Do I need a UPS for my computer? What is the difference between a UPS and a surge protector?
A surge protector essentially is a device that protects whatever is plugged into it from electrical surges or spikes. They can vary considerably in price and quality. Some criteria to look for when considering purchasing a surge protector: the joule rating, voltage rating, and clamp-down rating. Also, there is a difference between a surge protector and a surge suppressor. Deciding which one to use may depend on what you would need it for.
A UPS, or Uninterruptible Power Supply, has surge protection built into it, and more. It typically contains a battery as a backup source of power should you lose your power supply. This affords you the opportunity to gracefully shut down your computer with a much lower risk of damage to components or loss of data. A UPS also protects sensitive electronic equipment from spikes, surges, voltage drops, brownouts, and short blackouts. Any or all of these things can range from being a minor nuisance to becoming an outright catastrophe, depending on the significance of the electrical event and the importance of the work or data that you are working on with your computer at the time of the occurrence.