety and Certifications||Not specified||ETL certified||Multiple safety protections (surge, overload, short-circuit)|
|Warranty||Not specified||Not specified||12-month warranty and lifetime technology support|
Belkin Circular Surge Protector with USB Ports
Top Pick: Designed with the needs of small businesses in mind, the Belkin Circular Surge Protector offers a seamless blend of power and protection. It’s not just a power strip, but a comprehensive energy management tool designed to keep your work devices safe while ensuring they’re always ready to perform.
Whether you’re running a meeting, working on a crucial project, or setting up your entertainment center, this surge protector has you covered. Its 1080-Joule energy rating ensures effective surge protection, shielding your computers, peripherals, and other vital equipment from the unpredictability of power surges.
- 4 AC outlets, surge-protected to safeguard your devices
- 8 fast-charging USB-A ports for high-speed charging of mobile devices
- Heavy-duty 6ft flat plug extension cord for convenient placement
- LED safety indicator lights for peace of mind while charging
- Spacious outlet design to accommodate large plugs and charging bricks
Kasa Smart Plug Power Strip
Runner Up: The Kasa Smart Plug is a surge protector that redefines control and convenience for small businesses. This smart power strip is an essential tool for managing your office’s energy usage and ensuring the longevity of your equipment, all while providing you with unprecedented control over each connected device.
This power strip offers more than just power outlets; it is a hub for your connected devices. With six smart outlets and three built-in USB ports, you can power multiple devices and charge your electronics simultaneously. But what truly sets this power strip apart is its capacity for individual control over each outlet, allowing you to manage your devices as you see fit.
- 6 smart outlets for individual control of connected devices
- 3 built-in USB ports for convenient device charging
- ETL certified surge protection to shield your devices from sudden power surges
- Energy monitoring feature to track and manage power consumption
- Remote control capability via the Kasa Smart app
- Voice command compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana
SMALLRT Power Tower Desktop Charging Station
Best Value: The SMALLRT Power Strip Surge Protector is a robust, affordable power solution for multipurpose usage. With 12 AC outlets and 4 USB ports, including 1 USB-C, this power strip tower caters to a variety of devices. It supports a wide voltage range of 110V-250V and features a 10A heavy-duty extension cord rated at 2500W. The design of this power strip is vertical, which proves to be more efficient than traditional horizontal strips, particularly when dealing with large power supplies.
- 12 AC outlets and 4 USB ports (including 1 USB-C)
- Supports a wide voltage range of 110V-250V
- 10A heavy-duty extension cord rated at 2500W
- Vertical design for better accommodation of large power supplies
- Offers multiple safety protections including surge, overload, and short-circuit protection
- Features 4 separated switches for easier control of multiple electronics
- Comes with a worry-free 12-month warranty and lifetime technology support.
10 Additional Recommended Products
One Beat Power Strip with 5 ft. Extension Cord
The One Beat Desktop Power Strip is an essential power companion for small businesses. It’s compact, yet mighty, offering the right mix of AC outlets and USB ports to power everything from your computer to mobile devices. Engineered to work with a wide voltage range, it’s a perfect fit for offices, home setups, and even for travel purposes including cruise ship cabins.
- 3 AC outlets supporting a total of 1625W/13A for powering appliances
- 3 USB-A ports (5V/2.4A each) and 1 USB-C port (5V/3A) for fast charging of mobile devices
- 5ft long, 14AWG braided extension cord for flexibility and durability
- Right-angle flat plug for a low-profile connection that doesn’t obstruct other outlets
- Designed without surge protection for use in environments like cruise ships where surge protection is not allowed
- Robust safety features including over-current, over-charge, and short circuit protection
Kensington Guardian 6 Outlet Premium Surge Protector
Featuring six outlets, this surge protector offers ample space to easily accommodate adapter-style plugs, allowing you to connect multiple devices simultaneously. The standout feature is the extra-long 15-foot power cord, providing the flexibility to position the surge protector where it’s needed most in your workspace.
- 540 joules of surge protection to safeguard your equipment
- An extra-long 15-foot power cord for flexible positioning
- Space to accommodate up to six adapter-style plugs comfortably
- Indicator light for monitoring the surge protector’s function
- UL and CSA certifications for ensured reliability
Amazon Basics Smart Plug Power Strip
Designed to work seamlessly with Alexa, this smart power strip provides power to your devices and brings voice control to your home. This is not your traditional power strip – it’s an upgrade to a smarter, more convenient lifestyle.
