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Best USB Power Strips to Charge All Your Devices Simultaneously and Safely
Last updated: 22 Oct 2021
With so many devices requiring USB ports for charging, one plug is far from sufficient to keep all your household and office gadgets running. Due to the increased demand for USB charging accessories, you can now find a number of options available with different features including portable charging devices and surge-protected strips. Using the incorrect power strip for your device or using it in an unsafe way can put your gadgets at risk and cause irreparable damage. You need to take power, charging speed, and a secure fit into consideration to keep your devices safe and functional. To help you stay connected, we’ve listed the best USB power strips in 2021 that are suitable for the office, home, and for traveling. Here are our top picks.
3 x USB ports, 3 x AC ports, and 1 x USB-C charging port
5-foot-long flexible extension cord
Dimensions: 2.6 inches x 2.6 inches x 2.3 inches
This handy USB power strip features a 5-foot flexible cord, 3 USB inputs, 3 USA grounded inputs, and 1 USB-C input. The unit is compact in design allowing you to pack it easily for travel purposes and charge all your gadgets without needing multiple plugs and outlets. The high-speed charging technology allows you to charge your USB devices quickly, including the new iPhone with the USB-C port. This lightweight power strip is especially useful when you only have a short period to charge multiple devices during travels and hotel stays.
Comes in a color choice of black or white power strips
This desktop USB power cube features a 5-foot extension cord, three AC outlets, and three USB ports. The unit is compact allowing you to plug in all your devices without taking up excessive space on your desk. It also features overload protection for iPhone XS/XR. The device offers high-speed charging for USB devices with 18 watts maximum output from the USB ports and 1250 watts from the AC outlets.
The universal power socket features USB over-voltage, overload-, short-circuit, and USB overheating protection
Compact, portable design measuring 3.50 x 3.50 x 1.96 inches
5-Foot pure copper cord with good heat dissipation
This smart USB power strip is mountable to keep it out of the way of children, pets, and for better reach of outlets. With smart IC technology, the USB port detects your plugged-in devices and automatically provides the best current for fast and safe charging within the output capability. The power strip is available in a variety of colors and all outputs are protected by a 2-in-1 on/off switch. It hosts 4 USB outlets and 4 widely spaced AC outlets which are circuit breaker protected with an LED indicator that automatically shut off when there is an overload.
This multi-functional USB power strip provides two AC outlets and three 3.1A USB charging ports with a 5-foot braided extension cord. Ideal for travel, home, or office use, the power strip auto-detects the connected devices for fast charging efficiency. The UL-certified braided extension cord has a thick design with a 13A current carrying capacity. Although the USB power strip provides over-load-, short-circuit, USB over-voltage, and USB overheating protection, it is not a surge protector which makes it ideal for taking on cruise ships where surge protector strips are not allowed.
Surge protector circuit composed of MOV, transient voltage suppressor, and gas discharge tube
ETL and UL safety certified
Environmental protection and fire-resistant PC shell
24-Month connected equipment warranty
Alestor provides a multi-function power strip featuring 12AC outlets and four 3.4A USB charging ports. A 6-foot heavy-duty extension cord allows for good reach from the main plug point and additionally the power strip also acts as a surge protector. This means multiple devices will have overload protection against power spikes and fluctuations. The design offers two widely spaced outlets for oversized adapters and 10 standard spacing outlets. The USB ports are compatible with Kindle and most USB devices. They also detect plugged-in devices and automatically provide the best current for fast and safe charging within the output capability.
To determine what kind of power strip will be best for your needs, it is important to consider which devices you are planning to charge with it, the power requirements, and where you are going to be placing the strip. Many people assume that power strips are automatically also surge protectors. Although surge protectors come in the form of multi-plug strips to protect several outlets at once, your devices will not be protected unless the power strip unit is specifically labeled as being a surge protector. This goes for multi-unit strips, USBs and larger plugs. In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know when choosing the best USB power strip for fast charging and to prevent electrical damage to your gadgets.
What to Consider When Buying a USB Power Strip
Not all electrical devices require the same power to work. Some large home appliances draw a significant amount of power while others need a much smaller amount. The charger that accompanies your device, whether a mobile phone, watch or iPad is designed specifically to provide the correct amount of current to that device and no more.
