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Power surges and failures are common issues that can appear and affect your sensitive computer components or electronics. If you need a protective barrier that will also keep your data safe in the event of a power outage, getting an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is the right solution. While conventional power strips should keep you relatively safe from surges, you’re still vulnerable to a plethora of other problems such as blackouts, brownouts, and line voltage. You might also be interested in our articles about the best nas and the best power supplies.
UPS devices are basically like power strips equipped with large batteries which come with a buffer against power supply interruptions. Even if the lights suddenly go out, the computer can seamlessly switch over to battery power and retain your important data. There’s usually a generous amount of time for you to save everything and turn off the PC without worries. Besides providing the much-needed power, a UPS can also regulate the voltage and protect against surges.
As not all UPS units on the market are created in the same way, you will have to look for some particular features according to your more specific needs. The main aspects to analyze are:
1. Power requirements
Before you think about anything else, it’s essential to figure out the total electrical load of the devices that you plan on using the UPS with. A good estimation can be done by adding the wattage of each connected device. You will need to dig into the manufacturer’s documentation for this info or you can simply check the equipment nameplate. The basic idea is to get a UPS which can handle a larger capacity than the total wattage of your equipment. To be safe, it’s recommended to make sure that the UPS offers a 20% to 25% higher output watt capacity.
2. Backup runtime
This is measured in minutes and it refers to how long the UPS can give backup power to your devices when the power’s out. Consider your needs to make the best selection and keep in mind that the runtime decreases as the power capacity goes up.
Getting more receptacles than you currently need is always recommended. You never know when the time comes to add extra devices so it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Another aspect to be aware of regarding the outlets of a UPS is that on most units you can discover that not all receptacles are protected by the battery backup. Some outlets can only offer surge protection so be sure that you choose in a way to fully cover your critical equipment.
Let’s take a look now at the following list of UPS units that seem to get everything right. These are the most cost-effective options for a UPS and considering the large diversity of their features, you’re almost guaranteed to find something to your liking.
Best Buy UPS
By far one of the most capable UPS units on the market is the CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD. It features an advanced set of 12 NEMA outlets of which 6 of them come with the battery backup protection and the others are only surge-protected. Other highlights include the multifunction LED panel and the Automatic Voltage Regulation.
This UPS is capable of outputting a simulated sine wave. It relies on pulse wave modulation for creating an approximated sine wave which delivers battery backup power for devices that don’t need sine wave output. Surge protection is another feature of this model as this unit can take care of excess voltage that may cause problems to sensitive equipment.
Getting consistent AC power is the goal of anyone who needs to purchase a UPS. This model comes with Automatic Voltage Regulation that ensures a clean power by regulating both overvoltages and low voltages. There are certain minor fluctuations which can appear so this resolves them.
One interesting ability featured in this UPS is the GreenPower Bypass design which is patented by CyberPower. With its help, you can let utility power bypass the transformer from the UPS. This can be done under certain conditions such as when AC power is stable. As a consequence, noise, heat buildup, and energy consumption are greatly reduced.
When it comes to user-friendliness, this UPS provides a convenient LCD display which shows various important information about your unit. It can give you alerts to prepare in advance for potential problems. An intuitive interface is also supplied through the PowerPanel Personal software which can be used to control some relevant settings.
Considering its performance and safety features, the CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD should be at the top of your list of candidates for a high-quality UPS. As it’s Energy Star qualified, has a powerful management software, and all the outlets you could need, this is a highly recommended unit.
- Surge Protection
- Automatic Voltage Regulation
- Simulated Sine Wave Output
- 12 outlets of which 6 have battery backup
- GreenPower UPS Bypass Design
- PowerPanel Personal Software
Best UPS For Gaming PC
APC is a very appreciated manufacturer in the UPS industry and one of the top choices from their lineup is the BR1500G model. When the power goes out you can really depend on its 1500VA / 865W battery backup. Any important electronic device like a computer or external hard-drive can benefit from uninterrupted power.
Outlets included with this UPS can protect from both surges and spikes. There’s also data line surge protection which works well for safeguarding connected equipment on the data lines. Automatic Voltage Regulation is also available for correcting various extreme voltage conditions and the battery is also charged intelligently to manage the required energy more efficiently.
You’ve got a good amount of time to save files if you’re struck by a power outage thanks to this unit’s reliable battery backup. This is more useful for a desktop computer, but other electronics such as routers can maintain connectivity too which is very handy during power failures.
At 100W you’re looking at about 75 minutes runtime which is fairly good. Events can cause audible alarms to alert you of any potential problems. This is helpful in most case though some people might find them annoying so for this reason, there’s a front button which mutes the alarm. To adjust the alarm settings and many others, you can rely on the PowerChute software.
