If you have electronic items, then you know what a power strip is. A power strip plugs into your wall outlet and allows you to plug in multiple electronic devices. The outlets in your house or office likely have room for two devices. Well, if you need to plug in more than two devices you can use a power strip and plug in many more. Some people think that a surge protector is the same thing as a power strip when in fact this is not true, even if they both appear to be the same.
A surge protector functions like a power strip; it gives the user the ability to plug in multiple electronic devices, but it also serves another very important function. A surge protector will also protect your electronic devices from a power spike. A power spike is a temporary, very high increase in power that lasts for a fraction of a second. They can be caused by lightning strikes (however unlikely), power outages, tripped circuit breakers, short circuits and more. If a power spike occurs when a device is not hooked into a surge protector, damage can occur. However, the circuit a device is connected to is subject to a lightning strike, even a surge protector can’t prevent damage.
Quick Tips: Because of the electrical sensitivity of computers (and their cost), it is HIGHLY advised that they are hooked into a surge protector. Surge protectors do a very good job of preventing damage from a power spike. A surge protector costs a little more than a power strip. A 6-outlet power strip can often be found for less than $10 while a 6-outlet surge protector might cost between $10 and $20. Not every device in your house needs to be plugged into a surge protector, just the expensive devices. Now, I know that for many, the coffee maker is incredibly important, but it doesn’t need to be plugged into a surge protector. Here are some examples of items that should be hooked into a surge protector: desktop computers, laptops, servers*, TVs, home entertainment systems (receiver / DVD player / video game systems ). For a home entertainment system, you can simply get a single surge protector strip and hook in all of your devices.