So, you’re playing the best game you’ve played in a long time, just decimating your enemies and making marks like never before. There’s a storm raging outside, but that can’t stop you; you’re in the zone. Then… ZAP! The lightning strike. Your PC turns off, the lights go out, everything goes black… and your devices are all plugged directly into your outlets.
I mean, even if you own an inexpensive gaming PC below $800, this can still be a major loss.
Congrats, you’ve gone through an energy surge and fried all of your devices. If you didn’t know, there’s a way to protect your hardware from power outrages.
Other than just unplugging your devices for safekeeping before a storm, you can preserve them from small and large energy surges by getting a surge protector. A surge protector will allow you to plug in multiple appliances at once while protecting all of them from lightning/power strikes which could fry them.
As a gamer, you need to make sure that your PC is in the best state as possible. That’s why you need protection.
We list the best six surge protectors out there just for you. ⚡
Best Choice: APC 8-Outlet Surge Protector
Pros & Cons
- Comes with Building wiring fault indicator
- Has sliding cover to keep device clean
- Surge response time of less than one nanosecond
- Has a High Clamping Voltage
- The Sockets Are Shallow, resulting in exposed plugs
- Dimensions: 14.1 x 5.7 x 1.9
- Weight: 1.72 pounds
- Surge energy rating: 2630 Joules
- 8 outlets by default, and can be bought with 6 and 11 outlets
- 6-foot power cord
- 2 USB charging ports
- 2630 Joules of protection
APC 8-Outlet Surge Protector Review
With 2630 J, APC’s 8-Outlet Surge Protector will last you a while. Coming in 6, 8, or 11 outlets, its response time is less than one nanosecond so it’ll act to save your PC quicker than you would ever notice.
The APC 8-Outlet surge protector has a long 6-foot power cord and 2 USB charging ports so that you can plug in your smartphone and other USB devices. It even has a building wiring fault indicator to warn you of any potential danger wiring problems in your wall’s circuitry. Additionally, it comes with a sliding cover so dust and debris won’t get in your unused outlets.
Unfortunately, its sockets are shallow which means you will have exposed plugs. The only reason you might not consider this protector is because its high clamping voltage is 400V when using Line to Neutral connections and 500V when using Line to Ground or Neutral to Ground. 400V is the highest you’ll want to go, though less than that is preferred.
Still, this is a great choice for your gaming PC. With its fast response time and a lot of joules, it’ll withstand a lot and be able to hold out for a long time.
Premium Pick: HOLSEM 12 Outlet Surge Protector
Pros & Cons
- Excellent customer service
- Rotating Plugs and sockets
- Long-Lasting and durable
- Plug Spacing can be a hassle depending on devices used
- Activation light can be hard to see
- Dimensions: 12.9 x 4.7 x 1.4
- Surge energy: 4000 Joules
- Weight: 2.45 pounds
- Comes with 6 regular outlets, as well as 6 that are widely spaced
- 3 USB ports also included
- 6-foot long extension cord
- Four keyhole mounting slots
HOLSEM 12 Outlet Surge Protector Review
Sometimes you just need to plug in everything. With 4000J and 12 outlets – 6 regular and 6 widely spaced – the HOLSEM 12 Outlet is a long-lasting and durable surge protector. While a little pricier than the APC 8-Outlet, still with a 6-foot long extension cord, this surge protector has more joules and an extra USB port.
Not everyone wants to put their surge protector on the ground. Luckily, the HOLSEM 12 Outlet has four keyhole mounting slots on its back to attach it to the wall. This surge protector even has easier access with its use of rotating plugs and sockets.
The only problem with its sockets are that its plug spacing isn’t great depending on the devices you use, so you might not be able to plug in 12 devices. The HOLSEM 12 Outlet uses a switch to turn on its green LED light that tells you that your devices are being protected, yet this can be hard to see.
Regardless of these issues, any problems can be very well handled with HOLSEM’s amazing customer service. This surge protector is worth it if you’re willing to spend a little more money.
Best Value: AmazonBasics 6 Outlet Surge Protector
Pros & Cons
- Ideal for protecting small devices
- Comes with 2 units in one
- Durable On/Off switch
- Cannot be mounted effectively
- Should not be used to protect larger, more powerful products
- Dimensions: 11.9 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches
- Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Surge protection: 200 joules
- Comes with 6 Outlets
- 200 Joule protection
- 2-foot long power cord
AmazonBasics 6 Outlet Surge Protector Review
If you’re on a budget, you can still get 12-outlets at a pretty cheap price. AmazonBasics 6 Outlet surge protector not only comes at a great value price, but it also comes with 2 in a pack.
