Voltage converters are simple yet often overlooked products that can made a world of difference for those traveling abroad or relocating overseas. Using foreign electronics can go one of two ways - it can be easy or it can be a serious headache. The path you take is entirely up to you, but we're going to recommend that you take the easy route.
What is a Voltage Converter and Why Do I Need One?
A voltage converter is a device that transforms or converts voltage - hence the names voltage converter or voltage transformer. The purpose of a voltage converter is to utilize electronics that were designed to operate at a different voltage (generally these are foreign electronics). They effectively change the voltage either up (from 110 volts to 240 volts) or down (from 240 volts to 110 volts), depending on the type of converter you have. There are two basic types - the Step-down converter and the Step-up converter. Step down converters transform 240 volts down to 110 volts while step-up converters boost the voltage up to 240 from 110. A good example of this would be using North American electronics in Europe - In Europe, the standard voltage is 240 volts so you'd need a step-down converter to use electronics from North America where the standard voltage is 110 volts.
What About the Size?
Voltage Converters come in different sizes which are measured by the wattage. Larger appliances (and certain smaller appliances) draw more electricity than others. These require a certain wattage to operate properly and therefor it's important to have a voltage converter that is capable of handling the current.
For example, a desktop computer uses substantially less wattage than a blowdryer or coffee maker and requires a smaller converter. More information about wattage and choosing the proper converter can be found in or detailed Voltage Converter Buying Guide.
What Brand Should I Choose?
There are many brands of voltage converters available on the market. Ideally, you're going to want to look into the product, check reviews and try and choose something with solid construction and a reasonable warranty. International is a brand that offers high-quality voltage converters with a 5 year warranty - the US armed forces are just one of the satisfied customers who rely on the integrity of International Voltage Converters for their rugged durability and outstanding reliability. Check out International's best converters, the Diamond Series Voltage Converters at 220 Electronics.
How do I Use a Voltage Converter
Voltage converters are very easy to use. The converter itself plugs into a normal outlet just like any appliance would. The converter has outlets built into it, and this is where you plug your appliances or electronics into. The electricity delivered to your electronics via the outlets on the converter is now adjusted for safe and effective use. If you have a dual use (step-up & step-down) converter, you'll need to make sure the switch is set to the proper output voltage before plugging your electronics in.
Is There Anything Else I'll Need?
Depending on where you're located and where you intend to utilize the voltage converter, you might need a plug adapter. The adapter will ensure that you can plug the converter into the local/native outlet since different countries have different outlets. More can be learned about plug adapters in our Voltage Converter Buying Guide.
Instead of purchasing new electronics or ruining your electronics by using them with the improper voltage, be sure to look into purchasing a voltage converter before traveling abroad. 220 Electronics has a wealth of information as well as a large selection of high quality voltage converters up to 25,000 watts and our staff is glad to assist you in your purchase or with any other questions about traveling or relocating with electronics. Feel free to browse all of our voltage converters today and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.