If you have a laptop, tablet, or any complex electrical device, it can be at risk of voltage surges. A voltage surge is either a sudden spike for example caused by a local thunderstorm or some malfunction in the power supply.
A voltage surge can in the best case cause a temporary fault in your laptop or pc and the worst case is your PC dies completely and all the information on it becomes difficult or even impossible to recover. That fact can be catastrophic for people who rely on the information on their laptop.
- 1. CyberPower EC750G
- 2. Monoprice 68-207-7382R 1
- 3. POWERADD Power Strip Surge Protector
- 4. KMC Surge Protector Power Strip, Cube
- 5. Audio Quest Power Quest 2
- 6. Do Laptop Chargers have Surge Protectors
So, what is the best portable surge protector for a laptop? We’ll look at 5 surge protectors for laptops. We’ll go into all the detail you need on surge protection for laptops.
First, let’s look at our top three headline surge protector for laptop choices.
Best Portable Surge Protectors for Laptops in 2022
Best high-end surge protection for laptops: CyberPower EC750G
Best basic surge protector for a laptop: Monoprice 68-207-7382R 1
Best mid-price anti-power surge power strip for laptop: POWERADD Power Strip Surge Protector
What are Voltage Surges and why do you need protection?
We don’t much like review sites for products like this that throw in topical buzzwords, focus on popular brands and then pick recommended models without explaining the reasons why in their reviews.
Our view is that we all need to understand the topic sufficiently to make an informed choice. That choice will also depend on your specific needs, so there is rarely a ‘best’ overall – it’s always context-sensitive.
With that in mind, let’s now dig more into the topic of the best surge protector for a laptop.
We need to start by defining our terms. The voltage or ‘volts’ is the amount of electrical “pressure” in a circuit, while Amplitude ”amps” or ‘amperage’ is the amount of “Volume”.
Our electronic devices are usually protected from excess electrical amplitude by fuses and trip switches, as the most dangerous part of electrical shock to a human is the amperage, not the voltage.
However, there is no such protection in many cases from excess electrical Voltage surges, that will disable or kill technology like a mains-connected Laptop, tablet, console, PC tablet or even phone.
Surge protective devices or SPDs limit the surge voltage and discharge any surge current caused by surge voltages to the earth.
There are three main causes of a voltage surge
Lightning strikes: When lightning strikes these can cause a LEMP – a Lightning Electro Magnetic Pulse. This is an indirect hit somewhere on the local power system or a direct hit on your location. The result is a high voltage and amperage spike. The amperage surge should be mitigated by fuses blowing or protective relays tripping out, but the voltage won’t.
Power Supply switching or faults: Local power supplies when switching between sources or making other changes in the supply can experience a SEMP – a Switching Electro-Magnetic Pulse and you get what is termed an overvoltage.
Electrostatic discharges: These are electrostatic discharges (ESD) and the reason why PC technicians sometimes wear special earthing bands. These can happen if charged exposed metal parts with different electrostatic states come close to each other.
The last category is the EMP (electromagnetic pulse) of a nuclear weapon which we hope is unlikely!
Whatever the cause, LEMP, SEMP or ESD, if your laptop gets hit with a voltage surge, you are in for a bunch of possible problems.
First, at a minimum, you are going to temporarily lose the use of your laptop. That might have vital information on it that you need for business or personal reasons if you don’t back your laptop up very frequently the information might even be unique. So, from the time the laptop is down until it is fixed, you have a problem and a lot of business or personal hassles.
Secondly, even if you take out laptop insurance, this downtime might not be covered.
Thirdly, a serious surge might wipe out your laptop for good. So, as well as the inconvenience of temporarily not being able to get at your data, that data might be lost forever and you also need to buy a new laptop from your money volts vs amps fuses USB sockets in hotels trip switches.
When you think about these risks – especially if you’re travelling for business or holiday, then investing in a surge protector does make a lot of sense.
