That dusty power strip under your desk you bought a few years ago from Walmart’s bargain bin is barely getting the job done. It’s time to buy one that can actually protect and charge all of your gear. Even if you originally picked up a high-end option, there’s a good chance it needs to be replaced if you want to keep your electronics safe.
We’ve rounded up the best, most powerful office and travel surge protectors with USB ports on the market. Continue on for a look at which models made the cut…
Power strips have been around for awhile. At their most basic level they’re used to split a single wall outlet into multiple plugs. Some options also include surge protection, power conditioning, USB ports and even battery backup. Today we’re looking at surge protectors with USB charging.
One big thing you need to know is that surge protectors wear out over time and most of them won’t alert you when they need to be replaced. So even if your surge protector seems to be working just fine, there’s a good chance it’s not actually protecting your electronics from power spikes. In general, surge protectors have a lifespan of a few years, but may only last through one storm if you’re hit with severe weather. Another factor that plays a major role in a surge protector’s effectiveness is its joules rating, which is a measurement of how much abuse it can withstand. Bottom line: buy trusted surge protectors and replace them frequently to keep your valuable electronics safe.
Recently USB ports have started showing up on power strips, which is a super convenient way to charge all of your devices at the same time. And when traveling it means you don’t have to remember to bring a bunch of different power adapters for your iPhone, iPad, e-Reader, Bluetooth speaker, Wi-Fi hotspot and other USB-powered gadgets. The only thing to keep in mind is that not all USB ports are created equal. It’s important to look at their total power output or else you’re going to be looking at some lengthy charge times for power-hungry devices like the iPad.
Anker w/ Surge Protection (380 joules), 6 outlets, 4 USB ports (6A total): $25.49
Anker is known for making budget-friendly, high quality power products and its power strip is no exception. You’ll be able to quick-charge multiple USB devices at once thanks to its powerful ports. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars from 33 Amazon reviewers. Another option is this model from CyberPower for $14.17, which doesn’t have as many or as powerful USB ports, but it offers greater protection from surges (1200 joules).
BESTEK w/ Surge Protection (5560 joules), 12 outlets, 2 USB ports (2.1A total): $29.99
With 12 AC outlets, BESTEK’s power strip can handle all of your larger devices. It only has a pair of USB ports pushing a total of 2.1A, which isn’t a big deal if you’re planning to charge smaller mobile devices, but it’ll really lag if you try to charge two tablets at the same time. As a bonus, it can protect a coaxial cable and phone line. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars from 39 reviewers.
ORICO w/ Surge Protection (1700 joules), 2 outlets, 5 USB ports (8A total): $24.99
This power strip is great for someone with a lot of mobile devices thanks to its 5 USB ports that can charge 3 tablets and 2 smartphones at full speed. It also has a built-in stand to provide a safe home for your device as it charges. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars from 56 Amazon reviewers.
Belkin wall-mounted w/ Surge Protection (900 joules), 6 outlets, 2 USB ports (2.1A total): $18.99
Instead of using the standard power strip design featuring a long cord, Belkin opted to go with a wall-mount style. This design is helpful in minimizing cable clutter in certain situations. Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars from more than 6,000 Amazon reviewers. Belkin also makes a smaller 3 outlet version ($18.79) that is perfect for travel. Or if price is a big concern you could go with this one from Accell for $12.88.
Monoprice w/ Surge Protection (4320 joules), 12 outlets, 2 USB ports (2.1A total): $40.45
This power strip from Monoprice provides more surge protection than any of our other top picks. The downside is that it only has two USB ports and they aren’t terribly powerful. If your main priority is keeping your expensive game console and home theater gear safe, this is the way to go. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars from 32 Amazon reviewers.