Though only 200 J with a short 2-foot long cord that makes mounting even more difficult than it already is, this is a perfect choice if you don’t have much to plug in, you’re not using a lot of power, or you’re using smaller devices. It shouldn’t be used for larger or more powerful products; you’ll blow through that 200 J faster than you’d ever want. Overall, this is a great budget choice.
Best Portable: Belkin 3-Outlet USB Surge Protector
Pros & Cons
- Fully Rotating Plugs
- Designed to fit into small spaces
- Portable Design for on the go Charging
- Some devices can be blocked due to size
- Can’t charge 2 USB devices at once
- Small size can be a problem with bigger devices
- Dimensions: 2.2 x 5.2 x 7.2 in
- Weight: 8 oz
- Surge energy rating: 918 Joules
- 3 Outlet Surge Protector with fully rotating plugs
- Two USB Ports
- Has 918 Joule rating
Belkin 3-Outlet USB Surge Protector Review
You’ll love this surge protector if you have a family of device users or just carry a lot of devices that need charging throughout the day. The Belkin 3-Outlet USB Surge protector is built for portability with fully rotating plugs, two USB ports, and 3 outlets.
This small guy obviously isn’t for your big devices. With only 3 outlets and portable design, you’ll find the best use for it when on the go. You can fit it in small spaces and help out your friends and family (or yourself) by all being able to plug into one surge protector.
Unfortunately, this does mean that some devices can be blocked due to the small size of this surge protector, so you’ll want to be conscious of what you plug in. Another downside is that you can’t charge 2 USB devices at once, only one.
This sucks if two people don’t have plugs to charge their phones, and kind of rids of the reason for 2 USBs in the first place, but this is still a good choice. If you’re looking for on the go gaming or just a portable surge protector, you’ll probably enjoy this one more than others.
Best for Home Theaters: Belkin 12-Outlet Surge Protector
Pros & Cons
- Can protect and charge large devices
- All outlets can be assessed without any blocking
- Easy to use
- Can be prone to burnout
- The plastic outlet covers can come loose and fall off
- Dimensions: 6.1 x 2.1 x 15.6 in
- Weight: 2.1 lb
- Surge energy rating: 4320 J
- 12 outlet surge protector
- 8-foot charging cord
- 6,000v maximum spike voltage
Belkin 12-Outlet Surge Protector Review
It’s pretty popular to have a home theater nowadays, especially to play your games off of your projector or TV. With 4,320 J and 12 outlets, this protector will make sure to keep everything in your home theater protected with its 6,000v maximum spike voltage.
The Belkin 12-Outlet has in/out ports for cable TV as well as enough space for you to utilize all of its outlets, while protecting and charging all of your devices, without any blocking – including large devices. It won’t take up much space and has an 8-foot long cord.
The Belkin 12-Outlet is very easy to use, but there are some downsides. It uses plastic outlet covers to block out outlets you’re not using, but these often become loose and fall out. Its worst problem is that it can be prone to burnout, which is the last thing you want. Luckily, it’s backed by a lifetime warranty and protected by a $300,000 Connected Equipment Warranty.
This is a great surge protector whether you plan to use it for your home theater or not. With many outlets and a great warranty, you’re sure to be able to protect your devices and money.
Best for USB Charging: BESTEK 8-Outlet Surge Protector
Pros & Cons
- Very well designed
- Up to Eight devices can be Plugged in
- Has Flat Plug-in
- Some issue with the Quick Charge USB rates
- It can make a buzzing noise when activated
- Dimensions: 12.7 x 6.8 x 2 inches
- Weight: 1.8 lb
- Surge rating: 600 joule
- 8 Outlets and a 6-foot cord
- 4 Port USB Power Strip
- Easily mountable
BESTEK 8-Outlet Surge Protector Review
Though only 600 J, the BESTEK 8-Outlet surge protector is a small, great protector with multiple charging stations perfect for your home and office. Allowing up to 8 devices to be plugged in and 12 to be charged simultaneously, this is our best choice for USB Charging because of its amount of USB ports: a whole 4!