The terms 1A and 2.1A refer to the amount of electrical current handled by a port. This measurement is conveyed in amps (hence the ‘A’). The majority of USB power strips or charging stations deliver 1A or 2.1A of power per USB port. Mobile phones do fine with 1A ports, however, these are not suitable for tablets.
When choosing a USB power strip it is best to go with minimum 2A ports to ensure that a range of devices can be charged successfully. High-power USB ports range from 2.4A to 5A. Although 2.1A ports are generally sufficient, higher-powered ports will charge your devices at a faster rate. Certain power strips are able to detect the connected device and deliver the optimum amount of power automatically.
As we just mentioned, the more power a USB station provides, the faster a device will charge. Charging a device with less than its required current lengthens the time it will take to charge the battery fully. Ports on USB power strips are dedicated to charging as opposed to ports on PCs and laptops. This means that power strips offer better and faster charging capabilities.
Some Android smartphones are designed with Quick Charge technology. This feature allows the device to be charged in the fastest time possible. If you pair this device with a high-speed charging station you can effectively charge your mobile in no time.
When choosing your ideal USB power strip, consider where the strip will be placed. You can either have it on your desk, in a desk drawer, under a desk, in soft seating or in-between furniture. Most installations are pretty simple and just require you to plug the power strip into a main wall socket. However, if you want to install in-desk stations you will most likely first have to cut a suitably sized and carefully measured hole in the desk for the hub to fit securely.
Consider the shape and size of the power strip to determine which will be most suitable for the space you have available. Some designs are ideal for desk-top functions and easy access, while bulkier designs will take up too much valuable desk space, although they may offer more ports.
Number of Ports
USB power strips are designed to charge multiple devices at the same time. They come in a variety of configurations. Buying the correct number of ports with an allowance for one or two extras is essential. You do not want to daisy chain power strips so make sure there is enough space for everything you need to charge.
Some power strips include space for larger plugs as well as USB ports. Keep in mind that even if a power strip has eight ports, you might not be able to use them all as some oversize plugs will overlap the next port on the strip, blocking adjacent outlets. Whichever design you choose, ensure there are enough ports and that all the required plugs fit the strip design.
Many power strips have a maximum output with a limit of power that can be provided across all its ports. This may result in some devices being charged on a lower current than needed.
Surge Protectors with USB Ports
Buying a surge protector with USB ports offers protection for your devices that traditional wall chargers don’t. When buying a surge protector with USB ports, choose a design that offers high-speed charging for smartphones and other USB devices. Units with multiple USB ports allow various devices to charge simultaneously with surge protection, making them ideal for offices and common workspaces. Always make sure there is sufficient space between USB ports and three-prong outlets to ensure accessibility and prevent overcrowding.
Some manufacturers offer a warranty on their products, however, when it comes to surge protectors this becomes quite complicated. Although manufacturers may offer to repair or replace devices damaged due to the failure of the surge protector strip, you will need to prove that the failed power strip was the reason for the damage. This may entail shipping your surge protector power strip to the manufacturer and paying for an electronics assessment. Warranty claims, therefore, are only worth it on very expensive items. Check the warranty status before making your purchase to determine the inclusions and claim procedures.
Safety Tips for USB Power Strips and Surge Protectors
Only use USB power strips and surge protectors in dry indoor areas
Do not exceed the electrical rating of the unit
If the USB power strip features a power cord uncoil the cord before use
Do not cover the power cord with any flammable material or anything that could be a potential fire hazard
Keep the cord and power strip safely hidden away from pets and out of reach of children
USB Power Strip FAQs
Is there a difference between a USB port and hub?
A USB port is the actual single outlet that connects the plugged-in device to another linked device such as an iPhone or computer. A USB hub provides multiple USB outlets and essentially contains a number of USB ports in itself.
Is a power strip and a surge protector the same?
While a power strip divides your power outlet into multiple ports, a surge protector features a protection mechanism designed to protect your electronics against power surges and other power interferences. Although surge protectors are more expensive than regular power strips they are worth it in the long run, since having one will prevent you from having to replace your entire device if something happens.
Can you use a USB hub for charging?
If the USB hub has its own AC power source you can use it for charging. A USB hub powered from a computer's USB port will be able to charge your devices but at an extremely slow rate and will never be as efficient as a dedicated charging station. In general USB hubs can only generate 0.5A or less power for each port.
As a computers and information analyst, Denise constantly finds herself trying the latest and greatest tech products. Her extensive personal experience with electronics allows her to share her findings with others online.