Belkin SurgePlus USB Wall Mount surge protector review: This compact outlet-mounted gadget checks all the boxes

Belkin’s SurgePlus USB Wall Mount surge protector offers a dense array of six AC outlets and two USB ports that fully covers a standard two-outlet wall jack. Like all surge protectors, it requires three-prong grounded outlets.

The SurgePlus plugs into a wall outlet’s top position without removing the outlet’s cover plate. A plastic protusion from the bottom anchors in the lower outlet’s grounding plug. The surge protector comes with a long screw that can be removed or used to replace the cover plate’s center screw for a more permanent installation and for additional anchoring and stability. (Note that you’ll need to remove the screw if you plug the unit into a Decora style outlet, which has screws at the top and bottom of the wall plate, but none in the middle.)

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best surge protectors, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

The model’s six outlets are closely spaced, and it will work well only with standard two-prong and three-prong plugs typical for computer equipment and longer cords on AC adapters. (These are technically NEMA 5-15-P and 1-15-P styles.) Those plug types have become more typical compared to the wall-wart design, which is not ideal for the SurgePlus. That’s both because of available space, its vertical orientation, and the plug’s rotation, 90 degrees off a wall outlet—its outlet blades are parallel to the ground instead of perpendicular.

belkin surgeplus with plugs Glenn Fleishman / IDG

The Belkin SurgePlus USB Wall Mount surge protector can accommodate six normal plugs and two USB Type A cables with ease, but it’s not a good choice if you need something that will accomodate lots of wall-wart AC adapters.

The SurgePlus also includes two conveniently placed Type A USB charging ports, spaced just far enough apart at the top to accommodate even larger-than-average USB plugs. The two ports can output up to 2.1 amps (about 10 watts) between them, including allowing a single port to draw up to that amount of power if the other is unused.

Belkin opted for a moderate level of clamping voltage, the level at which the surge protector prevents excess power from flowing through and potentially causing damage. Surge protectors place a special kind of component, metal-oxide varistors (MOVs), across line/neutral, line/ground, and neutral/ground legs of the electrical circuit. Belkin opted to use MOVs that block surges above 500 volts. With modern electronics, that’s not a problem, especially for quick transient voltage, the kind of surge experienced in most cases.

Belkin, however, chose to build this unit in a pass-through, where power continues to flow even after the MOVs on a given leg have burned out. The only indication that protection is no longer available is the green Protected LED on its top front.

Here, the SurgePlus has an advantage over surge protectors with a cord: it’s very easy to see the bright green LED, although you still must remember to notice its absence in order to take action and replace the unit. If you’re concerned about power flowing with no protection, preferring it to stop when there’s no bar against surges, you need to opt for a different surge protector (see our buyers’ guide for our current recommendation).

belkin surgeplus in situ Glenn Fleishman / IDG

Belkin’s compact surge protector plugs straight into your wall, so it has zero footprint. But you won’t be able to use the stabilier screw in the center if you have a Decora-style outlet.

The SurgePlus also includes a Not Grounded warning red LED that lights up if the outlet is improperly grounded. This can be an electrical danger and fire hazard if the outlet isn’t using a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), a circuit breaker. If it’s a normal outlet, has three prongs, and the Belkin lights up Not Grounded, I recommend contacting an electrician. Belkin notes in its warranty that if the light appears and you can test the outlet is correctly grounded, it will provide a replacement.

Unlike many surge protectors, this model has no reset button. If the unit is tripped internally, you need to contact Belkin for assistance, and it has a limited lifetime warranty against defects and some kinds of damage.

For both product warranty service and to claim damages against the $25,000 connected equipment warranty that is part of the price of purchase, you must file a claim within 15 days. Information is available only in a nearly microscopically printed brochure included with the SurgePlus. The product and equipment warranty covers only the original purchaser.

The bottom line

The Belkin SurgePlus is the perfect addition to any cramped space or outlet located above floor level, such as adjacent to a countertop, where it can allow easy access and USB charging. (If you’re mounting in a kitchen, make sure a thick backsplash won’t get in the way.)

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