What's the difference between a power converter and a power adapter?

Home Forums Day 05 – Gear purchases What's the difference between a power converter and a power adapter?

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Sean Tierney 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Anonymous Nomad
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    I’ve heard these aren’t the same things. Can someone explain how they are different and when one is appropriate vs. the other?

    #1273

    Sean Tierney
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    So just FYI this is covered in this lesson in the free portion of the course but basically the distinction is this:

    • A power adapter just changes the shape of the plug so that it fits the wall outlet for the country you’re in.
    • A power converter (or sometimes called “inverter”) not only changes the shape of the plug but also changes the voltage of the electricity coming through the outlet before it gets to your device(s).

    You’ll need to research whether the countries your visiting have different voltages such that you’d need a converter vs. an adapter. Converters tend to be noisy (at least the ones I’ve used) whereas adapters are silent. One thing: not all devices require a converter, for instance the newer Mac power adapters can handle different voltages. So this is a function of both where you’re going and what devices you’re using. There’s a helpful link in the Day 3 lesson above for a useful chart that shows what you need where. good luck

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