Some may see it as a challenge to see how far they can push their luck before the omnipotent battery light on their device changes from carefree green to the dreaded red. One minute you have access to unlimited information and communication, literally at your fingertips, and the next you are cut off, excommunicated and unplugged. Many also play a game of Russian roulette of sorts with the kinds of chargers they use.

Invariably, companies will try to capitalize on a popular industry by creating and selling knock off products at a much lower cost. However, unlike in other fields such as fashion, it can actually do more harm than good to use poor quality chargers with your devices. Chargers can be purchased in every color of the rainbow from almost anywhere, making it intentionally convenient to pick one up from the grocery store or gift shop.

According to research by, poor quality chargers are not as efficient, and also pose a significantly higher risk for electrical shock—a personal safety concern as well as a risk for device damage. Whenever possible, use the charger that comes with the device for the best and safest performance.

Should you need additional chargers, purchase them from a reputable company either in store or online. Amazon recently created more stringent guidelines for the types of device accessories it sells. My personal favorite company is Linksys, which carries a wide assortment to match the voltage and power needs of your devices. You can buy from them directly or from Amazon.

There are also several things that you can do to conserve the life of your battery and reduce the need to be tethered to a charger.

  • Reducing the brightness of the screen is the best way to conserve battery life.
  • Turn on “location on” only when it is absolutely necessary (for example, when using Google Maps for navigation).
  • Only load apps on your phone that you actually use.
  • Check if your apps allow for “push notifications,” which allows them to communicate and update your device constantly. It is best to turn off push notifications entirely.
  • High quality portable batteries are another alternative, which are also available from Linksys or Amazon.

Resisting convenience and investing in quality chargers will go a long way toward insuring your safety and the best performance and lifespan of your device.

Gene Rubel

Gene Rubel is a tech consultant and writer based in Sandy Springs.