10 Differences Between surge protector and power strip

What is a Surge Protector?

A surge protector, also known as a surge suppressor or surge diverter, is an electrical device designed to protect any connected equipment from voltage spikes or surges. It acts as a barrier between the electrical outlet and the devices plugged into it, preventing any excess voltage from reaching them.

Examples of Surge Protectors:

  • Belkin 12-Outlet Surge Protector
  • APC Surge Protector Power Strip
  • Tripp Lite 8 Outlet Surge Protector

Uses of Surge Protectors:

Surge protectors are primarily used to:

  • Protect sensitive electronic devices such as computers, TVs, and gaming consoles from voltage spikes.
  • Prevent potential fire hazards caused by electrical surges.
  • Extend the lifespan of electronic devices by filtering out excess voltage.
  • Ensure the safety of users by reducing the risk of electric shock.

What is a Power Strip?

A power strip, also known as an extension block or power board, is a device that allows multiple electrical devices to be plugged into a single power outlet. It typically features multiple outlets, a power switch, and sometimes includes surge protection.

Examples of Power Strips:

  • Anker Power Strip with USB
  • Tripp Lite 6 Outlet Power Strip
  • AmazonBasics 12-Outlet Power Strip

Uses of Power Strips:

Power strips are commonly used for:

  • Expanding the number of available power outlets in a limited space.
  • Organizing and managing cables by providing a centralized power source.
  • Providing a convenient solution for powering multiple electronic devices simultaneously.

Differences between Surge Protector and Power Strip:

Difference Area Surge Protector Power Strip
Protection against voltage spikes Yes May or may not have surge protection
Number of outlets Usually limited (typically 4-8 outlets) Can have varying numbers of outlets
Controls for individual outlets No Possibly (some power strips have switches for individual outlets)
Price Generally higher due to surge protection Lower compared to surge protectors
Protection against other electrical issues (e.g., short circuits) No No
Typical use case High-value and sensitive electronic devices Regular household devices
Usage in professional settings More common due to higher power demands Common
Physical size and shape Can be relatively compact or bulky Varies, but typically longer and slender
Protection indicator lights Usually has indicator lights for surge protection status May or may not have indicator lights
Overall electrical safety Higher safety level due to surge protection features May not offer the same level of safety


In summary, surge protectors are specifically designed to protect against voltage spikes and offer a higher level of electrical safety compared to power strips. Power strips, on the other hand, are primarily used for expanding the number of available outlets and do not necessarily provide surge protection.

Knowledge Check – Quiz:

  1. True or False: Power strips always include surge protection.
  2. Which device is more suitable for protecting valuable electronic equipment?
    a) Surge Protector
    b) Power Strip
  3. What feature do surge protectors typically have to indicate protection status?
    a) Indicator lights
    b) Individual outlet controls
  4. Which device is generally more expensive?
    a) Surge Protector
    b) Power Strip
  5. Do power strips protect against short circuits?
    a) Yes
    b) No
  6. Which device is commonly used for expanding power outlets in tight spaces?
    a) Surge Protector
    b) Power Strip
  7. What is the primary purpose of a surge protector?
    a) To protect against voltage spikes
    b) To expand the number of outlets
  8. Which device is more commonly used in professional settings?
    a) Surge Protector
    b) Power Strip
  9. True or False: Surge protectors offer the same level of electrical safety as power strips.
  10. Which device is more suitable for regular household devices?
    a) Surge Protector
    b) Power Strip


  1. False
  2. a) Surge Protector
  3. a) Indicator lights
  4. a) Surge Protector
  5. b) No
  6. b) Power Strip
  7. a) To protect against voltage spikes
  8. b) Power Strip
  9. False
  10. b) Power Strip

Related Topics:

  • Types of Surge Protectors
  • How to Choose the Right Surge Protector
  • Benefits of Using Power Strips
  • Common Electrical Hazards in the Home

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