How can I protect my PC from dirty power?

Dear Sir, I live in a rural area and our power supply isn’t too great. Is there any way I can protect my computer from surges and power cuts?

Hi there, and thanks for your email. Yeah, power is a pretty critical thing that your computer needs and it needs it to be stable. Luckily there is something you can do to help. There’s a class of devices called UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supplies which give you a few minutes to turn off your machine when there’s a power cut.

They also do something more than that though. The way they work is by using your normal power source to charge a battery, while simultaneously using the battery to power your computer. This means that your computer is virtually isolated from your power source and can’t be affected by anything that happens. UPSes help protect your computer from surges, brown outs and other power nasties.

I came across an interesting one called CyberPower Intelligent LCD 685VA Compact UPS. It seems to do all the things you’re after and it’s currently on sale at around $80, which isn’t too bad for some protection. It also has some interesting features, like some software that automatically shuts your computer down when it detects a power outage. My favourite feature however, is the display on the front of the device that can tell you exactly what’s going on inside the box.

Check it out and tell me if you think it fits.

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