I was asked about an UPS today. No not the United Parcel Service, an Uninterruptible Power Supply used to protect electronic components. You should definitely have an UPS if you don’t have one already. A $10 power strip is likely not protecting your computer adequately.
The question was in regards to how his UPS worked. He was under the impression that half the plugs were for battery backup and half were for surge protection. I will give a little information on how a UPS works here.
All the plugs on the unit are for surge protection. Of those plugs, some of those will also be attached to the battery backup to give you a few minutes to properly power down your computer in the event of a power failure.
It’s pretty simple really. Plug in your PC and Monitor into your battery backup slots and plug in non-essential things into the surge protection slots. These things include objects like lamps, printers, etc.
I imagine that a lot of blown power supplies occur from PC’s not being plugged into a quality surge protector or just plugged into the wall.
Another thing to realize that the wattage of your power supply doesn’t effect the wattage of the UPS needed. What matters is how much power your PC is actually using. A low end computer will pull 200+ watts. A high end computer will start pushing closer to 500 watts. There are plenty of power usage calculators on the internet if you want to figure out how much your PC uses.