The power strip offers three individually controlled outlets and two always-on USB ports, providing diverse power options for your devices. You can control each outlet individually through voice commands or remotely via the Alexa app, or group devices together for combined control.
- Works with Alexa for voice control
- Control devices from anywhere using the Alexa app
- Schedule appliances to turn on and off automatically
- Includes three independently controllable outlets and two always-on USB ports
- Surge protection to keep your devices safe from power surges
- Easy setup with no need for a separate hub
Belkin Power Strip Surge Protector
The Belkin Power Strip Surge Protector provides a comprehensive solution for powering multiple devices. Its compact design accommodates 12 AC outlets, making it a versatile charging station for organizing your workspace. The surge protector also features integrated protection for telephone or fax lines and coaxial cable protection for safeguarding cable box and satellite connections.
- 12 AC outlets for powering multiple devices simultaneously
- Integrated 1-in-2-out RJ11 telephone or fax protection
- Coaxial cable protection for cable box and satellite connections
- 3,940 joules of overcurrent and overload protection
- Compact design with widely spaced outlets for large plugs and charger bricks
- Durable, 2.4M cord with a 3-prong angle plug convenient for tight spaces
- Lifetime warranty and Connected Equipment Protection.
Amazon Basics 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip – Pack of 2
This pack of 2 Amazon Basics 6-Outlet Surge Protectors can power your business with peace of mind, knowing that your devices are safeguarded from potential power surges.
- Pack of 2 power strips, each offering 6 outlets for versatile power access
- 200 Joule 3-line basic surge protection for added safety
- 2-foot, 14 AWG power cords for convenient placement and durability
- LED indicator light to confirm surge protection status
- AC 15A, 125V, 60Hz, 1875W specifications for robust power delivery
Anker Power Strip Surge Protector
The Anker Power Strip Surge Protector is a comprehensive power solution for all your devices. It features 12 AC outlets, 1 USB-C port, and 2 USB-A ports, ensuring you have all the power you need to run your appliances and mobile devices. The device is designed with a 20W USB-C port that can fast charge an iPhone 13 from 0-53% in just 30 minutes. The power strip’s safety system includes surge protection, fire resistance, overload protection, temperature control, and more.
- 12 AC outlets, 2 USB-A ports, and 1 USB-C port for a variety of devices
- Fast charging capacity with a 20W USB-C port
- 8-Point Safety System offering surge protection, fire resistance, overload protection, and temperature control
- Extra spacing between outlets to accommodate larger plugs
- Comes with an 18-month warranty, connected equipment warranty, and friendly customer service.
GE 6-Outlet Surge Protector
The GE 6-Outlet Surge Protector provides a centralized hub for your electronics. It features a black finish and a 20ft. braided fabric power cord that prevents bends and tangles. The surge protector has a surge protection rating of 840 Joules and includes an integrated circuit breaker with a reset switch and automatic shutdown technology. These features offer ultimate protection from voltage spikes and circuit overloads. The design also includes keyhole slots for easy mounting on a desk, table, or counter.
- 6 grounded AC outlets for powering multiple devices.
- 20ft. braided fabric power cord that prevents tangles.
- Surge protection rating of 840 Joules and integrated circuit breaker.
- Automatic shutdown technology for enhanced protection.
- Keyhole slots for easy mounting.
- UL Listed with a hassle-free limited-lifetime replacement policy.
EIGSO USB Outdoor Power Strip
The EIGSO USB Outdoor Power Strip surge protector is a versatile weatherproof outdoor or indoor use solution. It includes 6 waterproof outlets and 3 USB ports, allowing you to charge up to 9 devices simultaneously. The AC outlets provide a rated power of 1875W/15A, while the USB ports each deliver 5A/2.4A/12W, sharing a total of 5A/3A/15W power. This surge protector is IPX6 rated, meaning it can withstand rain, water splashes, and even water flow, although it cannot be fully submerged in water. Importantly, it has electric shockproof outlets that only allow power through when a US standard plug is inserted, enhancing safety.
- 6 waterproof outlets and 3 USB ports.
- IPX6 rated waterproof design.
- Electric shockproof outlets for added safety.
- Built-in circuit breaker to automatically shut off during overload.
- Casing made of 1382°F heat-retardant ABS+PC material.
- 16AWG heavy-duty swivel extension cord.
- Includes a versatile hanging bracket for easy installation.
