According to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the average home has $15,000 worth of equipment that could potentially be damaged by a power surge. The majority of these surges are caused by sources inside the home: large appliances turning on or off, faulty wiring or loose connections, overloaded circuits, short circuits, ground faults, and power recovery. Surge protection devices help protect electronic devices from the unwanted increase in voltage.
Similar in appearance to a power strip, a surge protector is an inexpensive way to protect electronics, appliances, and equipment from random power surges. While power strips only offer multiple devices on a single outlet, surge protectors provide protection against power surges in addition to offering multiple devices on a single outlet. The main difference between the two is that surge protectors carry an electric rating in Joules of energy as well as the max voltage it can handle from a power surge.
While no surge protector can handle a direct lightning strike, some protection is better than none. Investing in a surge protector for a few dollars upfront can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.