There are lots of devices which can take advantage of a capable UPS like this one. It’s nice to use it for shielding your computer from power outages and other electrical problems, but it’s also recommended for consoles, wireless routers, and cable/satellite boxes. You can maintain connectivity and not lose any important data.
Taking into account its features, it’s safe to say that the APC BR1500G has all the qualities to be considered an excellent option for a UPS. The runtime in case of power failure is quite high for the average setup. It does depend on what you plan on powering but, overall, it seems to be a very reliable and performant unit.
- 1500VA / 865W Battery Backup
- Automatic Voltage Regulation
- 10 Total Outlets
- 5 Outlets with battery backup
- LCD screen
Best UPS For Computer
The CyberPower CP1000PFCLCD comes with a PFC Sine Wave battery backup and provides 10 NEMA outlets, 5 with both battery backup and protection against surges, and the other 5 intended to cover less important devices that only need surge protection. Let’s see if this mini-tower is worth the investment.
With the help of an LCD panel, you can take a look at detailed information regarding the status of the UPS battery. It also monitors the power conditions and delivers notifications ahead of time in case problems are detected. You can be sure that you’ll be ready when critical equipment is in danger.
There’s an intuitive software used for controlling the UPS called PowerPanel Personal. Navigating through the interface you can adjust various power management features. You only need to connect the PC to USB or serial ports to set everything up. It’s important to mention that the software is available for free to download.
One of the highlights of this model is the ability to provide sine wave output. This is great news for those who own computers with Active PFC power supplies which, to function in the best way possible require sine wave AC power. This means that this UPS represents one of the most solid choices if you need reliable backup power.
To stabilize the incoming AC signal, this model comes with Automatic Voltage Regulation. Output power is kept steady at 120 volts by adjusting voltages that are too low or too high. This process doesn’t make use of battery power which means you can expect a prolonged lifespan of the battery while also reducing the chance of data loss.
If you plan on safeguarding a mid to high-end computer, this UPS from CyberPower brings a lot of value to the table. The batteries don’t require maintenance and can be easily replaced by the user. All in all, this could be a handy device to own if it meets your power requirements considering the reliable monitoring applications, design choices, and dependable runtime.
- 10 outlets of which 5 come with battery backup protection
- Sine Wave Output
- Multifunction LCD Panel
- Data Line and Surge Protection
- Automatic Voltage Regulation
- Quiet design
Best UPS For Home
For those who have less demanding power needs, the APC Back-UPS BE600M1 should be a solid match. It comes with 5 outlets that offer the reliable battery backup feature and 2 outlets that only safeguard against power surges. There’s also a handy USB charging port included so this seems like a balanced model in terms of features per price.
When you take a closer look at the way the UPS is designed you can discover that it’s not a very complicated device and it’s actually very easy to use. On the top of the unit, there are many important elements such as the outlets, USB port, and power button. The 5 outlets that also offer battery backup besides surge protection are clearly separated from the 2 surge-only receptacles.
Near the bottom of the UPS close to the 5’ power cord, there’s a handy circuit breaker button which is used to reset the circuit if necessary. The battery on this model has an average lifespan of 3 to 5 years which is quite decent. If a replacement is needed you can get a new battery cartridge from APC.
Finding out how long will a UPS unit keep your computer powered if you experience a blackout is a critical piece of information. Runtimes vary a lot based on your PC’s and other connected devices’ power requirements so the only way to get a good estimation is to dig a little into the PowerChute software. In here you can manage and control various settings and the friendly interface should also contain an ‘Estimated Battery Time’.
Anyone who’s looking to ensure that their critical electronics aren’t vulnerable to electrical damage when power outages suddenly strike should check out the APC Back-UPS BE600M1. It delivers instant battery power allowing you to stay connected whether you’re at home enjoying an online game or in the office working on important documents.
- 7 Total Outlets of which 5 have Battery Backup
- One 1.5A USB Charging Port
- 600VA / 330W Battery Backup
- 6 millisecond transfer time
- PowerChute software
There’s hardly anything more frustrating when working at a computer than short blackouts out of nowhere. If only you had a reserve of a few minutes of power to get you through it. With a reliable UPS like the Tripp Lite SMART1500LCDT, that can become a reality and you’ll never again have to worry about such issues.
For an entry-level computer, you can expect around 90 minutes of runtime though this gets down to only 10 minutes of runtime if you’re at half-load. Out of the 10 outlets provided, half are capable of delivering seamless power through the battery and the other half just offer a basic surge protection.
