Difference Between Power Strip and Surge Protector (With Table)

The world is growing and so is the need for electronic devices. People all over have to connect various devices to a single input so they can function easily on smaller supplies like a single power socket. For this purpose, there are devices available that cater to this need. They are known as surge protectors or power strips with a few differences.

Power Strip vs Surge Protector

The main difference between a power strip and a surge protector is in the amount of safety they provide. The power strip has many sockets and no knowledge of the voltage it will pass so the safety can be measured to a socket whereas the surge protector comes with a voltage controller so even if the voltage flickers it will provide the voltage that is necessary for running of the device without short-circuiting. 

The power strip is available in any electronic shop or supermarket and comes in handy when there is a need for connecting many devices to a single socket. It generally comes with a switch that can be shut down to turn off all the supplies. The higher versions also have individual switches and it is not safe for higher-powered devices. 

The surge protector is another device that contains many sockets in which multiple electronics can be connected. It serves the purpose when there are many devices and there is only one socket. The speciality of the product is that it can control voltage and acts as a barrier between the device and the current. It is safe and reduces the harm to devices.

Comparison Table Between Power Strip and Surge Protector

Parameters of ComparisionPower StripSurge Protector
UsageA power strip is used to connect multiple devices to a single socket.A surge protector is also used to connect multiple devices to a single output with maintained voltage.
SafetyThey are not safe if the voltage fluctuates and can be compared to a normal socket for safety.They are safer since they maintain the voltage at a particular level and decrease the chances of short circuits.
PackagingThe packaging contains the words like power strip or extension.The packaging contains words like protector and suppressor and comes with the value in Joules.
Device appearanceThe power strip is a simple socket with a switch to cut off the supply to all devices.Some of the surge protectors contain small lights that glow up to tell it is working and some others have written voltage on the board.
UsageIt is safe to be used for small devices like chargers, coffee makers which need low voltage.It can be used with any device but it is better to use them for devices like refrigerators, television that requires high voltage since the suppressor is expensive.

What is Power Strip?

A power strip is a device that gives people access to multiple sockets at a time for making the work easier and faster. During modern times where people are doing work from home, it has come out to be one of the most used devices since they needed to connect chargers of phone, laptop as well the cord of the wifi.

The power strip acts as a simple electric circuit and gives the same safety. It means even if the voltage fluctuates or current is more it would not stabilise or cut-off the supply that can lead to the damaging of the devices. The power strip is less costly and easy to handle.

Sometimes the power strip comes with a long wire and is known as an extension. This device is used for connecting various devices when the switch is a bit far away or out of reach of the wire of the device.  They also have other types of power strips which can be mounted on walls for more safety and some also come with socket covers.

The power strips have an elongated design and generally have a main switch to cut off the supply. The switch can also be present for each of the sockets so that the ones which are in use can be used effectively. The packaging of it contains the word power strip and is readily available at most of the stores.

What is Surge Protector?

A surge protector is another device that has multiple sockets which can connect up to 5-6 devices on a single electrical circuit. The surge protector has the speciality that it can maintain the voltage to a certain level according to the rating it has and also protect the devices.

The surge protector maintains the voltage at a certain level at the times of instant power cut and also at times when there is voltage fluctuation. The voltage fluctuation has led to the damaging of many devices over a period. The surge protectors are available in many types and they are rated in Joules. 

The surge protector can be rated between 1000-2000 Joules for the functioning of light devices like coffee makers, toasters, chargers, etc. whereas the devices that consume more voltage like the refrigerators should be used upon suppressors of rating more than 2000J for providing stability.

The device has a different packaging as well as appearance. The packaging of the surge protector generally contains the words like a protector or they should have at least suppression or protection written over the box. They usually contain a light that glows and tells it is working or they can contain the voltage range placed on the board. They are more expensive.

Main Differences Between Power Strip and Surge Protector

  1. A power strip is used to connect multiple devices to a single socket whereas a surge protector is also used to connect multiple devices to a single output with maintained and controlled voltage.
  2. Power strips are not safe if the voltage fluctuates and can be compared to a normal socket for safety. In contrast to this, surge protectors are safer since they maintain the voltage at a particular level and decrease the chances of short circuits.
  3. The packaging of a power strip contains the words like power strip or extension. In comparison to this, the packaging of a surge protector contains words like protector and suppressor and comes with the value in Joules.
  4. The power strip is a simple socket with a switch to cut off the supply to all devices whereas some of the surge protectors contain small lights that glow up to tell it is working and some others have written voltage on the board.
  5. Power strips are safe to be used for small devices like chargers, coffee makers which need low voltage whereas the surge protector can be used with any device but it is better to use them for devices like refrigerators, television that requires high voltage since the suppressor is expensive.

Conclusion

The two devices maintained above are used as extra sockets for the people who require to connect many devices at the same time to an electrical supply. All the surge protectors act as power strips but the power strips have the disadvantage that they cannot maintain the voltage to a certain level. The surge protectors are safer and also more expensive. The power strip proves to be a better option for less power consuming devices like coffee marks, chargers, toasters, etc. whereas the surge protector has become more trending in more power-consuming devices like televisions, computers, refrigerators which need more stability to work on. 

References 

  1. https://store.computer.org/csdl/magazine/pc/2009/01/mpc2009010012/13rRUygBwbR
  2. http://jurnal.stkippgribl.ac.id/index.php/adiguna/article/view/554 
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