If you live in a region with frequent or unpredictable power outages, you probably should invest in an uninterruptible power supply, or UPS for short. Just as the name implies, these devices provide immediate battery backup to an electric device plugged into it. Use it for your laptop, cable modem and WiFi router. If you use a CPAP machine to sleep, a UPS is a valuable tool for that as well.
APC sells power and infrastructure services both large and small, so it’s no surprise its UPS tops our list. This unit offers five outlets with battery backup and surge protection; an additional two outlets offer just surge protection. A 5-foot-long power cord provides some versatility when deciding where to install the unit. One USB charger port – perfect for smartphones and other portable electronics – is also included.
Buy Now: APC UPS Battery Backup and Surge Protector
This unit from CyberPower is a real workhorse. It offers six battery backup and surge protector outlets along with an additional six surge protector-only outlets. The real star is the LCD panel, which alerts users to any issues before connected devices are affected. The first UPS was patented by an inventor names John Hanley in 1934. He created the device to ensure rail passenger safety during power outages.
Buy Now: CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD PFC Sinewave UPS System
If you’re shopping for your first UPS, consider this unit from Amazon Basics. It has six outlets total – three with surge protection and the additional three with surge protection and battery backup. It has a 5-foot cord with a 45-degree outset plug, making it easy to plug into a wall socket. Did you know the world’s largest UPS is the 46-megawatt unit in Fairbanks, Alaska? It’s able to power the entire city for up to seven minutes.
Buy Now: Amazon Basics Standby UPS 400VA 255W Surge Protector Battery Power Backup
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Tripp Lite combines many of the features you need while providing almost 12 minutes of half-load runtime (or 4.4 minutes of full load runtime). All eight outlets provide power backup and surge protection. The LCD screen displays voltage, battery capacity and the unit’s overall status. It has USB and serial ports to help automatically save computer files as well. As with any UPS, make sure it’s installed in a place that’s shaded and cool as batteries can build up heat with usage.
Buy Now: Tripp Lite SMART1500LCD 1500VA Smart UPS Battery Back Up