Are all power strips the same?

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Using power strips for multiple appliances can help you save energy, protect your equipment from power surges, and add convenience when powering up and shutting down appliances. But are all power strips the same?

Power strips have become more specialized over time, and some may address your needs more effectively than others. Here, we’ll review three energy-saving power strips and help you identify which one might be best for you.

BITS Smart Strip Power Strip: This power strip features 10 outlets, three of which remain on all the time and can be used for items you never turn off. The other seven secondary outlets are connected, and turn off when the strip detects a 10 percent drop in energy usage from the appliance plugged into the main outlet.

Perfect for: Computers. Plug your computer into the main outlet and related components into the six secondary outlets. When you power down your computer, power will also be cut to the unused components.

APC Power Saving SurgeArrest P8GT: This is an eight-outlet device that also features four secondary outlets that run off a master outlet. It also features increased surge protection abilities.

Perfect for: Computers or valuable television or audio equipment. Just as you can plug your computer into the master outlet, you can do the same with your stereo receivers or television. Plug corresponding audio equipment and accessories into the other four secondary outlets.

Isole® IDP-3050 Plug Load Control: This eight-outlet power strip features a motion sensor that connects to a five foot long cable. The sensor is programmable and will power down devices when motion hasn’t been detected, and turn them on when somebody walks in front of it.

Perfect for: The home office. If you’re likely to forget to turn off your power strip when you power down, this power strip will make sure you’re not wasting energy every time you leave.