Are you in the market for a new uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit? It’s not easy to know which is the best product for you. There are lots of options available, each of which appeals to a different use case and comes at a different price point.
Keep reading to discover the six best UPS units you can buy today.
What Is an Uninterruptible Power Supply?
An uninterruptible power supply is an emergency power device that can supply continual electricity.
If the grid goes down in your locale, a UPS can kick in instantaneously to ensure your home, equipment, or lighting doesn’t lose power. That differs from a traditional generator which requires you to go and haul it out of your shed, plug it into your home, and turn it on.
From a tech standpoint, a UPS acts as an emergency battery that ensures your gear will be able to complete its shutdown process. You’re less likely to lose work or encounter corrupted files.
So, which UPS units are worth considering?
If you have a lot of devices in your home that mustn’t lose power without warning, we recommend the APC BX1500M Back-UPS Pro.
It has five plugs (each of which has surge protection), coaxial and RJ-45 data line surge guards (to protect phone, fax, and modem lines), voltage regulation, and 68 minutes of runtime at 100 watts. As such, the APC BX1500M is capable of running desktop computers, servers, gaming consoles, TVs, routers, and just about any other piece of consumer tech in your abode.
And unlike some cheaper UPS units, the APC BX1500M also comes with an LED display. The display makes it easy to see how much power remains in the device or whether the unit is fully charged.
APC brands its BE600M1 Back-UPS 600VA unit as the best UPS for Internet of Things devices. The device is small, unobtrusive, and won’t look out of place in your office or entertainment center.
It has five regular plugs, two plugs with surge protection—so your equipment won’t get fried if the mains power is cycling on and off—and one USB plug.
If the APC BE600M1 600VA is running at 100 watts, the battery will last for 23 minutes. For an extra few bucks, you could upgrade to the 850VA model. It increases the total number of plugs from eight to 11 and provides 32 minutes of power. Both products have an alarm which will warn you when the battery is low.
APC predicts that the lifespan of the BE600M1 Back-UPS 600VA is three to five years.
If you have a server rack in your home, the Tripp Lite SMART1500LCDXL 1500VA is a solid choice thanks to its DIY connection points. The chassis of the unit is molded so you can attach brackets (included in the box) and screw it directly into your rack. It’ll make your home server setup look neater if nothing else.
Specs-wise, the Tripp Lite UPS unit has eight outlets (all with surge protection), 12 minutes of half-load runtime and four minutes of full-load run time, and an LED screen.
But two more features help to make this UPS unit stand out. Firstly, the manufacturer offers insurance of up to $250,000 for any device connected to its unit for three years. Secondly, there’s an external battery pack (sold separately) that adds extra runtime. You can even daisy chain the packs for prolonged usage.
Assuming your battery is in good health, laptops will not instantly die the second there is a power cut; you’re not going to lose unsaved work unexpectedly. That is not the case for desktop computers.
So, if you just want a UPS unit for your desktop PC, it might be worth checking out the CyberPower CP1000PFCLCD 1000VA. It has 10 plug outlets (all of which are surge protected), automatic voltage regulation, and a 600W maximum capacity. There’s also data line protection, two USB charging ports, and sine wave output for anything that needs active power factor correction (PFC) compatibility.
The unit is only 10.4 x 3.9 x 9.1 inches, so again, it’s not going to look ugly or out-of-place on your desk.
The tiny APC Back-UPS Connect BGE90M is another solid pick. If you’re looking for a portable device that can power a couple of essential devices, it’s arguably the best solution. It only measures 8.8 x 4.1 x 5.2 inches and weighs just 6.61 pounds.
Of course, the tiny size comes with a tradeoff—the UPS unit is not as powerful as some of its larger counterparts, and nor does it have as many plugs. Indeed, there are only three outlets, though all three boast surge protection. There are also two USB ports.
The unit offers 4.5 hours of runtime and recharges “quickly” (the manufacturer does not indicate an exact recharge time).
The other serious option for anyone who wants a small UPS unit is the Tripp Lite OMNI900LCD. Measuring 7.2 x 3.7 x 11.8 inches it’s slightly larger than the APC Back-UPS Connect BGE90M. It also weighs more (15.1 pounds), meaning it’s not quite as portable. The unit is still considerably more discrete than some of the beefier options, however.
The unit itself has eight outlets. Four of them provide backup battery protection, and all eight offer surge protection. It provides an estimated 50 minutes of runtime for a PC and 10 minutes of half-load runtime.
The Best UPS Unit for Your Home
Hopefully, one of the six UPS units we’ve discussed in this piece should meet your needs. Each is aimed at a different type of user and use case. As a general rule, the more expensive the unit, the more power it can provide and the longer it can run for.
If you aren’t sure if a UPS is right for you at the moment, you still have options; we can guide you through how to use a battery bank to protect your home from outages.