What exactly is the difference between surge protectors and uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units? You could be forgiven for not knowing what a UPS is, but a UPS could potentially save you thousands of dollars.
Surge protectors provide electrical protection by dissipating any excess power (surges) and preventing it from reaching your connected devices.
Electronic equipment, especially sensitive equipment such as computers, hard drives, modems and tv’s are designed to operate within a certain power range. If too much voltage reaches a device, it can permanently damage or destroy it.
A surge protector can be thought of as providing protection from excessive levels of electricity only.
Uninterrupted Power Supply Units (UPS)
A UPS also provides protection against surges, but includes a built-in battery with varying capacity based on the model. The benefit of a UPS is to provide extra power in the event of a blackout, giving a user time to save their work and shut down.
The use of a battery also means that the devices connected to a properly-functioning UPS will receive steady voltage and current in the event of a brownout or blackout. Basically, the UPS receives electricity from the wall, passes it through the battery, and then feeds it to the connected devices.
A UPS provides protection from both excessive and insufficient levels of electricity, in addition to the benefit of keeping a computer functional during a power loss until it can be shut down properly.
Most UPS units come with both battery protected and surge protected outlets to plug in to, and with different sized batteries which determine the length of time equipment will receive power. Even if you are not at home, your equipment will shut down without receiving jolts of power
In summary, surge protectors are a minimum requirement for all important electronic equipment. Home businesses and those with home computers, especially if you live in an area prone to electrical issues, should strongly consider investing in a UPS.
While neither a surge protector nor a UPS will provide complete protection against devastating events such as a direct lightning strike, using one will give your electronics and computers the best chance at a long, trouble-free life.
We recommend having a surge protection device installed in your switchboard. This will reduce the over voltages and will minimise potential damage. It provides protection for all of your appliances.