What Is The Difference Between Surge Protector And Power Strip?

difference between surge protector and power strip

This is a popular question that so many men try to answer. In fact, everyone has to know the difference between surge protector and power strip in order to make the right choice. Let’s see how they are different!

If you’re wondering what is the difference between power strips and Ethernet surge protectors are then this article will help you get rid of all your doubts.

Safety First

The first thing that we have to remember when talking about electricity is that it can be very dangerous for us humans. So, if we want to feel safe while using electrical appliances such as computers or chargers, there should be some kind of system protecting us from any malfunction or accident caused by an electric problem in our home. When choosing a protection system for our house against electric dangers, two main types of devices come up: surge protectors and power strips.

The difference between surge protector and power strip?        

Let’s start with the basics. Both these pieces of electrical equipment are designed to prevent any damage caused by the voltage spikes that occur during a lightning storm or when there is malfunction in the supply system for your home. Both have a long cord so you can reach every inch of your house without having to buy several different ones.

The main difference between surge protector and power strip lies in what they protect from electricity – while power strips simply take care of single appliances such as a TV, computer or laptop, Ethernet surge protectors also take care of network devices that are connected to the router.

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Power Strips Protect Single Appliances While Ethernet Surge Protectors Take Care of Network Devices and Printers as Well

Since power strips are designed to take care only of single appliances, they should not be placed near routers or printers since this would put them in danger too. But if there is no other way than placing a power strip somewhere close to your network devices such as modems or printers, bear in mind that you should always turn off the power strip when it’s not needed instead of leaving it on and potentially causing damage.

How Do Power Strips Work?     

The one big difference between surge protector and power strip is that power strips can be used with different voltage systems while surge protectors have to be used with a 110 or 120 volt system.

Power strips typically come in two types: the standard models and the long ones. Standard models are short, about 3 feet long while the longer earthed power strips go up to 6’6″ . If you’re planning on buying an extension strip for your home, check out what length is best for you before placing an order, since it may not fit all rooms of your house.

Main Features of All Power Strips     

There are three different main features that every power strip should have: A switch – This is usually a button located on the front side that allows you to turn off the surge protector when there’s no need for it. An indicator light – This is to let you know that the surge protector is on. A phone/DSL line protection – This protects your phone lines and DSL from any outside electrical disturbances.

Switches, indicators lights and telephone line protections are present in every power strip but there may be other things as well. Most of us agree that it’s also good for a power strip to have an overload indicator because otherwise it would be very difficult to tell whether or not the power strip has been overloaded. Therefore, if at anytime during your use of the device, you notice anything unusual like crackling noises or sparks coming out of the holes where you plug electricity devices in, unplug them immediately .

As for grounded-type strips, they’re usually used by businesses because they are safer than the regular ones. They have 3 slots, and each slot is earthed separately using an independent wire. So if there’s electrical problem such as a short circuit in one of your devices, only that device will be damaged instead of all three of them at once.

The Difference Between Grounded Strips and Non-Grounded Strips

When shopping for a power strip, you may come across a number of products that are said to be “grounded.” This means that the strips are equipped with extra protection (an extra wire) to protect against any irregularities in voltage spikes or brownouts. Therefore, even though it seems logical to buy ‘better’ gear when making purchases for our home, most people don’t need to waste their money on grounded strips. This is because the non-grounded models are quite sufficient and do not require the extra protection.

A non grounded strip can actually be used with a 2 pin or 3 pin plug while a grounded model can only be plugged in a wall outlet that has three slots. Also, the standard ones will offer you slightly better pricing since they’re more common than the grounded types. Therefore, if you have an overload indicator in your power strip, it’s best to stick to this one rather than switching over to a new type of device even though it may be safer. The same goes for phone/DSL line protections as well – unless there’s something wrong with your current surge protector and you know it, it’s better to stick with what you’ve got.

Where Should I Place My Power Strip?     

The most common place for a power strip is behind your computer or television set so that the cord can be turned off easily whenever needed . You may also notice that surge protectors are placed inside a group of multiple devices. This is done in order to increase the overall protection capability as well as to reduce interference between all of the different cords and electronics.

Also, if there’s room for more than one strip, don’t hesitate to buy an extra one because this will give you added peace of mind by providing both over voltage and under voltage protection . There are two types of power strips – standard ones and long ones. Standard power strips have a length of five feet while long ones are seven feet. This may not seem like much but when it comes to choosing the right power strip, this can make a world of difference.

Are Multi-Plug and Single Plug Adapters Safe?     

Yes, they’re very safe indeed. In fact, there is no great difference between them because multi-plug adapters will also convert voltage so that any high or low voltages in your device are eliminated and then all you’re left with is clean electricity which will be good for whatever you plug into it.

