People often make the mistake of taking a water purifier for a water filter, though the two items have certain things in common, they are nevertheless two distinct items. While both remove bacteria by using a mechanical force for pumping water through a screening device, only a water purifier has the necessary features to render the micro-organisms in the water inactive. There are two ways to complete the inactivation: either by chemical or by electrostatic procedures. The use of a water purifier is necessary even for waters in the wild that are considered relatively safe; they may still contain some micro-organisms that could endanger human health.
The ideal water purifier should include a filtering surface with pores no larger than 0.2 microns; such a device is considered the safest since very few bacteria are smaller than 0.2 microns. Even if there be any viruses left after filtration, they are inactivated through the purification process by ozone, chlorine or ultraviolet light. Depending on the technical complexity, some parts of the water purifier may require special maintenance and the replacement of certain parts. You should check the device regularly to make sure that everything is working properly, otherwise your water source may become unreliable.
The filter in the water purifier also requires regular cleaning, this means that from time to time you will have to let it dry. If you use a portable device, try to collect still, clear water so as to avoid too many impurities accumulating in the filtering screen. The water purifier will retain all the internal elements with a size larger than the filtering pores, and only afterwards will clean water be dispensed in the special container from which you drink it. The most commonly used disinfectant that you are likely to find in a water purifier is iodine (usually under the form of iodine resins.
Another type of water purifier uses a positive electrostatic charge as a means of inactivating viruses and bacteria. More advanced models rely on ultraviolet light for the water purification process, but such devices are usually a lot more expensive than the iodine and the electrostatic energy-based ones. The choice is entirely up to you, regardless if we are talking about portable or fix devices, nevertheless always consider the usage extent of the water purifier to make sure that the investment is truly worth making. It would be a waste of money to buy a far too advanced water purifier model when you only need it from time to time.