You can learn more about our review process here. Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products. We may be compensated for purchases made through our links.
You could be putting your power-sensitive electronics at risk if you’re still cramming all of your appliances into a single off-white power strip you stole from your roommate. Invest in an uninterruptible power supply, or UPS, to protect your expensive electronics like a grownup. These unassuming black bricks significantly increase the capacity of your wall outlets by not only adding additional outlets and surge protection, but also providing power to your devices in the event of a power outage, thanks to a built-in battery.
There are a plethora of options available, ranging from consumer to commercial applications, but today we’ll compare two of our most popular models from APC and Cyberpower to see which one is right for you. While these items are probably the least appealing part of any home office or living room setup, they are a useful piece of daily insurance for some of your more sensitive electronics.
While aesthetics aren’t exactly a UPS’s strong suit, both of these models have some unique design features that make them easier to use. Both models come with front-facing LED panels that display the UPS’s current load, battery charge, and predetermined input voltage.
The LED screen on the CyberPower, on the other hand, can be tilted upwards, allowing you to view the screen without having to get down on the ground. APC has taken a slightly different approach, removing the top corner of the UPS to make room for an LED screen that looks up at you all the time.
Both models have a single USB-A and USB-C port on the front, which can be used as an extra charging port or to keep your mobile device charged in the event of an emergency.
The number of outlets provided by these two models is likely the most noticeable difference between them; the CyberPower has 6 surge protected and 6 battery backup outlets, whereas the APC only has 5 surge and 5 battery backup outlets.
Both the CyberPower and the APC have automatic voltage regulation (AVR), as well as an audible alarm if the voltage drops too low or the battery needs to be used. While the alarm is turned on by default, both models have a mute button on the front panel that can be used to turn it off. Both come with a comprehensive set of features, including scheduling, fault detection, and Ethernet surge protection. Furthermore, if you use either UPS as a node between desktop workstations, they can both be hard-wired and controlled directly from a desktop via a USB or Serial connection.
In terms of power distribution, there are a few minor differences between these models. Because the CyberPower has two additional outlets, it can only run for 2.5 minutes on a full battery charge when operating under a full load, whereas the APC can run for up to 4 minutes. This is due to the APC’s slightly lower load capacity.
Both models have plenty of slack in their AC cables, and while it’s unlikely to make a significant difference, the APC has a slightly longer (6 ft.) cable than the CyberPower’s (5 ft.).
The CyberPower has an extra pair of Ethernet ports for a remote management card, which allows you to monitor and control the UPS from afar. The APC, on the other hand, has a coaxial throughput connection that allows you to extend surge protection to your cable modem. One of these options will be slightly better than the other depending on your priorities or the types of devices you’ll want to protect.
Related: POWERADD Pilot Pro2 Review
Both of these models are roughly the same price, at a little more than $200 each. While both of these devices come with the same 3-year warranty, one major difference is that the CyberPower model comes with a $500,000 connected equipment guarantee, whereas the APC model only comes with a $150,000 guarantee. Both of these figures are likely to be significantly higher than even the most expensive home theater setup, but if you’re considering using either of these units for commercial purposes, it’s worth considering.
The Final Word
The number and types of devices you’ll be connecting to your UPS will largely determine the winner of this particular matchup. We recommend the CyberPower 1500VA UPS for connecting a large number of workstations in an office setting, not only because of its large number of outlets, but also because of its extensive connected equipment guarantee and remote management options. If you’re using a UPS at home, however, the APC 1500VA Pro will provide you with more than enough protection against any type of electrical outage.