Power outages, voltage spikes, surges, and lightning strikes - all of these can turn electricity, the utility you take most for granted, into your worst nightmare. Coping with any one of these events just once is all it will take to convince you that power supply problems should be taken seriously.
Common surge suppressor / power strips are a widespread safeguard. And while they are effective to a degree, they are an inexpensive solution. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for. A surge suppressor is simply a "safety valve" that prevents a voltage spike from affecting devices plugged into it. It makes no provisions for low voltage events (brownouts) or a complete loss of power.
A more complete solution for protecting computers, networking equipment, and other critical electronics is an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). This is a system that includes the protection of a surge suppressor and much more. A typical UPS uses some form of power storage (either batteries or capacitors) in combination with various circuitry to protect against:
- Complete power loss
- Undervoltage conditions (brownouts)
- Overvoltage conditions (surges, spikes)
- Electromagnetic Interference and Radio Frequency Interference