MGE Protection Center 675 review
For just £35, the Protection Center 675 offers a lot. It boasts four battery backup sockets, for loads up to 400W. Two are UK-type, while the other two are IEC. Two IEC loop-through power cables are included to replace your equipment’s existing power cables. The other bank of four sockets are only surge protected, but also includes two IEC sockets, so you’ll need to source your own loop-through cables for these. It’s worth noting that you can only use the IEC sockets if your equipment has this type of power socket. If not, these outlets won’t be of any use to you.
Weighing only 4.4kg, it’s possible to wall-mount the Protection Center, and the on/off button is similar to the Trust’s – it can’t be used to mute the alarm.
On the side is an IEC mains input, two RJ-45 connectors (which can also be used for RJ-11 cables; one is included) and a third RJ-45 connector. This third RJ-45 socket is for the proprietary USB cable. Hook this up to your PC, install the bundled Personal Solution-Pac 2 software and you’ll see an extra tab appear in the Power Options Properties window where you can configure it to shut down your PC safely when the mains power fails and the battery reaches a set level. You can also see the charge level, something that’s impossible on models without PC connectivity. The 1.2m cable is easy to extend using a standard USB extension cable, but it’s tricky to replace should the original be damaged or lost.
The lead acid battery lasted for 17mins 25secs when we cut the power to our test rig and – despite being an offline device – the Protection Center lived up to its name in our surge tests, doing the best job here of keeping voltages at safe levels.
While the IEC sockets and proprietary USB cable are a slight pain, at only £35, the MGE a great alternative to the APC.