What Is the Difference Between a Power Strip and a Surge Protector?

A power strip is essentially a multi-port wall outlet. It serves as an extension of your wall plug and offers plugs for multiple devices. Most power strips have an integrated circuit breaker. A surge protector, on the other hand, offers protection against power spikes in your feed that can damage equipment. Surge protectors are rated in joules. These ratings indicate how big a spike a protector can handle.

What Is an Uninterruptible Power Supply? 

A UPS is a device that maintains power flow to a device for a certain duration after the main power source fails. It relies on its own integrated battery to provide short-term power to a system or device. These power distribution devices can also feature surge protectors for keeping electronics safe from power spikes. A UPS can also serve as an alert system to computer users when main power fails, giving them sufficient time to power down a device properly and save critical files.

What Is a Power Inverter? 

A power inverter is a device that converts a DC power signal, such as the power that comes from a car's lighter, to AC power such as you could access from a home wall outlet. An inverter smooths out the rough power signal emitted by a DC power source and streamlines it for sensitive electronics designed for use with AC power. These devices come in two, main categories: modified sine and pure sine inverters. The vast majority of commercial devices are modified sine inverters such as car chargers. Pure sine inverters are more advanced and rarer units used with advanced electronics that are sensitive to any fluctuations in a power signal.