However, the only drawback with multi-plug adapters is that they don’t provide over voltage protection so if you’re going to constantly use lots of different devices then over time the voltage can build up and cause a problem. This usually doesn’t happen because the voltage spikes are often short-term but all you have to do is give them a break every now and then or buy a strip with over voltage protection.


If there’s one thing that will take away your peace of mind when using power strips it’s fear about how safe they are for the devices in your home. Therefore, if you’re going to be plugging multiple devices into your power strip, make sure that every cord is secured properly so that no devices fall off. This holds especially true for any large plugs like those found on stereos, televisions and so forth – they can easily slip out of the strip and become damaged or even start a fire.

Don’t forget to take a look at the cord as well – if it’s frayed, cracked or worn out then replace it before using the power strip because this can cause damage to your device. There are several different ways of securing plugs but one of the most popular methods is twisting them around themselves so that they won’t slip out.

You can also use twist-ties which will do an excellent job of holding cords in place but make sure not to wrap them too tightly or the wires inside can break. You may also notice some strips with holes built into their design – all you have to do is push your plug through these slots and secure it with tape (scotch tape works great).


The most important thing to consider when plugging computers and televisions into a power strip is the length of the cord they are using. If you have an older computer or television, then it’s a good idea to get rid of them because they tend to not provide over voltage protection. Therefore, if you’re plugged into this type of device and it malfunctions – which is much more likely when power surges are present – then both your computer and television can be severely damaged.

Tip: Before purchasing a new surge protector, make sure that all components in your home are compatible with its design. Some brands may work better than others depending on where you live.


In the past, surges were considered rare and not very dangerous but this is no longer the case – in fact, over the past decade, they have become more frequent and far deadlier. Therefore, if you want to protect your investment (whether it’s a computer or television) then surge protection is an absolute must.

To be 100% certain of whether it’s worth getting or not, all you have to do is take a few moments to look at where you live. Do others in your area suffer from power problems? If so, how often do these problems occur? Once you’ve figured this out for yourself, then truthfully assess whether your devices are even necessary – would they cause you too much grief if they were damaged in a power surge?

If the answer is yes then it’s probably best to buy some form of protection. If you’re set on not getting this kind of device, then make sure that your devices are newer and have built-in over voltage protection. Just remember – prevention may be better than a cure and with electricity, being safe can save you lots of money.


Although surge protectors are one of the most effective ways to keep your electronics protected from power surges, there are other things that you can do as well such as unplugging items before leaving home for an extended period of time or using smart strips. Smart strips work in a similar way to surge protectors because they cut power when a device malfunctions but the main difference between the two is that smart strips are not equipped with protection from power surges – therefore you must use both together.

The only downside to using smart strips in your home is that they can be temperamental – if you have more than one of them hooked into your electrical system, then it’s likely that one will fail. However, since most people don’t rely on their televisions and computers for 24/7 entertainment anymore, this shouldn’t cause too much grief. In addition to adding smart strips into your home, you should make sure that all of the devices plugged into them are relatively new . This includes everything from radios and stereos (yes, these still exist) to televisions and computers.

If you’re unsure as to whether or not your devices are equipped with over voltage protection, then it’s a good idea to look at their instruction manuals – if they don’t mention anything about this kind of protection, then it’s best that you invest in surge protectors instead. Even though the main goal is to stop power surges from damaging any device plugged into them, surge protectors also provide extra outlets so that you can plug in all of those other electronic devices that need an electrical outlet (but might be too big for a smart strip).


Unfortunately, despite how many precautions we take, there will always be power surges since they are caused by the sun’s unpredictability. However, there are things that you can do on your part to minimize your chances of suffering from a power surge – one of the easiest ways is to switch off all electronic devices for a few minutes before hitting the sack for the night.

If there are any appliances in your home that use a lot of electricity, then it’s best to shut them down as well because this cuts down on how much juice is being used. In addition to switching everything off at night, you should also look into getting more efficient electrical equipment such as low wattage light bulbs and energy efficient televisions.

If you live in an area where storms tend to occur frequently (or even if it doesn’t then the sun will produce more solar flares than usual), then it’s a smart idea to keep your electrical system simple and straightforward. The fewer electrical outlets that you have in your home, the less likely you are to suffer from power surges. This doesn’t mean that if you only have one or two plugs then surge protectors are not an option.

However, this may limit the number of electronics per outlet depending on how many ports they have. If you want to avoid having too many electrical items running at once, then try unplugging all but one item at a time . When using your television, for example, switch off any speakers or headphones before switching everything off (if possible).


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