PowerShield Defender 1600VA UPS
Quiet; Australian power sockets
This PowerShield is rated at 1600VA and features a 10-amp circuit breaker (some UPSs offer 15 amps, but keep in mind your typical wall socket is only rated for 10 amps). You’ll find six standard Australian power points on the back, which is easier than dealing with computer-style C13 power sockets and may save you money on extra cables. All six offer surge protection, but only three offer battery backup.
The front screen reveals the input voltage from your power point and the output voltage going to your attached devices. There are also four-bar readouts for the battery charge level and the power load from the attached devices. You can connect the PowerShield to your computer via USB, with management software for Windows, Mac and Linux. The UPS doesn’t show up under the Energy Saver System Preferences on your Mac.
There’s no fan in the PowerShield, so it sits quietly under your desk, although the box does make a loud buzz while running on the battery. It also emits a double-beep every 30 seconds when the power goes out, which can be muted via the software. The beeping gets faster when the battery is down to 25 percent.
The watts rating is usually 60 percent of the VA rating on a UPS designed for workstations, meaning this PowerShield is designed to supply 960 watts. As a rule of thumb, your attached devices should demand no more than half of this, to allow the UPS to perform at its best and leave some overhead.
Tested with our quad-core Mac Pro hooked up to a 24in Dell monitor, using 210 watts, the PowerShield ran 21 minutes and 58 seconds – the longest run time of the bunch, but the lowest efficiency at 0.82 seconds per VA. Considering the price, it’s still the best value for money and our pick of the group test.
Running quietly and well-priced, PowerShield’s Defender 1600VA is the pick of those we’ve seen.