I have used a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) for many years on my main Macs. If you value your work and cannot afford to lose whatever you are working on, then you need a UPS. Just recently my old Belkin UPS just up and died. I had replaced the battery in it once, but it was at the end of its life. It served me well. However, upon buying and installing a new UPS from Tripp Lite I discovered something really cool.
Tripp Lite UPS
In case you were not familiar with what a UPS does, here is the bottomline. A UPS contains a battery. It has several plugs on the battery feed and several plugs that are just surge protectors. Also, a UPS has special electrical circuits that are used to smooth out any energy spikes in your electricity thus preventing damage to electronic devices. You plug your most important, valuable electronics into the UPS battery side (your iMac, etc.) and less important stuff on the regular surge protector side. Depending on the size of your UPS (mine is a 1500), it will run your Mac for a few minutes or as much as an hour or so during power outages. The idea here is not to do a bunch of work on battery power. During a power outage a UPS affords you the opportunity to save your work and shutdown your Mac property.
After installing my new Tripp Lite UPS I realized it could connect to my iMac for monitoring (most modern UPS devices do this these days). This feature is supported in most recent Mac operating systems. After connecting the USB cable from the Tripp Lite to my iMac I opened the Energy Saver Pref Pane:
Once you are in the Energy Saver area, click on the “UPS” tab:
I have never used this feature before in a UPS so I have never had the UPS tab. Obviously, you can setup your UPS in several different ways. Here is how mine is setup for Computer sleep and Display sleep:
Here is how I set it up for the actual Shutdown procedure:
Now, if the power goes off while I am working on the Mac, I am going to save my work and Shutdown the computer manually. However, if I am away from my Mac when I lose power, this setting in the Shutdown Options area will Shutdown the Mac at the appropriate time.
I suppose if you just use your Mac for some email and a little web surfing a UPS would be overkill. But, if you are doing lots of things on your Mac like I am, if you have lots of important info your are working on most of the time, then a UPS might be a very good idea.