This is especially the case if you go abroad to countries with less robust power supply systems. Then you would be crazy not to invest in a travel surge protector for a laptop.
WHAT IS THE BEST SURGE PROTECTOR FOR LAPTOP?
Now let’s look in detail at our 5 top picks for the surge protection for laptops.
1. CyberPower EC750G
Best high-end surge protection for laptops
If you want all the boxes ticked, our recommended top of the listed products is this CyberPower unit. It is a combined battery backup & surge protector UPS (Universal Power Supply) all in one System with 12 Outlets.
It’s a great package, rating top of our list if you want full bells and whistles, compact surge protector and uninterruptible power supply.
- UPS is included to keep you working even during an outage
- Robust voltage surge protection
- A large number of outlets
- The price and feature might be overkill for some users
Verdict: The CyberPower is a great choice if you want a fully-featured voltage surge protector and an uninterruptible power supply.
2. Monoprice 68-207-7382R 1
Best basic surge protector for a laptop
The Monoprice 68-207-7382R 1 is a compact and affordable single device protector with a handy surge alarm warning system. It is rated for a respectable 900 Joules.
Unlike our other top three picks, which have larger form factors, this Monoprice shapes up at just 4.16 ounces and 8.05 x 5.5 x 2.35 inches. This is ideal for carrying around in your laptop bag or a large pocket.
The Monoprice auto-shutoff function cuts off power from the surge protector during a problem and if necessary will ‘sacrifice itself, letting you know it has done so, to protect the connected laptop etc.
- Very portable and great for travel
- Alarm status gives you a warning of a catastrophic level surge
- Very affordable
- No USB socket and single mains socket
Verdict: Simple, affordable, and robust, the Monoprice offers a great low-cost basic surge protection solution.
3. POWERADD Power Strip Surge Protector
Best mid-price anti-power surge power strip for laptop
These days, most of us have multiple personal electronics and some folks will happily switch at home between laptop, tablet, and phone all in the same few minutes. In fact, for Teenagers, that’s pretty much a given.
When you are travelling, you get all of that and more. You probably will be travelling with other surge-vulnerable electrical devices (you can add a razor, electric toothbrush, electrical hair products etc. as well as your laptop, smartphone, tablet etc. and if you are travelling as a family group, multiply all those several times.
That makes a power strip like the Power Add a sensible idea and has the bonus of USB sockets as well. There are individual power rocker switches for both the mains socket bank and separate USB socket bank – that gives an added level of protection as you can 1000% stop the possibility of a surge in one or the other or both.
- Handles many sensitive electronic devices: laptop, notebook, phone etc. all at the same time
- Lots of Mains sockets
- Comes with multiple international adapters, making travel easy and hassle-free
- Bonus USB sockets mean you don’t need to bring a load of UBB plugs as well
- Fairly bulky – inevitable given what you get
Verdict: If you are a national or international traveller, or especially going on an international holiday with the family, this Power Add is a must.
4. KMC Surge Protector Power Strip, Cube
Best compact surge protected power strip
Bearing in mind our previous comments on the size of the Power ADD, KMC have solved this via a Cube for factor portable power outlet. You get one less outlet (3 to the Power Add’s 4) oriented in three different directions to avoid big plugs getting in the way of each other, which can be an issue with normal strips.
The KMC comes with a handy 4 USB Ports and switches control to ‘kill’ and 100% protect the devices – a useful feature and sensible idea if a thunderstorm is just about to start.
- FCC authentication of surge protection
- The handy form factor lets you run three mains plugs
- A useful 4 additional USB cable sockets
- Useful and well-located power kill switch
- Block design means only 3 mains sockets
Verdict: A neat alternative for travelling.
5. Audio Quest Power Quest 2 – Power Conditioner/Non-Sacrificial Surge Protector
Best non-sacrificial high-end solution
The average surge protector will ‘take one for the team’ when an incident happens, and head off into the sunset, never to be seen again. That gets pricey if surges are frequent and you end up buying constant replacements.
