Power interruptions may sometimes be quick and short, but they can cause serious damages to your valuable devices. Disturbances can either make an internet router require rebooting or a certain system to hang. These things not only affect the lifespan of your devices but also your workflow. If you want to stay connected to your Wi-Fi to close client deals or enter your data on time, then you need a UPS in the office.
An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a battery-based backup system that instantly provides energy to electronic devices such as personal computers, television, fax machines, and more. It’s like a buffer system that protects anything that is plugged into the unit from unexpectedly shutting down, and allows it to continue to function. Although the battery has limits, the runtime should be enough for you to save your files and properly turn off your computer.
However, not all UPS products you will see will be the best one for you. There are three types of UPS units to choose from and each of them is best applied to certain conditions. Aside from this, there are so many brands on the market which can make your task to find the best UPS a challenge. This article will provide all the necessary information you need to decide which model to buy.
Advantages and disadvantages of using a UPS
Before you decide whether you need a UPS or not, you need to understand its advantages as well as disadvantages. This way, you will be more convinced why it is better than the other power backup system like generators.
- A UPS can protect your computers and other electronic devices from being damaged during power fluctuations, or you losing valuable data
- It can keep your business running for a particular amount of time, which is enough to close sales deals without sudden interruptions
- They work almost the same as a generator but they are silent, cheaper, and requires no maintenance
- Extends the life of your equipment because it prevents any electrical problems caused by fluctuations or sudden blackouts
- Electronic devices will experience no lags and delays when plugged into the unit
- They are only ideal for computers, televisions, and modems, and not for heavy-duty appliances that require a greater power supply to operate
- Batteries are the most expensive part of the unit. If you bought a low-quality UPS, you might need to change the battery frequently in a year
- You will need an expert electrician in fixing problems with the unit since it could cause more serious problems if you do it by yourself
Steps in identifying the best UPS you need
Just like in buying a new laptop or any electronic device, you need to consider different factors in order to find the product that has the right specifications. To help you choose the best UPS, here are the steps you should follow.
Identify all the equipment you want to plug into the UPS for protection and backup battery
If you are working in an office, include in your count the monitors, hard drives, Wi-Fi modems, and other important devices you always need running. Then look for a UPS unit that has a sufficient number of outlets to accommodate all of your equipment. Most people buy more than one unit to connect all the electronic devices that need protection.
Total up the power or amperage ratings of all your equipment
One important tip in choosing the UPS is to make sure that the total power capacity of the unit is at least 25% greater than what the devices need. It is essential to operate within the safety margin to ensure that the UPS can give enough running time to each equipment. Another reason for this is for future expansion or for added equipment to plug in.
Know where are you going to install your UPS
If you are just using it at home, then an offline UPS would be enough. However, if you are going to install it at the office, you might need a line-interactive or online UPS. These two types are ideal for both small and big businesses.
Three types of UPS
In simple terms, a UPS works like this: A rectifier stores the converted DC power and charges the battery that will be used as a backup for your equipment. But before the required energy arrived in the device, the battery sends power to the inverter. Then the inverter converts the power back to AC power, which is what electronic devices needs.
There are three types of UPS. Each type is the best in their own way; they have features that make them a better choice over the other. For you to know which one of them will be the best UPS for you, you need to know how they work as well as where you can best apply or install them.
The basic type of UPS is the offline UPS. It is ideal to be installed at home where there are only a few devices to plug in. The unit mechanically switches to battery backup when there is a power interruption. However, compared to other types, there is a possible lag that will take up to 25 milliseconds.
If you are running a small business, then you might want to choose a line-interactive UPS instead. This type is a little advanced compared to the offline. There are shorter lags when switching from utility to battery, and with the help of automatic voltage regulation, your devices are more protected from a sudden surge. Some models also have noise coils that filter the electromagnetic line noise.
The online UPS is the most advanced type and the most expensive among the three. It is great for areas that often experience power fluctuation as well as for sensitive devices that are prone to system damage. It automatically changes to battery mode without switching because the batteries are always connected to the inverter. This way, the runtime is longer and there are no lags in between. Aside from this, its noise filter feature is more effective.
5 Recommended UPS Brands
Now that you knew the advantages as well as how a UPS works, you will now read about the best UPSs on the market. The following brands are among the highest rated UPSs on Amazon as well as on other sites. Check out their features, pros, and cons to see if one of them will be suitable for your needs.
APC Back-UPS BE600M1
Looking for a small and lightweight UPS that you can take to your office, you might want to check the latest product of APC. The BE600M1 model is an improved version of their UPS that comes lighter and smaller.
It promises to supply power to your computer, smartphone, and other electronic devices when there is a power interruption. Whether you are using a heavy- or low-consuming device, you are sure to stay connected and productive during outages.
There is a total of 7 outlets available for use. 5 outlets are for charging while the other 2 outlets are for surge protection only. Aside from this, there is also a USB charging port on the top of the unit you can use with a USB cable. If you think the outlets are not enough, the 859 VA version has 9 total outlets you can use. To manage the energy and power effectively, the unit comes with APC PowerChute Personal Edition software.
You just need to connect the USB cable to a computer, download, and install the software so you can use it right away. With this software, not only can you monitor the devices attached to the unit, you can also save them from being damaged and losing important files. Lastly, the company provides a 3-year limited warranty for hardware repair and replacement, as well as a lifetime connected equipment protection policy.
- Unit has 7 available outlets
- Smaller and lighter compared to the previous version
- Includes management software for preventing data loss and device damage
- Comes with a 3-year limited warranty and a lifetime connected equipment policy
- Energy Star certified
- Beep sounds can only be turned off in higher power units
- Missing important features of the previous version of the software
- Some issues with defective units
CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD Intelligent LCD Series UPS
If you are looking for a larger and more heavy-duty UPS, then the CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD Intelligent LCD Series UPS is for you. This device not only functions as a battery backup or surge protector to your electronic devices, it also has a wide range of features.
