Surge Protector or Battery Backup?
Bottom Line: You don’t need a battery backup is you’re willing to lose your unsaved work. That being said, repeated shut offs from power outages can fragment your drive and cause you to need hard drive repair.
At the very least, every computer user should have a surge protector to protect them from sudden surges in electrical power. This happens more often than you might think. The electrical flow isn’t nearly as stable as some may think, under and over voltage being more the norm than the exception.
Surge protectors don’t have to cost a fortune. We really like this Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector. It has an 8 foot Cord and is ideal for most home computers and audio / video centers. Check the current price on Amazon.
Let’s face it though—none of us enjoys having to replace unsaved work. it’s a pain in the *** and is so easily avoided.
Battery Backups, most commonly known as Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) have saved many a computer user hours of misery having to redo work that may never be as good as the previous attempt. At less than $200 (USD) for a very dependable unit, they are well worth the investment. Most come with well over a hundred thousand dollars in device replacement insurance if they fail to protect your system. We use a 1500 VA because we want as much time as we can to put the finishing touches on our work and shut down the computer. We wouldn’t recommend going below 1000 VA.
The UPS model we use is the CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD Intelligent LCD UPS System, 1500VA/900W, 12 Outlets, AVR, Mini-Tower. This model has 6 Battery Backup & Surge Protected Outlets and 6 Surge Protected Outlets—more than most we’ve seen. Check the current price on Amazon.
If your situation is unique and you’re still not sure whether to go with a UPs or just settle for a surge protector, our advice would be to err on the side of caution and go with the ups. Always better safe than sorry, right?