Common Questions About 5-Outlet Computer Surge Protectors

A surge protector is a simple tool for getting the most out of an electrical outlet. These units are designed not only to protect your computer but also to maximize the number of devices you can power at one time. With the right surge protector, you have the potential to enhance an office or home theater setup that your whole family can enjoy.

What types of 5-outlet surge protectors are offered?

A few different types of surge protectors are available with this number of outlets. They include:

  • In-wall: These surge-protection devices mount directly onto a wall outlet. They expand a wall outlet's two plug-ins into a device with five outlets. These devices come in a variety of colors.
  • Steel: These power strips are embedded in a solid steel casing. This casing is sturdy and usually has one or two screw holes that can be used to mount these devices on a wall or other surface.
  • Individual switches: This type of surge protection device looks like a flat, oblong rectangle. Individual switches are embedded on the front of this type of power strip that allows the user to turn particular devices on and off.
  • Corded devices: These surge protectors are connected to cords that plug into the wall; they can be as short as 3 feet or as long as 15 feet.
How do you pick the right surge protector?

If all of your devices are within reach of the wall, an in-wall surge protector might be the right choice for you. However, if your devices are a significant distance away from the wall, you'll need a power-strip surge protector with a cord. If you will be turning various peripherals on and off frequently, then a power strip with individual switches can be highly convenient. Lastly, surge protection devices with steel cases are ideal for use in environments where power strips might be subjected to wear and tear.

How do you install an in-wall surge protector?

If you decide to use an in-wall surge protector, follow these steps to install this device:

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker associated with the outlet you'll be upgrading to be sure that no electricity is going to that outlet.
  2. Remove the faceplate from the outlet using a screwdriver. Set the faceplate screw aside to reinstall later.
  3. Plug the in-wall power strip into the outlet. Insert the faceplate screw into the center of the power strip, and tighten it to secure the device to the wall.
  4. Turn your circuit breaker back on, and test the surge protection device.