The 9 Best Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) of 2021

Keep your essential devices up and running in emergency situations

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The Rundown
"Featuring battery backup as well as surge protection."
"With its compact size, it will easily fit behind your desk, and the price is fair."
"A simple and reliable UPS that will protect up to seven devices from surge."
"It’s small, lightweight, and compact and includes an easy-to-read LCD screen, allowing you to clearly see how much charge you have remaining."
"Undeniably one of the best UPS systems available in the market today."
"As one of the first cloud-enabled APC UPS for distributed IT systems, it’s an ideal choice for businesses."
Best for Networking and Other Devices:
CyberPower CP800AVR at Amazon
"Although UPS systems have been associated largely with PCs, they are also used to protect a wide range of additional peripherals."
Best Compact:
APC BE600M1 at Amazon
"For a great device that’s both affordable and fully-loaded, try out the APC BE600M1."
Best for Gamers:
APC Gaming UPS at Amazon
"This gaming focused UPS comes with RGB lighting, plenty of ports, and a large battery to keep your devices charged and protected."

There's no shortage of options when it comes to choosing the best Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) for your home or business, so it can, at times, feel particularly daunting. Whether you need stable power and security for your expensive appliances at home or need to keep a fleet of servers running day or night, there are solutions that scale remarkably well depending on your budget or what you need your UPS to do for you.

The right UPS can provide reassurance that your business or data isn’t lost, making them a small cost for peace of mind. When it comes to UPSs, you need to think about battery life first, which can range from just a few minutes to a full day. If you need longer than that, you may prefer a portable generator. You’ll also want to think about how many devices you want to power, in case you need to protect multiple gadgets, with most devices offering support for between 2-10 devices. 

To make the process easier, we’ve reviewed some of the best uninterruptible power supplies on the market from brands such as APC, CyberPower, Tripp Lite, and more.

We’ve analyzed devices based on price, design, and functionality—here are our picks for the best uninterruptible power supplies for all of your needs. 

Best Overall: APC Back-UPS Pro 1500VA

What We Like
  • Clear LCD display

  • 10 outlets, including five battery backup outlets

  • Vertical orientation doesn't take up as much space

  • Hot swappable batteries

  • Option to connect additional batteries

What We Don't Like
  • Stepped sine wave like cheaper options

  • No USB or additional charging outputs

  • Big and heavy

One of the best overall options for UPSs is the APC Back-UPS Pro 1500VA. Designed for small businesses or those with multiple devices, this device provides outlets for up to ten devices, including five with battery backup and surge protection. It’s created for systems with high power needs, such as computers, routers, and game consoles. A supplemental battery pack is available for purchase if you need extra battery life, but its total runtime at 100 watts is one hour, 13 minutes. However, as with all devices, total battery life varies based on the number of devices plugged in. 

The 1500VA has a vertical design, so it shouldn’t take up too much space, but it is heavy. The design also features a clear LCD screen, useful for seeing at a glance all of your key stats, including battery runtime, based on the devices currently plugged in and the remaining power level. While it’s our overall choice for ease of use and multi-device functionality, note that there are no USB charging ports, so these devices will need to be charged another way.

Outlets: 5 battery, 5 surge protected | Battery backup power: 1500VA/865W | Sine Wave: Simulated

"This UPS is capable of putting out over 800 watts of power, so you can safely charge any device at the same speed you would normally experience by plugging the same charger directly into a wall outlet."Jeremy Laukkonen, Product Tester


APC Back-UPS Pro 1500

Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen

Best for Home Use: Tripp Lite AVR750U UPS Battery Backup

What We Like
  • 12 outlets in total, plus a USB port

  • Small, compact size

  • Reasonable price

What We Don't Like
  • Customer support can be slow

Another top choice for your at-home UPS needs is the Tripp Lite AVR750U. With its compact size, it will easily fit behind your desk, and the price is fair. We love that AVR750U has so many options for users, including six outlets, including surge protection, plus a USB port. Then, it gives you six more outlets, this time without battery backup, useful for non-essential devices such as printers. There are also two RJ45 jacks to protect phone or network lines. With a 60W load, about what’s needed for a single PC, you’ll get up to 42 minutes of battery backup. 

