Chances are, the power strips you're now using around the house are probably several years old. While they might still be in working order, they can wear out over time, no longer offering the same surge protection they once did.
Here are some new ones to consider if you're looking to replace a few old strips or just need to add yet more outlets.
The last thing you want to do with a power strip is daisy chain one with an extension cord. If you need to plug in a couple of devices far from a wall outlet, you’ll need a surge protector that has a long cord of its own, like this 15-foot one from Kensington. It’s no-frills otherwise, but it will provide 540 joules of protection and has an LED light to indicate that your gear is actually protected.
An APC uninterruptible power supply (or UPS) is a great investment if you’re looking to protect your gear and get a bit of battery power during an outage, but the company’s surge protectors are also a solid choice if you just need some basic protection. This one in the Home/Office series has plenty of well-spaced outlets, along with two USB cords to keep all your devices powered and charged. You’ll also get some added peace of mind from APC’s lifetime warranty and equipment protection policy.
Many surge protectors with built-in USB ports still use lower amperage ports that can take longer to charge mobile devices, but this one from Holsem has a pair of 3.1A Quick Charge ports that should charge them as fast as any other charger. You’ll also get one extra standard USB port besides those, and an ample 12 AC outlets, six of which are spaced to accommodate larger power adapters.
True to its name, this AmazonBasics surge protector is no-frills, but it'll give you three AC outlets and two USB ports in a compact package for only $10. One of the USB ports is 2.4 amps, while the other is 1.0 amp, so they'll accommodate a range of different devices, and the surge protector itself won't obstruct your bottom wall outlet when it's plugged in.
Another highly-versatile option, this Stanley Mini Squid adapter will give you three flexible outlets that'll accommodate large grounded plugs as well as a pair of USB ports to charge your portable devices, which makes it a great addition to a workshop or office. If you don't need the USB outlets, you can get a similar strip with five AC outlets instead for about the same price.
If you don't need a ton of outlets and want a power strip that's also travel-friendly, consider something like Belkin's compact SurgePlus power strip. You'll get two USB ports along with the three AC outlets, though they only offer a combined 2.1 amps, so they'll charge your devices a bit slower if you use both at the same time. The plug on the strip itself also swivels so you can make the most of a cramped space.
If you need to plug in a bunch of devices with adapters or various shapes and sizes you won't do much better than Belkin's 12-outlet PivotPlug, which is a top pick of TechHive. Eight of those outlets swivel so you don't have to worry about one plug obstructing another, and all of them provide surge protection with an impressive 4320 joule energy rating. A detachable clip also helps to keep all of those cables in one place.
If you don't think you'll need the swiveling plugs of Belkin's PivotPlug, you can save a bit of money by getting the company's standard 12-Outlet Surge Protector instead. It's a top pick among LifeHacker readers and gets consistently good ratings among Amazon customers where it's maintained a four-and-half star rating out of five after more than 7,600 reviews. All 12 outlets have sliding safety covers, and like the PivotPlug, includes a clip for keeping all those cables nice and tidy.
If you're looking for a truly fail safe surge protector (short of a full-fledged uninterruptible power supply), The Wirecutter recommends Tripp Lite's TLP1008TEL surge protector for its ability to shut off power to your devices when its surge protection abilities wear out (as opposed to simply warning you). Beyond that feature, you'll get an ample ten outlets, four of which are spread out a bit to accommodate larger AC adapters.