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Surge Protector vs Extension Cord: 4 Basic Differences!

Both surge protectors and extension cords have many benefits. But the problem arises when anyone asks you to choose. Or buy one between them for some specific uses. To choose between them, you need to know the differences between them.

What are the differences between surge protector and extension cord?

You can differentiate them by many features. Like, in most cases surge protectors have multiple outlets but don’t have any long cable. For the extension cord, the case’s just the opposite. Surge protectors can protect from surges and spikes but extension cords don’t. Their price is also different.

That’s just a summary of the article. If you wanna know more in detail, keep reading the article.

Surge Protector vs Extension Cord: 4 Basic Differences

What are the features that make the difference between a surge protector and an extension cord? Actually, there are many varieties between them. Just like when comparing surge protectors and GFCI.

You can also find a lot of dissimilarities between power strip vs surge protector vs extension cord. But in this article, you’ll know about the differences between surge protectors and extension cords.

It’s time for you to know them:

FeaturesSurge ProtectorExtension Cord
AppearanceHave multiple outlets without long cable.Have a long cable but without multiple outlets.
Protection from surges and spikesCan protect.Can’t protect.
Price $2 to $1200$5 to $230
LifespanUp to 2 years.Temporary.

Wanna know about these features in detail? Then, get ready to know them.

Surge Protector vs Extension Cord: Detailed Explanation

Only knowing the basic differences is not enough. You should know about the details too. It will help you a lot to decide. It’s time to proceed to know about their details.

Feature 1: Appearance

You should know first what they look like. Many people get confused about their appearance. So you can know how they look from below.

Surge Protector

Surge protector has multiple outlets. Normally they don’t have any long cables. 

They are very much useful to connect many devices altogether because they have multiple outlets. Belkin surge protector is a good brand.

There are also some surge protectors with long cords. You can find them online easily. They will also cost more.

Extension Cord

You can easily recognize an extension cord with its long cord. Normally, they don’t have multiple outlets. They have a single outlet. 

With their help, you can even easily connect your device which is not near the outlet.

There are also some extension cords with multiple outlets. You should search for them if you wanna buy them. They will also cost more.


Surge protector has multiple outlets whereas the extension cord doesn’t. But the extension cord has a long cable whereas the surge protector doesn’t have. 

There is some exception also in this case 

Feature 2: Protection From Spikes and Surges

Spikes and surges can occur anytime in our devices which can damage our devices. That’s why you should choose something which can save your devices from any kind of surges and spikes.

Surge Protector

Do you know what a surge protector does to your devices? Surge protectors save your devices from any kind of surges and spikes. If any kind of surges or spikes occur, they stop them from damaging any device.

Extension Cord

An extension cord doesn’t save your devices from any kind of spikes and surges. They don’t have this feature available. It’s very rare for them to have this feature. 

But still, you should know how to tell if an extension cord is a surge protector.

Check the packet of the extension cord. In some packets, you can find it marked as “Surge protection”, “Suppression”, “Protection” or some joule rating. Extension cords should also have fuses for protection.

Have you found any of these in the packets of the extension cord? If you did then you can guess that they have the ability of surge protection.


A surge protector can assure you to save your devices from any kind of surges and spikes but an extension cord can’t.

Feature 3: Price

Price is a very important feature if you want to buy anything. So you should know the prices of those things at least before going to the market.

Surge Protector

The price range of Surge protectors are in between $2 to $1,200. Do you want to buy a good surge protector which has multiple features? Then be prepared. It will cost you a lot.

Extension Cord

The price range of extension cord is between $5 to $230. An extension cord with multiple features will cost you handsomely.


The price of an extension cord is comparatively lower than a surge protector.

Feature 4: Lifespan

Lifespan is a very important feature to know before buying anything. Every good thing has an expiry date. Surge protectors and extension cords have too.

Surge Protector

You might wonder if the surge protector goes bad or not. Here I’ll provide the answer.

Normally a surge protector can stay for up to 2 years. But if it faces a lot of surges with high amperage then it can reduce the time range too.

Then are surge protectors safe? Yes, people have made them safe for your devices. But you should check them sometimes. Because there is a limit to the amperage of surges that they can tolerate. 

If the amperage is more than that, then it can damage the surge protector. After that, you should replace it too. As a damaged surge protector can cause damage to your devices.

Extension Cord

Do extension cords wear out? Yes, they can. Everything will wear out after some time. The time is longer for some things and shorter for some other things. 

The lifespan of an extension cord is temporary. Because in most cases they can’t fight against surges and spikes. That’s why, whenever they face any of them, they get damaged and wear out too. 

You should never use that extension cord that has been damaged. Because there are many cases of fire where the damaged extension cord exploded.

Moreover, you should always try to follow the safety tips for extension cord usage.


The lifespan of a surge protector is longer than an extension cord.

Final Verdict

First of all, you have to know what your needs are. 

You can save your devices from any kind of surges, spikes by using a surge protector. Do you want to buy something that would connect your distant home devices with your outlet? 

Then you can choose an extension cord. As they have long cables.

Remember you can also find some extension cords with surge protection. On the other hand, some surge protectors with a long cable. For finding that you need to work hard too and ensure that the features are really available.

Surge protectors and power strips have many similarities. Here are some power strips for you:

Product 01
Product 02

That’s all the differences between surge protectors and extension cords.


Question: Will it be worth it if I buy a whole house surge protector?

Answer:  Whole house surge protector protects your appliances from any kind of surges. So considering the damages caused by surges, it will be worth it.

Question: Will it be safe for you to use an extension cord for a television?

Answer: TV does not consume a lot of power and energy. But still, you should choose a fatter extension cord for the tv. It is completely safe to use.

Question: Should I plug a surge protector with an extension cord?

Answer: It is completely safe to plug a surge protector with an extension cord. Both of the devices are well suited to each other. It is safe to do this.


I hope that you know now how to differentiate between surge protector vs extension cord. Choose according to the differences in their features and your needs.

That’s all. Hope you enjoyed my article. If you wanna know anything, you can ask me directly in the comment box.

Best wishes!