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Gallery: 8 Essential Power Protection Products

With tropical storms and other inclement weather challenging our local power companies, we've chosen eight essential power protection products that will keep your juice flowing and your valuable home and office computing equipment protected from electrical infrastructure malfunction.
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1 of 8 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

With tropical storms and other inclement weather challenging our local power companies, we've chosen eight essential power protection products that will keep your juice flowing and your valuable home and office computing equipment protected from electrical infrastructure malfunction.

 
APC is one of the oldest companies producing PC power protection products. Formed in 1981, the company was purchased by Schneider Electric in 2007 and is the established leader in the power protection product space. 
 
If you're looking for surge suppression, you have your choice of literally dozens of vendors that will sell you inexpensive power strips. But don't go cheap on surge -- you only need one bad event such as a lightning strike to destroy your prized laptop or home theatre and entertainment gear. 
 
The APC 11-outlet 3020J SurgeArrest ($30-$40) has everything you need -- an 8' power cord, six outlets generously spaced for three-prong grounded transformer power blocks and five two-prong outlets, plus  RJ-11 telephone and coaxial cable protection. The SurgeArrest Performance is rated at a whopping 3020 joules and less than 40v of let-through voltage with up to 70dB of EMI/RFI noise rejection. 
 
And should your equipment get damaged by an actual power surge, the SurgeArrest Performance comes with a lifetime warranty  and $100,000 lifetime equipment protection policy.
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2 of 8 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

The company may sound like something straight out of a Arnold Schwartzenegger Sci- Fi movie involving killer androids,  but CyberPower Systems is all business when it comes to power protection. It's been winning a lot of industry awards for their innovative UPS designs as well as their excellent value as it relates to similar products released by their competition and is the #2 manufacturer of UPS equipment, behind APC. 

 
CyberPower's Standby CP series ($55.95 retail) is an excellent entry-level energy-efficient  "Shoebox-Sized" UPS for small and medium-sized PCs and suitable for compact desktop use. Shown here is the CP550SLG, which has a maximum 330W / 550VA capacity. The CP series has 4 battery backup/surge protected outlets and 4 surge -only outlets (890 Joules) and includes the PowerPanel Personal Edition software for power monitoring and automated systems shutdown.
 
A USB connector is used to report power telemetry readings back to the PC. The CP series is also plug-in compatible with OS X's built-in UPS management software as well as apcupsd, an open-source client-server UPS software stack for Windows, Linux and Mac.
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3 of 8 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

If you need a bit more oomph out of a desktop UPS, APC has you covered. The Power Saving BE750G ($99 retail) is rated at 450w/750VA and features 5 battery backup/surge 3-prong outlets, two of which are spaced for larger transformer power blocks, as well as 5 surge-only (354 joules) with two additional transformer block spaced outlets.

 
A USB connector is used to report power telemetry readings back to the PC. The Back-UPS BE750G, which is the highest wattage/voltage UPS in APC's Back-UPS product line, comes with PowerChute Personal Edition for Windows, but is also plug-in compatible with OS X's built-in UPS management software as well as apcupsd, an open-source client-server UPS software stack for Windows, Linux and Mac.
 
The unit has a 3-year warranty and a lifetime $75,000 equipment protection policy. 
 
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4 of 8 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

If you need a performance UPS for a powerful workstation or a desktop-sized server with power to spare, APC's Back-UPS Pro BR1500G ($249.00 retail) is the top of the line for their prosumer-grade products.

 
Rated at 865w/1500VA, the BR1500G features Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) this power-efficient UPS corrects voltage conditions on the fly in order to prevent equipment and software faults. It has 5 battery backup/surge power ports and 5 surge-only (355 joule) ports and also includes coax, Ethernet and telephone line protection.
 
The LCD display on the Back-UPS Pro line allows the user to toggle through various telemetry readings, such as current voltage regulation, load and wattage/voltage draw.
 
Additionally, the Back-UPS Pro line can also accomodate an additional external battery back for supplemental backup power if required.    
 
