Wall outlets are not only often out of the way and difficult to manoeuvre to when behind furniture or a TV stand, but the minute you have a third thing to plug in you have to start making decisions about what does or doesn’t deserve power. The simple solution is investing in a great power bar which will get you at least double the number of outlets, and they’ll be in more convenient, easy to reach spots around your space.
Many power bars on the market have at least double your AC outlets, and with USB cables being used for more and more devices, you’ll see that some brands include a number of USB ports in their models as well.
As well, every brand knows that the things you plug into your power bar costs money, so most come with surge protection energy ratings, so you can feel comfortable with your computers, TVs, or gaming consoles being plugged into them.
With the six options we’ve found for you, you’re able to get up to 12 extra outlets anywhere from three to 12 feet away from the wall outlet, plus a handful of USB ports, and most with surge protection. Not only that, but we have three different styles in design so that you can get what you need for the space you’re working with.
|Number of Ports:||6 AC|
|Cable Length:||3’, 4’, 6’, 8’, 10’|
|Surge Protection:||Yes, 800 joules|
|Product Dimensions||5 x 11.4 x 28.6 cm; 500 g|
General Electric is a trusted name in home appliances, so starting off our list with their six-port power bar just makes sense. It comes with a flat, angled plug so that you don’t have to negotiate the space of the small wall outlet, it’s made to sit out of the way of your other plugs. The ports on the bar itself all have twist-lock safeties, so if you’re not using them, simply twist the covers to make sure nothing — or no one — risks a shock.
|Number of Ports:||12 AC|
|Cable Length:||8’, 10’|
|Surge Protection:||Yes, 3,940 joules|
|Product Dimensions:||15.49 x 5.33 x 39.62 cm; 907.18 g|
If you need just a ton of outlets for all the gear you have for your home entertainment system, this model from Belkin will get the job done. Designed to support all your entertainment or office needs, these 12 ports that face three different directions and offer wide spacing for larger plugs will get power to everything you own. Not only does it comes with surge protection but its cord stretches as long as 10".
|Number of Ports:||4 AC, 4 USB 2.4A|
|Cable Length:||3", 6"|
|Surge Protection:||Yes, 1440 joules|
|Product Dimensions:||30 x 5 x 2.8 cm; 322.05 g|
This stylishly designedpower bar from TROND offers you four AC ports and four USB ones. The flat and angled plug takes up little space on your wall outlet, and the AC ports include room for four standard plugs and one larger plug. This is the perfect choice for your desk at the office or at home, with just enough ports for what you need, and modest surge protection.
|Number of Ports:||8 AC|
|Cable Length:||6’, 12’|
|Surge Protection:||Yes, 4500 joules|
|Product Dimensions:||29.85 x 7.59 x 2.9 cm; 644.1 g|
This is a solid power bar from AmazonBasics, that offers five standard AC ports and three extra wide ports for clunkier plugs, plus, 4500 joules of surge protection with an LED light to indicate when your devices are no longer protected — have peace of mind for all your devices. In addition, there are sliding covers on each port to keep out dust or anything else that shouldn’t go in a socket.
|Number of Ports:||4 AV, 3 USB 2.4A|
|Product Dimensions:||15.75 x 14.22 x 4.83 cm; 320 g|
This is the first of two models from Tessan that are a much more interesting take on the power bar design. Starting with the flat and angled plug that takes up minimal room at your wall outlet, you travel up the heavy duty cable to a sleek and aesthetically pleasing box (as opposed to a bar) that has two AC ports facing one direction, and two facing the opposite — all spaced out to accommodate any and all plugs. Not only that, there are three USB ports on the side so that you’re not having to negotiate all seven plugs on one side.
|Number of Ports:||8 AC, 4 USB 2.4A|
|Surge Protection:||Yes, 150 joules|
|Product Dimensions||21.9 x 15 x 11.9 cm; 700 g|
And this final model on the list isn’t so much a power bar as a power tower. Perfect for table tops in a work space or even for your home entertainment system, there are eight AC ports on four different corners of the tower to ensure the space needed for any sized plugs. Separate on/off switches control the front and back ports so that you don’t have electricity running anywhere it doesn’t need to. Bring this with you to your study session and let all your classmates plug in.
Power bars are a great way to not only get more outlets for the gadgets around your home entertainment system, bedroom, or office, but you’ll get them in more convenient places too.
When you have your devices plugged directly into the wall, or even using an extension cord, there is the risk that in the case of a thunderstorm or even an old appliance that uses a lot of energy malfunctioning, a power surge of any kind could end up damaging your electronics. The benefit of buying a power bar that has surge protection is that you get more outlets to use and anything plugged into it will be better protected!
That being said though, when you see surge protection, you’ll notice that the energy rating mentions a certain amount of joules of protection. Basically, if you get power surges of any size, they chip away at the total number of joules. The issue is that there’s not a countdown of any kind. You won’t know how many joules of surge protection are left on your power bar, but some will come with an LED light that lets you know it’s protected — the light goes out, your electronics aren’t protected from surges.
Depending on which kind of power bar you get though, when the surge protection ends, some models will stop giving any power to your devices, which is an even more sure-fire way of knowing you need to get a new one, but some just let that LED go out but will still continue to power through. So if you place your power bar behind a TV stand or desk, make sure you check in on it!
How Many Outlets Are Too Many?
Any expert will tell you to go big.
If you’re buying a power bar because you have four things that need power, don’t just get a model that has four ports, because the minute you make the purchase, you’ll surely find something else that needs to be plugged in too.
Try to be forward thinking, especially depending on where you need it. A home entertainment system will always have more and more things being added to the setup, whereas your home office might not have more than six devices ever. It makes more sense to be aware of the space you’re working with — don’t add clutter to your desk by placing a 12-port power bar on it when you at most need six AC ports and a couple USBs.