Why You Need Surge Protectors

Surge protectors—most people own at least one, but few know why they’re so important. Many confuse surge protectors with power strips, and while they share functionality, this can be a costly mistake. Surge protectors, or surge suppressors, protect your electronics against damage caused by power surges. Power strips offer no such protection.

If an expensive electronic is plugged into an adequate surge protector during a power surge, it will be safe. If it’s plugged into a power strip, it’ll get fried just the same as if it were plugged into a wall outlet. In short, failing to keep your devices plugged into a surge protector leaves them vulnerable to unexpected power surges.

Surge protectors also help organize your power cords, just like a power strip. They’re great for managing cord clutter, and we recommend keeping them throughout the home.

About Power Surges

One bad storm could destroy your electronics without surge protection.

Power surges are caused by electricity spikes from lightning strikes, power grid malfunctions, home electrical issues, and power outages. When the electricity spikes, it sends a surge through the lines that can damage electronics beyond repair if they’re unprotected. But the risk doesn’t end there because power surges can also cause house fires, which are much more dangerous and costly.

It’s easy to ignore surge protectors in daily life, but you’ll regret your decision to skip surge protectors the moment your electronics fry.

How Surge Protectors Keep You Safe

Use a surge protector to keep your expensive and essential electronics safe. Anything that you’d be upset about losing, even if it isn’t costly, should be protected too.

As we mentioned above, power strips and wall outlets do not defend your devices against power surges. Surge protectors do. They will detect excess voltage and divert it away from your electronics and into a grounding wire. This stops the risk of housefires, fried electronics, ruined cords, and more.

Below, you’ll find some essential electronics to protect:

– Computers and tablets

– Monitors and televisions

– Office equipment

– Routers and modems

– DVRs and cable boxes

– Satellite receivers

– Sound and lighting systems

– Game consoles

– Power tools

– Small appliances

Picking a Surge Protector

You’ll find affordable surge protectors at most electronics stores. And you’ll often discover a wide range of products to choose from. But how do you pick?

If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you could buy a surge protector that still lets your devices get fried. Below, we’ll cover ratings, lights, and more to look for so that you can rest easy.


Surge protection is rated in units of energy, known as joules. Low-end surge protectors often provide 200 to 400 joules of protection. Meanwhile, mid-range protectors offer 500 to 800 joules and high-end protectors 1,000 to 2,500+ joules.

More joules equals better protection for longer. For example, 2,000 joules can withstand one 2,000-joule hit, two 1,200-joule hits, or twenty 100-joule hits. After it has absorbed 2,000 joules, it’ll need to be replaced for continued protection.


Look for surge protectors with diagnostic LED indicators. These lights will give you information about power availability and protection status, and without them, it’s a guessing game. The protection status light is the most important because it tells you when the circuitry has reached its maximum joule capacity. Without this light, you can’t know if your protector has any joules left.

Those who have surge protectors without protection status lights should replace them every two years to safeguard your home and devices.


If you really want to be sure your devices are protected, grab a surge protector with insurance for the connected electronics. The insurance will cover damages up to an amount specified by the manufacturer. They can range from a few thousand dollars of protection to $100,000+. If a surge protector with insurance doesn’t protect your devices, the policy covers replacement costs up to the set price.

With today’s high-tech electronics and steep prices, surge protectors are essential. Most households have thousands of dollars worth of electronics plugged in, so don’t risk losing it all in seconds because you forgot to buy a surge protector.

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