I’m looking at my desk right now, and I count nine (9) things on it that need a two- or three-prong power plug. That’s to say nothing of the rest of my office, which is populated by network switches, a network-attached storage device, a mesh router, a printer, a space heater… the list goes on. The point is, we all need power, and what is more necessary in a modern home than the humble power strip?
While you can often get by with the simple row of six plugs most power strips offer, sometimes you need a lot more, and that’s where the Belkin 12-plug surge protector and power strip comes in. Offering the standard six-plug strip plus an additional six flanking those, with lots of space for bigger adapters, this device puts a lot of versatility in its relatively small form factor. I have at least a dozen power strips, plug extenders and surge protectors throughout my home, but this one is by far my favorite.
The Belkin 12-plug surge protector is a great way to declutter your work or entertainment setup on the cheap.
How I found the Belkin 12-plug surge protector
The problem with surge protectors is that a lot of them suck. Their plugs can be too close together or oriented the wrong way, making it hard to add a chunky power adapter or two to the mix. Often the plug powering the strip is on the end of a stiff cable, and it sticks straight out of the wall, making it hard to tuck away behind a piece of furniture. And sometimes, six outlets still isn’t enough.
I wanted to solve all of these problems as neatly as I could, so I started looking at different reviews around the web and came across Belkin’s 12-plug strip. My entertainment center houses a TV, 4K Blu-ray player, three game consoles, an Apple TV and two HomePods, and I often need to plug other things in there as well. I needed something slim and wall-mountable that would accommodate lots of different types of plugs, and Belkin’s strip fit the bill. It didn’t hurt that it was just $20 on Amazon when I bought it (it’s a little more now, but its price regularly changes and almost never rises to $25, let alone its $28 list value).
Why it’s a score
This power strip solved everything I needed it to. It offers 1,875 watts of total load (anything above that will cause it to shut off), built-in cable management clips, 12 plugs with six spaced out for chunky power adapters and a right-angle plug that sits flush against the wall, making it easy to push my wall-mounted TV back without kinking the cable. What’s more, that plug is 8 feet long, so it’s easy to mount the strip itself to the wall while leaving enough play to easily bundle its cable with everything else being plugged into it if need be.
In addition to its high-wattage load, Belkin’s surge protector can shield your products from up to a 3,940-joule surge. Tripp-Lite, a popular high-end surge protection manufacturer, says up to 2,000-joule protection is ideal for entertainment centers, so Belkin way overshot here, and that’s a good thing. Surge protectors tend to degrade over time, particularly if they experience an actual surge, so the more overhead, the better.
There are some nice bells and whistles, too. The Belkin 12-port surge protector offers three RJ11 ports — plugs which were once ubiquitous in homes and connected landline phones to service — and two coaxial ports, making it a solid choice for home or office use where phone lines, fax machines or cable boxes might need protecting (though that’s an outdated use case in a world where faxes and cable are becoming obsolete). Input and output labels are hidden beneath the removable cable clips.
Finally, there’s a solid warranty backing this product, covering up to $300,000 in damage if the surge protection doesn’t work as intended. That’s probably more coverage than the vast majority of homes will need, but I’m not complaining.
There are a couple of things missing that are far from deal breakers, yet bear mentioning. As best I can tell, this surge protector has been on the market for at least a decade, and it shows. There are no USB ports to be found on it, and it has no pivoting outlets. I wouldn’t expect the latter from a reputable company at this price point, and though you can find USB power ports on plenty of budget surge protectors, you should opt to pay a bit more for a name-brand option, like this similar 12-plug Anker surge protector that retails for $36.
Unfortunately, with Anker’s option you’ll be giving up the extra-long cable, and Anker only guarantees up to a paltry $200,000 if it fails to protect your devices. It also appears to have a 2,100 joule rating, but that’s not specifically mentioned anywhere in the product description, only referencing it in a product image saying it has “2100J surge protection” — the “J” probably means joules, but can you be sure?
Ultimately, Belkin’s 12-port surge protector has everything I need for my entertainment center. The lack of USB ports is hardly a problem for something that’s going to live out its days mostly just collecting dust behind a piece of furniture, and I love its long cable and right-angle plug. Little touches like its cable management clips makes it easy to deal with a dozen snaking power cables, and its high ratings for wattage and joules gives me peace of mind. Although it’s technically priced above $25, it hasn’t been over that number in over a decade, making this a fantastic under-$25 score for anyone who needs a sturdy, reliable surge protector in their home.