Choosing the Right UPS for Your Home or Small Office

Posted by Brian Cox on July 26, 2012

It’s a gaming nightmare of epic proportions:  On the verge of launching a tactical nuke to culminate a 25-killl streak and win Modern Warfare, suddenly the lights flicker, fade, and ultimately die. Certainly not the type of “kill” sought after by die-hard gamers (and really, is there any other kind?). But the next battle can have an entirely different outcome with the addition of a single secret weapon: a basic uninterruptible power system (UPS).


With so many different UPS options on the market, it can be difficult to pinpoint the optimal solution to fit your particular needs. For home and small office use, there are two categories of UPSs that may be right for you: a standby UPS or an entry-level line-interactive UPS.


Standby UPS

For home gaming and entertainment systems — as well as workstations and computers in small office environments —a standby UPS can be an ideal form of protection, delivering freedom from zaps, crashes and the inevitable sound of “Oh no!”


Standby UPSs generally provide affordable protection for PCs, peripherals, POS equipment, fax machines, telephone equipment and entertainment systems in small and home offices. Equipped with battery backup and often surge protection outlets, the devices keep essential systems up and running through power outages and safeguard against surges. Many models fit easily under a desk and can also be mounted to a wall. The plug-and-play functionality allows you to start backing up your equipment the moment you take the UPS out of the box.


Protected equipment is normally connected directly to incoming utility power, and when the incoming voltage falls below a predetermined level, the standby UPS switches to its internal DC-AC inverter circuitry, which is powered from an internal storage battery.


Line-Interactive UPS

Another alternative is an entry-level line-interactive UPS, which is similar in operation to a standby UPS, but with the addition of a multi-tap variable-voltage autotransformer. This type of UPS provides cost-effective backup power and voltage regulation for small businesses with workstations, desktop PCs, telephone equipment and POS applications. Line-interactive models are able to tolerate continuous undervoltage brownouts and overvoltage surges without consuming the limited reserve battery power. Instead, the UPS compensates by automatically selecting different power taps on the autotransformer.


You don’t have to get left out in the war zone when it comes to conquering downtime.  Arm your equipment with a UPS and you’ll be prepared to successfully battle power failures and other utility anomalies.


Tags:  UPS

Posted in: How To


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