A surge protector might protect equipment from power surges, but it does nothing to help when the power goes out and your system comes to a halting crash (for my blog article on surge protectors, see here). For power outages, you’ll want a battery backup, also known as an uninterruptible power supply (or UPS).
Most people don't know that when your computer suddenly loses power and crashes, it doesn't have time to properly close open software and the operating system, not to mention allow you time to save your work! This affects the long-term stability of your computer. Additionally, the hard drive does not have an opportunity to park the read/write heads, which can physically damage your disk, causing loss of data and even rendering software inoperable. In the end it shortens the life of your computer and risks the integrity of your data.
A UPS will provide additional power to your PC so you have enough time to save your work and properly shutdown your computer. Basically, it plugs into your wall outlet (make sure nothing else is plugged into that same outlet). You then plug your PC into the back of the UPS. The UPS automatically monitors the power flow from the wall and seamlessly switches to battery power upon an outage. Some will also handle brown-outs (lull in power but not an outage).
Be sure not to plug a power strip into the UPS as the sum total of all the power may be more than a single UPS outlet can handle. Additionally, although most UPS's provide a certain amount of surge protection, it is very low and not enough to protect sensitive equipment such your PC or laptop. Always be sure to ALSO use a separate surge protector!
For desktop PC's, I recommend at least a 1000VA UPS. For laptops: at least 500-750VA. Read this article for more information! As always, The GoTo Tech Guru is here to help for all your installation and consulting needs!
I love technology and how it enhances our lives! Just think, without the Apollo moon missions, we might not have calculators! Imagine!!