Of course, this isn’t something to plug your large devices into. This is a very well designer protector perfect for people just looking to plug in their laptops, phones, and other small devices. It has a 6-foot long cord and is easily mountable with a flat plug-in, making it easier to plug in and out.
When activated to protect your devices, it can make an annoying buzzing noise, but at least then you know it’s working. If the sound bothers you, you can just wear one of our best noise canceling headphones to drown them out!
Also, sometimes its USB ports don’t offer the quick charge they say they do, yet sometimes they do. Otherwise, this is a great protector for USBs and your home office.
Surge Protectors for Gaming PCs: Buying Guide
There are certain things you should know about surge protectors before buying one. We go over them here.
Joules: The More the Better
Joules are used to measure how long your surge protector will live through the energy it can take before dying. A surge protector will not live forever, nor will you be able to tell how many joules are left on it for protection. This means that you need to be cognizant of how many joules your protector has when you buy it and what you plan to plug into it.
You’re using a Gaming PC, so you’re probably going to want something with more joules than not. The more joules you have, the more protection. The general rule is the more joules the better. A surge protector with more joules can protect your devices from a larger surge and multiple small surges before they’re in any danger, so we suggest you get one with a lot of joules.
If you’re using a surge protector for smaller devices, 600 J is fine. If not, or if you just want to be safe, go for more. This doesn’t take away from the necessity to get a warranty, though. Warranties protect you more than the joules. These are for possible reimbursements for the devices attached to your surge protector just in case they get fried out or the protector fails.
Number of Outlets: Charge a Lot at Once
Outlets are the main thing to a surge protector. Before buying one, you should have an estimate of how many devices you plan to plug in. You should always get more than you need to both prepare for the future and for situations where you may not be able to fit the plugs next to each other.
If you can, go for protectors with widely spaced outlets. This works even better if you’re using one of those big wi-fi extenders, which are amazing for gaming.
USBs: Plug-In Your Phone
One thing a lot of surge protectors nowadays have is USB ports to charge and plug-in devices like your smartphones, Kindle, and so on. While these aren’t necessary, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. These are measured in output amp ratings of either 1 or 2 amps (1A or 2A), which just means the output power going to your device. For a quicker charge, go for the 2A.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many common questions that pop up about surge protectors. We cover some here.
How Do I Know If My Power Strip Is a Surge Protector?
Power strips and surge protectors look very similar, both plugging into one outlet and allowing you to plug in multiple devices at once into them. The difference between them is that a protector will save your devices from a power strike.
Power strips cost less than surge protectors, but you can truly only tell the difference by looking at their power ratings. Surge protectors measure power in joules (J) of energy and tell you the max voltage it can withstand from a powerful lightning strike. If both of these numbers aren’t on the box, then it’s not a surge protector.
Is a Surge Protector Necessary?
Just like you should protect your identity when gaming with a great VPN for gaming, you should also protect your devices just in case anything happens. While no one is forcing you to buy one, getting a surge protector is highly recommended. Buying a surge protector should be one of the first things you do after spending a lot of money on one of the best gaming PCs out there.
Without a surge protector, you risk a lightning/power strike sending an electrical surge throughout your house and frying all of your valuables. The last thing you need is everything being fried and destroyed. You don’t have to plug everything into one, only your most valuables like your PC, laptop, home theater devices, and so on. It’ll make sure to keep them all safe.
How many Joules is a good Surge Protector?
Honestly, the more joules the better. You should at least get a protector with 200 to 400 J, but anything 600+ is much, much better. Protectors with thousands of joules are the best here, especially if you have larger devices.
If you own a small device that isn’t as power-hungry, like a gaming PC under $500, fewer joules are fine.
Can Surge Protectors Fail?
Yes. They can fail if there’s a sudden increase in electrical current, the surge is just too big, or it’s just a bad protector. It’s recommended to unplug your devices even from the surge protector if you know a bad storm is coming, just in case, and to get warranties on your surge protectors in case they fail.
Even if you’re not using a Gaming PC, there is a lot of comfort and necessity when it comes to having a surge protector. By using our list, FAQ, and Buyer’s Guide, you’re sure to be able to find the best surge protector for you.
If you own an expensive PC, like the ones we recommended in our list of the best gaming PCs under $1500, it would be wise to protect it.
- How Important Are Surge Protectors for PCs, Make Tech Easier