The alternative is a Non-Sacrificial Surge Protector like this Audio Quest Power Quest 2, which picks itself up and gets back to work. These of course cost way more but make sense if you are dealing with regular issues. What’s more with this specific Audio Quest model you pay more, and you get more.
As the name suggests, this is a model for the home vlogger, home video editor, home musician or another media-savvy user. You get 6-mains and 2 USB Outlet Surge Protector on the PQ2 model plus some useful video and audio connectivity for your monitoring equipment. There’s a larger PQ3 version that gets you ethernet and other connectivity too.
- Ideal when you use laptops for almost any audio or video task
- Makes sense if you have frequent problems
- Lots of connectivity on the PQ2 and even more on the PQ3
- Will be more than some folks need
Verdict: If audio or video on your laptop or PC is in any way your thing, then the Audio Quest Power Quest 2 or 3 must be worth a serious look. Great for laptop vlogging & laptop music production.
Do Laptop Chargers have Surge Protectors
In today’s modern society, the laptop has become an indispensable electronic device for human life. Along with it is a computer charger. Every computer on the market has a built-in charger.
Many people questioned, do laptop chargers have surge protectors. The answer is, a computer charger equips with this device.
- Types of computer chargers available today
- Principle of operation
- Do laptop chargers have surge protection?
Types of computer chargers available today
Currently, there are many famous brands of laptop computers on the electronic market. These manufacturers prioritize the development of computer chargers that are compatible with laptop products, leading to many units selling laptop chargers on the market, including popular laptop chargers such as some laptop chargers of HP, Dell, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba, Sony…
These are all big famous brands in the world. However, laptop chargers are often designed to be compatible with the same brand of laptop. You can still use the laptop and the charger from two different brands, but the charging efficiency will not be as high as the combination of the laptop and the charger from the same company.
Principle of operation
As you can see, on the market today there are many different types of laptop chargers. However, they are still fundamentally similar. The laptop charger is composed of 2 parts: An adapter and a power cord to the power, also known as the power cord.
The principle of the computer charger is very simple. Each time the charger is plugged in, the current will flow from the source through the wire, then be low-voltage and convert the alternating current from the source to direct current suitable for the computer and then start charging.
Even when the battery is full or not plugged in, the laptop charger provides straight power for the laptop’s operation.
The laptop charger that users often encounter is a 19V output type. It is simply a source of 1 voltage so it is much simpler than the source of a normal computer.
Do laptop chargers have surge protection?
This is the common source in all types of switching sources. It is used in large DC input circuits (24-48v) with output levels like 5v, 9v, 12v, 15v, 19v. In which, the 19v type is more widely available. Also, its power consumption is very low. The buck converter uses a transistor to periodically switch the input voltage across a wire.
So, do laptop chargers have built in surge protectors? The buck converter uses a transistor to periodically switch the input voltage across a wire. This unit acts as a surge protector for laptop, protecting the computer against power instability.
In short, the computer charger plays an important role in protecting and providing power for laptop computers. Being equipped with a surge protector contributes to the stability and consistency with the power source transmitted to the computer.
Surge Protectors for Notebook
So, we have looked at widely different use cases for power surge protection – the lone business traveller, the international holidaymaking family, even the budding video editor or next Kanye West.
As ever and as with most technology purchase, price and brand are not the determiners. When choosing a surge protector for a laptop, you need to get the one that is correct for you.
We hope you found this quick guide useful but would love to hear your ideas, suggestions, and comments. Please leave them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.
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What’s the difference between surge protectors and a power rectifier? Are they similar things?
There are significant capability and cost differences between a surge protector and power rectifier (also called a power conditioner). Surge strips are just there to divert voltage spikes away from your laptop or other electronics. A power conditioner rectifier is way more complex as it is like a laundrette for electrons, taking in unstable electrical current as it is being delivered and rectifying it in many ways before it hits your electronic system.