UPS Buyers Guide

An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is a device that sits between the power source and a computer, or a number of computers. Its job is to ensure the computers receive a consistent and clean power supply, whilst also protecting them from power surges and power failures. A surge could damage components within the computer and a failure could interrupt data being saved on the device, resulting in errors. Essentially, the more mission-critical a computer is, the more it should be power protected by a UPS.

This guide will take you through how a UPS works, common features and the factors you should consider when looking to purchase one - either for a single computer home office environment or for a corporate business setting with many machines. Let’s get started.

How does a UPS work?

A UPS is a device that regulates mains power passing through it and provides emergency power when the input power source, typically the utility mains supply, fails. A UPS differs from an auxiliary or emergency power system or standby generator in that it will provide instantaneous or near-instantaneous protection from input power interruptions by means of one or more attached batteries. The battery runtime of most UPSs is relatively short - 5 to 15 minutes being typical—but sufficient to allow time to bring an auxiliary power source online, or to properly shut down your computers and other devices.

Although UPS devices for the home office and large business essentially work in the same way, the technology of how they work and how devices connect do differ ins some aspects which can greatly affect costs, so we’ll deal with each scenario in a separate section.

Please choose the one that suits you best.