UPS vs Surge Protection

In our previous article here, we have talked about the importance of protecting your electrical devices by installing surge protection devices. But do you know which one is best suited for you – UPS or Surge Protectors?

First, let’s understand the characteristics of each power protection device.

Surge Protector

What Is It?

A surge protector or suppressor creates a line of first defense against surges, i.e. high-voltage electrical spikes, which can cause irreversible damages to the components of your electrical system. The device protects your electronic equipment by dissipating any excess electrical power and preventing it from reaching your connected devices, hence ensuring that only a specified amount of power reaches your equipment. To safeguard your equipment, ensure that any power strip you purchase is also a surge protector.

Instead of plugging your devices directly to a power socket, you can mount a surge protection device to your circuit breaker panel or choose a single-outlet surge protector for one device or appliance. You could also find surge protectors that are specifically designed for telephone lines, cable, and others.

When to Use Surge Protector

It is advisable to use a surge protector all the time to safeguard your valuable electronic devices, including the chargers for your phone, laptop, and any other devices. The microprocessors present in computers and other electronic devices are very sensitive to power surges and will function best with consistent voltage. For the best results, always ensure that your chosen surge protector features an indicator light showing that its protection mode is on.

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

What Is It?

On the other hand, an UPS works independently, providing power when the main power supply fails. It will protect your devices from surges too, but its main benefit comes from the backup power it provides in the event of a black-out. This is because the UPS also includes a built-in battery that will not only create a steady amount of voltage & current but also give users some extra time during a blackout to save their work and shut down their equipment. Depending on the UPS battery, it may even keep the computer up and running throughout the blackout. 

When to Use UPS

Consider using a UPS when you frequently do critical work on a computer or have an ill family member who constantly relies on electrical medical equipment. It is surely more costly to install UPS devices, however, it ensures that you will always have an alternate power source in any unexpected events.

Which one should I use?

A simple and inexpensive surge protector is sufficient for most home users. Most of the newer software nowadays comes with an Autosave feature, so it is not necessary to purchase an expensive UPS. In the worst-case scenario of a power spike in your home, you can just replace it with a new one and your surge protector will be good to go. Most of your valuable electronics can be plugged into the power strip, including printers, chargers, lamps, and kitchen equipment.

However, as mentioned before, it’s better to have a UPS if you have any devices or family members that greatly depend on electrical power. It’s also a great idea to give you some peace of mind if you live in an environment where the weather frequently causes power outages, or your neighbourhood has an unreliable power grid.

In summary, a surge protector is a minimum requirement for all the important electronic equipment and provides basic protection against excessive levels of electricity, while a UPS provides extra protection from both excessive and insufficient levels of electricity. At Northern Lights Data, we supply and install a broad range of reliable Industrial UPS System and Surge Protection. Mitigate your downtime and losses, get in touch with New Zealand’s leading power management consultant today.

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