Surge protectors are a simple way to protect electronics from electrical damage. Power surges can range anywhere from small impulses that gradually wear equipment down to lightning strikes that could fry everything electrical in an entire building. Not all surge protectors are equal and it is important to know the different features offered before selecting one.


Surge Protectors vs. Power Strips


The terms “surge protector” and “power strip” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. A power strip is anything that plugs into a single wall outlet and gives it multiple outlets. Not every single power strip out there has surge protection built into it. If a power strip is priced especially low, it most likely does not have any form of surge protection. While these can be used for additional outlets, they will do nothing to protect your electronics from electrical surges.

Surge protectors (also called surge suppressors) are designed to stop excess electricity from damaging anything plugged into them. This layer of protection is measured in joules. Electricity can also have signal issues due to electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). There are AC surge protectors along with DC surge protectors. For this discussion, we'll talk about AC surge protectors.




What Are Joules? - Joule Ratings


Different surge protectors have di

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