A USB connector is used to report power telemetry readings back to the PC. The Back-UPS Pro line of UPS units come with PowerChute Personal Edition for Windows, but is also plug-in compatible with OS X's built-in UPS management software as well as apcupsd, an open-source client-server UPS software stack for Windows, Linux and Mac.
 
The unit has a 3-year warranty and a lifetime $150,000 equipment protection policy. 
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5 of 8 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

Not to be outdone by APC, Cyberpower has high-end workstation UPSes with similar specifications that are priced slightly less than its competitor. The CP1500AVRLCD ($219.00 retail) is rated at 900w/1500VA and includes Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) as well as a dynamic LCD display for viewing UPS telemetry data. It has 4 battery-backup/surge outlets and 4 surge-only (1500 joule) outlets, as well as telephone line, coax as well as Ethernet surge protection. 

 
In addition to a USB port for reporting telemetry to the PC, the unit features a legacy 9-pin serial port for older systems. The unit includes the PowerPanel Personal Edition software for power monitoring and automated systems shutdown.
 
The Intelligent LCD AVR series is also plug-in compatible with OS X's built-in UPS management software as well as apcupsd, an open-source client-server UPS software stack for Windows, Linux and Mac.
 
The unit has a 3-year warranty and a $500,000 equipment guarantee.
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6 of 8 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

If you want most of the features of the CP1500AVRLCD on the previous slide, but could care less about the gee-whiz LCD display (or maybe you'd rather not have one at all, especially if you want to keep the unit in say, a bedroom loft) the CP1500AVRT ($199.95 retail) has very similar specifications. 

 
The CP1500AVRT is rated at 900w/1500VA and includes Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR). It has 4 battery-backup/surge outlets and 4 surge-only (1500 joule) outlets, as well as telephone line, coax and Ethernet surge protection.
 
In addition to a USB port for reporting telemetry to the PC, the unit features a legacy 9-pin serial port for older systems. The unit includes the PowerPanel Personal Edition software for power monitoring and automated systems shutdown.
 
The AVR series is also plug-in compatible with OS X's built-in UPS management software as well as apcupsd, an open-source client-server UPS software stack for Windows, Linux and Mac.
 
The unit has a 3-year warranty and a $500,000 equipment guarantee.
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7 of 8 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

So Automatic Voltage Regulation isn't enough? You want the same pure sinewave power output that is typically reserved for much more high-end, enterprise-rated UPS devices? You got it.

 
The CP1500PFCLCD ($259.95 retail) is rated at 900w/1500VA and includes Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR), Adaptive Sinewave output as well as a dynamic LCD display for viewing UPS telemetry data. It has 5 battery-backup/surge outlets and 5 surge-only (1030 joule) outlets, as well as telephone line, coax and Ethernet surge protection. 
 
In addition to a USB port for reporting telemetry to the PC, the unit features a legacy 9-pin serial port for older systems. The unit includes the PowerPanel Personal Edition software for power monitoring and automated systems shutdown.
 
The Adaptive Sinewave series is also plug-in compatible with OS X's built-in UPS management software as well as apcupsd, an open-source client-server UPS software stack for Windows, Linux and Mac.
 
The unit has a 3-year warranty and a $500,000 equipment guarantee.
 
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8 of 8 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

 

If you want solid steel construction and enterprise-rated performance in a 120VA plug-in UPS, you want to go with APC's SMT1500 ($579.00 retail).
 
Rated at 1500w/980VA and featuring Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) and pure sinewave power output, the SMT1500 is suitable for the most demanding of applications such as for extremely high-end workstations and business/enterprise-class servers in small and medium-sized office environments. It has 8 full battery backup/surge ports (459 joule).
 
The Smart-UPS line of UPS units come with PowerChute Business Edition for Windows, Linux and Solaris but is also plug-in compatible with OS X's built-in UPS management software as well as apcupsd, an open-source client-server UPS software stack for Windows, Linux and Mac.
 
The unit has a 3-year warranty and a lifetime $150,000 equipment protection policy.

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