Installation is simple, but note that this device is for home office use, powering small devices like printers, PCs, and speakers. If you’re looking for similar features as you’d find in the APC Back-UPS Pro 1500VA UPS, but at a slightly lower price, this device is a top option. 

Outlets: 6 battery, 6 surge protected | Battery backup power: 750VA/450W | Sine Wave: Simulated in battery backup mode, pure in standard mode

Best Budget: APC Back-UPS 425VA

APC UPS, 600VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector
What We Like
  • Simple and effective

  • Compact

  • Six outlets

What We Don't Like
  • Only designed for devices with low power needs

  • No screen

An effective UPS doesn’t need to cost the earth, so we love that the APC Back-UPS 425VA is a reliable backup power source that’s easy to afford. This compact device offers six outlets, two with surge protection and four battery backup outlets. It’s easy to fit in any office and it includes a 5’ power cord. The unit comes with PowerChute Personal Edition software to work as a CMS and energy monitoring, helping you prevent data corruption. You can expect up to four hours of run time and low power bills, thanks to Energy Star certification.

However, it’s worth noting that the 425VA is designed for use with low power devices, like an internet router. If you use it to power devices with high power needs, it will work, but will only last a few minutes. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to back-up your devices with low energy needs, don’t look past the 425VA. 

Outlets: 4 battery, 2 surge protected | Battery backup power: 425VA/225W | Sine Wave: Simulated

Easiest to Use: CyberPower EC850LCD

CyberPower EC850LCD
What We Like
  • LCD panel makes it easy to see your stats

  • Smart eco-mode’ allows you to save power when devices are detected to be off or in sleep mode

  • Four battery backup and surge protection outlets, plus four surge-protected outlets

What We Don't Like
  • The power provided by this device is minutes, not hours

Another budget-friendly option for your power needs is the CyberPower EC650LCD. It offers the convenience of four battery backup and surge protection outlets, plus four additional surge-protected outlets. From a UX perspective, the EC650 wins points as well. It’s small, lightweight, and compact and includes an easy-to-read LCD screen, allowing you to clearly see how much charge you have remaining. 

We like that the device can switch into eco-mode automatically, meaning it can recognize when a device is turned off or in sleep mode and it turns off power, which will make your battery last longer and reduce your power bills. The device is created to look after most of your home electronic power needs, such as desktops, home theaters, and routers. However, as with most inexpensive UPS devices, you do get less power—only count on this device as a temporary stopgap in power outages since its runtime is a matter of minutes, depending on how many devices are plugged in. 

Outlets: 6 battery, 6 surge protected | Battery backup power: 850VA/510W | Sine Wave: Simulated

Best Features: CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD

What We Like
  • Tiltable LCD panel displays real-time status information

  • 12 power outlets, plus USB ports

  • Stylish vertical design 

What We Don't Like
  • Backup runtime (with full load) isn't exactly great

  • Cost

One of the best UPS systems available in the market today, CyberPower's CP1500PFCLCD boasts plenty of useful features. It offers twelve surge-protected 5-15R power outlets, of which six come with battery backup and are meant for critical devices like computers, along with two USB ports. This is complemented by Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR), which automatically corrects power fluctuations to protect the connected equipment against hazards like voltage spikes and brownouts.

One of the most useful features of CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD is its multifunction control panel. With a color LCD that displays a variety of useful information (e.g. battery capacity, load level) and lets you easily monitor the device's operation, especially if you need to tilt it up to read if it’s under your desk. Our only concern is that all of the device's features don’t provide additional runtime—you’re looking at about 3-10 minutes, depending on load. 

The design itself is sleek and stylish, a vertical tower that will easily fit just about anywhere. If you’re looking for a device with plenty of power outlets and features, this one may be for you. 

