The Key Features to Look for in a Power or Plug Adaptor

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The Key Features to Look for in a Power or Plug Adaptor

The ability to use laptops and other mobile devices requires access to electricity. Since many countries and geographic areas use different currents and voltages, making sure devices can handle changing electric currents is important. Power adapters, and plug adapters, allow individuals to convert certain electrical currents and voltages into electricity that is compatible with personal devices. Anyone who travels is likely to need a power or plug adapter in order to use their electronic devices.

Shopping for an adapter that is capable of converting many different currents and voltage levels, tends to be quite frustrating with limited markets. With online marketplaces such as eBay, however, individuals are able to find hundreds of viable options. Knowledge of the items available on the market allows consumers to select the proper adaptor product. Considering plug types, polarity, voltage switch abilities, and even USB options, is a dependable way to make a quality purchase. With the right information, individuals can travel anywhere and remain certain that their device can access electricity.

Power Adapters and Polarity

One of the key features of a power adaptor is its ability to provide a switch for proper polarity. Certain devices require either negative or positive polarities, so be sure to understand what polarity the device in question uses. When buying a power or plug adapter, make sure that the device has a polarity switch built in. These polarity switches allow individuals to choose the right polarity for the specific device in question. Polarity switches are a key features for those considering purchasing a type of power adapter or plug adapter.

Universal Adapters vs. Model Specific Adapters

Because of the essential nature of plug and power adapters, the amount of options on the market is simply mind boggling. Figuring out key features before selecting an adapter is an intelligent move. One of the more serious factors to consider when purchasing an adapter, is whether or not to purchase a universal adapter or a model specific adapter. Universal adapters are useful for those who have more than one device, while model specific adapters are more dependable for use with a specific device.

Model Specific Adapters

Model specific adapters, made by the company that manufactures the device being charged, are powerful, dependable options. These adapters work primarily with one device and should not be used with peripheral devices unless otherwise labelled. Model specific adapters tend to be somewhat more expensive than generic, universal options. Those who have more than one device that needs to be charged should consider model specific adapters as a secondary choice. For higher prices devices and electronics, however, the peace of mind that model specific adapters provide is invaluable.

Universal Adapters

Travellers who pack several devices and electronics are likely to find universal adapters to be the most adequate plug and adapter choice. Universal adapters are designed to be used with a range of devices. Many universal adapters come with as many as seven or eight voltage options, allowing for compatibility with a wide range of devices. With switches for polarity and milliamp needs, consumers see universal adapters as essential travelling devices. Not all universal adapters, however, are made equal. Look for a universal adapter with a large amount of voltage options, polarity switches, and milliamp compatibility.

Power Adapters and Voltage

Another key feature to look for when buying any type of power or plug adapter is its ability to be set to various voltage levels. Some cheaper plug adapters simply switch the plug type to fit the charger or power cord of the device. If the voltage received from the outlet is too high, devices might be overcharged and damaged. High voltage can be dangerous, making adapters which allow for a range of voltage levels the safer option. If the voltage is too low, the device in question might not even work.

Voltage Levels

Generally, the more voltage options an individual has, the more likely a power adapter is to work properly. Savvy consumers should look for a power or plug adapter that has at least seven or eight voltage level options. A key feature in any adapter is enough voltage levels to match the devices that plug into the adapter. Options that allow for 1.5 volts, 3.0 volts, 4.5 volts, 6.0 volts, 7.5 volts, 9.0 volts, 12.0 volts, and higher are typically the most sought after power adapters. Before purchasing a power adapter, search electronics and devices for recommended voltage levels.

Milliamp Rating

Although not as vital as voltage levels, the milliamp rating of a power or plug adapter is definitely a key feature to look for in a power or plug adapter. Proper milliamp ratings, however, are actually quite a bit easier to shop for. Unlike voltage, higher milliamp ratings do not produce a risk of a device overcharging. Milliamp ratings simply imply the maximum amount of milliamps that the adapter is capable of handling. Common milliamp ratings usually range between 300 and 1000 milliamps. For the most compatible option, consumers should choose an adapter with a higher milliamp rating.

