Consumer Electronics & Appliance News, Reviews & Information.

Apr 12

Top 5 surge protectors for your home

Top 5 surge protectors

Reading comments through this last week, there’s been a little bit of surprise about surge protectors.

Which, at least to me, has come as a bit of a surprise.

These devices have saved me countless amounts of equipment trouble over the past several years, from my computer and home theater equipment shutting down suddenly during a power outage, to surge events that fried a light bulb or two, but didn’t actually touch the rest of my stuff.

And no, before there’s any question, I don’t mean a power strip. Those things are just fire hazards waiting to happen.

So, thanks to our mutual surprise, here’s my picks for the top 5 surge protectors on Vann.scom.

APC ES 750

APC ES 750 -- the perfect office companion

1. Office protection

By some strange coincidence, the APC ES750 is the surge protector that I use both at work and at home. I’d like to say that I somehow loved it so much in one place that I urgently requested it for the other, but the coincidence is a testament to why it belongs on a list like this that I have it protecting my iMac and my PC.

The battery backup has been appreciated in both places.

At work, it’s essential because of an incident in which a rogue microwave on the same circuit as my computer was causing blackouts around lunch when people would begin reheating (much to my chagrin, I was the culprit in two of these). At home, more than once it’s allowed me time to save my game save important pieces of writing before a blackout claimed my progress.

Monster MPHT800G

Monster MPHT800G -- A/V ABCs

2. A/V basics

I’ve talked about setting up a green outlet before, but where you’re putting a home theater or audio system may not quite call for that kind of protection. While I’m a big proponent of being prepared, even I know the definition of “overkill.”

The Monster MPHT800G is a smaller 8-outlet surge protector that gives you everything you need to get your system setup and linked together so that you’re not wasting energy on standby devices and vampire power.

It’s also a good choice for a home office, but unless you’ve got quite a few different things drawing power, the GreenPower switch may feel like it’s not doing anything.

Monster Powernet 300

Monster Powernet 300 -- Link your network, protect your equipment

3. The Network specialist

Monster’s Powernet systems kind of straddle a strange line in surge protection, and I have to admit that I was only kind of fascinated by them the first time I saw them, but wasn’t particularly sold on them.

That is until I started using them.

I moved my computer away from where I kept my modem, and have been using a combination of the 300, 200, and 100. I use the 200 to start the signal and run a line to a computer, while the 300 sits with my home theater equipment, providing a stable signal to the XBox and (another) computer. My computer only uses the 100, but since I’m also using the APC ES750, I don’t really need the extra outlets or ethernet connection.

I started using them as kind of a test, to see the difference between my connection on Wi-Fi and my connection on the Powernet. I haven’t looked back since.

Monster Cable HTS1700

Monster Cable HTS1700 -- Full home theater protection

4. Getting serious about home theater

The Monster Cable HTS1700 is a great system for when you start getting serious about your home theater system (but aren’t quite ready to start dropping the big bucks on something like the next item on the lsit). It’s stronger and steadier than your average strip, and has enough outlets to handle a pretty hefty home theater.

What really makes it great, though, is the power cleaning that provides a little better picture and sound (compared to not having it), and the 2 front USB ports. Never underestimate how convenient it is to plug your best tablet or smart phone in when you’re watching TV.

Also, the little blue information light up front is just somehow reassuring to see glowing in the darkness.

APC S20 -- Serious Surge Protector

APC S20 -- Serious Surge Protector

5. The big leagues

This is the surge protector for those passionate about their home theater systems. This is a type of protection that Vann’s has used for some of our showrooms.

If you’re interested in automating large portions of your home, are running top notch audio systems, are using one of the best flat screen TVs, and have the best home theater components around, the APC S20 is the type of surge protector you’ll want to start looking into.

Battery backup, incredible levels of power cleaning and filtering, and almost ever connection you could think of sit alongside monitoring for everything from the level of your power to temperature and humidity monitoring. I’m not sure I can adequately describe what this does.

Luckily we wrote a whole bunch about it in the product description, so if you’re looking for even more information go check that out.

Have you added a surge protector to your home systems lately? Or is this sort of thing old hat to you? Tell us about it in the comments.

Vann's, delighting customers since 1961
© Copyright 1996-2010,, Inc. Vann's is a registered trademark of Vann's Inc. All Rights Reserved. 08/30/2010 (147)
HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99.9% of hacker crime.
Click to verify BBB accreditation and to see a BBB report.
BizRate Customer Certified (GOLD) Site