Powerboards are awesome! While modern homes often come equipped with power outlets galore, anyone that’s ever lived in an old house or set up a home office will know the woes of having limited outlet options.
But that's the beauty of powerboards: they’re a solution in the simplest form! Take one power outlet and turn it into more. Consumer choice at its finest.
HOWEVER, there is a surprising amount of thought that goes into powerboard design. So many options on the market are loaded with quality-of-life features. But more crucially, you’re still dealing with electricity and all the associated safety hazards. To protect your gear, your home, and even your life, you need the right powerboard.
So in this article, I’ve summed up the 10 best powerboards on the market in Australia. Whether it’s powerboards for high-end PCs, basic home setups, or even just surge protector powerboards to keep you safe, it’s all in here in this buyer’s guide.
Gadget User: putting the power of consumer choice in YOUR hands!
- Surge protection (700 joules)
- Built-in master switch for easier control
- Two USB-A charging slots
- Very sturdy design
- Wall mountable
- Well-spaced outlets for bulkier plugs
- A little on the chunky side
- Surge protected (900 joules)
- Four USB charging slots (1C3A)
- Built-in master switch
- Wall mountable
- Slick all-black design
- Individual switches feel sorely missed
There’s the roundup! Some beautiful boards to elevate your gadget game to new levels.
Our favourite pick in a healthy first place is the Belkin Surge Protection Strip Powerboard. It’s a very reliable brand and product offering everything you need safety and feature wise in a good quality powerboard but without skyrocketing the price.
If you’re not looking to even remotely break the bank, however, then the HPM Surge Protected Outlet Powerboard is the recommendation. It’s a much cheaper powerboard that DOESN’T sacrifice vital surge protection.
Or, for something a little different, both the SAFEMORE Compact Vertical Powerboard or Allocacoc PowerCube are two options I personally love. I wouldn’t recommend them if maximum protection is the goal, but if you’re looking to meet your power needs in a more accessible and space-conscious setting, either might just be the perfect choice.
So think about exactly what living space you’re in (and trying to create) and how high-end and valuable the equipment you’ll be connecting is. Armed with that knowledge, the best powerboard for your needs will quickly become clear.
And then all that’s left is to buy, plug in, and play.
The two biggest things to keep an eye out for are features and safety mechanisms. Budget powerboards aside, the better and pricier the board is, the more features and safety mechanisms it will have. Features include powerboards USB charging slots, LED indicators, master/individual switches, etcetera, whilst safety mechanisms tend to be varying levels of overload and surge protection with equipment insurance tiered above that.
Absolutely. These days, only the cheapest powerboards come without surge protection. Again, there are different levels of surge protection with better boards having better coverage, however, even a small level of protection is better than nothing in the case of a power surge.
A powerboard itself can be replaced according to its current state. If there is damage to the plastic casing or insulation, discolouration around the outlets or plug, or any enlargement of the outlets or plug, it’s time to uprgrade. However, more crucially, surge protectors deteriorate and generally should be replaced every three to five years. Furthermore, if they are subject to frequent brownouts, blackouts, electrical storms, or power surges, they should be replaced more frequently, up to a maximum of every two years.
You can, however, what’s advised against is using an extension cable as a permanent fixture in any situation; extension leads are designed to be used temporarily in necessary scenarios. But while plugging a powerboard into an extension cord isn’t strictly a no-no, what you ABSOLUTELY shouldn’t do is plug extension cords or second powerboards (or even double adapters) into a powerboard. This is called piggybacking and is one surefire way to lead to power overloads and fried electronics.