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Back-Ups are battery backups with surge protection.

Smart-Ups are more advanced. They are still a battery backup with surge protection, but they also interface with the PC/server and can interact with the PC. Such as powering down the PC gracefully before the battery dies.
 

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They will provide specs to show how much power they supply (ie: what they will support). You also have to take into account how long they can supply that power. Having a unit too small, will mean your uptime without AC will be short. The larger the supply, the longer they can supply power. I typically shoot to have enough power for 15-30 minutes. Gives you time to finish what you are doing and shut down if the power doesn't return.
 
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