Plug Adaptor Types

Power adapters, and plug adapters, are available with many different types of plugs. Certain devices, specific geographical areas, and select nations, use specific types of plugs with their electronics. Grounded and ungrounded plug types as well as frequency, are both key features to consider in relation to plug adapter types.

Grounded vs. Ungrounded

When shopping for a plug adapter, it is advisable to find an adapter that comes with both grounded and ungrounded adapters. In North America and other areas around the globe, certain outlets have only ungrounded connections (two-prong), while others are grounded. Anyone who is likely to travel extensively should shop for a worldwide adapter that comes with both grounded and ungrounded plug adaption technology.


Electric frequency is measured in hertz, or Hz. Individuals travelling from one country to the next are likely to find that Hz. level varies by about 10 Hz. For instance, most countries utilise an electrical frequency of 50 Hz, while others such as countries in North America use 60 Hz. Most of the time travellers do not notice the change in hertz, but a power or plug adapter that accommodates for such frequency changes can be useful.

The Need for Power and Plug Adapters

Figuring out whether or not the power of plug adapter is needed on a business or holiday trip can be difficult. Many modern devices are actually multi-voltage in nature, allowing for the device to utilise more than one voltage level. Devices that are multi-voltage are usually labelled as input 125/250 or are similarly marked. Such devices do not require power adapters in most areas. Even a multi-voltage device, however, is likely to need a plug adapter.

Other Advantages of Plug Adapters

Plug adapters that have no voltage switches or frequency adaption, tend to be quite inexpensive on the market. Anyone who travels with a laptop or mobile phone should consider purchasing a worldwide plug adapter set. These plug adapter sets come with nearly every type of plug configuration in existence. Since plug types differ so extremely from one place to another, carrying a worldwide plug adapter is a necessity for most globetrotters.

USB Options

When considering power and plug adapter features, many individuals completely forget about USB options. Plug adapters that convert other plug types into USB charging stations are extremely convenient. Those who have digital cameras, mobile phones, and a tablet that charges through USB cords, are likely to find an international USB plug adapter to be an incredibly useful option. For the best results, look for a worldwide plug adapter that comes with a USB connection option.

How to Purchase Plug and Power Adapters on eBay

The extreme differences between types of plug and power adapters available makes purchasing such items somewhat difficult. With online marketplaces such as eBay, however, consumers are able to find exactly what they need from the comfort of their own home. To start a search on eBay, users must simply visit the home page and type a search term such as 'power adapter' into the search bar. Once such a search is completed, hundreds of listings from various sellers are available.

Many sellers on eBay offer bundles of plug and power adapters that are designed to offer proper conversions for travel in almost any country. Searching for such a bundle simply requires a quick addition of the word 'lot' or 'bundle' before the search term. Buying a bundle of adapters tends to be somewhat more affordable than purchasing various adapters through different sellers. Search for a bundle, or single universal plug and power adapter, to meet the needs of international travel. 


Understanding the different electrical currents and voltages used throughout the world is nearly impossible. Thankfully, many manufacturers have developed universal and model specific plug and power adapters to make devices compatible in a range of environments. Knowledge of the different features available from such adapters, allows individuals to find a device that fits their needs. With the right adapter, electronics and devices can easily be used and charged around the globe.

With online marketplaces such as eBay, consumers are able to find such power and plug adapters at a reasonable price. Universal plug options, universal power adapters, model specific adapters, and even generic adapters for specific devices and areas, can all be found through eBay's marketplace. The right bundle of power and plug adapters allows travellers to use devices almost anywhere. Travelling without modern electronics and devices is simply not a wise option, and understanding what voltage switches, frequencies, and plugs are needed is essential in protecting those devices.

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