In another part on this site, I talked about surge suppressors and how important they are. Well, they go hand in hand with another piece of equipment called an Uninterruptable Power Supply, or UPS for short. This is essentially a battery that you plug into the wall, and then plug your computer into it, instead of the well. The idea being that when the power goes out, the UPS will keep your computer up and running, instead of it crashing and possibly destroying data.
Why do I need one of those, you ask? Well, several reasons. For starters, most good ones do a great job of surge suppression, aside form the battery backup piece. Plus, most UPS systems come with insurance from the manufacturer, if in fact a spike or surge gets through to your equipment. Just think of it, if you have a good surge suppressor and a UPS, you would be doubly protected. If you got hit and something got fried, odds are it would be the surge suppressor or the UPS, either of which is less than $100.
The next great thing about having a UPS is not having your computer crash when the power blips. I live out in the country on the side of a mountain, so power blips are a common thing. Because I have UPS systems for my computers, I can work though power blips of up to a few minutes without having my computer go down hard, plus if it looks like the power is going to be out for a while, I have the time to shutdown my computers gracefully. In the end, it’s a cheap way to add a big layer of protection to your computers.
Most UPS systems for your home are under $100, although if you want to go crazy you can surely spend more. I think the last one I bought was about $50 from OfficeMax. I normally get APC (American Power Conversion) brand units, as they are pretty common and seem to do a good job.
You can get these at any of a number of local stores in your area, but I will use Newegg for some examples. If you can’t find what you want locally, you can always order it online.
- Basic home UPS – Could run one computer for up to 14 minutes.
- Larger home UPS – Could run one computer for up to 19 minutes.
These are just some examples of UPS systems that are out there, as you can see, they aren’t that expensive, and you can always go for more if you want or need it. The main thing is to get one of these and use it to protect your computer!