Home Technology UPS vs Surge Protector vs Power Strip: What’s The Difference?

UPS vs Surge Protector vs Power Strip: What’s The Difference?

battery backup

Have you ever felt a power spike when the internal grid in your house readjusts on plugging in a vacuum cleaner or a hairdryer? Or how often during this pandemic driven work from the home situation have you worried about losing all your work on the PC due to a sudden power loss?

Caused by faulty wiring, lightning strikes, or turning on or off high-power devices, an electrical power spike can damage your electronics and appliances, even causing a fire in extreme cases. 

Therefore, it is of utmost significance to find robust solutions to protect your devices from these blackouts, power surges, or sudden loss of electricity. And when you talk about protecting your electronics, power strips, surge protectors, and UPS batteries are some of the devices that come to your rescue!

Let’s find out what these devices do and how different they are from one another.

Power Strips and Surge Protectors

Often used interchangeably, power strips and surge protectors are two different devices that differ based on their usage, functionality, and cost. A power strip is typically just an extension that allows more devices to be plugged into one wall power outlet. Though it also has multiple outlets, a surge protector includes a ground line and a shorting mechanism that physically obstructs excess electrical energy from reaching your devices.

Difference between Surge Protector and Power Strip

The fundamental contrast between a power strip and a surge protector is that the former adds extra outlet space while the latter defends against potential voltage spikes that could damage your appliances. Though they seem similar, you can spot the difference when you come across a joules rating on the packaging. Joules, a unit of measurement for energy, is found only in surge protectors. This rating measures the protection longevity of your appliances. At times, only a single massive power surge can surpass the number of joules that your gear is protected against, while at other times, it takes 10-15 minor spikes to do this.

UPS Battery 

An Uninterruptible Power Supply battery, or as we commonly call it, a UPS battery, is a big, bulky device with one primary function – to provide power without interruption, no matter what else is occurring to the power system of your home. Like any portable battery charger, a UPS incorporates a massive backup battery that can keep your devices working in case of power cuts. It is designed to spontaneously switch to its internal power supply or feed electricity essentially from the internal store instead of the wall power outlet to ensure that devices plugged in do not lose power, even for a second. Crucial for desktop computers, this battery keeps the PC powered up, preventing the loss of any unsaved work.

Difference between Surge Protector and UPS

Surge protectors are suitable for when you have numerous electronics within the vicinity, allowing them all to charge while concurrently shielding them from a voltage surge. In contrast, a UPS is a failsafe design that gives you enough time to save your work or finish some crucial task, then power down carefully and wait for the primary source of electricity to return. Though a UPS battery can run a laptop or mobile phone for a longer period, you can rely on it as the sole source of electricity through an extended power outage. 

Therefore, being well-versed in the different protection batteries and other such electronic devices like a surge protector can help you make an informed judgment. Whether you need a few more electrical outlets or are searching for protection for your more critical electronics, you now know what to look for to ensure that you are getting the most for your money.