Most folks associate an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with storms and power outages. While backup power can keep your computer setup protected from summer storms, an uninterruptible power supply can also keep your costly equipment protected against brownouts, voltage spikes, electromagnetic, and radio frequency interference. But which UPS is right for your needs? Are you a gamer? Are you editing video footage? Maybe you’re an IT or data professional running servers, or a small business owner looking to protect your POS, computers, and more. Even the casual power user can safeguard their system with a UPS. Check out the below recommendations for find the UPS that’s right for your needs.
Whether streaming gameplay or playing competitively, the last thing you need is your game grinding to a halt. Gaming UPS systems like the APC Back-UPS Pro Gaming usually feature solid output with enough wattage to support your rig and peripherals. A good gaming UPS provides built-in surge protection and may also feature some outlets without battery backup power. These outlets can be used to accommodate non-essential peripherals that might occupy your gaming space, but that would not need to remain powered during an outage. If possible, gamers should also opt for a UPS with an LCD screen. If an outage causes you to switch to battery power during gameplay, this display allows you to monitor power-related specifics at a glance, without breaking your concentration.
Video editors face a unique set of challenges when it comes to backup power. Uninterruptible power supplies like the APC Smart-UPS X 1500VA Rack/Tower LCD 120V offer video editors plenty of power for heavy loads or overprovisioning. In addition to constant and smooth power input, these users also benefit from clean power. For this reason, the best UPS systems for video editors feature a pure sinewave output, ensuring the smoothest possible transition from mains power to battery backup juice. Automatic voltage regulation (AVR) is also critical in this regard, correcting voltage irregularities without switching to battery power and ensuring constant, clean power. Lastly, a preinstalled network card allows for easy remote management.
IT and Data Professionals
Rack-mountable uninterruptible power supplies provide convenient integration into an existing server environment. The best UPS systems for these environments, like the APC Smart-UPS X 3000VA Rack/Tower LCD 100-127V, provide ample outlets that allow for the connection of multiple NAS arrays, while expansion slots accommodate networking cards for optimized connectivity. Hot-swappable batteries ensure clean uninterrupted power while a battery is being replaced. Furthermore, UPS systems optimized for data environments usually incorporate specific connectors for external battery packs, allowing for extended run time during an outage. Another thing to check for when selecting a UPS for this use-case is controllable outlets. These outlets can be remotely turned on or off via a network connection, allowing you to cycle power, shed loads, and prevent unauthorized use.
Small Business Owners
Small business owners may need to protect a range of equipment, including computers, POS systems, networking equipment, and surveillance systems. Ideal UPS systems like the APC Smart-UPS C Battery Backup & Surge Protector with SmartConnect enable easy remote management via a network connection, including unattended shutdown in the event of an emergency. Special attention should also be paid to run time and load, while plenty of battery-backup outlets are a must to ensure critical systems like registers and cameras remain functioning. User-replaceable and hot-swappable batteries are another boon, allowing you to stay operating longer during an outage. Special consideration should also be given to serviceability and manageability features, such as battery notification, alarm systems, and online efficiency, which can lower cost of ownership and boost your bottom line in the long run.
What if you aren’t a gamer, video editor, or someone who needs beefed-up backup power? Even causal or power users can improve equipment protection by investing in an economical UPS like the APC BE600M1 Back-UPS with Battery Backup. Power users will benefit from several outlets with a mix between battery backup and surge-only protection. Plus, convenient USB charging can keep a cellphone or tablet juiced up while you’re working. Battery failure and wiring fault indicators will alert you of hiccups before they affect your equipment, and automatic self-testing ensures batteries can be replaced before they fail. Finally, power users who want to stay productive through an outage should also consider UPS systems with hot swappable batteries, allowing them to extend run time by switching batteries without losing power.
Do you currently use a UPS? If not, which of these systems is right for you? Leave any questions or thoughts in the Comments section, below.