Outlets: 6 battery, 6 surge protected | Battery backup power: 1500VA/1000W | Sine Wave: Pure

Best for Businesses: APC UPS 2200VA Smart-UPS with SmartConnect

APC 2200VA
What We Like
  • Cloud backup

  • Hours of runtime to keep your electronics safe

  • Green Mode saves power when it notices devices aren’t in use but are still plugged in

What We Don't Like
  • More expensive, since it’s aimed at the business market

  • Heavy

When you’re running a business, you can’t risk data loss, so it’s important to have a backup plan. The APC UPS 2200VA Smart-UPS with SmartConnect is an ideal choice for businesses. Your IT team can manage the UPS through the included remote secure portal, ideal for maximizing performance and checking battery life. It’s easy to install and gives your team plenty of control options, including cloud backup for extra protection. 

With the UPS 2200VA, you’ve got 8 NEMA 5-15R battery outlets, 1920W of output power, and three-hour recharge time. It also gives you a longer runtime compared to some of the other UPSs here, giving you up to 587 minutes, though this decreases as you add more devices. 

At 112 pounds, it’s a large and heavy item that you won’t want to move around. However, since it’s designed for business use, it’s likely to be in a server room rather than at someone’s desk. Consider the APC UPS 2200VA if you need a reliable powerhouse for your small business, with enough juice to get your electronics through a power outage. 

Outlets: 8 battery and surge protected, 2 surge protected | Battery backup power: 2200VA/1980W | Sine Wave: Pure

Best for Networking and Other Devices: CyberPower CP800AVR

CP800AVR
What We Like
  • Widely-spaced outlets make it easier for use with bulky plugs

  • Easy to manage using desktop software

What We Don't Like
  • Short runtime

  • Note that this device is not intended for computer use

UPS systems are usually associated with desktops, but they are also used to protect a wide range of additional peripherals, including everything from routers to printers. If you need an Uninterruptible Power Supply for electronics other than PCs, check out CyberPower’s CP800AVR. Based on line-interactive topology, this UPS includes eight 5-15R power outlets. While all of these outlets have surge protection, four offer battery backup as well. It’s useful that there’s space between each outlet, making it easier to plug in bulky outlets or adapters. 

The CP800AVR includes GreenPower, a patented technology that helps reduce noise from the device, save energy, and stops the device from overheating. While this helps improve efficiency, the removal of excess noise is also convenient if you plan to keep it on or under your desk. 

Like most devices within this price range, run time is short, ranging from around 2-13 minutes, depending on load. Consider this device if you’re looking for an easy to use device that can power essential devices such as your wireless router. 

Outlets: 4 battery and surge protected, 4 surge protected | Battery backup power: 800VA/450W | Sine Wave: Simulated

Best Compact: APC 600VA UPS BE600M1 Battery Backup

APC UPS, 600VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector, BE600M1
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Compact and lightweight

  • Seven outlets, plus a USB charging port

What We Don't Like
  • Not that useful for large equipment

If you’re looking for a UPS packed with features for your home office, it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. For a great device that’s both affordable and fully-loaded, try out the APC BE600M1. It offers plenty of outlets for all of your office needs, including five with battery back-up and surge protection, two outlets with surge protection only, and a USB charging port. It’s designed for use with small electronics, including TVs, wireless routers, and game consoles. Set-up and use couldn’t be easier as well. 

APC BE600M1 is simple, in a good way, featuring just one button that can not only be used to power it On/Off, but also for silencing the alarms. It uses a sealed, maintenance-free battery and is backed by a three-year warranty. We also like that the device is lightweight and compact, designed to take up minimal space. This UPS may be just what you need for your home office. 

Outlets: 5 battery and surge protected, 2 surge protected | Battery backup power: 600VA/330W | Sine Wave: Simulated

“This UPS fits easily under a desk, awesome for small offices in an apartment, like mine. The inclusion of a USB port is also helpful for phones and cameras.”Katie Dundas, Tech Writer 

APC Back-UPS BE600M1

Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen

Best for Gamers: APC Gaming UPS

What We Like
  • Gamer aesthetic with RGB lighting

  • Plentiful ports

  • Large battery

  • Ample venting

  • Reactor circle with indicator lights

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • No touch display

  • Limited software

Uninterrupted power supplies have an important function, but they usually don’t look very flashy. The APC Gaming UPS is different, as it looks like a gamer’s device. It has RGB lighting on a ring surrounding an LCD panel, and it has additional RGB lighting on the back that gives off a glow effect. This UPS goes great with rigs and gaming peripherals, as you can match the RGB lighting and coordinate your gaming station.

