Power strips may seem like a dime a dozen to you, but the surge protector part of my favorite power strips have saved the lives of many equipment, here’s the two I like and why.
I bought both of my power strips with surge protection at Radio Shack, more out of happenstance perhaps, i.e. there they were and I needed them, than by any detailed search of the best buys. What I liked about the Radio Shack AuVid Power Strip with surge protector initially was the price since they were on sale.
Inexpensive Hardware Store Power Strips
We’ve bought quite of few brands of the under $10 power strips that have five plug ins, a short cord, and a switch to turn it off and on. You pretty much know by the burning scent in the air when one of the plug ins circuitry gets blown by a power surge caused by local lightning strikes. In every case I’ve had where the plug in stopped working after a lightning strike or power outage, I smelled smoked but my attaché device continued to work. So why should you buy a more expensive brand?
Features that Both the Radio Shack AuVid and Power Strips Share
Both power strips are weighted so that they lie flat on the floor without easily tipping or pulling. Both power strips have surge protection. Both power strips have double the number of plug ins as the inexpensive hardware store power strips. Both the Radio Shack AuVid and the Belkin Power Master power strip have connectors which I never use connecting to a phone plug outlet. The heavy duty nature of these power strips allows heavy power converters that many printers and scanners use to be plugged in without overweighing the entire strip or covering up one of the slots.
Features of the Radio Shack AuVid Power Strip
The Radio Shack AuVid Power Strip has one feature I don’t much like, namely an on/off switch that is hidden from view. A second feature, having a master plug in that controls one side of the power strip, I’m beginning to like. What it does is prevent any power to other devices in the row unless the device in the master plug in is on. The best part of this feature is that all your PC peripherals will be off unless your PC (assuming its plugged into the master plug in slot) is on, thereby saving energy. The other side of the strip allows electronics to be on as long as they are turned on. Cost was less than half the cost of the Belkin Power Master Power Strip, at approximately $30, less since I bought them on sale.
Features of the Belkin Power Master Power Strip
The main reason I bought this power strip was it offered a up to $100000 replacement of any equipment plugged into the strip damaged by surge protection and for the $40 more that you pay than the Radio Shack AuVid compared to the cost the power company charges for a local surge protector ($10 a month), it’s quite the deal. Other than the guarantee, the Belkin Power Master Power Strip is equally as good as the Radio Shack AuVid power strip.
The best reasons to have a power strip include keeping your cords neat, surge protection, easy on/off for many devices and shared power, so regardless of the manufacturer of the power strip, I would always use one with any of my electronic gear including wireless modems, televisions, stereo system and personal computers.