Recommendations for a UPS

I'm in the market for a UPS right now, but I have no idea how to choose which one I need. I need to battery backup a small 8 port managed switch, a mini ITX pfSense box with an 100w PSU, a server with a 280w PSU, and one other server that's actually a laptop being used as a web server. I'd also like to have some expansion room in case I decide to add one more server soon. I would also need to be able to control the UPS either from pfSense or from Debian Linux, and it needs to be relatively cheap (no rack mount fancy ones, I don't need those)

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

may be overkill  ... but that is better than not enough

The golden rule with UPS's is that they should use standard format batteries. I've always used Merlin Gerin, because they use standard motorbike or car batteries, and are very easily serviceable. They are also available as manageable UPS's and are compatible with everything in the enterprise world (RS-232, RJ-45) and the SOHO world (USB).

MGE and APC are now both owned by Schneider Electric, and chances are they are basically the same products, so I don't think it makes much difference. MGE and APC are the market leaders, and with reason, you can use these with any worries for just about any UPS or power stabilisation application.

UPS's contain lead acid batteries, so they are bloody heavy, and need ventilation. Just saying, don't let them run on a shelf of an Ikea Billy under a stack of papers. UPS's also have forced cooling, so they make noise.

If you're looking at something really cheap, check out the Trust Oxxtron series. These are specifically made for SOHO applications, and operate on standard motorbike batteries. The managed versions do make a bit of noise though because the fans are really small. A common hack is to put a regular case fan on them to ensure airflow fron side to side through the side vents on both sides, and to disconnect the internal fan at the back. If you're in Europe, these UPS's, notwithstanding the fact that they're cheap, provide a lifetime 25k EUR guarantee against broken hardware in case the UPS fails. But I've never seen them fail in the 6-7 years that I've been recommending Trust UPS's for home use. (

It should be clear though that these cheap UPS's do not have the regulating ability and quality of enterprise grade UPS's... also just saying.

Most cheap UPS's besides the above, are more of a security risk than a security feature to be honest. A UPS is not a toaster, it's basically a stack of DC lead-acid batteries and an inverter, with a power regulation circuit. There is serious potential for disaster if it's not manufactured with care and good parts. Even a slight tolerance to reduce the cost of the unit, can cause the batteries to vent, which produces a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen, which is not something you want near a high voltage relay circuit...,2785.html

Thank you for the help! I was looking at one from APC, but unlike the similarly priced cyberpower one it doesn't have "pure sine wave" it has "stepped approximation to a sine wave". What is the advantage of a pure sine wave UPS, and is it necessary for my equipment (just 3-4 PCs that I need to be able to keep up long enough to gracefully shut down in a power outage, probably 30 mins at most)

It matters if you're going to use it for an audio console or for a guitar amp, but not for computers.

Fact is that a PSU regulates the power coming from any source to something within very strict limits, and then the motherboard again does the same thing. A PC or a router (that uses a regulated switching power supply), doesn't require a pure filtered sine wave like a guitar amp or a super duper audio console.

What is important, is the quality of the components, the longevity and the hotswappability of standard issue lead-acid batteries. My experience with cheap "consumer" UPS's is that they fail after a year or two. There are exceptions, but it takes a lot of work and electrical research inside of the units to distinguish the crap from the good stuff. If you just go with APC/MGE, in my opinion, you can't go wrong, because these units are the industry standard, they're used for PC's, workstations, servers, network devices, even robots in factory floors, go check out any UPS application in the industry, you can be sure that it's APC or MGE.

Okay, so something like this should do fine for me?

Schneider bought APC? Learn something New everyday

Triplite also makes a good pro level UPS. I go APC or Triplite for any of my installs at remote operating stations. I have no real preference I go with whatever is cheaper or more available.