And going and going.
The 1980s brought us the computer age and also ushered in the power strip. Most people had a desktop computer and monitor, and maybe a printer—but add to those external drives, scanners, wireless routers, and other peripheral devices, and those two standard outlets most of us had were simply overwhelmed. Now we’ve got laptops, tablets, smart phones, and wireless Bluetooth devices—and we’re still tied to those power strips.
Today, power strips often incorporate USB ports and surge protection. The proliferation of wireless handheld devices that charge at lower voltages make surge protection more important than ever. What most people don’t know about surge protectors is that they wear out over time. Every time they absorb a voltage fluctuation, their lifespan is shortened. You’ll probably know if you’ve had a lightning strike, but you might not know that every time an electrical appliance cycles on or off, there may be small voltage spikes degrading that surge protector every day. So, to be sure you’re getting the most protection you can, it’s a good idea to replace them every two to three years.
These power strips were carefully selected by our test editors after rigorous research and our knowledge of using similar products. We have included brands and features we know and appreciate from our own experiences and needs. The 12 power strips included below are some of the most useful models available today.