The 12 outlets are divided into two kinds. The first 6 are surge protection outlets only, and the other 6 are battery backup and surge protection outlets. They are separated from each other so that you can plug in multiple devices at once.
Aside from this, the product has an advanced EMFI/RFI coils that filter noise emitted by battery backup units. You will not hear any annoying sounds that can distract you while working.
To increase its ability to protect your devices from damage because of sudden voltage, the unit has an AVR. This feature corrects brownout and under-voltage without changing to the battery. Aside from this, the unit has GreenPower UPS Bypass design that conserves energy up to 75% and saves on energy costs.
In terms of ease of use, you can expect that this product is user friendly. The package includes PowerPanel Personal Edition software that allows you to monitor the battery backup by displaying the backup vitals. There are audible alarms and LED lights that indicate the status of your unit. Coming with a 3-year limited warranty and a lifetime connected equipment protection, this product is indeed worthy to be called the best UPS on the market.
- Has a wide range of features for controlling and monitoring the battery backup system
- Includes noise filter coils to minimize noise
- Covered by a lifetime connected equipment protection
- Features a total of 12 outlets
- Saves energy and extends battery life
- Issues about defective units getting caught on fire when overused
- Not compatible with PFC powered devices
- Changing batteries can be a hard task
APC Back-UPS Pro 1500VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector (BR1500G)
The Back-UPS Pro BR1500G is another product from APC that supplies enough energy and offers protection to your valuable devices. It has a 1,500 VA output power capacity and allows multiple devices plugged in. In fact, there are 10 outlets you can use.
Five of them are for battery backup and surge protection, while the other 5 are for surge protection only. Furthermore, it has an AVR that prevents your devices from being damaged by sudden voltage spikes and other electrical problems.
One of the key features of this product is its compatibility with PFC-powered devices. It also safeguards your electronic devices from shutting down unexpectedly when switching to battery power.
For easy monitoring and controlling, there is an easy-to-read LCD display and management software; the PowerChute Personal Edition software allows you to shut down your computer properly to prevent data corruption. Maintain your internet connection and continue to work productively, even during a power interruption, with this amazing UPS unit from APC.
- Has AVR to keep electronics safe under right voltage conditions without using the battery
- Compatible with APFC powered devices
- 10 outlets: 5 for battery backup and surge protection, 5 for surge protection only
- Features an LCD status display for easy checking
- Energy Star Certified
- Does not have annoying sound while in use
- Covered by 3-year limited warranty and a lifetime equipment protection policy
- Short battery pack service lifetime
- Short running time
- Issues with strong chemical smell
Tripp Lite 1500VA UPS Back Up SMART1500LCDT
Another option that you should look into is the Tripp Lite UPS Backup SMART1500LCDT. This unit has made it to the top 5 recommended brands because of its powerful performance during an electrical problem.
It has 1,500-volt power output capacity which is enough for almost all kinds of electronic devices you have at home or office. There is a total of 10 outlets you can use: 5 for battery backup and surge protection and 5 for surge protection only. Since each outlet is separated with enough space, you can plug in multiple device side by side.
The line-interactive tower UPS system safeguards your devices during power interruptions, ensuring that you will not experience data loss or downtime. Plus, there is an AVR that protects your devices by correcting overvoltage and other related voltage problems.
Furthermore, the product also features a noise filter that reduces the electromagnetic line noise. With a 3-year warranty Ultimate Lifetime Insurance for connected equipment, you can guarantee that this Tripp Lite product is made to last longer than the others.
- Supports a wide range of devices
- Has a total of 10 outlets
- Easy-to-use software management
- Includes a multifunctional LCD screen that displays power status
- Has noise reduction feature to minimize electromagnetic line noise
- Strong chemical smell during the first week of use
- Display is too bright
CyberPower CP600LCD Intelligent LCD UPS 600VA 340W Compact
Last but not least is the CyberPower CP600LCD Intelligent LCD UPS. This product is considered one of the best UPSs on the market because of its efficiency and value for money. It offers enough protection and energy supply to your valuable gadgets at home and in the office. Although it only has a total power capacity of 600 VA, it is compatible with your personal computer and other gadgets.
However, if you need a more powerful unit, you can choose the higher versions which are up to 850 VA. This model has 8 outlets available for use, 4 of which are for battery backup and surge protection, and the other 4 outlets are for surge protection only.
Like the other brands, it also has a multi-functional LCD screen that shows running time and battery status as well as other information you need to know. Aside from this, there is an LED light that lights up when there are problems with wiring or grounding a professional electrician has to address. These features not only help you monitor the UPS and your devices but also prevent any damages caused by electrical problems.
Meanwhile, in terms of convenience, the manufacturer added noise filters to minimize electromagnetic sound. You can even turn off the sound alarms, too. The product comes with free PowerPanel Personal Edition management software where you can monitor all the devices plugged in the unit at once.
- Uses GreenPower UPS saves up to 75% of energy consumption
- Features an easy-to-read multifunctional LCD screen
- Comes with free management software
- Not compatible with PFC devices
- Issues with warranty and returning policies
- Some problems with defective units
All of the brands on the list offer a wide range of features that are almost the same. If you want something portable, you can go for the APC Back-UPS BE600M1. However, if you want a heavy-duty UPS, you have four other options to choose from.
Aside from the pros and cons, you also have to remember the things that you need to consider such as the number of devices you need to connect, their total amperage rating, and the area where you will install it. This way, you can choose which can accommodate all your devices.