Brownouts and overvoltages can be corrected via Automatic Voltage Regulation and the good news is that there’s no need to take away from the battery’s power. More energy is conserved to be ready for critical blackouts. Protection also extends to Ethernet/DSL/TEL. This UPS comes with noise filtering besides surge protection to prevent EMI/RFI noise from affecting your equipment.
Thanks to the data line surge protection feature, sneaky surges which can come via data lines can no longer pose any danger for your sensitive electronic components. The UPS doesn’t just protect against AC power line surges, but it also handles surges that can appear on coaxial lines, connected phone, and network.
This model comes with a free software used to manage and control the UPS. Besides monitoring the power consumption you can also enable certain features such as unattended system shutdown. Batteries for this unit are fully replaceable by the user, but this can only be done after the warranty expires.
Factoring in all of its capabilities, the Tripp Lite SMART1500LCDT easily manages to gain a spot on this list. It’s one of the best UPS units in terms of safety, user-friendliness, and overall reliability. It can protect various computer systems or other important audio/video equipment and it offers its services at a very reasonable cost.
- 10 outlets in total
- 5 outlets with Power Backup
- Automatic Voltage Regulation
- Free management software
- Hot-swappable batteries
- Surge protection
Another reliable UPS from CyberPower is the CP600LCD, a solid model in all regards. It’s a compact unit with standby topology, 8 outlets, surge protection, and Energy Star qualification. Data loss and electronic damage will be things of the past with the help of this UPS.
Due to the standby topology feature, the UPS will be able to manage situations when the incoming power goes below or above the accepted voltage levels of safety. It can automatically switch to DC battery power which is then inverted to AC power for consistent power for your connected devices.
To get some clues about the current status of your UPS, the manufacturer equipped the unit with a convenient LCD screen which displays immediate relevant information. Potential problems can be solved more swiftly thanks to the alerting feature which focuses on making the user aware of issues ahead of time.
With the help of the PowerPanel Personal software which can be downloaded for free when you get this UPS system, you can engage with an intuitive interface to control and manage various settings. Connecting the UPS to a computer is done through a serial or USB port and among the functions of this software we can count event logging, runtime management, and self-testing.
This model only manages to generate an approximated sine wave via pulse wave modulation meaning that it’s only recommended for equipment which doesn’t have strict standards for a pure sine wave output. As the UPS comes with Energy Star certification, you can count on it to be energy efficient and more environmentally-friendly.
Whether you plan on protecting your home equipment or the one from a small office, the CyberPower CP600LCD can deal with any sudden power outages in a very efficient manner. The design is also well-made and considering the right pricing, this UPS is worth the money if you need a high-quality power backup solution.
- 8 total outlets
- 4 outlets with Battery Backup
- Multifunction LCD screen
- Standby Topology
- Simulated Sine Wave
- Energy Star qualified
A very balanced UPS that can help lots of users safeguard their critical equipment is the CyberPower EC650LCD. It’s packed with 8 NEMA outlets, half with battery backup and the other half providing only surge protection. Three of these outlets are also ECO controlled to reduce energy costs by preventing power waste.
Reducing power consumption can be done through the GreenPower UPS High-Efficiency technology. A more compact charger is used for this purpose combined with a power inverter which delivers backup power to your important devices with superior efficiency.
One of the standout features of this UPS is the Eco Mode. Users can toggle the ability for certain outlets that come with surge protection. If your computer is turned off or sleeping, the UPS will shut down power to PC peripherals that are also connected to Eco Mode outlets. Over time, you can experience some decent energy savings.
User interaction is managed through both the multifunction LED panel and the PowerPanel Personal special software. The display together with LED status lights should inform you of the current status of the UPS and power conditions. The software is very useful to adjust important settings of the device and is available at no cost.
The typical recharge time for this unit’s battery is around 8 hours. At 160W the UPS manages a runtime of 10.7 minutes. When it comes to surge protection, it’s worth mentioning that you can expect an absorbing capability of 526 Joules which should be enough to keep connected devices safe from harm.
When you take into account all of its features, the CyberPower EC650LCD looks like a very attractive option at this cost. It’s not a difficult UPS to maintain considering that its battery can be replaced by the user. On average you can expect around 20 minutes of runtime after the power goes out which is decent enough. A solid buy all in all.
- 650VA/390W Ecologic Battery Backup
- 4 Battery Backup outlets
- 4 Surge protected outlets
- ECO Mode
- Convenient LCD display
A basic solution if you’re searching for an inexpensive UPS is the APC Back-UPS Connect BGE90M. It provides only 3 outlets but they all have the battery backup protection. There are also 2 USB ports to charge various electronic devices and the runtime has been extended as much as possible reaching even 4.5 hours.
