Power Strip vs Surge Protector: Difference and Comparison

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.

Key Takeaways

  1. A power strip is a device that allows multiple devices to be plugged into a single electrical outlet.
  2. A surge protector is a device that protects electronics from voltage spikes, which can cause damage to the devices.
  3. A power strip only provides additional outlets, while a surge protector protects against power surges.

Power Strip vs Surge Protector

A power strip is a simple device featuring several electrical outlets, allowing you to plug in multiple devices simultaneously. Power strips are used where there are multiple devices that need to be powered. A surge protector is designed to protect your electrical devices from power surges.

Power Strip vs Surge Protector
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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 comes with a switch that can be shut down to turn off all the supplies. The higher versions also have individual switches, which is unsafe 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 only one socket.

The specialty 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 harm to devices.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPower 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 to make the work easier and faster.

During modern times when people are doing work from home, it has come out to be one of the most used devices since they need to connect chargers of phones and laptops as well the cord of the wifi.

The power strip acts as a simple electric circuit, giving the same safety. It means even if the voltage fluctuates or the current is more, it would not stabilize or cut off the supply, which can damage 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 have a main switch to cut off the supply. The switch can also be present for each socket so that the ones in use can be used effectively.

The packaging of it contains the word power strip and is readily available at most stores.

power strip

What is Surge Protector?

A surge protector is another device with multiple sockets that can connect up to 5-6 devices on a single electrical circuit.

The surge protector has the specialty that it can maintain the voltage to a certain level according to its rating and protect the devices.

The surge protector maintains the voltage at a certain level at times of instant power cut and also at times when there is voltage fluctuation.

The voltage fluctuation has led to the damage of many devices over a period. The surge protectors are available in many types and 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 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 contains the words like a protector, or they should have at least suppression or protection written over the box.

They 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.

surge protector

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, the surge protector packaging 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, and 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.
Difference Between Power Strip and Surge Protector
References
  1. https://store.computer.org/csdl/magazine/pc/2009/01/mpc2009010012/13rRUygBwbR 

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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