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UPS: Powerful Insurance for Remote Workers

If you work from home and rely on a computer for productivity and communication, you need a UPS — uninterruptible power supply, that is. It can save your bacon if the lights go out.

A UPS is a battery backup that provides near-instantaneous emergency power to computers, peripherals, modems, routers and telecommunication equipment. In the event of a power outage, it keeps power flowing to allow sufficient time to start a standby power source or properly shut down the protected equipment to avoid data loss or hardware damage.

A UPS also doubles as a surge protector, guarding against sudden drops and spikes in voltage that can damage delicate electronic circuitry.

A standby UPS, which sells for about $85 to $300, provides sufficient protection for the average home office. This system allows equipment to run off utility power until the UPS detects a problem, at which point it switches to battery power. Installation is a simple plug-and-go project.