Battery backups vs. UPS Systems

One of the most common misconceptions we come across – and frankly one of the easiest ones to have  – is that people often confuse Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS Batteries) with battery backup and assume that they’re the same thing. That’s not true. They are similar, but different.

Today, we’re going to explain the differences between the two and what they potentially mean for you. Let’s jump right in!

Battery backup

Battery backup is a term that we apply to plug-in devices like computers that helps to lessen the chances that there’s harmful effects from issues related to power. For example – if a power surge occurs – the battery backup instantly kicks in and powers the machine for a period of time. In some cases even, backup power will help store files to make sure that if the power gets cut, that the computer shuts down correctly. The size and lifespan of their accompanying power supplies or batteries – will dictate how long it can be powered for. 


UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supply is a version of battery backup – but far more technologically advanced than a backup battery. UPS batteries are usually plugged in directly to a battery or the device itself. Power charges at a standby and essentially delivers an ongoing, steady current of power to whatever apparatus it’s powering. 

UPS also has more features and functions. Some specialize at dealing with power surges, others are good for drops in voltage or black/brownouts. 

What’s best for me?

Battery backups are ideal for devices like desktops, PC’s, Laptops and other devices and control panels. They’re ideal for more residential homes and smaller offices. They’re less expensive and make the most sense in small settings. 

UPS you should use for more critical devices. Things like a corporate server or server room, a data center, or control center.While UPS systems are certainly more costly, they’re also expected to provide far more protection.

As you can see there’s some important distinctions to make between the two. Hopefully, this blog helps you to make the best decision for you. Of course if you need any extra guidance or assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out. Until then – luck!