Surge protectors and battery backups are an excellent and inexpensive way to protect your equipment. By plugging your important equipment into surge protectors, you are protecting them from electrical surges that can cause power spikes and literally "fry" your equipment.
What is the difference between a surge protector and a battery backup? In simplest terms, surge protectors protect against power surges while battery backups protect against power surges as well as providing a temporary power source (battery) in the event of a power outage.
Some popular brands of surge protectors and battery backups are Tripp-Lite, APC, and Belkin.