I could whine about the fact that my elderly home doesn’t have enough electrical outlets for all my gadgets, but the fact is that even a newer house probably wouldn’t have enough outlets in the exact places where I would need or want them. Add to that problem a pressing need for surge protection, and it becomes obvious that a power-strip of some kind would be my best solution.
But which one?
Let’s look past the ancient six-plug power strip that I’ve been using – obviously it is not the proper solution for the thousands of dollars in computer hardware it is powering and hopefully protecting. I need more outlets in my power strip, but I also need assurance that the devices being powered will be safe when we get one of the electrical storms that West Texas is famous for.
If I could build my perfect surge protector, I would ask for more outlets with larger spaces between them, guaranteed surge protection that I could trust, and a design that could either lay on the floor or be mounted neatly. Of course, anytime we are dealing with cables, “neat” is relative word, so it would be nice if the protector could also help manage the cables. With those needs in mind, the Belkin Concealed Surge Protector might be just what I’ve been hoping for.
photo courtesy of Belkin
After being used to the slender foot-long power strips sold in most hardware stores, I was surprised by the size of the Belkin’s box. It is 17″ long and 6″ wide!
The exterior of the box touts its contents as being a Concealed Surge Protector that has 11 outlets, a 10′ cord, 4260 Joules of surge protection and a $300,000 Connected Equipment Warranty. The side of the box further states “We will repair or replace any equipment damaged by a surge, spike, or lightning strike while properly connected to our surge protector, up to the maximum value stated on the front of the package.” There is also a Lifetime Warranty which states, “We will replace, free of charge, any surge protector that is defective or expires after protecting your electronic devices.”
Okay, so I’ve never�had a guarantee like that from one of my hardware store power strips; already I am impressed.
Once out of the box it becomes even more apparent that the Concealed Surge Protector is different than any other I have tried. Not only is it the size of the contraption – roughly 17″ long x 5″ wide x 4″ deep, it is everything about it! First of all, there is a shroud over the entire outlet area. This is what makes the surge protector “concealed”, as it looks like an innocent off-white box with the shroud down.
Under the shroud, there are ten electrical outlets (four of them “block space), a set of coaxial cable connectors, one “in” and two “out” RJ11 ports for phone/fax/modem lines, one “in” and one “out” RJ45 Ethernet ports…
…and one “convenience” outlet on the end of the box with a sliding safety cover to protect the outlet when it is not in use.
An on and off switch on the side allows me to kill the surge protector’s power immediately.
And there are two LEDs, a green one�to indicate�’Protected’ and a red for ‘Not Grounded’.
So, yeah…here is the underside of my desk. Enjoy the view, because it won’t look like this for much longer.
After ten minutes of untangling, rerouting, and re-plugging – including running the cables through the deep channel and spaced cord slots�in the�inside rear�of the surge protector made for this purpose, the underside of my desk now looks like this…
…or rather, like this. The shroud has been flipped down and it is now concealing and protecting my electronics cables. I tied up the few cables that were still hanging from one�computer to another. Much better, right?!
The Belkin Concealed Surge Protector is definitely the answer for those that have a lot of money tied up in computer or home theater equipment. Having a box that helps to conceal and protect those unsightly plugs and cables is nice, but having more plugs than I currently need is pretty darn cool, too! Hopefully I will never have to test out their Connected Equipment Warranty, but knowing that Belkin stands behind their product – should anything ever happen to my equipment in an electrical storm – is peace of mind that I have never known before. I’ll be buying at least two more of these for our house – one for our home theater and one to go Sarah’s desk.
The Belkin Concealed Surge Protector is available directly from the manufacturer as well as from other retailers.
What I Like: Concealed cable management, 11 outlets -four of them for those huge “block plugs”, connections for Ethernet & phone lines, the Connected Equipment Warranty & the Lifetime Warranty
What Needs Improvement: Nothing – I’ll be buying more of them!