 While the form is exciting, this UPS offers a lot of functionality too. It boasts SineWave technology for optimal performance, and it has 10 plugs: six for battery backup, and four for just surge protection. It also has coax and data connectivity, so you can protect your networking devices from surges. If you use the companion PowerChute software, you can take advantage of additional features like status updates, performance summaries, and performing a system shutdown.

 The UPS can run a single gaming PC and monitor for around 30 minutes according to our tests. The specifications indicate three minutes of backup at full load, and 12 minutes at half-load, so it won’t last very long if you load it with multiple devices. However, this is a stylish gaming UPS that’ll help keep your devices safe, and can even keep you gaming for a while in the event of power failure.

Outlets: 6 battery backup, 4 surge protected | Battery backup power: 1500VA/900W | Sine Wave: Pure

"The customizable RGB lighting on the reactor circle can match any RGB lighting you have on your rig or peripherals, and there’s an additional RGB light on the back of the UPS that provides a glow." Erika Rawes, Product Tester

APC Gaming UPS

Lifewire / Erika Rawes

Final Verdict

When it comes to the best overall UPS, we recommend the APC Back-UPS Pro 1500VA UPS (view at Amazon). It impressed us with reliability, plenty of power outlets for your home or office needs, and an easy-to-read screen. We also love the Tripp Lite AVR750U (view at Amazon), featuring 12 outlets and a USB port, a small, compact size, and reasonable pricing.

About Our Trusted Experts 

Katie Dundas is a freelance journalist and tech writer who has written for Lifewire since 2019. She has thoroughly researched all products reviewed here.

Jeremy Laukkonen is tech writer and the creator of a popular blog and video game startup. He also ghostwrites articles for numerous major trade publications.

Erika Rawes is a tech reviewer who's been writing for Lifewire since 2019. She specializes in consumer technology and has previously been published in Digital Trends, USA Today, and more.

FAQs

How big of a UPS do you need?
This answer is largely dependent on what devices your UPS will be supporting and for how long. If you're hooking up a couple of desktop computers or a home entertainment system, you can typically get away with a 750 VA battery backup, which will give you ample time to save your work and shut down your devices properly without incident. However, for commercial setups like server farms, you'll need something quite a bit larger. Something closer to a 2200 VA backup can provide ample insurance to even the most power-hungry tech.

Can you replace the battery on your UPS and how long will it last?
Not all UPS have replaceable or "hot-swappable" batteries. But unless you need to have your UPS remain on battery power for an extended period, having "hot-swappable" batteries isn't entirely necessary, and the lifespan for a typical battery can be anywhere from 3 to 5 years, meaning you shouldn't have to replace your battery very often. However, this isn't standard for every UPS.

What will benefit the most from a UPS?
Just about any appliance can benefit from being connected to a UPS, but the stuff that should absolutely be tethered to a UPS are any sensitive electronics. These can be TVs, home theater receivers, or computer desktops. While a UPS can effectively act as a power strip for any appliance, prioritizing anything that might be damaged by abruptly losing power will let you get the most out of your UPS.  

What to Look for in an Uninterrupted Power Supply 

Compatibility

When buying a UPS, the most important factor to consider is its compatibility with the power supply. Before hooking anything up, check what your devices require and make sure there’s a match.

On-battery runtime

Generally, you don’t need a UPS to last too long but it should be sufficient to start a standby power source or properly shut down the protected equipment. Some run for just a few minutes, while others will provide power all night long. Depending on your needs, make sure the on-battery runtime is ample.

Device support

How many devices will you need to connect to your UPS? Some can accommodate as many as 12 devices, while others top out at just two. Some also provide USB ports, but not all. 

Portability

Some UPS devices are crafted for home or business use, while others are built for travel and the outdoors. If you’ll need to take your device with you, you’ll want something with a more portable design that can fit in a handbag easily. You might even want a solar charging port so that you aren’t entirely dependent on electricity. 

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