Last updated: August 19, 2021

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In our new issue you will find authentic information about sockets in various forms. Those indispensable tools that not only facilitate the passage of current, but also come in sophisticated models with which you can save time, money and energy.

Having these tools definitely transforms the way you interact with appliances. They even have practical implications that make your everyday life easier. Just imagine: thanks to them, you can safely establish an electrical connection while at the same time manipulating your devices.

Would you like to buy this perfect accessory that adapts to different rooms in your home? Then pay attention to the content we have compiled on ReviewBox about sockets. Learn about the types of sockets, how they are used and how they optimise your life.




Summary

  • A socket is made up of two elements: a plug and a socket. Both are connected to establish the passage of electrical power. Their shapes, number of holes, and sizes vary according to the different regions of the world where they are used.
  • Choose between traditional, smart and recessed. All depending on the characteristics of the space where you will place them, because although they fulfil the same function, they have particular qualities that have evolved over the years.
  • How to install them, which are the accessories to convert the voltage, the type of connectivity and the electrical system of the region, are the purchase factors that you should consider when buying a socket. Whether it's to accompany you on a trip or at home.

The Best Sockets: Our Picks

Buying guide

Using your electrical appliances is easy with the help of a socket. In this guide, which we have compiled exclusively for you, you will find useful information that is of great importance when choosing which sockets to buy from your favourite online shop.

Different sockets so that you can connect at least four devices at the same time. (Photo: Bacho12345/123rf.com)

What is a socket and what are its advantages?

Let's say that a socket is a tool made up of two sections, covered with a protective barrier. It has a socket and a plug, designed to be connected to each other in order to allow power to pass through them, and at the same time to prevent electrical accidents to the people who buy them.

It is a standard item used throughout the world, according to each country's own regulations, mainly in homes, offices, shops and businesses. However, it varies in design, size and type. For example, in Mexico and Europe, different sockets are used to connect equipment.

In addition, it is worth noting that manufacturers have invested in socket optimisation. So you should be aware of what's on offer on the market and how they could positively influence the performance of your daily work. After all, we are surrounded by electronic devices that require your assistance to function.

Advantages
  • Automation of household chores
  • Some are voice-activated
  • They come in various models and sizes
  • They connect to a variety of devices
    Protection against electrical accidents
Disadvantages
  • Collapse when multiple appliances are connected
  • Overheat
  • No single socket model
  • Dangerous for small children
  • Sockets are available without safety certification

Traditional, smart or recessed socket - what should you look out for?

There is no doubt that electricity is one of the easiest types of energy to distribute. Not to mention its power to perform industrial and domestic tasks. Therefore, in order to handle it responsibly, it is essential to know the types of sockets.

Traditional. It has been used since the past in interiors and exteriors, in order to provide practicality to the tasks that require it. Both plugs and sockets are made up of only two connection points through which power is transferred.

It is comprised of straight lines in the shape of a square, rectangle or tube. It requires a simple installation, you can place it in strategic spaces to extend the main source of current. In addition, it is made of porcelain with an insulating coating.

Smart. There are some that work with Wifi connection and others that are controlled by remote control. Nowadays, they are part of technological homes, places where they are gaining prominence because they allow the automation of tasks through applications.

They also give you the possibility of programming them when you are away from home. This is so that they can connect or not to the appliances you select at a specific time. Additionally, you should know that some of them are designed to withstand rain or snowfall outside.

Recessed. In this socket variant, the socket and plug are inserted inside the wall. This ensures greater protection for users, as both are housed in a thermoplastic safety box. The result is an eye-catching device with an elegant appearance.

It is sold in different sizes depending on the country. It is available in single or double presentation, with two or three holes, ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and party rooms. It is part of the household electrical network that supports high power.

