I've wanted an Uninterruptible Power Supply ( UPS ) for many years. The other day I finally got one. Over the years a few people have debated the usefulness of this device. Many people will tell you that you should unplug any and all appliances and other household items from the wall socket during a bad storm. But part of the job of a good Uninterruptible Power Supply is to keep your precious investment safe from power fluctuations and voltage spikes. I'm not saying this would fully protect your hardware from a full blown lightning strike that surges through your household electrical system. What I will say is that a UPS is a good layer of protection to have if you can afford it. Not only can this be setup to shut your machine down smoothly in the event of a power outage. A UPS will also allow you to keep working while the power is being restored. The length of time depends on the battery pack you have purchased.
With many people now using VOIP ( Voice Over IP ) for phone service. Having an Uninterruptible Power Supply ( UPS ) is even more important. If your VOIP device doesn't have battery backup. Which many don't. Then when the power goes out your phone is gone as well. In many cases your broadband provider is still up and running. They have backups and protections in place. So as long as you have power you will still be able to use that service. This means you will still be able to make calls with your VOIP. Keep in mind that cable providers and other broadband providers who offer VOIP in almost all cases offer battery backup in some form. We have seen that some of the independent VOIP providers have started to offer some sort of battery backup over the years as well. Yet there are still others such as mine that leave this up to the customer. This is were having a UPS becomes important.
It needs to be kept in mind that even with traditional phone services problems can arise during a storm. Many argue that traditional phone services have a better track record of being up and ready during a weather related incident. People tend to forget about recent events such as the main line cut that happened in an Illinois city. With any type of utility if the line gets damaged somewhere along the path it travels then your service will in fact be cut off. While VOIP may be a bit more susceptible to the effects of power outages. A customer won't notice this if some sort of battery backup is in place. This is where having a UPS comes in. When the power goes out the UPS backup will kick in. Depending on what model you have chosen the length of time this will run is variable.
For me this was one of the hardest parts about buying an Uninterruptible Power Supply. APC is a leading manufacturer of this hardware. Yet at least on the site I used the data in regards to length of battery time didn't seem accurate or all that helpful. While battery time is only one factor you should consider when making this purchase. For most people it will be the key element. You want to get the most up-time for the dollars your spending. The APC units didn't seem to offer the up-time of the other units. Now I'm fully aware this isn't the case. But looking at the data being offered I couldn't make an educated decision. So an APC unit was no longer a brand consideration by me. In the end I purchased a CyberPower model. Prices will vary depending on different options. With longer battery life and more features the price will be higher of course. I paid around $160 for the CyberPower unit.
CyberPower / 8 Outlet / 1500VA / 900Watt / UPS with LCD Status Panel
The CyberPower Systems CP1500LCD / BC1500C is the ideal unit for mid-level to upper level computer systems. With battery run times up to 170 minutes, this unit really performs. The CP1500LCD / BC1500C not only guards against surges, spikes, sags, brownouts and other power abnormalities, but also protects your computer system and valuable data during a power outage. The automatic voltage regulation (AVR) will step up low voltages to safe output levels without resorting to battery power. PowerPanel Personal Edition Software is included with each model. In the event of a power outage, PowerPanel Personal Edition Software automatically saves and closes open files and then shuts down the computer system in an intelligent and orderly manner.
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Uninterruptible power supply – Wikipedia
An uninterruptible power supply ( UPS ), uninterruptible power source or sometimes called a battery backup is a device which maintains a continuous supply of electric power to connected equipment by supplying power from a separate source when utility power is not available.
A UPS is inserted between the source of power (typically commercial utility power) and the load it is protecting. When a power failure or abnormality occurs, the UPS will effectively switch from utility power to its own power source almost instantaneously.
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Tech and Talk Computer Hardware Discussion/Reviews protection against electrical surge-(lightning)
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