There are lots of applications for this kind of UPS which is created for ensuring that your home networking equipment can maintain a working condition during power failures. You can keep home automation and security systems on, continue your favorite games, make phone calls, or get email updates. Losing Internet access could be a thing of the past with this UPS.
These NEMA outlets that come with the UPS are capable of shielding any device against common voltage issues such as surges or spikes. Among low-power electronic devices which can be protected, we can count wireless routers, cordless phones, and broadband modems. This is not a UPS designed to handle more power-hungry devices.
To be able to maintain connectivity, this model also gives you charging capabilities via its USB ports. It’s a great way to power your tablet or smartphone when the power’s out. As the internal battery is quite small, recharging it doesn’t take too long. This is also a very compact and portable UPS, fitting for many environments.
Staying connected all the time is possible even during unexpected power blackouts with the help of the APC Back-UPS Connect BGE90M. Considering all of its features, this UPS unit is definitely worth a shot if you have really basic needs and don’t want to spend too much when you only plan on protecting certain critical equipment.
- Ultra-efficient small UPS design
- 4.5 hours of extended runtime
- 3 outlets with battery backup
- 5-foot power cord
- 2 USB charging ports
- Surge and spikes protection
With lots of capable features for the cost, the Tripp Lite OMNI900LCD is another solid candidate on the market for UPS devices. It has an advanced system for correcting brownouts and overvoltages while at the same time it provides approximately 50 minutes of runtime for an average PC system.
This model provides an illuminated LCD screen that shows many interesting things regarding your UPS. You can be aware at a simple glance of the unit’s input voltage, power and battery status. It can be rotated to accommodate different viewing angles and there’s a built-in dimmer function to adjust the brightness.
In case you live in an area that’s plagued by frequent voltage problems, you will shorten the lifespan of the battery in the UPS because you might have to constantly switch to the battery. This issue is resolved through Automatic Voltage Regulation which detects and corrects any strange fluctuations in the input voltage. The important part is that your battery is unaffected.
What’s great about this UPS is that you can easily manage it in multiple ways. Besides the LCD screen with its various functions, you can use the built-in power management capabilities of your computer via USB. With a USB port, you can also connect a computer and access the free PowerAlert software offered by the manufacturer.
Having an environmentally responsible design could matter for many people. It’s worth mentioning that this UPS is designed to limit your carbon footprint and uses power more efficiently. The battery is fully replaceable by the user and recyclable as well. Finally, the unit complies with the RoHS Directive.
If you’re looking to purchase a reliable line-interactive UPS system, the Tripp Lite OMNI900LCD shouldn’t be left out of your list of options. It’s performant and works as expected. Perhaps a little louder than other units as its fan spins constantly to keep the temperature under control. Overall, this is recommended.
- LCD Display with a dimmer switch
- 4 UPS battery-supported outlets
- 4 surge-only outlets
- 97% line-mode efficiency
- 900VA/475 watt power handling ability
With an impressive amount of 12 NEMA outlets, the CyberPower BRG1500 is here to offer you protection to multiple important electronic devices. It features Automatic Voltage Regulation, two USB charging ports, and a high-visibility LCD screen which gives you essential info at a glance.
This is a mini-tower UPS that’s capable of absorbing a maximum of 1500 Joules. Devices should be safe against the danger of spikes and surges. When blackouts happen you’ve got six outlets which deliver battery power and additionally, there are two USB charging ports that promise optimal speeds for charging various smaller devices like smartphones and tablets.
Reducing energy consumption should be a priority for any UPS and this model is Energy Star qualified. To save the costs more, it boasts an advanced GreenPower circuitry and to get a better idea of the power status of the UPS, there’s always the convenient PowerPanel Personal management software.
If you need information quicker you can also check the status of the UPS through the front LCD panel. It keeps you informed regarding the input/output voltage level, battery capacity, load level, and it has multiple functions you can access including event logging, energy-saving mode, and silent mode.
If you need to plug in some large transformer-based plugs, it’s great to see that the UPS is designed with widely-spaced outlets so as to not affect the other outlets’ utility. Another solid feature of this unit is the EMI/RFI filters that can be particularly helpful for audio systems as they prevent line noise through powerful shielding.
For anyone looking for a UPS with a large battery that’s simple to manage and which performs as advertised, the CyberPower BRG1500AVRLCD is truly a must-have. It maintains that much-needed power even in critical moments of sudden power loss. The price is also decent so this is why you should consider this UPS.
- 12 NEMA outlets
- 6 battery backup and 6 surge-only outlets
- Multifunction LCD panel
- Automatic Voltage Regulation
- 2 USB charging ports