QINLIANF USB Surge Protector
The QINLIANF USB Wall Charger and Surge Protector is a multifunctional device designed for convenience and safety. This device features 5 AC outlet splitters that are designed to secure onto a duplex outlet. The design includes wide spaces between each outlet, larger than standard sockets, making it easier for all kinds of equipment. In addition, it has 4 USB charging ports, including a USB-C port, that offer smart charging technology, automatically detecting your devices and delivering optimal charging speed.
- 5 AC outlets with wide space in between, larger than standard sockets, allowing for various equipment to be plugged in simultaneously.
- 4 USB charging ports total 4.8 A, each USB A port features 5V/2.4A Max output. USB C charging port features 5V/3A MAX.
- Smart charging technology that automatically detects charging devices and delivers optimal charging speed.
- 3 level complementary Surge Protector Circuit with a minimum 1680J energy absorbing capacity, offering quick and reliable protection for your devices.
- Groove design on the back makes it flush against the wall, perfect for all Duplex Receptacle Outlets.
VINTAR USB Wall Charger
The VINTAR USB Wall Charger and Surge Protector is a multi-function device designed for safety and convenience. This device features 6 AC outlets with wide spacing in between, larger than standard sockets, making it easier to use for various equipment. It also includes 3 USB charging ports, one of which is a USB-C port, offering fast charging capabilities.
- 6 AC outlets with wide space in between for convenient plug-in of various devices.
- 3 USB charging ports, including one USB-C port. Each USB port features 2.4A Max output while the USB-C port offers 3A Max.
- Surge protection with a minimum energy-absorbing capacity of 900 Joules, ensuring your devices are protected against power surges.
- Multiple safety features including overload protection, short-circuit protection, over current protection, over-voltage protection, and overheating protection. The device is also housed in a fire-resistant casing for added safety.
- The device can be secured onto a wall, offering stability and preventing the outlet from falling off the wall.
Frequently Asked Questions about Power Strips
Can a Power Strip protect my devices from power surges?
While power strips can provide multiple outlets for your devices, most power strips do not inherently offer protection against power surges. However, surge protector power strips are designed specifically to protect your devices from sudden spikes in voltage. It’s crucial to check the product’s specifications before making a purchase.
What is the lifespan of a typical Surge Protector Power Strip?
The lifespan of a surge protector power strip can vary widely, depending on its joule rating and how often it experiences power surges. When the joule rating is depleted, the surge protector will continue to function as a power strip, but it will no longer offer surge protection. Regularly check the LED indicators, if available, to ensure your surge protector is still providing protection.
How many devices can I safely plug into a Smart Power Strip?
The number of devices you can safely plug into a smart power strip depends on its design. Some models offer as many as eight outlets, plus USB ports. However, it’s important to avoid overloading the power strip to prevent overheating or potential electrical issues.
Are USB Power Strips safe for charging multiple devices simultaneously?
Yes, USB power strips are designed to charge multiple devices simultaneously. They typically come with two or more USB ports, enabling you to charge several devices at once. However, always check the total power output of the USB ports to ensure they can handle your devices’ combined energy needs.
How do I choose the right power strip for my small business?
Choosing the right power strip depends on your specific needs. Consider how many outlets you need, the type and number of devices you need to power, whether you require surge protection, and if having USB ports would be beneficial. For small businesses, a power strip with surge protection and USB ports is often a versatile choice.
Powering Your Business’s Future
Power strips are no longer just about providing extra outlets. From offering protection against surges to enabling smart control of connected devices and providing USB charging options, power strips have evolved to meet the changing needs of today’s businesses. As you determine the best power solution for your small business, remember that the right power strip can offer more than just power delivery. It can provide a level of control and protection that can significantly contribute to your valuable equipment’s smooth functioning and longevity.
In a world where most people depend heavily on a multitude of devices, from laptops to printers, having a reliable power strip is a must. Whether you choose a surge protector power strip, a smart power strip, or a USB power strip, make sure it offers the right mix of features to suit your small business needs. From powering your tools to protecting your electronics, the right power strip can truly power your business’s future.
Remember, the best seller is not always the best choice for your specific needs. Always consider the specific demands of your equipment and the setup of your work area, whether it’s a home office, a storefront, or a sprawling office space. From wall mount designs for easy access to designs with extra-long cords for reaching distant wall outlets, there are power strips to suit every need. So, take your time, do your research, and make a choice that will keep your business powered, protected, and productive for years to come.
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