Traditional Smart Recessed
Design Round, rectangular Innovative Rectangular, square
Wifi connection No Yes No
Presentation Single Multiple Single, double
Use Home, office Smart spaces Domestic
Input Socket Socket, USB port Socket

Do-it-yourself socket for three-phase electrical system. (Photo: Stevepb/pixabay.com)

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to shop for and rate different socket models

For your equipment to work, a socket is just as important as the technology itself. After all, where are you going to connect your electronics? This is a decision you have to take seriously, considering the different offers. That's why we explain all the criteria you need to choose the best one.

  • Regional power system
  • Connectivity
  • Voltage conversion accessories
  • Installation

Electrical system in the region

You should know that the strength of the electric current is not the same everywhere. There are two voltage ranges in the world: between 110-127 V and 220-240 V. Therefore, make sure that the socket works with the measurement used in your region. This way your units will be supplied with the right electricity.

Latin America. The countries in this area use both voltage ranges. In the particular case of Mexico, look for style A and B plugs, which support a current of 127V. Before making your purchase, read the specifications on the label or ask the seller the appropriate questions.

United States. If you are travelling and are looking for a product that will work in this country, you need it to work with a power rating between 110V and 120V. For this area, opt for type A (two parallel flat plugs with one hole in each) and B (two flat plugs with one hole and a longer round plug).

Europe. Most of the countries that are part of this continent work with 220 V. Are you visiting Europe and don't know which is the right socket? Then you need one made to withstand the voltage, such as sockets type C, E, F, J. However, before you buy one, check the specifications.

Universal. Do you travel frequently to your favourite destinations? You'll want to bring a socket that allows you to plug in your appliances anywhere in the world, regardless of voltage and plug type. This is a very useful and necessary tool, especially for keeping your instruments powered no matter where you are.

Connect your adaptable two-prong cylindrical plug to the socket. (Photo: Geralt/pixabay.com)

Connectivity

Each accessory has a particular outlet. How do you know which one is right for you? Analyse where you're going to plug it in and where you want to direct it, including how many plugs you want to plug in simultaneously in a given location.

Lateral. This model has the special feature that the outlet is on one of the sides. Would you like to connect a device behind a cupboard or piece of furniture? Buy this solution that fits perfectly into the circumstance and you won't damage the cables.

Swivel: Need to add several units at the same time? A swivel socket will help you, as it retains a space with plug connections. Adjust it according to the position that suits you. However, read the specifications as it has a cap on the electrical capacity it can support.

Front. The plugs are connected to the traditional sockets installed in the walls. Select ones that match the environment where they will be placed, and avoid having the wires attached to them blocked by any furniture that might damage them.

Accessories to convert voltage

These adaptors are very useful on your travels, because they receive current at a certain frequency and adapt it to the intensity required by your appliances. Especially if your appliances operate on only one voltage. To choose the right one, determine which of the following converters your equipment belongs to.

Transformer for electrical devices. It has the ability to convert the voltage to a current according to the power receiver. Choose one of these to connect your digital cameras, mobile phones and computers, so that the electricity received matches that needed by the device.

High voltage converter. These are used in units with high power consumption. For the adapter to work properly, it must work with more power than your appliance. So check the label and buy one with a higher capacity. For example, an 850V dryer will need a 1,000V converter.

Don't know how to install a socket? Go ahead and hire an electrician. Photo: (Jarmoluk/pixabay.com)

Installation

An important factor in choosing the ideal socket is where you are going to install it. This is because, depending on the site, it will have different characteristics, all with the purpose of optimising its performance and useful life. Find out what the functions of each location are and choose the right one.

Doyou intend to connect electrical devices in your garage, garden or terrace? Then you need a socket specially designed for outdoors. It must be resistant to dust, moisture, rain and even snowfall. Due to the ever-changing environment, it is important that it provides safety measures.

Indoors. Especially for areas inside your home. Recessed models are recommended, because they take up less space and look better. However, to match the elements of the home and maintain harmony, purchase a colourful frame separately, which may increase costs, but is a necessary investment.

(Featured image photo: Markusspiske/pixabay.com)

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