Best Uninterruptible Power Supply
The best uninterruptible power supply to buy in the UK (August 2020).
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Uninterruptible Power Supplies: A Buyer’s Guide
While we depend on technology and electricity more than ever, there is still a chance that our favourite devices and machines will break down or short out. Many of us have experienced power surges and cut-outs in our time, and they can often be very frustrating. What if you’re in the middle of working on a big project, and your PC shorts out? What if you need to keep a high power system running for long periods of time, and your basic socket isn’t supporting you enough? That’s where an uninterruptible power supply will come in handy.
An uninterruptible power supply, as the name suggests, will act as a backup in case your power supply shorts out. This way, you can make sure that you can keeping on working, playing or otherwise even if there is a surge or a power cut. This might be very useful if your home or office is prone to such cuts or surges. An uninterruptible power supply isn’t something everyone will consider buying at any one time; however, it could be the most useful piece of tech you buy to protect your work and devices.
It’s safe to say that we all need to depend on technology and electricity a lot. It is the way of the world! However, do keep in mind that there may be moments where you don’t get the support you need. It is always a good idea to keep prepared.
In this buying guide, we will be looking at everything you need to know before investing in an uninterruptible power supply, or UPS. What’s more, you are likely to have plenty of questions – so we’ve lined up a few common queries for you to look through and consider at the end of the guide, too.
Why Buy an Uninterruptible Power Supply?
An uninterruptible power supply, as suggested, isn’t something you might think of buying in an everyday shop. It may not be something you even consider buying at all unless you notice problems with your electricity, your power or the number of surges you experience. All things considered, however, it’s well worth investing in a UPS for various reasons.
Think about how sensitive electricity can be, and how crucial your devices are in your everyday life. You could be working from home and need a high power PC or system to be able to satisfy client needs. You could be an avid gamer and need access to high-speed systems in all that you do. Of course, you should also think about how important the internet is to you – as it is to many of us! What would you do if the power went down and you lost all access to the internet? It might mean that you have to move a few things around, which could be very awkward indeed.
A UPS, as we’ll call it for the rest of this guide, acts as a handy backup. Think of it as a backup generator of sorts, instead, it offers you high-power battery support should there be any problems with your electrics. It’s not a device that everyone will find they need from day to day, but when you depend on electricity and certain systems, it makes sense to have some form of backup in place in case things go awry!
Therefore, by setting up a UPS, you are always prepared. If you suffer a power surge or cut, a powerful UPS will leap into action and continue powering your devices without cut-off. This means that you can plug high-power systems directly into a UPS, and it will act as a backup should the worst case scenario occur. Unfortunately, there may be times when we fully rely on our systems and our power supplies, and we need to be prepared.
Things to Compare
As you start looking for a UPS, you may find that some of the specifics and much of the features can get a little complex. Therefore, it makes sense to keep an open mind, and to keep clear in terms of which features are likely to work best for you. That’s why we’re here to help! Let’s take a look through the basic essentials in a UPS which you may want to compare between.
Type of UPS
UPS systems generally split into two main flavours – line interactive and standby. Standby systems will leap into action and provide you with power backup if your main source of electricity happens to flake out. A line interactive system will actively try to fix voltage issues thanks to an internal stabiliser and transformer. Therefore, you need to think about what’s going to work best for you – a UPS which will simply act as a battery backup, or a UPS which will actively try to resolve voltage issues?
You should, of course, look for a UPS that offers a wide variety of connectivity. For example, you will be able to buy UPS systems where you can plug in multiple devices at once. You might also want to invest in systems with USB connection ports. These will let you plug handheld and smart devices directly into the middleman. This is well worth looking for if you know you have plenty of devices worth protecting.
As standard, a UPS will protect your devices from shorting out or dropping power. As mentioned, there are some UPS devices which will actively try to resolve voltage issues. However, you should also look for a UPS which offers surge protection, and which can shut down your PC when not in use. A good UPS should give you plenty of data on how your devices are being used. You should also use a UPS to work out which devices are likely to use the most power, and how you can better protect them in the weeks and months to some.
There are plenty of UPS systems out there which come with various fancy bells and whistles. For example, you will find that there are some systems with indicator lights and displays. Displays will likely tell you how your UPS is performing, and what you can expect from your battery. Battery performance is always crucial, of course. You should be looking at buying a UPS that offers much more voltage that the devices you intend to plug in. A 30% increase in power should be a safe bet.
You should also look carefully at how long a UPS battery is likely to last when powering everything up on its own. If you need technology to run for long periods even when off the main supply, then you are going to need to be very shrewd about buying a UPS that will support you for lengthy periods. Think about investing in a UPS which will connect you through battery backup for 8-10 hours if you know you’re going to need the support.
Frequently Asked Questions
As UPS devices are often specialised for various needs, it is worth noting that there are always going to be a few questions you’ll need to ask. Therefore, make sure to read through marketing and user reviews carefully for answers. As a great starting point, however, we have lined up more than a few frequently asked questions for you to consider right here.
How Does an Uninterruptible Power Supply Actually Work?
It’ll take us a while to get into the real nitty-gritty on this. However, the fact is, it will leap into action should the voltage on your devices drop below a specific level. Therefore, your UPS will automatically know when it needs to start powering you. It’s an automated system which will have your back regardless of what you plug in.
Can I Plug Multiple Devices into a UPS?
In some cases, yes! However, you must be careful to invest in a UPS which has a high enough voltage to cover the devices you want to plug in. As mentioned in our guide above, a 30% gap is likely to be more than adequate. However, your own needs and wants may vary.
How Long is a UPS Likely to Last?
This will vary depending on the brand you buy from and how often you use it. However, you should be able to get a good decade out of a UPS, providing it is of the best quality. Otherwise, make sure to read up on what other people have to say, and what expert reviews grade your chosen UPS at.
How Much Does a UPS Cost?
At lowest, you are likely to expect to pay around £50 to £60 for a good UPS. However, the biggest and most proficient systems are likely to cost more, around £100 to £200. Consider your needs for a long-term investment.
A UPS is a great backup support if you find that you need power to fall back on without electricity in place. You never really know when you might need the support! Use our guide as a template and take a look at some of the more appealing devices in your budget online.