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(If you’re the only one in the area with a working router during a blackout, you’ll earn some major karma points for creating an unsecured guest network and naming it “Free Wi-Fi during power outage.”) A UPS makes sense in a lot of scenarios, but not in all of them.
If all you’re looking for is surge protection, you have no need to spend money on a bulky UPS when better and less expensive surge-protection options are available.
A UPS is a similar buffer but for your electricity, in that if your power dips temporarily or goes out completely, anything plugged into the UPS can continue to draw power from the buffer, unaware of a problem.
But if you need to power more than a modem and a Wi-Fi router—say, to keep a desktop computer running long enough for you to shut it down safely—or if you need to stay online longer, the APC BR1000G Back-UPS Pro is a better choice, with more than twice the power for less than twice the price.
For many people, a UPS falls into the murky gray area between need and want.
If you have a desktop computer or network-attached storage, you may need a UPS to prevent your drives from losing data in the event of a sudden power outage.
Since different manufacturers match output and capacity at different ratios for a given price, it’s important to find and compare both ratings.
For our pick, which we chose based on the product’s ability to keep a home network up and running, maximum output was less of a concern than capacity.
Even with its larger battery, the BR1000G can keep a 300 W load like a desktop computer and peripherals running for only about 15 minutes.